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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 456
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week 1
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KETTEL - LOOK AT THIS! HA HA HA! (CD by Kracfive)
POLA - MÊME (CD by Plop)
DAS SYNTHETISCHE MISCHGEWEBE - CASUAL PRAISE OF DOMESTIC CALAMITIES
(CD by Hypnagogia)
VIVA [SECTION] (CD compilation by [Section] Media)
THE CHILD READERS - MEMORY AND FANTASY (CD by Mallard Lake)
MOLJEBKA PULSE - THE LEAVES OF THEIR SONGS (CD by Fin de Siecle Media)
DISKREPANT - 33-12 (CD by Fin de Siecle Media)
LAWRENCE ENGLISH - TRANSIT (CD by Cajid Media)
TIM BRADY - Playing Guitar: Symphony nr.1 (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
QUATOR BOZZINI - Portrait Montreal (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
THE [LAW-RAH] COLLECTIVE - 1953 (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
KRAKEN - FÖRLISA (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
DEF - C (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
PROJECT ARCTIC - THIRD POLE (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
AUTODIGEST - A COMPRESSED HISTORY OF EVERYTHING EVER RECORDED, VOL.
2: UBIQUITOUS ETERNAL LIVE (CD by Cronica/Ash International)
BERNARD SCHREINER (CD by Reduktive Musiken)
TOTSTELLEN - WORKING WRECK/WRECKING WORK (CDR by Reduktive Musiken)
KYO ICHINOSE - IONTANO (CD by Cubic Music)
ROCCO DI PIETRO - MULTIPLES/THE LOST PROJECT (2CD by Di Pietro Editions)
LAMBENT - THESE DAYS (CD by Expanding Records)
MONOCEROS - WHEN I WAS A CHILD I WANTED TO BE AN ASTRONAUT (CD by
Expanding Records)
KUNT - 1997 (CD by Rats Milk Records)
PROGRESS (CD compilation by Rx:tx)
RYOKO KUWAJIMA - KISE-TSU (CD by Melange Records)
MONIKA FORCE (CD compilation by Monika Enterprise)
GUTEVOLK - TWINKLE (miniCD by Happy)
ROD - ALL MY LOVE (miniCD/12" by Underscan)
INCITE/ - MINIMAL LISTENING (7")
MEK OBAAM - GOODNIGHT, THANK YOU/JOHNNY & MARY (7" by Earsugar)
HI LONESOME ELECTRIC - PIERRE AND JOHN HENRY/HOOLA (7" by Earsugar)
THE SCHNEIDER TM EXPERIENCE- PSYCHEDELIC QUEEN/THE NEW COBWEB SUMMER
(7" by Earsugar)
SUPER REVERB - JACK POTATOE/HEY MR. RAMBLER (7" by Earsugar)
JULIA HUMMER - BOXY, WHERE ARE THE SPANGLES/BOWLING IN WOODSTOCK (7"
by Earsugar)
BERTIN - DIGITALLY DISTROTED MINIATURES (CDR by Ole Records)
MACHINEFABRIEK - BRICKS & PIECES (3"CDR)
MACHINEFABRIEK - BIJ MIRJAM (3"CDR)
MACHINEFABRIEK - PIEPSHOW (3"CDR)
CHEFKIRK - PYCHONTUS JOCOSUS (CDR by Organic Pipeline)

 

 

 

KETTEL - LOOK AT THIS! HA HA HA! (CD by Kracfive)
Here's a release I have for quite some time now, but didn't manage to
review it earlier. It's a longer EP (25 minutes) by Kettel, one of my
favourite of the new melodic (idm) artists, and by now a favourite to
many like-minded people around the would. Even when Kettel (aka
Reimer Eising) is obviously inspired by the global idm scene, it's
certainly fair to say that there are much more things and diversity
in his music, at least what I've heard so far. It varies from one to
other track, so you couldn't guess what's the next surprise. I
figured out there can be quite a lot of jazz in Kettel's music, just
hear the track 'Any waken sly blonda' from the EP 'Cuddle and then
leave' released by Dub. That electronic jazzy feel is present on the
'Look at this! ha ha ha!' EP too, though not to that extent and with
same intensity as in the track I mentioned before. What Kettel does
and it distincts him from many of the artists on that scene is not
trying to be precise in the melodies, as Novel 23 is for example, but
he rather improvises with the melodies, mixing sounds, beats, field
recordings etc. and playing with the sounds and with those various
sound sources as with instruments. And he's quite good in that. As a
result of that is the absence of classic stand-out tracks, which you
can't really find on this release (although it comes close in tracks
2, 6 and 7), but instead there's an ongoing shifting atmosphere.
Sometimes more absent, other times more concentrated, as in the nice
track 'Twinkle twinkle that is you'. Mixed up melodies, coming from
the idm jam sessions in Kettel's means, where often sudden and
unexpected joyful things surprisingly show up, as in 'Philiphill
timee'. (BR)
Address: http://www.kracfive.com

POLA - MÊME (CD by Plop)
Pola should of course not be confused with Bola, the Skam recording
artist. Pola comes from Japan, and 'Même' is his first album (don't
know what relation it has with the Japanese label of the same name).
Pola use an MPC2000, a piece of hardware to manipulate all sorts of
clicks, skips and beats to create his music. It took two years to
make this album, but that's something I don't hear while playing it.
For sure, the twelve tracks are nice rhythmic, ambientesque doodlings
along the lines of early SND or Mokira, and to a lesser extent some
more rhythmic Oval, but in general it sounds too much like those,
aswell as a host of other things on say the Mille Plateaux label from
years back. A kind of outdated sound if you are looking for the
lastest movement in clicks and cuts. But for an afternoon of book
reading, coffee sipping and smoking, this is certainly most
entertaining. Especially if you have misplaced your SND collection.
(FdW)
Address: http://www.inpartmaint.com/plop

DAS SYNTHETISCHE MISCHGEWEBE - CASUAL PRAISE OF DOMESTIC CALAMITIES
(CD by Hypnagogia)
Now here's yet another legend who returns to the world of CDs, or
maybe he was just never really away. Since the day I started to
listen to self-released cassettes in the eighties, Das Synthetische
Mischgewebe belong to my digest (though not daily, I admit). From the
early cassette days via some vinyl releases in the mid nineties to
sparse CD releases these days: there is also a clear progressive line
in his music. From the hissy induced sound via noise to musique
concrete these days. Das Synthetische Mischgewebe sound like, but are
not, a laptop act. His work, as the band is one person, Guido Hübner,
is entirely based on manipulations of field recordings (a.o. the
harbor of Hamburg and in his hometown of Caen) but also recordings of
household appliances. None of these are easily being recognized in
the resulting compositions, which all sound electronic. Probably many
hours of tape manipulations and feeding them through synthesizers go
into this work. In all his work, Guido Hübner stays close to the
original ideas of musique concrete, using concrete sounds and
manipulate them through various studio techniques. The resulting ten
tracks are all of great beauty but require ones full attention and
simply can't be used as background music. But if one does this, it
will be a rewarding experience. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hypnagogia.org.uk

VIVA [SECTION] (CD compilation by [Section] Media)
Digital breakcore and hardcore was never my thing too much, but when
it's done as it is here, it sure is! Venetian Snares is also very
much my thing, so I'm reviewing this music having in mind Mr. Funk as
a highlight there. This is a very good compilation with a kind of
breakcore music, mixed with some ragga MCing in Maladroit's great
track. All artists included are unknown to me, I don't know are they
known on their scene, but I still kinda doubt it. But that's hardly
important, 'cause these people know what they're doing. Some of the
finest underground breakcore within the digital means, coming in
different shapes and forms varied enough to stand on their own, from
the artists: Kiki Ill, Omega Red, Toecutter, Simulcast, Chromer...,
to name a few. Trashy, primitive, lo-fi and excellent. Besides 11
audio tracks, there are 3 interesting videos which are done in the
same aesthetics as the music and go well with it. A characteristic
moment are Puzahki & Herts Solvent with a great rap/hip-hop hardcore
track. Puzahki has a full-length on another label Alias Frequencies
that sounds good. When I reconsider, well done breakcore is pretty
much my thing. (BR)
Address: http://www.sectionmedia.org

THE CHILD READERS - MEMORY AND FANTASY (CD by Mallard Lake)
Sometimes you hear some music and like the ideas in it very much, but
not as much as the music itself. That's the impression I have about
this album by The Child Readers aka Jason Honea and Loren Chasse.
There's quite a lot in this music - voice, mandolin, harp, guitar,
electronics, percussion, piano and monochord (if that's all?), but
they're all in forms of improvising songs, often quite loose. As I
said, I like the idea, but sometimes the songs on this album are too
stretched and lose my attention. More concentration within these
songs of improvisation would be good. One of the more interesting
tracks is 'The shark airplane'. Drifty music with plenty of great
ideas in it, that gravitate around the improv ways of playing, but
might be better executed and combined I think. Howard Stelzer & Jason
Talbon have a nice album called 'Songs' where they like to put the
improvised music in a song form. But in their music the content is
still improvisation. In The Child Readers' case the form (that's song
here) affects the content of the music, not in a greatest way. (BR)
Address: http://www.freewebs.com/mallardlake

MOLJEBKA PULSE - THE LEAVES OF THEIR SONGS (CD by Fin de Siecle Media)
DISKREPANT - 33-12 (CD by Fin de Siecle Media)
The name of Moljebka Pulse is probably by now a settled one, with
previous releases on Eibon, Cold Meat Industry and Segerhuva. The
latter released 'Tamon' (see Vital Weekly 436) and there it seemed
that Moljebka Pulse went into the world of noise, after a long career
of highly drone related works. Nothing such so. On his 'The Leaves Of
Their Songs', Moljebka Pulse returns to his older style of deep
electronic ambient drone works. Apperentely guitars and electronics
lie at the basis of this music and things are heavily processed into
these long, stretched and pitch black atmospheric tunes. In 'Chorei'
there is a rhythm to be detected, but in general these are kept to a
minimum. Sometimes the music is a bit gritty and raw but that
certainly is quite nice. Only six pieces to be found here, but
lenghty as hell, with 'Anzan' even almost twenty-eight minutes. If
you the rawness of Troum, then I'm sure Moljekba Pulse is something
that would go down well too.
The other new release by Fin de Siecle Media is the first full length
of Diskrepant, who had a split release with Des Esseintes (see also
Vital Weekly 396). There is however a great difference between that
release and this new one. The previous was a loud, vicious noise
beast, but here Per Ahlund, the man behind Diskrepant, goes into
drone music. "33-12" deals with the spirituality of man and to that
end he uses electronics, gongs, bells and chanting. That may sound a
little bit too esoteric, but the result is actually quite nice. The
chanting part is remotely hidden away in the corners of the album,
and the processed gong and bell sounds are there, but do not sound
like anything 'magick' (as some people want to write it). This
Diskrepant recording is of course dark atmospherical and highly drone
related, and fits the likes of Mirror, Jonathan Coleclough, Ora and
Paul Bradley. If they are your cups of tea than check this out too.
(FdW)
Address: http://www.findesieclemedia.com

LAWRENCE ENGLISH - TRANSIT (CD by Cajid Media)
The Australian label Cajid comes around again with their release and
now they have someone whose work I encountered before. Lawrence
English is the name and he is a sound environmentalist but extending
his soundscapes with instruments. His previous 3" CD was reviewed in
Vital Weekly 318. Not that he plays everything himself, but he gets
recordings from people to use. People such as Philip Samartzis whom
delivers field recordings from Tasmania, Robin Rimbaud (electronics),
Cat Hope (bass), DJ Olive (Turntables) and others. If I understand
correctely he recorded all of these in the various locations of a
long travel: London, Tokyo and Brisbane - hence the title. English
plays ambient music, incorporating both field recordings (crickets,
people speaking, cars passing) and synthesized musics, but the
addition of other people's instruments sort of expands this a little
bit. It's quite nice and intimate music that he plays here, one that
is really ambient: it fills your environment without being overtly
present. Perhaps not the most original voice in this already crowded
field, but the seven tracks are executed with care and grace, and
that's nice in itself enough. (FdW)
Address: http://cajid.com

TIM BRADY - Playing Guitar: Symphony nr.1 (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
QUATOR BOZZINI - Portrait Montreal (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
The music released through the Ambiances Magnétiques label covers a
wide spectrum: extreme noisemusic by Tetréault, all kinds of
improvised music and jazz, beautiful songs by someone like Letarte,
but also modern 'classical' music. Both two new cds belong to the
last category.
Canadian composer and guitarplayer Brady offers two of his new
compositions on his new cd. "Playing Guitar: Symphony nr.1" is a work
in 5 movements, two movements being subdivided in two parts. If you
aks me what is 'classical' about his work then it surely is the
symphonic nature of this piece. We hear Tim Brady on electric guitar
accompanied by the 15-piece Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. Besides there is
an important role for live electronics and sampler played by Brady.
Part 1 is a very driven - Louis Andriessen like - piece. The second
movement is dense and at a much lower pace. The third movement is
more or less completely electronic. Like in movement 1 we hear in the
second part of the third movement the complete ensemble playing a
very dynamic hammering intersection, that continues in movement 4.
The first part of the 5th movement is a beautiful solo piece for
Brady on guitar. In the second part the music becomes very complex
and culminates in a climax fading out with quiet electronic sounds in
the last few seconds. It's very rich and engaging work. At the core
of this recording is the live recording a the piece in june 2003. In
the process of mixing and editing guitar and sampler parts were
added. The second compositions "Frame 1 - Resonance" is performed by
his ensemble Bradyworks, consisting here only of two players: Pamela
Reiner on piano and Tim Brady himself on guitar and treatments. For
this composition Brady was inspired by a thought of a friend who
imagined a piece for piano and guitar where "the guitar would act
like a big, electronic resonator for the piano part, becoming a huge
electroacustic sustain pedal". Again a more than interesting work by
Brady.
On 'Portrait Montréal' everything is in four: four compositions from
four different composers, played by four musicians, the Quatuor
Bozzini. We hear the following works: 'Pulau Dewata' (by Claude
Vivier), 'Quator a cordes II' (Jean Lesage), 'Daydream Mechanics V'
(Michael Oesterle) and 'A New Song of many facesfor in These Times'
(Malcolm Goldstein).
String quartet Quatuor Bozzini plays music from classical and
romantic times, but have a great love for modern music. For their
debut cd they concentrate on modern music from their hometown
Montréal. What strikes me first listening to this cd is the
enthousiastic and daring playing by this quartet. "Pulau Dewata" is
played here in an arrangment by Michael Oesterle. It was Vivier's
tribute to balinese music. The post-minimal composition "Daydream
Mechanics V" by Oesterle also is inspired on folk music. Though not
asiatic music this time. Now we hear echoes of eastern Europe. Jean
Lesage on the other hand stays close to the western classical
tradition. He plays with this idiom with great skill and dedication.
Malcolm Goldstein is not only a composer but also a well-known
improvisor on violin. So it should not wonder that his composition
gives room for improvisation. As a result this is the most vivid
piece on this cd. First of all this cd introduces us to a great and
'fresh' string quartet and secondly it offers a well-balanced
portrait of modern composed music from Canada (DM).
Address: http://www.actuellecd.com

THE [LAW-RAH] COLLECTIVE - 1953 (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
KRAKEN - FÖRLISA (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
DEF - C (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
PROJECT ARCTIC - THIRD POLE (CD by Nautilus/Spectre Records)
Nautilus is a sub-division of Spectre Records, a label specialized in
the darker and rhythmic edges of music, whose releases I will leave
for inspection by those who understand that better than I do
(meaning: reviews soon). On Nautilus they offer some more ambient
releases, which are more up my alley.
The [Law-rah] Collective are from The Netherlands, consisting of
Hiekelien van den Herik and Bauke van der Wal. Voice and electronics.
The theme for this CD is one that is most actual these days: land
being floaded by water. In 1953 a part of the Netherlands were
flooded and some 1800 people were killed. Maybe a minor disaster
compared by the current Asian events, but still a big tragedy for a
small country. In seven pieces of ultra dark, almost static drone
sounds, the two depict in word and sound, the disaster. It might be
hard to understand if you can't understand the Dutch language, but
it's a very sombre release. Based on diary fragments (it seems) the
text is spoken rather in a neutral way and underneath the static tone
rumbles, until in the fourth track the synths start to produce
bubbling sound. This work should be seen as one long piece,
developping as the piece progresses. Of course not a pleasent piece
of music, but certainly one that sums up the results of a disaster
quite well.
Kraken have some releases on Spectre Records, all of which sadly were
never heard by me. Unlike The [Law-rah] Collective, Kraken doesn't
seem to have a theme for their release. The ambient aspect is
certainly there, but Kraken moves over into rhythmical areas, but
without sounding overtly rhythmical. There are only traces, hints of
rhythms, through repetitive synth lines and repeating samples. Also
there is a certainly rawness to the sound, that provides a certain
discomfort, well at least for those who like the more lulling to
sleep ambient. There was a time when this would be called 'ambient
industrial' and that term should certainly be revived for this
release by Kraken.
Whoever is Def I don't know and why his debut is called 'C' (instead
of, say, 'A'), I don't know either. I am told he is the soundman of
bands like Mimetic and Von Magnet. Def uses field recordings of water
alongside the processed hum of whatever is humming (might be
electronics, synths or maybe electrical charges) and comes up with a
deep atmospherical ambient work. Occassionally he bumps into some
rhythm, but it's safe and remotely away. Nature meets machine here it
seems. This is much more ambient than say the Kraken release, but
there is a good sense of experimentalism over this release, such as
the intense sounds of the fifth piece 'My Village Was Under The Lake
Mix' - water dripping and processed guitars make a horror movie like
soundtrack. Great release for those in favor of Thomas Köner going
friday the 13th.
Members of This Morn' Omina and Empusae (both known in the world of
the darker than dark musics) team up for a joint work under the
monikker of Project Arctic. Of course music which made me think of
glaciers. Not that I am a lover of anysort of outdoor activity, let
alone in the winter time, but the music covered on this disc reflects
the winter state quite well. Far away sounds, almost inaudible, with
an occassional, highly reverberating bang on something percussive,
thus adding the cold and creepy element to the music. To stay on the
references of Thomas Köner, this one can be compared to a more
traditional, early Köner disc, like Teimo or Permafrost. Musicwise,
this is the best release, with the best worked out ideas (even in all
it sparseness) and comes closest to the true isolationist/ambient
sound. (FdW)
Address: http://www.spectre.be

AUTODIGEST - A COMPRESSED HISTORY OF EVERYTHING EVER RECORDED, VOL.
2: UBIQUITOUS ETERNAL LIVE (CD by Cronica/Ash International)
Just like the first volume, I really like the title of this work. In
this first volume Autodigest delt the compression of music, the new
volume is about 'all the audiences ever recorded and has them share
one hour of hysterical, progressively apocalyptic applause'. And
that's what you get: people clapping their hands, cheering, shouting.
On end. It's probably an extensive loop being repeated. Or maybe not.
Yes, this is minimal music indeed. If 'music' is a term to be applied
to this. Is it good? I don't know. Is it bad? I don't know that
either. Do I like it? I don't know. It's certainly a CD to impress
your friends with, if you want to show off some of the weirdness of
your record collection. The weirdest thing I have come across in 2004
for sure. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

BERNARD SCHREINER (CD by Reduktive Musiken)
TOTSTELLEN - WORKING WRECK/WRECKING WORK (CDR by Reduktive Musiken)
The name Bernard Schreiner rings no bell here, but he's probably
German and the first six tracks of his CD are recorded at the
excellent Hörbar in Hamburg, Germany. A small and intimate club with
a good programming. Schreiner played there in Ausgust 2003 and the
six pieces he played have a strong rhythmical background, even when
it's not exactely techno music. Instead he offers a set of clicks and
cuts pieces that sound alright but not great. The piece '11.33',
which is a studio piece sound of more interest. The cut-up styled
noise is perhaps also not the most original thing around, but the
vivid changes in sound are quite nice sounding. Likewise nice is the
last piece of the CD 'Low-Guitar-Code', probably processed guitar
sound. Highly ambient sounding but with a touch of rhythm. So in all
it's not a bad CD, but perhaps also not very original and with some
nice moments.
On the same label but as a limited CDR release is a release by
Totstellen, which might mean 'to kill', which made me fear the worst
kind of industrial noise. It's hard to read anything on the cover,
but I think I read something about processed field recordings, made
in Germany, The Netherlands and the UK. These processings took place
on a four track machine and then digitally mastered. The music is a
blend of ambient material with little and subtle changes. It's hard
to decipher any of the original material used by Totstellen, but the
partly ambient, partly industrialized fields of sound are in fact
pleasent to hear. 'Work Wreck' is a bit industrial with vaguely metal
sounds and the fifth (not mentioned on the cover) starts out in sheer
silence. Nice one indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.reduktivemusiken.de

KYO ICHINOSE - IONTANO (CD by Cubic Music)
The for me unknown Kyo Ichinose presents his second album, following
his 2002 album 'The Machineries Of Joy - Yorokobi No Kikai'.
'Iontano' is a term used in classical music, meaning 'from a
distance', when something should sound like from a distance. To this
end Ichinose has his music performed by people playing violins and
vocals, which he processes by digital means. At times he sounds
majestical and classical, and at other times it's a very typical
ambient glitch work. Although both directions are executed with great
care here, the combination is quite odd, I'd say and I am not sure if
it works really well. It makes really an odd couple these two
different combinations. I'd say I liked the ambient glitch pieces
somewhat better than the orchestral pieces, with the nice minimal
'Iontano #3' as the highlight of the entire album. It's a nice album
for sure, but limping too much on two entirely different directions.
(FdW)
Address: http://www.cubicmusic.com

ROCCO DI PIETRO - MULTIPLES/THE LOST PROJECT (2CD by Di Pietro Editions)
The work of Rocco di Pietro has been reviewed before (in Vital Weekly
370) from his group The Avant Collective and a solo work. Di Pietro
(1949) studied composition and piano with Hans Hagen and Lukas Foss,
wrote a book on Pierre Boulez and composed for the Kronos Quartet.
Many of the works reviewed in Vital Weekly 370 are to be found on
this double retrospective CD again. Di Pietro adds a lot of spoken
word to his electronic and acoustic music, mainly about lost
children, prisoners or the sounds of sexual activities in 'The Tears
Of Eros'. On disc two there are more instrumental pieces, but they
seem to have been made by using improvisation (or maybe it's all
written down in scores, but it sounds rather improvised to me
anyway), especially the 'Chamber Lost 2 For Christian Boltanski'. I
found this the weaker part of the project. In 'Multiples' there is a
lot of tension in the music, through the use of spoken word, but that
seems to be gone in the second disc. The cell-phones used in "Mobile
Phone Dreams B With Lost' are a mere gimmick, as far as I'm
concerned. Disc one is for those who love the music and number two
for the die-hard fans. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dipietroeditions.com

LAMBENT - THESE DAYS (CD by Expanding Records)
MONOCEROS - WHEN I WAS A CHILD I WANTED TO BE AN ASTRONAUT (CD by
Expanding Records)
Two new releases on Expanding Records and both are new artists to me.
Lambent is one Akira Inagawa from Japan, currentely in Berlin. Akira
started to play music while in art college in London, meeting the
people from 'Insine' label and after moving to Berlin playing
electronic music and being a hip-hop DJ. As Lambent he doesn't use
any computers, just samplers and synthesizers in a live approach.
This is quite important to realize when you listen to this music,
because once you know this, the music makes much more sense. He sets
on a rhythm, some sequences and plays then the keyboards in a rather
joyfull and sometimes even jazzy way. The eight tracks aren't
particular short, but Lambent does manage to please my ears
throughout each track, and throughout the entire album. It's kind of
pleasure music to wake up album...
As said, also new is Monoceros and this is one Joan Male from a small
village above Barcelona and since 1996-97 he works on electronic
music, under such names as Lumiere and Salad, before turning into
Monoceros. He uses to quite an extend computers, samplers and
keyboards and his music is more complex than that of Lambent, but I
didn't think is was necessarily much better than the Lambent release.
Much of the musics on the Monoceros CD sounded too much like other
things (Morr Music, Static Caravan or Expanding Records themselves),
without a real face of its own. The moody and somewhat direct
melancholy of Lambent is more appealing, but if Monoceros' more
direct in y'r face is played right afterwards, then you can be
assured to be awake. (FdW)
Address: http://www.expandingrecords.com

KUNT - 1997 (CD by Rats Milk Records)
Will something that was nice to see in live performance hold up on
CD? Last week I saw the Australian performance duo Kunt do their show
here locally and it was nice to see. Noisy, but also beatp-oriented
stuff, including signing and grinding, all about kunt of course. It
was nice to see, but how does it work on CD? "1997" contains material
of jams, concerts and studio work of the last six years. Of course
the performance element is sadly missed here, but especially the
first eight tracks have something similar to the live performance:
speed, energy and humor. After that things sort of go down a little
bit and the more extended noise pieces there sound a bit dull.
Otherwise this is quite a nice noise CD of a more traditional noise
character. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kuntnoise.com

PROGRESS (CD compilation by Rx:tx)
About a month ago there was a festival in Ljubljana called Progress,
organized by the Slovenian label Rx:tx, and here's a compilation
released at that time by the same label which includes some of the
artists who played there. The subtitle of this release is:
compilation of finest eastern european electronica. But it includes
some artists from Russia and Ukraine too (that's Asia, right?).
However, this is a good collection of diverse musics from the
inovative scenes of Latvia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland,
Croatia, Serbia & Montenegro, Hungary and before mentioned Russia and
Ukraine. Of course here's Andrey Kiritchenko, already a star with two
albums on the respected great label Ad Noiseam. He's track is taken
from the new album 'Interplays in-between', a trademark sound of
glitchy microclicks. Most of the other tracks are previously
unreleased. Of other characteristic artists there are Volga, known
from the label Sketis Music, with a track done in a specific
world-music style. P.o.S. (piece-of-shit) is Goran Simonoski of
BelgradeYard Sound System who organize the excellent festival
Dis-Patch. His track is in a dubby ~Scape style, quite good. I'll
mention 2 more as my favourites, those are Octex and Tigrics, and the
others are: Evgeniy Droomoff & Sound Meccano, Klegmar, Karaoke Mouse,
Territerrortorium (Felix Kubin & Wojtek Kucharczyk), Zvukbroda, Puna
Syndicate, Echo Depth Finders, Molr Drammaz, Harlem Underground,
Random Logic and Fedor Svolotch. Lots of artists, 16 altogether. Also
a very informative booklet. (BR)
Address: http://www.rx-tx.org

RYOKO KUWAJIMA - KISE-TSU (CD by Melange Records)
An interesting concept (if it is a concept?) of this album: all
tracks except the last one are made by guest musicians on various
instruments, like a trumpet, accordion, double bass, chello, tabla
etc. and Ryoko Kuwajima herself plays on sitar and electric organ on
two tracks, besides the electronics. So, all of these are combined
with Ryoko's electronics and sometimes the instrument's sound is
dominant, other times the electronics' or both are equally present.
All of this gives plenty of variations in all tracks, of which from
track 1 to 12 are titled with month-names, from January to December,
and track 13 is 'Leap year'. Quite a diverse work, but with good
sense for combining sounds. The style ranges from glitchy (and really
extreme in track 10) cut-ups, piercing sounds, to atmospheric and
improv of a more experimental kind, as in the tracks with trumpet and
chello. But that's not a typical improv, just has that kind of
sensibility, mainly because of the used instruments. Interesting
release by Ryoko Kuwajima of who maybe you haven't heard, by she's
also a part of the band Lappetites where other mebers are (and you
sure know them) Kaffe Matthews, AGF and Eliane Radigue. (BR)
Address: http://www.melangerecords.com

MONIKA FORCE (CD compilation by Monika Enterprise)
No doubt the Monika Enterprise label is a well-known one, founded by
former Mania D and Malaria member Gudrun Gut, but not by me,
unfortunally. She releases many female artists who work inside the
electronic music, mostly pop oriented. They play either a simple
keyboard, a rhythmbox and sign along. Maybe a guitar. On this
compilation, nineteen tracks in total we can hear them all (including
a couple of male artists, such as Robert Lippok). There are rare
mixes, b-sides and are greatest hits, selected by Gudrun Gut. So, for
those in the dark, like me, this is indeed a most fine introduction
to artists like Barbara Morgenstern, Cobra Killer, Chica, Figurine
and Manuela Krause and many more. But after a while, I had pretty
much enough of the introspective playing and longed for some noise.
Nice, in a smaller amount. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monika-enterprise.de

GUTEVOLK - TWINKLE (miniCD by Happy)
For some reason I missed the first release on Happy, the side label
for poptunes by 12K. Gutevolk is one Hirono Mishiyama, who had
previous releases on Noble and Childisc, all of which I didn't hear.
On 'Twinkle' she plays six songs, six uptempo popsongs. She sings,
plays bossa nova rhythms and tinkles away on her keyboard.
Apperentely the songs are about stars, moons and black holes, and
lucikly the lyrics are enclosed, otherwise I would have had a hard
time to understand what they are about. The six songs are nicely
uptempo, mostly happy (even when they are a bit dark sounds in there,
in say 'Little Girl, Little Star'), short and to the point. Gutevolk
has everything right that I missed out in the later work of Tujiko
Noriko. Very pleasent early morning coffee sipping music, trying to
get rid of a hangover on a newyears day. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com/happy

ROD - ALL MY LOVE (miniCD/12" by Underscan)
Rod is Rod Morris from Dublin, Ireland, who studied piano, drums and
music at an early age, before going electronic. His early electronic
stuff was hard breakbeat but eventually he mellowed out. To date he
has one track on a compilation by Neo Ouija, which is also on this
mini CD, 'All My Love' (plus a remix by Spectac of the same piece).
Rod's music is highly rhythmic, warm and melancholic. Downbeat
rhythms, introspective melodies on the synths, this is music that is
indeed released by such labels as Neo Ouija or in the past by Morr
Music. The flute like sounds of 'Nova Scotia' is almost seventies
King Crimson or Jethro Thull, but they sound well on this piece.
Perfect wintertime music: sun comes in but it's cold outside and
nicely warm, sitting next to the chimney. (FdW)
Address: http://www.underscan.de

INCITE/ - MINIMAL LISTENING (7")
When I reviewed Incite/ before I spelled it as Incite, without the /
at the end, so now it's time to spell things right. They have had a
self-released CDR before (see Vital Weekly 422) and now, some 36
concerts later, it's time for the first real product, a 7". Incite/
play around with minimalist rhythms, but with loads of small
variations within each new loop they seem to play. More than before
they seem to be using laptops to create a highly rhythmical sound -
however it's not music that is based on rhythmmachines or sound
anywhere close to techno, but rather a raw version of anything clicks
& cuts related. Both tracks are slow, under 100 bpm, but played at 33
RPM instead of the recommended 45 RPM, gives an even more alienated
feel to the pieces. It's minimal listening music as opposed to
minimal dancing music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.incite.gradcom.org

MEK OBAAM - GOODNIGHT, THANK YOU/JOHNNY & MARY (7" by Earsugar)
HI LONESOME ELECTRIC - PIERRE AND JOHN HENRY/HOOLA (7" by Earsugar)
THE SCHNEIDER TM EXPERIENCE- PSYCHEDELIC QUEEN/THE NEW COBWEB SUMMER
(7" by Earsugar)
SUPER REVERB - JACK POTATOE/HEY MR. RAMBLER (7" by Earsugar)
JULIA HUMMER - BOXY, WHERE ARE THE SPANGLES/BOWLING IN WOODSTOCK (7"
by Earsugar)
These are the first five 7" on a new label from, I assume, Germany,
seeing these are mostly German artists. Mek Obaam is someone who
played with Schneider TM and Barbara Morgenstern playing acoustisc
guitar, drums and bass and of course vocals. Quite a psychedelic
sound although both songs are at the same time introspective enough.
Not sure here wether 'Johnny & Mary' is ment to be a cover of Robert
Palmer's song with the same title.
I don't know who is Hi Lonesome Electric, but his sound is entirely
electronic, but it's a cover of a folktale which has be done by
anyone from Johnny Cash to Ellen Fullman. The b-side is a slide
guitar and both sides have that nice laidback dubby Chain Reaction
feel to it.
The Schneider TM Experience features of course Schneider TM, but also
Kptmichigan and Mek Obaam. Their 'Psychedelic Queen' is a tribute to
Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', but they manage to sound similar to
Suicide, dirty rock 'n electro-roll. The b-side is dedicated to Jimi
Hendrix and despite it's electro-start it never gets to be a heavy
Hendrix feel, but rather stays close to nice popmusic.
More Kptmichigan on Super Reverb, where he teams up with Köhn. Maybe
this is much more Hendrix influenced material, with heavy guitars and
Vega-esque vocals over pounding rhythmboxes. For the b-side they turn
to fucked up country music.
The most conventional 7" is by Julia Hummer, an actress from Germany.
They plays two fairly normal rock songs, albeit in the alternative
rock. Least appealling to me however. (FdW)
Address: http://www.earsugar.com

BERTIN - DIGITALLY DISTROTED MINIATURES (CDR by Ole Records)
On my favourite local label, and I mean very local as Ole Records is
around the corner, almost, comes this short CDR release by Bertin.
Who, you may ask. Bertin plays around solo and in various bands such
as The Hitmachine and he has also a 7" on Ole Records (to be reviewed
somewhere soon). On this 'Digitally Distorted Miniatures' he has ten
short tracks, somewhere between one and three or so minutes, of
highly fucked up music. Remixes of reggae tunes, such as 'Button Up
Remix' or ' Treveling emix' but just with likewise great easy he
digitally deconstructs improv music or noise, in the heavy opening
piece 'Immaculate Noise'. Given the speed of the tracks and the
energy by which this floats by, this is certainly a well-done and
well-varied release, taking the piss out of popmusic and replacing
the common-grounds of verse, break and bridge (or what else have you
in popmusic) by digital cuts and other mayhem. Very nice indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ole-records.com

MACHINEFABRIEK - BRICKS & PIECES (3"CDR)
MACHINEFABRIEK - BIJ MIRJAM (3"CDR)
MACHINEFABRIEK - PIEPSHOW (3"CDR)
A while ago I introduced the name Machinefabriek via two pretty
interesting 3"CDR releases (see Vital Weekly 446) and now it's time
to present the next three. 'Bricks & Pieces' is what it says: small
bricks and small pieces. Sometimes Machinefabriek (nom de plume de
Rutger Zuydervelt from The Netherlands) plays introspective tunes on
guitar and rhythmbox, but there is also noise from toys (real toys
that is) or vaguely sounding atmospheric pieces of TV sounds and
piano playing. With twenty-nine tracks over twenty-one minutes this
is scattered all over the place. Also the cover seems to be a hasty
job.
'Bij Mirjam' has a much nicer cover: a small enveloppe with three
pictures and info's. The music here sort of continues from 'Bricks &
Pieces' except that these pieces last much longer and are more worked
out throughout. The introspective pieces are gone and there is much
more unity throughout the pieces.
For the last one I have good memories, as it concerns a thirteen
minute live recording of a concert Machinefabriek did at the local
squat cafe De Onderbroek. Playing around with five cassette tapes, a
memorecorder, radio, one guitar effect and a 8mm film, he treated the
audience, among which was me, of some fine noise treatments in the
best Merzbow tradition. As a recording by itself it may sound a bit
dull, but there is still enough power captured here to make it a
pretty strong release. Of all the five works by Machinefabriek so
far, this is probably the loudest and dirtiest one. (FdW)
Address: <machinefabriek@chello.nl>

CHEFKIRK - PYCHONTUS JOCOSUS (CDR by Organic Pipeline)
A belated christmas release by Chefkirk, in a super limited edition
of 24 copies only. I am not sure if there is a christmas theme to
this release, but the three tracks, close to thirty minutes are all
about heavy noise manipulations of samples and turntablism.
Turntablecanibalism. Things are pretty heavy on this release and it
sort of sets back time for Chefkirk to the earlier parts of his
career and sadly doesn't appeal to me very much. Nice for the lovers
of the digital Merzbow onslaughts, but I think I preferred the more
recent Chefkirk music much better. I guess just for those twenty-four
die-hards who can't get enough of Chefkirk. (FdW)
Address: http://www.organicpipeline.com