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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 533
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week 27
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: as an experiment for the time being, we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html
you can subscribe to the weekly broadcast using the following rss feed:
http://www.harmlog.nl/vitalfeed.asp
New broadcasts will be sent directly when uploaded. For more information on
podcasts go here: http://ipodder.sourceforge.net/
* noted are in this week's podcast

 

MILIEU - BEYOND THE SEA LIES THE STARS (CD by Infraction) *
KEEF BAKER - PURE LANGUAGE (CD by Ad Noiseam)
ERIC LA CASA - AIR.RATIO (CD by Sirr-ecords) *
TESTBILD! - IMAGINE A HOUSE (CD by Friendly House) *
HINTERLANDT - AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE (CD by Sopot) *
STOP BY FEAR - MOMENTUM INTO NOTHINGNESS (CD by Tequa Productions) *
K. LEIMER - STATISTICAL TRUTH (CD by Palace Of Light Records) *
BLOOD MONEY - AXIS OF BLOOD (CD by Killerpimp) *
GAY AGAINST YOU - MUSCLE MIILK (CD by Adaadat)
CUTTING PINK WITH KNIVES - OH WOW! (CD by Adaadat)
THE CHERRY POINT BLACK WITCHERY (CD by PACrec)
BLACK SAND DESERT - CHOKING ON GRAVE SOIL (CD by PACrec)
MASAHIKO OKURA/GÜNTER MÜLLER/AMI YOSHIDA - TANKER (CD by For 4 Ears Records)
MÖSLANG/MÜLLER - WILD_SUZUKI (CD by For 4 Ears Records) *
NORBERT MÖSLANG - BURST_LOG (CD by For 4 Ears Records) *
INSECTS WITH TITS (CDR by 804Noise) *
GASTRIC FEMALE REFLEX - LOVERS IN THE MIDST OF EATING FRIES (LP by Absurd/Beniffer/Gold Soundz/Hum Bug)
EMIL BEAULIEU - PURE (CDR by Absurd)
I:WOUND - QUIT INDIA (CDR by Absurd) *
HOWLING GHOST PROLETARIANS - THE SINGER (CDR by Absurd) *
ASTRA - STELOJ (MP3 by Con-v) *

 

 

 

MILIEU - BEYOND THE SEA LIES THE STARS (CD by Infraction)
Despite it's limited size, the Infraction Records label, are one of the few still going strong labels when it comes to ambient music. The real ambient music, not a residu of something that involves either rhythm or noise. Milieu is one Brian Grainger and as such we don't know much about him, but he has released two CDRs on Belgium's U-Cover label and 'Beyond The Sea Lies The Stars' is his first proper CD release. He cites The Caretaker's 'Haunted Ballroom' and William Basinski 'Disintergration Loops' as his main influences - and I'd say it's not just an influence, he no less tries to copy those albums and integrates them in his own music. There is a 'air' of 'rustiness' in the four tracks, like it has been uncovered from a few inches of dust, but it didn't wash off completely. These sounds are chopped off into loops and multi-layered before presented to us. A bit of a grainy sound, that somewhere along the lines from little melodies, that hum about. More Basinski than The Caretaker perhaps, but it wouldn't entirely justify to say that Milieu is a mere copy cat. Do all bands that have guitars sound like Elvis? The analogue hissing sound from Basinski is merely an idea that can be adopted, and that is what Milieu does. He adopts a technique and plays around with it, perhaps a adding a bit of synthesizer here and there and creates his own swirl of ambient drone music. Genre wise nothing new under the sun, but it's a dam fine album altogether. (FdW)
Address: http://www.infractionrecords.com

KEEF BAKER - PURE LANGUAGE (CD by Ad Noiseam)
British composer Keef Baker is a busy man! Having released two albums (a regular album and a tribute album) in 2005 on US-label n5MD the time has come for the third release in almost one year! This six-track mini-CD titled "Pure language" is released on German label Ad Noiseam. The style of his debut album "The widnes years" is continued with the expressional blend of IDM, full-throttle breakbeat, and melancholic post-rock. This time less abrasive though! First of all the atmosphere is warm and friendly with melodic and tranquillizing ambient-spheres floating in, and disappearing again to make room for some more energetic parts. That Keef Baker started his musical career as an acoustic musician, a bass player to be more precise, does not come as a big surprise when listening to "Pure language". His inside knowledge in the world of acoustic sounds is quite clear since the acoustic elements on "Pure language" have been beautifully woven into the world of electronic sounds rather than just having been added on top of the electronic sound layer. The intelligent use of acoustic elements especially comes clear on the beautiful post-rock-like tune "The middle" that is based on the warm sounds of guitar-strums and string orchestration as well as the piano-based track "Psychiatric credit" that also includes an excellent passage of vibraphone-chillout reminiscent of the "Lion stone"-track from the album "Equations" (1994) by the terribly underrated drum'n'bass-artist Endemic Void. The combination of Keef Baker's talent to create catchy musical compositions and his beautiful balance between acoustic and electronic expressions makes "Pure language" a unique sound experiencea great work of art! (NMP)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net

 

ERIC LA CASA - AIR.RATIO (CD by Sirr-ecords)
By now the name Eric La Casa should be more or less known, as the man with the microphone. All of his releases deal with sounds from our environment. Recently we discussed a 3"CD of his that had recordings made in elevators, and that was a more conceptual approach than we were used of his. He seems to be continuing this with his latest offering 'Air.ratio'. Here the sound of mechanical ventilation systems is the subject. All of the ventilation systems heard were recorded in Paris from November 2000 until September 2003. Obviously these systems make noise, but they are designed to be as little present as possible. The space it breaths in, is also of importance. La Casa leaves it up to the listener to enjoy this as a sonic data bank, specific sound study, a CD of environments or simply as music. There are thirty three tracks on this CD, one is silent, two are the other thirty, compressed to one minute and the rest are the pure recordings, made at Radio France, The Francois Mitterand Library, Centre Pompidou and the European Hospital Georges Pompidou. I rather take up La Casa's last point of enjoyment: to see this as music. Each of the two minute pieces is a true delight to hear: mechanical sounding, sometimes far away, sometimes interfering with some other device (although none were recorded on the surface), this is a totally fascinating journey, that brings the listener more awareness of every days sound - either to be regarded as music or as pollution, even when such listener is already aware of this pollution or music. I tend to opt for the last and listen to the given environment as music, and try to enjoy it as such. I even switched off my own home ventilator a while, when listening to this, and 'mixed' later on a little bit of this home machine with the CD of La Casa. Going into public places will never be the same again. Great sound work. (FdW)
Address: http://sirr-ecords.com

TESTBILD! - IMAGINE A HOUSE (CD by Friendly House)
The name Testbild! sounds a bit like a German synth band from the early 80s (there was one, Din-A-Testbild), but this Testbild is certainly 2006 and Swedish. They are with four, with no references as to who plays what, and their previous release 'The Inexplicable Feeling Of September' was nominated by Swedish National Radio for their P3 Guld prize in 2005 as the best pop album. That was an autumn album, where as this new album 'Imagine A House' is a summer album. While we are sweating away in our houses, we listen to Testbild!. At least I do, but perhaps I don't like to be outside? Perhaps I'm strange? Perhaps I like Testbild!? Yes, to all three questionmarks. Testbild! plays POP music, dream like popmusic, folk like popmusic that has a vague dark undercurrent: not everything in summertime is pleasant, and Testbild! are aware of that. There are probably strings of references to made to Testbild!, from Simon & Garfunkel to Belle & Sebastian, this is sweet (sometimes bittersweet) melodies and lyrics, which is great stuff, but perhaps a bit too long at sixteen tracks. Of worthy notion for the Dutchman in me, is the piece called 'Bas Jan Ader', the Dutch visual artist who set out to sail across the Atlantic in 1975 (I believe) and who never made it. That is always nice to see. A great CD, one to dream away with in the shadow. (FdW)
Address: http://www.friendlynoise.se

HINTERLANDT - AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE (CD by Sopot)
And then, all of a sudden, it's there: Hinterlandt's first real CD. A moment at least I have been waiting for. After a pile of CDRs, that saw a quick development from 'just one of us on electronica' into a what might possibly become a real star one day. His masterpiece, at least for me, was his 'Poprekordt', in which he approached pop music along the lines of Pet Shop Boys. He grew further and recently stepped over the line with a release that was great, but not my thing. The 'grandsons of Elton John' sound, the Jamie Cullum sound. Excellently made, but not the popmusic I like. So how will things be on 'Automatic Teller Music'? Yet another adaption of popmusic, or continuing the man behind the piano sound? Well, it turns out to be a bit of both, and that combination works quite well, I must say. Hinterlandt, nom de plume par Jochen Gutsch, originally from Australia, now in Germany, has again songs in which he sings, in which there are nice keyboard patterns and a rocking guitar, but on the other hand there is also a piece like 'C'est Bizarre', which is built around a sample of a female saying the title of the track. The melodies in all tracks are summer-like, uptempo, quirky and gone are the longer pieces of sound collages. It makes this a very coherent record altogether, even when some tracks are a bit long to hit the market of three minute popwonders, but Hinterlandt will get there, I'm sure of that. My favorite in this lot is 'Portfolio', which comes close to a great popsong, but is just a bit too hard to sign-along. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sopot-records.de

STOP BY FEAR - MOMENTUM INTO NOTHINGNESS (CD by Tequa Productions)
In their accompanying press message, Stop By Fear, tell us exactly what they want to achieve with this CD: ""you" the listener will explore the cacophony of extended sounds, and the noted reference to song form and familiar compositional structure". Stop by Fear play 'ambient jazz' - their own claim. And yes, that could be true: the drums play a mildly groovy thing, the bass supports, there is a little bit of trumpet, but the main instrument is the guitar. Feeding through a bunch of sound effects, such as reverb and delay, this is a bit like Robert Fripp. Stop By Fear don't play jazz standards by any account, but it's a friendly combination of rock and jazz alike that is highly moody, but far from being anything experimental. I am the first to admit I have no knowledge of jazz, but this is combination of jazz, rock and ambient is working my nerves. Too sweet, too tame, with no angular sound, no biting moment, neither no real moment of rest or tranquillity. It's just not my thing I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stopbyfear.com

K. LEIMER - STATISTICAL TRUTH (CD by Palace Of Light Records)
When was the last time I heard K. Leimer? I don't remember, but I'm sure if was quite some time ago, maybe even close to a decade. His LPs on his own Palace Of Light Records (which also released music by Anode, Marc Barreca, Roy Finch, Micheal William Gilbert and Steven Peters) were, as far as I remember ambient works with a strong(er) love for some more experimental edges in music. That was so in the early 80s when K. Leimer started to release his music, and so it is today. Normally that would be a bit of problem, if Leimer would release an album every year or so, but he doesn't do that, as in twenty-five years or so, this might very well be his seventh release. It still sounds very much like the old days: stretched synthesizer patterns, played on a bunch of analog synths, a mellotron and several sound effects. It seems to me like a relatively simple setup, but in the eleven tracks produced, the whole history of ambient passes by: from the furniture music of Satie, via Cage and Reich, via Eno and Fripp, via Hassell and Reyes to... K. Leimer. Minimal on the synths, sparse ethno percussion (only in a couple of tracks), and even something that sounds like a field recording. Despite the fact that ambient is at a stand-still for quite some time, and despite the fact that some other artists produce twenty times more of this kind of music, I must say that the quality of K. Leimer is quite outstanding. Its varied throughout, great production with much depth, and simply gorgeous. Great return, perhaps. Or perhaps another landmark for the next ten years. (FdW)
Address: http://www.palaceoflights.com

BLOOD MONEY - AXIS OF BLOOD (CD by Killerpimp)
'Killerpimp', 'Blood Money', 'Axis Of Blood'? The next wave of noise makers? The new wave of Current 93 clones? Blood Money is a new trio of Ken Ueno on vocals, Jon Witney on rhythm composer and Tom Worster on modulator, and their aim is to put 'experimental music back into a rock music context' and it's about entertainment, non-intellectual and the 'musician are allowed to be rock stars'. All well, but looking at what these guys have done, it's all highly intellectual stuff. Perhaps they want to break away from all that? The combination of rhythm, noise, vocals brings back the good ol' days of Throbbing Gristle area '20 Jazz Funk Greats', Pan Sonic but only with Alan Vega, or latter day Etant Donnes. The rhythms are slow and less urgent and less demanding than Pan Sonic, the vocals are throughout solemnly and chant like a bunch of monks and it's not Vega and it's not William Bennett. All of these examples have tried to put experimental music back into the rock context, and each have succeeded, one more than the other. But somehow Blood Money doesn't work, at least not for me. It lack the necessary aggression, the urgency of the music and it's a bit dull, here and there. How it looks like in a live situation, can be viewed on the CDrom part of the disc. Noise music by 'old' men, and compared to Whitehouse which I saw two months, the road for Blood Money is long. (FdW)
Address: http://www.killerpimp.com

GAY AGAINST YOU - MUSCLE MIILK (CD by Adaadat)
CUTTING PINK WITH KNIVES - OH WOW! (CD by Adaadat)
Straight outta Glasgow comes Gay Against You, being Oats Soda (aka Joe Howe) and Mr Big Softie, known to his mum as Lachlann Rattray, who also works as Yoko Oh No! They like Cindy Lauper, Minor Treat, The Locust and a band called Child Pornography. 'Muscle Milk' is their debut album as Gay Against You and holds no less than seventeen tracks in just over thirty one minutes. That is almost the right punk spirit me thinks, and even when no guitars or such are used by Gay Against You, the spirit of short songs, aggressive sound, played around on a bunch of custom made synthesizers (or perhaps some such made in the digital domain) to which they sing their songs. It's hard to understand what the lyrics are about, but perhaps understanding lyrics is not the first concern of Gay Against You. A bit of breakcore beats, blasts of noise and general mayhem is what is holding this album together. There is no point in playing this album at a soft volume, but loud and massive is the only thing needed. Probably even better is hearing them in a raw, concrete, low basement, packed with a sweaty audience. But until then, this CD is a good alternative.
And if this didn't proof that Adaadat isn't 'just' a breakcore label, then there is always Cutting Pink With Knives, a trio of Dan Antell on bass, Chris Abitbol on vocals and synth and Edi Frankel on guitar programming and vocals and they are anglo/american and 'Oh Wow!' is their second CD. Even more compact than Gay Against You, Cutting Pink With Knives offer thirteen tracks in twenty minutes of which the last track, 'Merry Fucking Christmas, You Spineless Fuck' lasts ten minutes and that is the odd-ball in this collection, with it's lengthy guitar drone spiraling towards the end. That leaves twelve tracks, all around thirty seconds to one minute of total noise core, inspired by grindcore, hardcore punk and postpunk. Someone switches on a drum machine (not listed among the instruments), which goes quickly into full gear mode: ultra fast beats and the guitars grinding the cement. The vocals are no less aggressive and the total mayhem, no matter how short it is, leaves the listener breathless. These two bands should tour together and suck out what ever adrenaline you have left. (FdW)
Address: http://www.adaadat.com

THE CHERRY POINT BLACK WITCHERY (CD by PACrec)
BLACK SAND DESERT - CHOKING ON GRAVE SOIL (CD by PACrec)
I have a problem with the occult. Also with sadomasochism. Are we to take these seriously, are we to see the work of Alistair Crowley and life of The Marquis de Sade as a critique of modernity, and in the genre of what is called 'Noise', an artistic pedigree which includes Rimbaud, Breton, Eluard, Bunuel, Blanchot, and the Dadaist and Surrealist movements? Or do we have something which alludes to the above in the same way that Vincent Price movies do? Do we appreciate the philosophy of Sade's writing, or see it simply as pornography? And why should such concerns bother us in relation to listening to 'Noise' works? Perhaps we can take these allusions as both serious and comic like a Jake and Dinos tableaux. Yet in the 'music' of Black Sand Desert's "Choking on Grave Soil" and The Cherry Point "Black Witchery" despite the claims of the latter as being a black mass - a murky potion of macabre frequencies, derelict moans, satanic power and the hideous stench of occult slaughter - I can only find some very abstract and aesthetic work.
Maybe all the gore and illusions to sado/ occultism is a kind of advertising gimmick- not to be taken seriously, but that's a pity as I think this music should be. This kind of 'Noise' should be considered in the Nietzschean sense of being beyond good and evil, and beyond the tinsel and gore of Hollywood. If so it might be good to say so- that this noise work is truly Dionysian - but then that might lead us into genuine 'injun country' - nihilism - death of God - as meta narrative (and death of all the morality of weak dependence on gods or devils) and the risk of fascist monsters that can grow in such an ideology, such is the task of the artist's will to power, to live in genuinely dangerous heights. So I think this music deserves better than 'occult slaughter' or 'Cinder block snakes'. And Phil Blankenship (AKA The Cherry Point, Left Hand Decision - the person behind the Tronics/PACrec label) and the Detroit Artist Greh Holger, Black Sand Desert, (Hive Mind, Cleanse) have produced some marvelous works of abstract sound, work which stands on its on without need of satanic or any other support. They inhabit the lonely heights of the superman, the sheer creative output of both these artists is proof of this. So what does it sound like? Its not program music so it doesn't sound "like", or am I going to attempt with letters of the alphabet to describe it. You can, and I say should listen yourself on iheartnoise.com/sound.htm. You might find the listening difficult - this is not democratic music, or should it be used at the service of anything other than itself, 'That music shall not become an art of lying' - they take risks, are tight rope walkers in sound, and if you don't listen in such a way then you are just part of the crowd goggling at something above you. What we have are works of splendid abstract sound which allude to nothing. Genuinely problematic? (jliat)
Address: http://www.iheartnoise.com

MASAHIKO OKURA/GÜNTER MÜLLER/AMI YOSHIDA - TANKER (CD by For 4 Ears Records)
MÖSLANG/MÜLLER - WILD_SUZUKI (CD by For 4 Ears Records)
NORBERT MÖSLANG - BURST_LOG (CD by For 4 Ears Records)
As is not irregular with the releases on For 4 Ears Records, Günter Müller plays an important role on these releases: he's the man behind the label and since long a known improviser, and since already quite a few years credited with 'ipod and electronics', although originally he was a drummer. On the first disc he plays with Ami Yoshida (voice) and the for me unknown Masahiko Okura on alto sax and tubes. This disc has two sections: the first section is a live recording made in 2004, while the other three pieces were made in a studio by the two Japanese musicians, sending of this work to Müller who completed the pieces by adding his own sound material. In the live recording they seem to be taking care of things a bit with too much care: distilled sounds, many times isolated from others, the instrument as object playing. It's all fine but a bit on the safe side of things. With a world of difference from the three studio tracks. Here the very presence of sound is the main focus. It has deep end bass sounds, much more electronica and on top we find the sounds produced by the Japanese: sparse, but always upfront, present when sounding. The result are three highly tense and intense pieces of music. Great stuff.
With former Voice Crack member Norbert Möslang, Günter Müller already produced some work, being 'Boom_box' on Grob (see Vital Weekly 432). Right after that was released the two went to Japan and played several concerts between april 17 and 23 2004. Möslang plays his everyday cracked electronics and Müller again his ipod and electronics. Seven cuts on this CD and it's nowhere near the previous live cut of Müller with his Japanese friends. Just like 'Boom_box', this rather expressionist music, no silence allowed. Highly rhythmic, using no machines, but a rhythmic, almost percussive playing of objects, wires, electronics by Möslang and Müller adds a blend of likewise rhythmic sounds, streaming off from his ipod and electronics. It's highly vibrant music, even when it comes to a quieter moment in 'Yamaguchi_1', that softly spoken with great intentions. It's music that leaves great space still, despite all activity going on, breathing about. Intense, even a bit noisy at times, but a wonderful trip. Electronic improvised music at its very best.
In Vital Weekly 420 the very first Norbert Möslang solo CD 'Lat_nc' was reviewed, after some twenty five years membership of Voice Crack. On his first solo CD he continued his modus operandi from Voice Crack, but taking things to the studio. On 'Burst_log' he continues that, but in an even more restricted way: taking the first three tracks from his first solo CD and processing them once more into six new tracks. This 'self-remixing' was a more common practice in the 80s, with bands like P16.D4, but it's good to see this revived here. It's musique concrete in optima forma, even when Möslang takes things into a more rhythmic area. Small blocks of sounds are formed, looped around and Möslang create densely layered, rhythmic patterns that are not unlike the work of Pan Sonic, certainly in the first two pieces of this CD. Further down the road, things are more spacious (without ever getting close to ambient music of course), but it's less based on rhythm here. It is a rather surprising work, not one that takes the route of going more abstract, but takes up the limitation of more rhythmic work and expand from that. At that, this is a great work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.for4ears.com

INSECTS WITH TITS (CDR by 804Noise)
Between recording a weekly Chefkirk release, Roger Smith now also has time to recording with one Kenneth Yates of a band called Harm Stryker as Insects With Tits (which is, let's be honest, a shitty name). Since I never heard of Harm Stryker (or perhaps don't remember it), I have no idea what Yates' influence is in this lot, but it's positive one. Gone are the sometimes haphazard recordings of Chefkirk, whose tracks aren't always the most worked out in the world, and replaced by densely layered ambient synths, which are recorded in full overload. On top are the more piercing electronics, presumably from Chefkirk, waving a fine but harsh pattern of noise. Rhythm plays a less important role here, but it's throughout a most enjoyable release. Going beyond the realms of ambient industrial, this is just a lot more industrial than ambient, it on the other hand stays away from the pure overkill walls of distortion. A bit of collage, a bit more ambient, a bit too much improvisation still and it's a fine release. Maybe Chefkirk should explore this more too. (FdW)

Address: http://804noise.org

GASTRIC FEMALE REFLEX - LOVERS IN THE MIDST OF EATING FRIES (LP by Absurd/Beniffer/Gold Soundz/Hum Bug)
EMIL BEAULIEU - PURE (CDR by Absurd)
I:WOUND - QUIT INDIA (CDR by Absurd)
HOWLING GHOST PROLETARIANS - THE SINGER (CDR by Absurd)
The Greek Absurd label usually releases CDRs, a little bit of CDs, but very rarely anything on vinyl. Where they found out about Gastric Female Reflex, I don't know. Perhaps through the releases by the bands own label Beniffer or Gold Soundz or Humbug, all of whom are co-producing this LP. For me it's the first time I hear them, and I must say I am rather surprised. Just like last week's Fossils release, Gastric Female Reflex are playing around with the notion of noise in a rock context, but it's luckily not the sort of over the top noise that sweeps the current trend. It's rather bits and bops hovering about, in short collage like songs. Guitars and vocals play some rhythm. Some of the pieces seem like very random collages of sounds, but there is also room for something that could be considered a ballad. It's all rather lo-fi recorded, which adds to the charm of the record. Again, not unlike the old Los Angeles Free Music Society, P16.D4 or Radio Free Europe. Controlled or uncontrolled madness here. Outsider music.
At one point Emil Beaulieu was the greatest noise artist on this planet (and perhaps some other planets) - a claim he made himself. Emil Beaulieu knows how to shock: anti-records were made big by him and his Pure series took the world of noise by surprise. That series, housed in identical sleeves, became a landmark of noise. In the early days, the series contained a few of Beaulieu's own releases. On this CDR you will find a selection of Nicolas Malevitsis' favorite tracks, to celebrate the birth 'of the son of our pals thule & mihalis from xanthi'. Probably the true lovers of Beaulieu who have everything, this release may be a bit redundant, but it may serve as an introduction to the uninitiated. Beaulieu's main instrument is the record player, but unlike many of the turntablists, he doesn't care about spinning records, creating loops and collages, but he treats the vinyl with knives and feeds of the signal into boxes of distortion, creating more chaos and mayhem. The quality may be a bit dull these days, but the intensity is not lost.
Since many years, I:Wound releases his colorful sound collages, incorporating many field recordings made on his travels, in this case a sound collage about India. Market place, tabla music, Bollywood movie, spoken word and sounds that aren't to be traced back that easily, this is a lively collage of sound, in which perhaps India isn't recognized that much (but perhaps I should visit India first, before saying that) and at just over nineteen minutes is also perhaps a bit short, but it's surely a fascinating aural journey.
Sadly I missed the Howlin' Ghost Proletarians when they played my neighborhood, but upon hearing this, I know I would have enjoyed it. Just as with Bruce Russell's recent CDR release, this deals with blues music. Despite the title there is no singer on it, but just a duo of utter black blues music, played by Fabrice Eglin on guitars, slide guitar and amp and Michel Henritzi on guitars, slide guitar, amp and harmonica. Feedback, slow picked notes, noise from the amps, and an utter feel of desolation breaths throughout these nine tracks. Certainly not pleasant music at all, but essential for any darker mind indeed. Music that perhaps fits the mood of a hot summer day, when one is sweating even doing nothing than sitting back in front of the ventilator. That kind of music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.anet.gr/absurd

ASTRA - STELOJ (MP3 by Con-v)
Usually the MP3 releases are short, somewhere between fifteen and twenty minutes, but Astra offers a full album. Astra is a new band of Jason Kahn and Ilios, the man behind the Antifrost label and the Electrograph festival). Astra means 'stars' in Greek and 'Steloj' means the same in Esperanto. Although this is their first release together, they started working together in 2002 and the recordings for this release were made in 2004. Although the work is broken up into sixteen tracks ('Pista 1', 'Pista 2' etc.), this much more just one long piece, me thinks. It had trademarks of both players. The analogue synth of Kahn vs the computer techniques of Ilios, of high pitches tones and ambient glitch, which occasionally go into deep bass territory. Sometimes the sound is low and creepy, like it is waiting for something, an sudden outburst, a thunderstorm to come. That isn't going to happen, this is not the kind of music for an eruption. In stead it moves over to another creepy sound field. Quite intense music. Nothing new under both stars, but nevertheless very fine music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.con-v.org

 

 

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