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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 411
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week 8
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SHALABI EFFECT - PINK ABYSS (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
TANAKH - DIEU DEUIL (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
CHRISTINA KUBISCH - TWELVE SIGNALS (CD by Semishigure)
ELECTROSHOCK PRESENTS ELECTROACOUSTIC MUSIC VOLUME IX (CD compilation
by Electroshock)
ALEXANDER VOLODIN - REFLECTIONS OF TIME (CD by Electroshock)
ALEXEI BORISOV - POLISHED SURFACE OF A TABLE (CD by Electroshock)
CUCINA VAGABONDA (CDR/MP3 compilation by Ogredung)
LOS HERMANOS EGUALES - DIVERSI OCCHI EP (MP3 by Ogredung)
BOOKS ON TAPE - MAN ALIVE EP (MP3 by Ogredung)
PICTURESQUE - A FINAL EXPRESSION REMAINS TO BE FOUND (CD by Glasvocht)
SRMEIXNER - BETWEEN THE LINES (CD by Dirter Promotions)
PAUL BRADLEY - ALL THAT WAS (CDR by Twenty Hertz)
PAUL BRADLEY - IMMURE (3"CDR by The Locus Of Assemblage)
BJ NILSEN - HAZARD 06_13_03 (CD by Touch)
ORGANUM/Z'EV - TINNITUS VU (CDEP by Touch)
Z'EV - LIVE 03.01.86 (10" by Crippled Intellect Productions)
WE'RE BREAKING UP - HERE AND ABOVE (CDR by TwoThousandAnd)
PAUL HOOD - CPLASTSICS (CDR by TwothousandAnd)
KNOWLEDGE OF BUGS - MY WAY NO WAY (CDR by Piehead Records)
DOMESTIC PURPOSE - TSCHUMAN BEHAVIOUR (CDR by Humbug)
STEN OVE TOFT - LANDMARK (CDR by Humbug)
PI CAB ALTER - L'ENERGIE DU VIDE (3"CDR by Verato)
DUAL - FALL (2x3"CDR by Coombe Records)
WONWONS - ORIGINAL PUNK SUPER STARS (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
MASAMI KAWAGUCHI - LIVE IN DECEMBER (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
RENATO RINALDI - THE TIME AND THE ROOM (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
CHIE MUKAI & SEI-ICHI YAMAMOTO & ERIC CORDIER - ENKIDU/HASSELT (CD by
Turtles' Dream/abuitsecret)
MAX HAIVEN & JON VAUGHN - FRONT (CD by Empreintes Digitales)

In Memoriam: Roger Sutherland (1948 - 2004)

 

 

SHALABI EFFECT - PINK ABYSS (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
TANAKH - DIEU DEUIL (CD by Alien8 Recordings)
A while ago I saw Shalabi Effect play a live concert. It was in squat
and their overall soft-spoken tones were not really much appreciated
by the drinkers and talkers, which was a pity. The four piece of Will
Eizlini, Anthony Seck, Sam Shalabi and Alexandre St-Onge (all with
their ties inside many other Canadian projects) go for their third
record into the world of popmusic, as they say themselves. Their
previous two recordings were kinda psychedelic, experimental music,
being put together from loosely improvised recordings, but here
Shalabi Effect actually start composing. Ten carefully crafted
pieces, and of which some might indeed be classified as popmusic.
'Bright Guilty World' features guest vocals of Elizabeth Anka
Vajagic, and has a jazzy feel to it. Laidback sunday afternoon
atmosphere but which after a short break goes over into 'Blue
Sunshine', with almost triumph trumpets and an excellent production.
But sometimes the point is missed such as in 'Iron And Blood', whose
'lala' vocals do not add much to the otherwise tame music. Fortunally
this is one of the few weaker pieces on this CD. Things work best if
they have their own psychedelic style, mixed with what some could be
calling popmusic and dashes of dark folky tunes like in 'We'll Never
Make It Out Of Here Alive'. From all of their works so far, I must
say I like this one best.
And I am listening to Shalabi Effect aswell as the new Tanakh CD will
staying for a couple of days in a small village, in a small house
behind a large, unused church. It casts it's shadow over the house in
the afternoon. I know this, because today there is no sunshine.
Inside I am playing the music of Tanakh, a twelve piece from
Montreal, recentely relocated to Florence. They play everything from
guitar to violin, glockenspiel to field recordings. Think God Speed,
less the dramatic built ups and with vocals. Quite a folk music sound
that Tanakh puts on here, but it's outside folk, I think (I don't
consider myself an expert on these matters). Dreamy, doomy and
atmospheric songs that certainly fits the small village I found
myself in with only a couple of CDs to play, so I keep playing them
over and over. Grey days, occassionally with rain and inside I am
playing Tanakh. It's not really music to cheer you up. Mood music of
a highly personal kind. If Shalabi Effect, Set Fire To Flames or
Sigur Ros is something you digest, then I'd say this may go down well
too.
Address: http://www.alien8recordings.com

CHRISTINA KUBISCH - TWELVE SIGNALS (CD by Semishigure)
This is Ms. Kubisch second CD for Semishigure, the art-imprint of
Bottrop-boy. On this sidelabel sounds from installations are captured
into independent works for CD - even when there is something to see
in the booklet. Kubisch' installation 'Twelve Signals' uses sounds
from miner bells, who used twelve of them for precise meanings for
the movements of the underground elevator. The bells used here no
longer functioned and Kubisch struck them with a small hammer. Each
bell plays all twelve signals in the course of one hour, but the
intervals vary for each bell. As this is installation was held in
church, at one point the bells of the church also sounds. Like with
Kubisch' previous release on Semishigure, 'Diapason' (see Vital
Weekly 339), this work is on an utter minimalism. Again a recording
that evokes a great sense of meditation, maybe even more than with
'Diapason' since the miner bells sound like church bells here, and
it's almost a call on a sunday morning to attend church. Spaces are
filled as much as they are left empty here. And like with the
previous release, this is best left on repeat for a day or two. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bottrop-boy.com

ELECTROSHOCK PRESENTS ELECTROACOUSTIC MUSIC VOLUME IX (CD compilation
by Electroshock)
ALEXANDER VOLODIN - REFLECTIONS OF TIME (CD by Electroshock)
ALEXEI BORISOV - POLISHED SURFACE OF A TABLE (CD by Electroshock)
Electroshock, the Russian Moscow-based label for various kinds of
electroacoustic, experimental, avant-garde, chamber music etc., have
released the 9th volume of their Electroacoustic Music compilations
at the beginning of 2004. A bunch of unknown names for me among the
artists included here, internationaly the most known probably being
Carl Stone. There are artists from The Netherlands, USA, Mexico,
Great Britain, Russia and Italy. Most of the compositions are longer,
more than 8 minutes, the last one is more than 20 minutes.
More of the artists have a massive approach to the electroacoustic
music. Rodrigo Sigal's piece is a good example of this, rumblings of
sound that continuously shift but never turn to just noise. Mark
Cooley successfuly joins clearly present country-ish guitar sounds
and electronics. Simon Wickham-Smith's piece 'jusKidding' is split in
4 shorter parts, in most of them presenting the more humorous aspects
of the electroacoustics. Eternal Wanderers use a piano as a base for
their cinematic composition. The piece that differs most from the
others and which I like the most is the last one, 'Rusalki' by Victor
Cerullo, 22 minutes of more calm shiftings of big blocks of sound
that occasionally burst out. Victor Cerullo is not unknown to
Electroshock, he has an album which is a homage to Andrei Tarkovsky
released by the same label in 2003. Looking forward to hear it, very
soon.
Lots of (=8) new releases from Electroshock at the very beginning of
2004. One of them is Reflections Of Time by Alexander Volodin.
Alexander focuses more on details, unlike most of the artists from
the compilation. The album has 4 main compositions and 2 of them are
divided in 3 separate parts. All main compositions are build around a
theme. The first one, called The Flower Is Growing Up, is adequate to
"the birth of alive creature", as it says in the inlay of the CD.
It's interesting that these themes are not so fixed and they leave
enough space for anyone to interpret them themselves. The third
piece, The Way To Star, is the longest one with it's 30 minutes, and,
as it says in the inlay, it "was written for the exhibition in the
commemoration of Leonardo da Vinchi in 2002.". It's a slow and calm
drone-like piece with occasional shinning of the star through the
sound. Nick Knyaskov on (a distant) flute and Albina Batirshina on
violin join Alexander Volodin in this composition to create good
drone music, subtle and sometimes almost touching silence. The last
composition, The Music Of My Memory, and also the second longest (16
and a half minutes), has 3 different parts with various lengths. The
music from these 3 last pieces somehow blends the sounds from all
previous ones: the subtlety of the drone piece with the thought-out
rumblings from the first half of this album. It's a good closing and
a conclusion at the end. The star in Alexander Volodin's music
probably finds the brightest and clearest ways to shine in the last
16 minutes.
A full-length album by Alexei Borisov is a nice thing to hear, if you
need a redefinition of the experimental music. Alexei is certainly
one of the Russian artists that's gaining a bigger worldwide
recognition lately, he played live at this year's Club Transmediale
in Berlin few weeks ago. Before this album and besides the tracks
from various compilations (released by N&B Research Digest), I've
heard Alexei's live album Before The Evroremont released by N&B
Research Digest / Avanto Festival, and I liked it.
I wonder what it means when a track by Alexei Borisov is titled Blue
Vinyl? Does it mean he took a blue vinyl and conducted a musical
massacre on it? Could be. Alexei likes to use voices in his
post-electronic, post-techno, post-experimental, post-post music, one
of the best post-musics I've heard. This is done truly amazing in the
sixth track Dew, a complete musical slaughter, 4 minutes of the most
amusing (and most gentle) sound-killing I've heard recently as a
counter-point of the first 15 seconds at the beginning of the track
with the appealing vocal of Angela Manukjan. Kill sound before sound
kills you? Kid606, take notes.
The techno moment is in Zaraza (Volume I), a track that could have
been done maybe by Motor, and noone else. Could be because of the
national connection. The softly distorted beats make me want to hear
Volume II, if there is. The voices are sometimes used to create only
noises with them, like in My Voices. Alexei Borisov's music is maybe
not the kind of music you'll listen all day every day, but it's sure
great to know it exists out there, somewhere, in the outer limit.
Great work! (BR)
Address: http://www.electroshock.ru

CUCINA VAGABONDA (CDR/MP3 compilation by Ogredung)
Now we're entering the world of idm melotronics. And it's a nice
place to be. Often without much gravity. 1, 2, 3, no gravity... You
know that great track from Closer Music / Kompakt? Probably the best
non-idm track that should have been released by a devoted idm label,
or should have been a part of some killer-idm compilation. I don't
know if Ogredung are releasing some specific sound as a label,
because this is the first release I've heard from them (and they have
more than 60!), but the sound of their Cucina Vagabonda (is it
Kitchen Vagabonds??) compilation is very much in the deeper idm
areas. The compilation is available in 2 formats: mp3s from their
site, and CDR with a handcrafted cover (which can be ordered), but
they still haven't decided about the definitive design, so my copy is
a unique prototype. Looks nice.
I started listening this compilation from the 8th track, that's
Imtech aka Quim, known from his brilliant EP on Skylab Observatory.
It's great to know more labels are releasing Imtech's music, and the
track here is another proof of it's constant quality. There are many
bedroom producers who make idm music today but not too many manage to
create distinctly personal sound. Imtech is good at that, and you
should know a compilation is worth checking out when he's there.
Iermoc leaves nice impression too, background synth-sounds that
develop the melody with the crunchy rhythm. Many of the tracks are on
the crunchy lo-fi side. There are many un or at least less known
artists on this compilation like Kaneel, Luca Confusione, Urkuma +
Phobode + Strinqulu, Makunouchi Bento, Paolo Veneziani and the
others... They all cook different and tasty food in their kitchens,
with Imtech probably being the main chief, at least for me. (BR)
Address: http://www.ogredung.org

LOS HERMANOS EGUALES - DIVERSI OCCHI EP (MP3 by Ogredung)
BOOKS ON TAPE - MAN ALIVE EP (MP3 by Ogredung)
Two more EPs from the net label Ogredung. The first is from Los
Hermanos Eguales who also makes music as Luca Confusione. The music
is rhythm based and hypnotic sometime when it's repetitive, like in
the third track. In the next track with the percussions it comes
close to a blurry jazzy mood, acoustic sounds are added too. It's
rather unpolished music. Not very close to some known genre, but also
not too impressive.
Books On Tape develops his ideas better and certainly in a more
amusing way, especially if beat-punk is your thing. I think Todd
Drootin is not using computer or laptop to make music, that's why the
title of his first album released by Deathbomb Arc is Throw Down Your
Laptops. The music is made with sampler, sequencer, drum machines,
keyboards... It's trashy and noisy, ok, not too noisy or too harsh.
It's in many forms of nice unconventional songs worth to be
discovered and consumed. (BR)
Address: http://www.ogredung.org

PICTURESQUE - A FINAL EXPRESSION REMAINS TO BE FOUND (CD by Glasvocht)
Behind the funny named Picturesque we find Philip Gheysen, who is
otherwise also known as Teledroom (see Vital Weekly 375) and The
Ordinary Seaman), but this is a strict solo project. He has released
a couple of CDRs and now his first real CD on his own label. He plays
synths, sampler, guitar, effects, drumbox and 'MacOS'. There are
seven untitled pieces to be found here and each of them displays
Philip's interest in minimalist drone music, but in most of these
pieces this is worked out in a rather lo-fi and noisy manner.
Picturesque presses a couple of buttons down and by some cheap
technology (or maybe that is a plug in on the computer) it all sounds
a bit dirty. Which is actually fine, I think. These are rough edged
pieces which leave not much space for contemplation, or it should be
the closing piece, which is almost cosmic in approach. Nice CD, and
hopefully by using the format of a 'real' CD, and not a CDR it will
attract more listeners. (FdW)
Address: http://www.glasvochtrecords.com

SRMEIXNER - BETWEEN THE LINES (CD by Dirter Promotions)
In case you don't remember, Stephen Meixner, aka srmeixner, was once
half of Contrastate, a band that at the forefront of experimental
ambient/industrial music in the late eighties and the nineties. I
sort of lost track of them in the late nineties, but now srmeixner
returns with a solo album 'Between The Lines'. The pieces here are
inspired by architect Daniel Libeskind's extension to the Jewish
Museum in Berlin., but Stephen states it's by no means a soundtrack
for the museum or the content of the museum. The four pieces use
field recordings, such as people talking, didgeredoo aswell as a
bunch of electronics. Three extensive pieces (the fourth one is
called 'Silence Is Complicity' and is twelve seconds of silence) of
drone like synth sounds, in which the field recordings and
instruments are mixed in. Paceful, but with a nasty undertone - not
easy, accessible ambient music, but rather a dark atmospheric sound.
It's a bit hard to relate to the museum, certainly when, like me, one
is not familiar with the building, but the intentions are clear, I
think. In a certain way contemplative music for a very dark period in
the history of mankind. (FdW)
Address: <dirter@enconahead.co.uk>

PAUL BRADLEY - ALL THAT WAS (CDR by Twenty Hertz)
PAUL BRADLEY - IMMURE (3"CDR by The Locus Of Assemblage)
In Vital Weekly I introduced work by Paul Bradley. His first release
'Twenty Hertz' was released by Colin Potter's ICR label and now Paul
started his own label, Twenty Hertz. On the first release of the
label he presents two pieces, which takes the sounds of 'Twenty
Hertz' further. Long enveloping sounds played, I think, on old
fashioned synthesizers (although a picture on his website shows a
guitar and an e-bow) in a rather dark atmospheric background. Unlike
'Twenty Hertz', the element of loops seem to be gone, and this is
altogether even more droney as the previous work. Austere, dark,
sombre: music for grey days. Quite enjoyable in this time of the year.
Strangely enough when the release is time-wise limited, on a 3"
format, he offers three tracks. The middle track is the longest and
is a deep ambient piece, but this time with the addition of field
recordings. The opening and closing pieces are quite rhythmical,
built around percussive loops and act as an intro and outro. This is
a very nice little gem and certainly a welcome addition to the other
works by Paul as it shows that he open to using various possibilities
of deep ambient music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.twentyhertz.co.uk
Address: http://www.assemblage.freeuk.com

BJ NILSEN - HAZARD 06_13_03 (CD by Touch)
After a string of studio releases by Hazard, aka BJ Nilsen, follows a
live recording made in Vienna last year. Hazard plays around with the
notion of field recordings and the effect they have on human beings.
Recentely he started to work with Chris Watson, who himself is the
genius in the world of (untreated) field recordings. On his live
concert in Vienna, Hazard adds another recent element of his field
recordings to it: church organ sounds. Over the course of thirty
seven minutes, Hazard plays some fine stretched out sounds, in which
maybe the field recordings are no longer be recognized as such (save
for some insect sounds), but in a rather subdued ambient setting.
Cleverly building up tension, working towards a large crescendo at
the end of the concert. A crisp clear recording with lots of care for
the finer details that lurk in this kind of music. Just before this
recording was made, I had the pleasure to see Hazard play similar
material live and I was overwhelmed by some of the volume he put on,
but in a controlled domestic atmosphere, one can adjust the volume to
one's own needs and that makes this into a most welcome addition to
his already fine body of works. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk

ORGANUM/Z'EV - TINNITUS VU (CDEP by Touch)
Z'EV - LIVE 03.01.86 (10" by Crippled Intellect Productions)
I must admit I like unlikely collaborations, and I could have never
believed that Z'ev and Organum would be together in the studio. Being
a big fan of Organum and a keen follower of Z'ev (but without liking
everything he did). They met in 1999 for the first time and in july
2003 they meet again, just about as Organum was going back into the
studio to record new works. Z'ev joins him and here are the four
results. We hear the recent piano works by Organum with the addition
of thickly layered, highly processed percussive sounds of Z'ev. In
the second piece, it seems like a field recording of wood splinters
washing ashore. I'd say this music is probably more Organum sounding
than Z'ev sounding, but altogether it's an excellent release with
only one problem: it's way too short. Would have loved to get the
double portion.
Also by Z'ev, but from a historical perspective is a really beautiful
10": packed inside two metal plates which are stamped with 'Z'ev' and
the copynumber (of a total edition of 333 copies). It resembles that
other metal packaging, by Chop Shop from so long ago. Crippled
Intellect has released a 3" with historical live recordings before
and this 10" features recordings made at the N.A.M.E. Gallery in
Chicago in 1986. On the first side there is a rhythmic piece, which
doesn't sound like it is kept in the same rhythm, but rather like an
exploration of the sounds metal on metal can produce. Side B start
with slow rumbling of metal sheets being rubbed with balls which
built in a peaceful way. The second piece is fast drumming on metal
piece - maybe better known as Z'ev trademark playing. A fine addition
to the already vast catalogue of material by Z'ev of which much is no
longer available. It could also serve as a fine introduction to his
work, in case you missed him out in the eighties. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touchmusic.org.uk
Address: http://www.crippledintellectproductions.net

WE'RE BREAKING UP - HERE AND ABOVE (CDR by TwoThousandAnd)
PAUL HOOD - CPLASTSICS (CDR by TwothousandAnd)
Two new releases on London's CDR for the improvised musics label,
TwoThousandAnd. We're Breaking Up is the solo project (quite
schizophrenic me thinks) of Micheal Rodgers. He's also, with Anthony
Guerra, the main man behind the label. He considers the music of this
release 'as a transcendental experience'. The cover doesn't list the
instruments used here (unlike other releases on the same label), but
Rodgers is sort of interested in playing drone music, but not easy
going drone music, but rather of a more violent kind. The
circumstances (basement recording, computer fans, air vents, traffic
outside) were not good, but Rodgers incorporated these into his drone
music, which are rough edged character of cheap organs and static
radio interferences. Especially in the second piece this works
towards a large, thrilling beast of static noise. Quite nice stuff,
because it sounds different from a lot of the other drone works.
The other new release is by Paul Hood, an improvising musician on
turntables who played with Charles Hayward, Steve Beresford, Mattin
and Tetuzi Akiyama and loads more. He was also part of Turntable
Hell, a group including Martin Tetrault, Otomo Yoshide and Martin Ng.
However 'Cplastsics' is his first solo release and he uses a record
player, amplified objects and mixing desk - the latter responsible
for producing feedback. Four of the eight tracks were recorded live
and I must say I quite enjoyed what I heard. Carefull crackles,
static feedback passages, overall maybe a bit noisy here and there,
but at the same time also carefully working the edges of audibility.
His turntables are remotely hidden in his music, except in 'Large
Country Building', which is the weakest track around as it destroys
the carefully built tension of the other pieces. Otherwise a very
fine release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.twothousandand.com

KNOWLEDGE OF BUGS - MY WAY NO WAY (CDR by Piehead Records)
Quickly follows the second installment of Piehead Recordings' 2004
series and again by someone I haven't heard of before. Knowledge Of
Bugs is Tom Bugs, who played in various band before but now turned
digital and analogue. His main instruments seems to me to be his
guitar however, which he plays and feds through his computer. He
arrives at quite melodic stuff here, I must say. 'Tapes Extract' for
instance opens with some simple tinkling on the guitar, but cracks
and pops come in and towards the end e-bow adds a dramatic touch. In
'The Accurian' this is also done, but here live sampling of the
guitar makes things much more hectic. In 'I Took My Major In' he
builts fine ambient layers around the guitar. These three tracks are
the best of the CD. 'Endless Paths' is where Tom crosses the line and
tries to become a singer-songwriter, but I must say I wasn't
impressed. The other two tracks are quite alright, droney, a bit
ambient and a bit technoid, but nothing special or great. Which makes
this still into quite a nice release afterall with only one real weak
brother. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pieheadrecords.com

DOMESTIC PURPOSE - TSCHUMAN BEHAVIOUR (CDR by Humbug)
STEN OVE TOFT - LANDMARK (CDR by Humbug)
Behind Domestic Purpose we find Sindre Andersen (of Duo Kanel) and
Andre Borgen (of his solo project AHB). As Domestic Purpose they
enter the land of harsh noise. They clearly take their inspiration
from Merzbow, with their full on, effect loaded sound attack. Eleven
tracks are to be found here, some in full gear and some in a more
subtle mode, but the attack on the senses is always what they aim
for. Some of these pieces are rather lo-fi in recording techniques,
which add a nice extra noise element to the procedures.
Also on Humbug is a release by one Sten Ove Toft, of whom I never
heard. His one piece CDR release is a live recording of a concert
held at Landmark in Bergen. From what I gather upon hearing Toft uses
small objects and field recordings which he pushes around in quite a
rough manner. Traces of feedback zip through the otherwise already
noise related sound, until towards the end things really explode into
a true noise orgy. Quite alright this release, but maybe it's
somewhat unfocussed in places. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tibprod.com/humbug.htm

PI CAB ALTER - L'ENERGIE DU VIDE (3"CDR by Verato)
In Vital Weekly 401 I introduced Pi Cab Alter, although I couldn't
tell much about who or what they are. As a follow to that CDR there
is now a 3" CDR on the same label with five tracks. Also musicwise
this is an extension of the previous release. Again samples are being
fed through filters and synthesizers, with an overall darker
atmosphere. As a whole this mini album was a lot more consistent than
the previous release, with a firm interest in the more experimental
side of ambient music. A nice little item. (FdW)
Address: http://www.verato-project.de

DUAL - FALL (2x3"CDR by Coombe Records)
Another dive in the vaults of Dual, an active ambient outfit by Colin
Bradley. Here packed in a handsome box, two 3"CDRs with material
recorded live at a festival organised by Drone Records in 2000 in
Berlin. On this occassion Dual was Colin and George Richardson.
Guitar manipulations is still the main thing here, but much to my
surprise there is also a rhythmical element added to much of these
pieces, these are however not all to prominent in these recordings.
Overal Dual fed their guitar sounds into effects and have a chilling
effect on the listener. Maybe because of the fact that this is a live
recording, things sound a bit more rough edged than it might have
been on a studio recording, but nevertheless Dual knows how to create
good atmospheric music in a live situation. It's about time they tour
Europe... (FdW)
Address: http://www.dual.co.uk

WONWONS - ORIGINAL PUNK SUPER STARS (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
MASAMI KAWAGUCHI - LIVE IN DECEMBER (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
RENATO RINALDI - THE TIME AND THE ROOM (CDR by Public Eyeshore)
Public Eyeshore get many of their releases from the land of the
rising sun and Wonwons are no different. "Wonwon" is the Japanese
onomatopeic bark of dogs. They play eleven songs on their release,
which don't have much to do with punk music, as occured in 1977 (even
when these recording were made in 1996). Rather they play surf like
music in a rock n roll fashion. It sounds like was recorded in their
garage, which add to the distinct underground quality of their music.
Short pieces, as this release doesn't extend the twenty five minute
range, and even when this kind of music is far far away from the
musics covered in Vital Weekly, I must admit I quite enjoyed it. It
reminded me of music that maybe a quarter of a century ago was to be
found in my cassette player or as seen in a local squad. And that is
enough, sometimes, to make it fully enjoyable.
Also from Japan is Masami Kawaguchi, who has played in the past with
Keiji Haino and Jutoko Kaneko and was in bands as Broomdusters and
Miminokoto - all of which eludes me (except of course Haino).
Kawaguchi plays twelve string guitar and sings. The Wonwons are out
of place in Vital Weekly, but Kawaguchi is not just out of place, but
I found it very hard to continue playing this to the end, even when
it was just thirty six minutes. Kawaguchi has the orient blues no
doubt, but I really don't get this stuff. Period.
Of much much more interest is the release by Renato Rinaldi from
Sedegliano, Italy. His piece was made for radio, following "The Time
And The Room' by Botho Strauss. Rinaldi has worked with people like
Axel Dorner, Ulrich Phillipp and Alessandro Bosetti, and the latter
also plays on this release. Rinaldi himself plays guitar, bowed
strings and "other sounds". Help comes also from Christian Alati and
Giuseppu Ielasi. Careful played stuff here, with improvisations on
instruments to which field recordings are added. Overtones play an
important role. It's hard to tell how much of this is actually played
and how much is computer processed. I don't consider knowing this
very important. Here is where improvisation and composition meet in a
great way. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sinkhole.net/pehome/

 

CHIE MUKAI & SEI-ICHI YAMAMOTO & ERIC CORDIER - ENKIDU/HASSELT (CD by
Turtles' Dream/abuitsecret)
A 67 minute outtake from a concert in Hasselt (Belgium) from a tour
in 2002 by this trio.
Must have a remarkable evening as the meeting of these three
musicians brought some delightfull music.
Both Chie Mukai and Sei-Ichi Yamamoto are japanese improvisors with a
rich and extensive history. Mukai studied under Takehisa Kosugi in
the late 70s. She was a member of freeform group East Bionic
Symphonia in these days. More recently she played with groups like
psych_pop unit Che Shizu and Dadunr. Also she has a career as a solo
performer and improviser on er_hu, a bowed Chinese 'violin'. This
instrument and its Japanese equivalent, the kokyu are central
instruments in Mukai's improvising.
Sei-Ichi Yamamoto, former guitarist from the Boredoms (also known for
his owrk with Omoide Hatoba, Phew, Rovo, Novo Tono, etc.) plays
guitar, flute, voice and electronics.
Eric Cordier is as musician at the cross-roads of electro-acoustic
and improvisation, involved in projects like Tore, Phéromone and
Synapses.
On 'Enkidu' Mukai plays percussion, drums, voice and above all the
already mentioned kokyu. Eric Cordier also brings in a traditional
instrument: the hurdy-gurdy. Yamamoto adds guitar, voice and
electronics. The sounds of these instruments go very well together
and the traditional instruments used give it an exotic touch.
The musicians produce a very lenghty improvisation session. The music
is drone-like and very psychedelic. In a way it is also related to
the minimal music of Conrad & Faust, Riley or Young's Theatre of
Eternal Music. If you can surrender to these hypnotizing sounds you
have a fascinating journey (DM).
Address: http://www.abruitsecret.com

 

MAX HAIVEN & JON VAUGHN - FRONT (CD by Empreintes Digitales)
These two are new soundmanipulators to me. Jon Vaughn is an
audio-visual artist, DJ, writer, and events programmer. Max Haiven is
an audio/video artist.
These two canadian students worked for a period of 3 years on
'Front'. They presented their work at the Rien à Voir festival in
october 2003 in Montreal. And now No Type released this 'tour de
force' on cd. If I'm rightly informed this is for both of them their
first release of a greater work.
'Front' is a radical and challenging work, a complex composition that
consists of 33 pieces. These pieces differ a lot in sound and
soundmaterial used. Also they are very differently structured. So
they put a lot of original ideas in this one. "The composers have
integrated in the work their own feelings & experiences towards the
ambient cultural narrative and pop music in particular".
No doubt about their love for experiment. In the end not all 73
minutes of it are worthwhile, but these guys surely deliver with
'Front' an interesting visitingcard (DM).
Address: http://www.notype.com/

In Memoriam: Roger Sutherland (1948 - 2004)

Roger Sutherland, author of the book New Perspectives In Music,
co-founder of improvising group Morphogenesis and former member of
The Scratch Orchestra took his own life on Friday 6th February, 2
hours after walking out of hospital. He was admitted to hospital the
previous night after a failed attempt at suicide. The social services
here are again under the spotlight. There was even a 5 minute piece
on the main BBC TV news. Why was he allowed to walk out like this?
His last performance with Morphogenesis was in July 2000, when we
supported Sonic Youth in London. After this he concentrated on
working at home - mostly painting, doing collages and writing
articles and CD reviews for various publications. He was also active
in local politics, and got directly involved in many individual cases
like defending a local Nigerian woman who was threatened with
deportation, or protecting local green spaces from developers. He
never really spoke about these cases, but I found out about them from
the local papers where his name and photo would often appear. Sadly
the same is still true now as he continues to make the news from
beyond the grave.
Roger would probably have said that the reason for his suicide was
the constant pain he had been suffering over the years from an
undiagnosed stomach complaint which on occassion drove him quite
literally crazy. But his enthusiasm and energy for music and painting
never waned, and my visits to his home were always an inspiration.
Roger was 56 years old and is survived by his wife and daughter. Like
so many other faces in the crowds of inner London there is a story to
tell, and there was no exception with Roger - he never deserved to
die this way.

Clive Graham