============
VITAL WEEKLY
============
number 534
---------------------
week 28
---------------------

 

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

STEPHAN MATHIEU & JANEK SCHAEFER - HIDDEN NAME (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
QUINTET AVANT - EN CONCERT A LA SALLE DES FETES (CD by Edition Mego)
FELIX KUBIN & COOLHAVEN - BROMBRON 11: SUPPE FUR DIE NACHT (CD by Korm Plastics) *
FIRE IN THE HEAD - COME CLOSER CUT DEEPER (CD by Nihilist Recordings) *
ANDY ORTMANN & JOHN WIESE - RECORDER OUT OF TUNE (miniCD by Nihilist Recordings) *
POLVERE (CD by Wallace Records)
BIAS (3"CD by Wallace Records)
OLEO STRUT (3"CD by Wallace Records)
BON VIVANT - SOUL ACTION (10" by Old Gold)
SLO-FI - 'S LATEST HITS (CDR by Esc Rec) *
DENSE VISION SHRINE - DIE MY ILLUSION (CDR by Einzeleinheit) *
PLECO (CDR, self-released) *
CHROMASCOPE - SLEEP PARALYSIS (3"CDR by Silken Tofu)
MACHINEFABRIEK - SLAAP (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
MACHINEFABRIEK - ZUCHT (3"CDR by Machinefabriek) *
KLOOD - NEGATION (3"CDR by Taalem)
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF & EMERGE - DIE KOSMISCHE ZYGOTE (3" CDR by Taalem)
TOY BIZARRE - KDI DCTB 122 [F] (3"CDR by Taalem)
NINTH DESERT - BLACK SESSION (3"CDR by Taalem)
CHÖD - KALA-NATH (CDR by Kokeshidisk)
TROUM - DREAMING MUZAK (CDR by Kokeshidisk) *
NEUNTOTER DER PLAGE - DOORS BEYOND DOORS (CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
AD LUX TENEBRAE - SKETCHES FROM THAT AUTUMN (CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
EONIC - SHADOWS (CD by Abgurd Stillclouds)
INSTANT MOVE COMBINATIONS - 9YMBO (CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds) *
SUBHUMAN - [UNTITLED II] (3"CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
SISTER LLOLMIE/POLARIS - OUT OS SPACE (3"CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds) *
FUNKSTILLESENDER, KOMATOSERZUSTAND - DNA (CDR, private release)
CLAUDIA - WE'VE MET BEFORE, WHEN WE WERE (MP3 by Audiobulb Records) *

 

STEPHAN MATHIEU & JANEK SCHAEFER - HIDDEN NAME (CD by Cronica Electronica)
Ah two busy bees, Janek Schaefer probably more at the forefront than Stephan Mathieu, but both are always to be found somewhere. This is not the first time that they work together. In 2003 they released a work that was made in a hotel room in Montreal, together with Radboud Mens and Timeblind (see Vital Weekly 379). In 'Hidden Name' they also work physically together, going to Manor Farmhouse in Child Okeford to find there a piano, clarinet, cello, flute, trumpet, accordion, sitar, singing bowls, bells, voices, games and records, plus of course, being both dedicated lovers of field recordings, the surrounding itself. Afterwards the work was edited into what is now present on this CD, eleven tracks, and it damn hard to tell what is what here. There might be crackles of vinyl, or the squeaking of a door, but the vast majority is made up of densely layered patterns of recordings of the instruments. They are woven together in such a way that it is hard to tell what is what here. However it seems that roles are this: Schaefer plays anything to do with field recordings and records and Mathieu's part is playing the instruments, but also processing the latter inside the computer. Mathieu does what he does best: wave them together into a finely woven cloth of sound, that feels warm and cosy. Schaefer's addition (or starting point, depends on how these things should be seen) works very well, it makes both a contrast to Mathieu's work, but it's at the same time it gets soaked into the music, and makes a natural companion. This is a major tour de force of eleven beauties. Great stuff from great minds. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

QUINTET AVANT - EN CONCERT A LA SALLE DES FETES (CD by Edition Mego)
Somehow somewhere Vital Weekly missed out on the first release by Quintet Avant, the LP only 'Floppy Nails', which in retrospect is a great pity. Quintet Avant is indeed a five piece band, of five French musicians playing their analogue synths, microphones and old reel to reel tapes: Jerome Noetinger, Lionel Marchetti (together already a strong duo), Jean Pallandre, Marc Pichelin and Laurent Sassi. Four years ago the played at the Musique Action festival in Nancy (which is a long running festival for anything improvised) and is now, finally, available for home consumption. These five musicians all share the fact that they are highly skilled musicians, have a set of fine ears to respond and aren't afraid to play a louder card. This ended up after all on Editions Mego, which means that something 'soft' is in the book, but not in capitals. Throughout the five pieces, Quintet Avant plays a bunch of strong streams of noise. Feedback waves about, which is picked up by a bunch of old analogue tapes, feeding off through synthesizers and thrown around like there is no tomorrow. This is foremost improvised music, but not for the weak of hearth (you can control the volume, but you can't kill it). No onkyo playing, but harshness throughout, forceful and playful. This is not an usual product of noise, howling from the first second to the last, but a solid interplay of sounds. It may appeal to the fans of Merzbow of course, but the audience could be much wider, from the noise heads to those who have a more daring mind in improvisation or loud electronics. A furious release, not to be missed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

FELIX KUBIN & COOLHAVEN - BROMBRON 11: SUPPE FUR DIE NACHT (CD by Korm Plastics)
By now the concept of the ongoing Brombron-series should be familiar to loyal Vital-readers: two or more distinctively different artists go in residence at the Extrapool studios in Nijmegen and collaborate on new recordings, after which the results are presented at the Extrapool and released by Korm Plastics on CD. For this latest project, number 11 in the series, German artist Felix Kubin collaborates with Rotterdam's Coolhaven project. The recordings took place in Rotterdam during one week in November 2005. Remixing the tapes took quite a bit longer, with the results now finally available on Korm Plastics. And the results are remarkable. Kubin/Coolhaven have created a CD full of strange German-languaged pop songs with a few twists. Sometimes they utilize normal song structures to create Deutsche Welle-like tracks like Wenn Du Mich Liebest and Waschzwangmama, at times the songs are far more abstract like Das Schiff or Dawn Of Dunkel and at times they are poems as in the short Auf den Stufen deiner Schonheit. Nearly all texts are in German, with the exception of Frans De Waard (the homage to eh, Frans de Waard - which is in Dutch) and There Is A Garden (which has English lyrics). The songs and lyrics are absurdistic fun. But humor and music are uneasy partners and date easily. By making their humor abstract and surrealistic, Kubin/Coolhaven have escaped this trap. Best of the bunch is There Is A Garden, which has an infectious sing-along quality. There are also a few "rehearsal" reprises of this song on the CD, with mistakes and strange effects. BromBron releases come in standard packaging, stencil printed at Knust, Nijmegen. The prints look fine as usual, but due to the technique of stencil printing, the colors of the sleeve easily rub off. You can eliminate this by spraying hairspray on the cover. The hairspray can then be used to spray your hair in a Neue-Welle coup or even a mullet! The by then empty spray-can can be used as a fake microphone. Then put on There Is A Garden at loud volume and have yourself a party!

Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl

FIRE IN THE HEAD - COME CLOSER CUT DEEPER (CD by Nihilist Recordings)
ANDY ORTMANN & JOHN WIESE - RECORDER OUT OF TUNE (miniCD by Nihilist Recordings)
First I have to set the record straight. For a couple of times we mentioned in reviews that Fire In The Head's frontman Micheal Page was once a member of Slogun, but this is not true at all. Slogun is just one man, and Fire In The Head is just another thing by someone else. Correcting this is the best way to do another review of his work, following last week's review of his CD for Eibon Records, here is a new one. Already. One might think he's going for the full Merzbow experience? Not sound wise, as Fire In The Head continues what he does best. A fine combination of power electronics, piercing loud, but not just banging on the distortion pedal, there is strong undercurrent in this music that is related to ambient industrial. Throughout 'Come Closer Cut Deeper' seemed to me louder and noiser than last week's 'Meditate/Mutilate', which had a few calmer moments to spare. Also a little bit less varied than that one. But Fire In The Head is a noise force who knows what he is doing, still. This new one might appeal to the die hard fans.
Also on Nihilist Recordings is a new mini CD by label boss Andy Ortmann who plays four tracks together with John Wiese, who is the man of fame in the world of guitars and noise these days. Ortmann used to call himself Panicsville, but these days wanders around under his own name. One might easily think that this would be the full on noise for some twenty odd minutes, but actually it's not really much of that. Its music that appeals to loud noise music, but it's rather a forcefull twist of electro acoustic music than pure noise. The sampled sound of acoustic sounds is set against some nasty frequencies in 'Last Days For Haas', but in the three other tracks they present a rather playful collage of sounds, that works quite well. Things even drop to a point when it's actually 'quiet', is that something easy to imagine? This is a mighty fine work. Not too long, not too short. Just fine enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nihilistrecords.net

POLVERE (CD by Wallace Records)
BIAS (3"CD by Wallace Records)
OLEO STRUT (3"CD by Wallace Records)
About a year ago we discussed a number of 3"CDs in lovely little packages from Italy's Wallace Records (see Vital Weekly 474). Today we find two more and a full length CD by Polvere. There is probably a title, but I can't decipher it. Polvere consists of the label's most important musician (as we will see later on) Xabier Iriondo (electric and table guitars, melodica, kazoo, treatments, voice, recording and mixing) and Mattia Coletti (acoustic guitars, drums, percussions, voices, clarinet, recording and mixing). With the release they did last year, I thought it was nice, but wasn't too sure if it would stand out on a full length release. Here is the full length, and I must say I was wrong. The music is again freely played and loosely improvised around a set of theme's (like in the first piece, you can almost hear them say 'ok, now this has to be a blues piece'), which they interpret in their own way. There is something quite retro sounding in this music, not just the blues like pieces, but throughout, and it's hard to say what it is. I think it's the 80s sense of improvising in the format of a rock song, the same naivety in playing (that the playing is more important than the actual skills). Sometimes the experiments are a bit too lengthy for my taste, but throughout I found this a highly enjoyable disc, rich of ideas, moods and sounds.
The first of the new 3"CDs is by Bias, a duo of Xabier Iriondo (of course of Polvere but also Uncode Duello, A Short Apnea) and Olivier Manchion (Permanent Fatal Error, Ulan Bator), and this 3"CD is their first release together. They play a variety of acoustic instruments, such as guitar, bass, organ, harmonium but also maracas, tapes, electronic treatments and even scacciapensieri, whatever that is of course. Their seven songs are quite strange. Mostly staying within the format of a song, a rock song, the add in every song elements that alienate the piece from the traditional format. Sometimes it's the use of percussion, sometimes field recording like sounds, organ like drones or simply the form turns towards improvisation. This combines so many things, from rock music to musique concrete in a simple but highly effective way. A bit This Heat like, but in a more naive manner. Great stuff.
The other one is by Oleo Strut and is as brand new as you can get it. No information available as of yet. It's a big band: Jerome Florenville, Ravi Sharoja, Guillaume Beauron, Arnaud Duran, Aka_Bondage, Alessandro Stefana and the unmissible Xabier Iriondo. There aren't any instruments mentioned on the cover, but we hear drums, guitars, bass and electronics/shortwave. Oleo Strut plays improvised music, but in a more free rock concept. Not heavily banging around, but still quite forceful, even when the second tune is more carefully played. Here, underneath there are crackles and hissing electronics, and throughout all three pieces there is a great tension. Powerful improvisations at work here. Fine disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.wallacerecords.com/

BON VIVANT - SOUL ACTION (10" by Old Gold)
Old Gold is not a label for re-issues of anything old and/or gold, but for anything weird and/or strange. Sometimes it's in the areas of improvised music, but occasionally they leap out and do say Bon Vivants. And you may wonder why. Bon Vivants are Ben Young (guitars, vocals, keyboards), Rob Parham (guitars), Tim Genius (drums) and Ben Lawless (bass, percussion, guitars). On their 'Soul Action' 10" record they have eight tunes that according to some reviewer fall 'somewhere between the Replacements, Husker Du and Big Star', but are to me a set of tedious, boring, mediocre rock songs, played by an average sounding rock band that didn't seem to care about producing the record in any sense. Unless I miss out on the bigger conceptual idea behind this, this is something best left in the darker corners of Atlanta, Georgia. (FdW)
Address: http://oldgold.org

SLO-FI - 'S LATEST HITS (CDR by Esc Rec)
Roel Meelkop is perhaps foremost known as... Roel Meelkop. But perhaps you know his work with Goem or Kapotte Muziek? Well, of course you do. But little known is his work as Slo-fi (let alone his latest incarnation Zebra). His first LP, on his own co-owned Audio.NL label, was a strong statement of very slow techno music. Originally perhaps conceived as an one off product, Meelkop liked the idea of doing more techno music, and released a further 12" on Audio.NL, a CDR on Microwave and a 12" on Antenne. More recent efforts to release more work didn't work out, as Slo-fi's work falls a bit in between the dance floor and home listening entertainment. Slo-fi uses various bits of software to generate a nice acid techno sound, but cleverly waves underneath a pattern of electronics and field recordings. Many of the tracks have a good drive, that will even make the most stubborn, non dance mind, will tap his feet. What else can we say? Nothing really. Play this loud tonight when things are still hot and sweaty and you will have guaranteed party in your own backyard. (FdW)
Address: http://www.escrec.com

DENSE VISION SHRINE - DIE MY ILLUSION (CDR by Einzeleinheit)
A mother Maria statue on the cover, 'Die My Illusion' the title and Dense Vision Shrine being the band, we have crash landed in the field of musick, magick and perhaps gothick? Dense Vision Shrine is the most important musical outlet of Karsten Hamre and he composed 'Die My Illusion' in a rather free way, he says: "when composing I just put the sounds together without deciding how long the final composition will be. It is done when I feel it's done'. The compositions can be short or long, just as is the case here. Hamre's music, here at least, the only work I heard of him, is about the dark and drone underworld made out of slowed down and highly processed classical music samples. Quite symphonic and despite its stillness, a forcefull and 'present' work, loaded with meaning. Frightening and dark, occassionally bursting out in a rhythm or two, here and there. But it's the mainly the dark, sustaining sounds that form the core of this work. For me it dwells just a bit too much on the classical music samples, with adds a certain patheticness to the music, and I'm just a bit too allergic for that. But otherwise a much alright release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.einzeleinheit.com

PLECO (CDR, self-released)
Behind Pleco is one Nick Kurple and his self-released CDR may look a bit like a demo of sorts, but since it can be purchased (at www.dronerecords.de among others), we'll review it anyway. There is no information, not even a website, so all we can do is go by what we hear. Pleco opts for the lengthy music pieces. There are no less that twelve pieces on this release and it takes up about the entire length of the CDR. It's not easy to tell what this guy has been using for instruments. It might be guitars, or found sound, or field recordings, but we can be sure it uses a fair amount of sound effects (as we can be sure of some voice sounds). Especially the use of delay is to be noted here, and therefor there are faint traces of good ol' zoviet*france. The music that slowly rotates and spins around, maybe even Pleco uses old analogue methods to create his sound. Tape loops of a rusty and decaying nature. Vaguely percussive, highly in darker atmospheric spheres, this is not some music for the broad day-light, but rather for a late night, star observing routine. Various things might be 'wrong' with this, such as some tracks being too long, or the unearthly voices that howl off and on, but throughout it's a nicely spacious disc. (FdW)
Address: <herecomeseveryone@hotmail.com>

CHROMASCOPE - SLEEP PARALYSIS (3"CDR by Silken Tofu)
Silken Tofu is a new Belgium label who announces themselves as 'platform for experimental music and media. The first release is by Chromascope, aka Brandon Malzahn, who also works as MAchinist Noise Assault. As his influences he sites such diverse musics as Masonna, Autechre, Aube, Scorn, Sickness, Coil and Godflesh, using a blend of keyboards, homemade percussion rig and software. Its hard trace back his influences in this music, but it comes close to the music of Aube: percussive, looped sounds set against a background of ambient industrial wavings. Opening and closing of filters do the rest, with unfortunately a bit too much reverb. It's quite alright, but after the five pieces on this mini CDR I must say I heard them all. It's not bad at all, but there isn't that much variation among those pieces, so it's pretty much said and done. Although it would be interesting to see what he does next. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silkentofu.org

MACHINEFABRIEK - SLAAP (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
MACHINEFABRIEK - ZUCHT (3"CDR by Machinefabriek)
Now that the career of Machinefabriek is definitely rising, with a CD for Lampse and some 7" on a UK label, it is perhaps strange to see two new releases in the format of 3"CDR, self released. But Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt, is a man of no rest. No wonder that one of the two is called 'Slaap' (dutch for sleep). Using a variety of tools (from electric guitar to electric toothbrush and tuning fork to laptop), he created three pieces dealing with sleep. Although it sees a continuation of his previous CD for Lampse, these tracks are perhaps a bit more 'ambient' than much of his previous work. Waving tones, in which the sustained guitar plays the main role, play a dark atmospheric sound. Probably not putting the listener in a state of immediate sleep, these pieces are a bit too dark for that, but of great quality however.
'Zucht' (sigh) is the other and only has two tracks. Played with guitar, melodica, e-bow, pedals and laptop, this is the true ambient work. Slowly played, like music full of sorrow, grief and pain, but perhaps also just of relief and a moment of relax. This is as far as Machinefabriek reached inside the depths of ambient music and moves far, far away from some of his previous noise works. It also proofs that Machinefabriek is capable of playing many tunes, which he all does quite well. Perhaps in the light of his Lampse CD and these new ones, he starts to seek this as his main line of work, the more ambient and the more concrete sounding music, but of course you never know with such an ever-changing mind. (FdW)
Address: http://www.machinefabriek.tk

KLOOD - NEGATION (3"CDR by Taalem)
AALFANG MIT PFERDEKOPF & EMERGE - DIE KOSMISCHE ZYGOTE (3" CDR by Taalem)
TOY BIZARRE - KDI DCTB 122 [F] (3"CDR by Taalem)
NINTH DESERT - BLACK SESSION (3"CDR by Taalem)
CHÖD - KALA-NATH (CDR by Kokeshidisk)
TROUM - DREAMING MUZAK (CDR by Kokeshidisk)
French Taleem label continue their long running 3"CDR series. Much alike the Drone Records 7" series, with whom they seem to share a lot of artists, this is by now almost an encyclopedia of drone related musicians. Here are four new ones. The first is by Klood, who played along with the Ultra Milkmaids on their 'Mort Aux Vaches' CD. He has had various releases on labels such as Drone Records, Blade and EE Tapes, and offers two pieces here. Both of them are dark atmospheric pieces, utilizing a blend of (software) synthesizers. Dark, but it offers two variations of grey. In 'Eon' things are a tad bit more lighter and in 'Kinzoot', the earth is touched upon, in a deep rumble of sounds. It's exactly the kind of drone that works well for those who love that deeper edge of sound. Its what Taalem and Drone Records are best known for.
The next one is by Aalfang Mit Pferdelopf and Emerge. The latter is the more obscure one. It's one Sascha Stadlkmeier, who had a release on Verato. The release they made together was made in three steps. First Mirko Uhlig, aka Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf created a sound sculpture with a spring drum, melodica and kalimba. In the next step Emerge made a remix, adding his own brand of dark ambient and then a final mix was made by Mirko. The piece starts out with the separate rumblings of the original sound sculpture sounds, but over the course of the pieces a lot of electronic sounds are dropped in the piece, either dark washes of feedback sounds, but also reverb and such. In the end this is a highly vibrating piece of music that bounces in all directions until it reaches it's climax and dies out slowly.
Another return is that by Toy Bizarre, aka Cedric Peyronnet. He has been active since many years, but never releases much of music, much to my regret, as it's usually quite interesting. Cedric is one of the few musicians I know who produces highly serious music along the lines of Roel Meelkop, Bernard Gunter and such, but who still goes by his old 'band name'. 'Kdi Dctb 122 [f]' is a alternate remix of a piece that he created for an artist named Jean-Paul Ruiz, and deals with sonic cartography: recordings were made in a village called La Pommerie and sounds from the birth of a new day. In this piece there are various layers of drone like sound, which are not easy to define, but they create a massive bed of overtones and on top there is the likewise massive sound of bird calls. It slowly enrolls in a majestical way. Originally conceived as a piece for ten speakers, this is quite a massive piece already in stereo. Great work by a highly underrated artist.
Ninth Desert is a new name for me. There are links with Exotoendo, which is one of those names I associate with dark gothic/industrial music. If understood correctly, part of this material was recorded by Exotoendo between 1997 and 1999, and used as a sound source by Ninth Desert in 2005. ApparentDisparately Ninth Desert comes forth out of Exotoendo. We hear the vague rumbling of percussive sounds, perhaps bamboo, perhaps metal (depends on which sound effects are used) to which a lot of dark electronics are added. It's alright if you like dark electronics, but I thought it was a bit too haphazard altogether. Disparate sound elements that had just a bit too much of a random nature.
Part of Taleem, or perhaps it's another way round is the label Kokeshidisk, which deals with re-issues. The Chöd release for instance was released by Harmonie, which was a previous incarnation of Taalem. Chöd released this originally as a tape, before doing more tapes, a 7" for Athanor and various compilation tracks for labels such as Ant-Zen and Anthanor. They play 'dark ambient and ritual music, mixing gregorian chants, heavy percussions, ritual flutes'. Listening to this 1996 recording is like listening to twenty some years of anything ritualisk, magick and whatever ends on 'ck'. Old Current 93 passes by, but much more the obscure versions there of. The flutes reminded me of Zero Kama, some of the harsher sounds used reminded me of the early days of Cold Meat Industry and some of the more percussive tracks also of the same label and Old Europa Cafe. It wasn't too bad for what it is, but as an outsider, I feel that this music is a bit too much filled with the cliche's that are part of this kind of music.
Another more than welcome re-release is 'Dreaming Muzak' by Troum. It is the first and also the last cassette by Troum, released in the early days of their existence (in 1998), along with 'Ryna' and 'Daur', the first releases of the band. These days they are highly popular among a crowd of people who like their things to be dark, atmospheric but without any sort of quasi magickal or ritualistick undercurrents. Troum likes to play upfront ambient drone material. Yes, that simple, because it would hardly justify their music describing it in a different way. Among some many people involved in producing music that can be described as 'drone', carefulness and softness are the usual keywords, and that is what sets Troum apart from them. Their music, made with relatively easy means such a guitar, accordion, percussion and tape-loops, is much louder and more present than their UK counterparts (Mirror, Ora, Monos). The music of Troum may have developed more and more over the last eight years and 'Dreaming Muzak' may perhaps be indeed the early beginnings, it's still a great work, moving slowly, but getting the listener into a heavy trance like (if you are open for that of course). Troum are among the best in their area. Then and now. (FdW)
Address: http://www.taalem.com
Address: http://www.kokeshidisk.free.fr

NEUNTOTER DER PLAGE - DOORS BEYOND DOORS (CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
AD LUX TENEBRAE - SKETCHES FROM THAT AUTUMN (CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
EONIC - SHADOWS (CD by Abgurd Stillclouds)
INSTANT MOVE COMBINATIONS - 9YMBO (CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
SUBHUMAN - [UNTITLED II] (3"CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
SISTER LLOLMIE/POLARIS - OUT OS SPACE (3"CDR by Abgurd Stillclouds)
FUNKSTILLESENDER, KOMATOSERZUSTAND - DNA (CDR, private release)
Here is a whole bunch of releases from a Russian label called Abgurd Stillclouds, with all but one Russian artists. That non Russian is Neuntoter Der Plage, aka Ryan Oppermann. His CD 'Doors Beyond Doors' is about Oppermann's psychedelic experiences and results in lenghty quite dark and quite atmospherical pieces of music. Working with samples, chains, electronic drones, violin and voices and more some such, he depicts a dark world that some people would describe as 'Ritual Death Ambient' (file under I'd say). This is not music to perceive quite soberly, because some of the ideas are a bit too weak to standout throughout the track, but it's music that should be experienced, either with or without your own psychedelics at hand. Despite some of the more gothic undertones in this, I thought it was a most enjoyable CD.
Ad Lux Tenebrae are from the Ural and it's most likely a real band. Using harp, acoustic and bass guitars, vocals and field recordings from woods surrounding the hut where all of this was recorded. Using a bit of echo and some reverb unit, there is actually more playing that processing on this CD, but it is still neatly dark and atmospheric. Spooky but real music, this has a more cinematographic character with it's sparse acoustic guitars, children playing and bird calls. Also quite dark drone and a bit ritualisk.
The only real CD in this lot is by Eonic and it was already recorded in 2003. This album limps on two feet: strong ambient pieces with the absence of rhythm and pieces that have rhythm and ambience. It's those pieces I have some trouble with. They appear to me very kitschy, with full on cliche's of washing synthesizers and no real angular space. The best pieces on this album are those that have no rhythm, and contain the 'real' ambient music. Nothing surprises there also, but at least it's quite alright altogether. Deep space music with a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
Ambient also but of an entirely different nature is the disc by Instant Movie Combinations from Siberia. Their ambient is entirely made in the realms of the computer of transforming static hiss into eight, slightly different tunes. Sometimes this oddly named band stays on the quiet side but in 'Crystal' they (?) go all the way out, changing the hiss into a mighty power drone that shows a powerful aquatic theme and in 'Swax' the ideas of noise are touched upon. Throughout a most coherent record.
On a smaller size comes a band called Subhuman, with their second untitled work. Another dark work, mainly built of piano sounds and occasional uplifting dark drums, along the lines of In Slaughter Natives and Deutsch Nepal. The whole thing is spiced with samples from world war documentaries, but they stay firmly in the background. A bit too symphonic for my tastes but it's ok. It isn't too politically right wing, but perhaps that's just a thought I have.
Sister Loolomie is a side project of Exit In Grey, whoever that might be, sharing a split 3" CDR with Polaris, which is another nickname from Sudanstrain. Sister Loolomie has piece of sorrowful electronics, slowly and gracious, and harks it's way through highly grainy electronics. Sounds from what could be Nasa flight control are mixed in the far away background. Great piece. Polaris operates the deep end of space sounds with a very low, deep bass rumble. Music out of the blackhole from space. It seems like nothing is moving around here, but that is just another aural illusion: below the surface there is some fine tension to be noted. This is perhaps the best release of the lot, together with the Instant Movie Combinations.
Not on Abgurd Stillclouds is a release by the also oddly named Funkstillesender, Komatöserzustand, but they take care of the distribution. Apparently this project no longer exists. As the word 'sender' (transmitter) in the band name implies, they make use of radio sounds. Not so apparent in the opening piece, but in the longer pieces that follow there is a huge layering of radio waves going on. Obscured voices, static hiss feeding through a bunch of sound effects, which creates a dense ambient hiss, but it's one that works quite well, I think. Maybe at times a bit too long, but it's a nice experience and despite the fact that it's simply made, it's also quite effective. (FdW)
Address: http://abgurd.stillclouds.com

CLAUDIA - WE'VE MET BEFORE, WHEN WE WERE (MP3 by Audiobulb Records)
Behind Claudia is not a girl but a boy: Justin Varis from Los Angeles. I have no idea about what else he done in his life, but 'We've Met Before, When We Were' is his debut album and even when it's in realms of computer music, and perhaps even a bit ambient and atmospheric at times, this is quite an unusual album for Audiobulb Records. It's not the usual rhythm machines and ambient textures, but sounds culled from daily life, like tooth brushing, tennis balls or sewing machines, along with some real instruments, such as piano and guitar and a bit of computer processing, make this more like an audio diary than a piece of music. Sometimes the 'experiments' are a bit too simple and the sound drops in and out, like there has been some kind of recording mistake, but no doubt this is deliberate. It's all a bit too long free form for me, with not much idea of sense or direction. Just what is the idea behind all of this, other than showing some skill with the microphone and basic computer operation. But towards the end, the final two tracks, Claudia starts to make music, to compose and that is quite nice, it's something he should do more. Perhaps next time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiobulb.com

Correction: CM von Hauswolff never released anything on Touch (see last week), but on Ash International, which of course is something different.

 

PODCAST

rss feed:
radio home listen
Experimental, electro-acoustic, headphone, and sound-based musics. Selections made by ben owen with occasional live guest.
information, archive, and playlists: <http://seasonalbk.net/radio/>http://seasonalbk.net/radio/
feed link: <feed://del.icio.us/rss/radiohomelisten/rhl%2Bsystem:media:audio>feed://del.icio.us/rss/radiohomelisten/rhl%2Bsystem:media:audio

 

 

ben owen
http://benowen.org
<http://unframedrecordings.net>http://unframedrecordings.net
http://seasonalbk.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vital Weekly is published by Frans de Waard and submitted for free to anybody with an e-mail address. If you don't wish to receive this, then let us know. Any feedback is welcome <vital@vitalweekly.net>. Forward to your allies.
Snail mail: Vital Weekly/Frans de Waard - Acaciastraat 11 - 6521 NE Nijmegen - The Netherlands
All written by Frans de Waard (FdW), The Square Root Of Sub (MP <sub@xs4all.nl>), Dolf Mulder (DM) <dolf.mulder@hetnet.nl>, Meelkop Roel (MR), Gerald
Schwartz (GS), Niels Mark Pedersen (NMP), Henry Schneider (SH), Jeff
Surak (JS), TJ Norris (TJN), Gregg Kowlaksky (GK), Craig N (CN), Boban Ristevski (BR), Maurice Woestenburg (MW), Toni Dimitrov (TD <info@fakezine.tk>), Chris Jeely (CJ), Jliat (Jliat) and others on a less regular basis.
This is copyright free publication, except where indicated, in which case permission has to be obtained from the respective author before reprinting any, or all of the desired text. The author has to be credited, and Vital Weekly has to be acknowledged at all times if any texts are used from it.
Announcements can be shortened by the editor. Please do NOT send any
attachments/jpeg's, we will trash them without viewing.
There is no point in directing us to MP3 sites, as we will not go there. Any MP3 release to be reviewed should be burned as an audio CDR and send to the address above.

the complete archive of Vital Weekly (1-494) can be found at: http://staalplaat.com/vital/