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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 567
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week 11
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: 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

* noted are in this week's podcast

PLEASE DON'T IGNORE READING THIS: SINCE WE ANNOUNCED WE WILL NO LONGER REVIEW MATERIAL OLDER THAN SIX MONTHS, MORE AND MORE PEOPLE SEND US OLDER MATERIAL THAN SIX MONTHS. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. WE WILL NOT REVIEW IT, BUT SELL THE MATERIAL TO A SECOND MAILORDER OUTLET. ALSO: DON'T SEND MORE THAN 3 (THREE) RELEASES AT ONCE. WE SIMPLY CAN'T HANDLE EVERYTHING ANYMORE. SAVE YOUR FRUSTATION - WELL, AND OURS.

JIM DENLEY & SCOTT SINCLAIR - GLEANINGS (CD by Split Records) *
KOMMANDO RAUMSCHIFF ZITRONE - FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE (CD by Quincunx Sound Recordings) *
KREEPA - INSIDE-A-SEKT (CD by Nonium) *
DESTRUCTO SWARMBOTS - CLEAR LIGHT (CD by Public Guilt) *
FRANK NIEHUSMANN - DAY TRACKS 3 (CD by Nur Nicht Nur) *
RELIGIOUS KNIVES - REMAINS (CD by No Fun Productions)
BURNING STAR CORE - BLOOD LIGHTNING (CD by No Fun Productions) *
MOLJEBKA PVLSE - SADALSUUD (CD by Some Place Else) *
THE SEA - THE BOATS ARE IN THE BAY (CD by Music Related)
V.A. - TRIMIX (CD + DVD by Innova)
THILGES - LA DOUBLE ABSENCE (CD by Staubgold) *
KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF - JINX (CD by Staubgold)
ORGAN EYE (CD by Staubgold)
HERPES Ö DELUXE - KIELHOLEN (CD by Hinterzimmer) *
ONE MORE GRAIN - PIGEON ENGLISH (CD by Victory Garden)
DUSA - LJUNG (LP by AKultur)
SUDDEN INFANT & CARLOS GIFFONI - OSLO OSCILLATION ORGY (LP by Entr'acte)
HARRY MERRY - FIRST CONTACT (LP by Ole Records)
AMOLVACY - HO HO KUS (LP by Blackvelvelfuckererecordings) *
CRAPPY NIGHTMAREVILLE - NEUTRON DRACULA/BLACK BEAM DUB (7' by Blackvelvelfuckererecordings)
SCANNER - MOSKAU DISKO (12" by Bine Music)
EMIL BEAULIEU/JASON LESCALLEET - ROCK 'N' ROLL/TOYS IN THE ATTIC (7" by Absurd)
SECONDS IN FORMALDEHYDE - INAUDIBLE (CDR by Verato Project) *
ROEL MEELKOP - 1(HOUR AS GOD'S GIFT GETTING STUCK IN YOUR GIZZARD) (CDR by Audiobot) *
STARVING WEIRDOS - WITH ALL THE HUES OF THE RAINBOW (CDr by Robo Records)
N.STRAHL.N - MINDSCREEN (3" CDR, private) *
MOCKINGWYRD - CRACKS IN THE VOID (3"CDR by Some Place Else)
DAS NATURHISTORISCHE MUSEUM DER KLAENGE - The End of Hip (CD-R by Das Naturhistorische Museum der Klaenge)
HARS/SIMON/VAN ALEBEEK - __Trio (3" CD-R by Postcard from Paris)
HARS/VAN ALEBEEK - Fifty/Fifty (Tape and Walkman by Fifty/Fifty)
PARALUX (DVD-R by Series Negras)

 

JIM DENLEY & SCOTT SINCLAIR - GLEANINGS (CD by Split Records)
Quicker than usual, Jim Denley returns with another duo CD, following 'Findings' with Peter Blamey (see Vital Weekly 546). Now it's the turn for one Scott Sinclair who plays guitar and objects. Both are from down under and both have a long history in improvised music, which is something that certainly can be here. The release with Blamey sounded more composed than improvised I thought, but here it's all improvised music. Although both players are aware of the techniques used these days by improvising musicians to use the instrument as an object, they only do this to a certain extent. They like to mix that particular end of improvisation with something that is more along the conventional playing of their instruments. It's hard to tell how it's divided - if that really is an interesting question, which I believe it's not. Taken face value, I'd say their interest tends a little bit more to the quiet object kind of playing, but never wanting to let go of their roots. I must say I quite enjoyed this disc, but it stayed a bit on the improvisation side too much for me, and didn't have the same quality as the previous release with Peter Blamey, but still is of an outstanding quality. (FdW)
Address: http://www.splitrec.com

KOMMANDO RAUMSCHIFF ZITRONE - FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE (CD by Quincunx Sound Recordings)
In Berlin there was the Raumschiff Zitrone, a performance space ran by Kai Fagaschinski and Christof Kurzmann, which hosted experimental and improvised music concerts. On october 26th of last year they closed their doors. But the Kommando Raumschiff Zitrone (which translates as Command Spaceship Lemon) continues. It's a duo of the organizers who first played together at the club with the same name in 2002, at the Christmas party. 'First Time...' is the first widely available CD, which was already recorded in 2004, by legendary improvised music producer Christoph Amann (I realize that I hardly mention his name, but his studio is used a lot for the recording of this kind of music). Fagaschinski plays clarinet and Kurzmann plays also clarinet (on the longest track, not on the other five), lloop (some live software thing) and devices. The cover of this release may suggest some cheesy popmusic (keep in mind the title) and certainly points deliberately in the 'wrong' direction, but it's all hardcore 'soft' improvisation. Careful and silent are the two keywords for this work. The clarinet play long sustained tones and clusters, whilst beneath the surface there is the lively activity of insect like sounds, chirping, buzzing, sometimes loaded with activity and sometimes alone humming time away. It's music to keep your full attention with, otherwise you might easily miss out on the finer subtle parts. Only then it will unfold it's full beauty. Not really a surprising new disc of improvised music, but certainly a very fine, high quality disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quincunxsoundrecordings.com

KREEPA - INSIDE-A-SEKT (CD by Nonium)
Although based in Amsterdam and London, I never came across the name Kreepa. They were founded in 2000 by John Richard (double bass, kreepback instrument, electronics) and Hilary Jeffery (trombone, electronics, insekt synth) combining their instruments with electronics. Later on they were joined by Paul Dunmall on tenor saxophone and Cesar Villavicencio on 'erazer recorder' and the quartet released some CDRs. 'Inside-a-sekt' is their debut album, recorded for Monium, the new label by Napalm Death and Scorn member Nicholas James Bullen. Seeing this list of names I too soon assumed we were dealing with an all improvised music group, but the presence of such home made devices as the kreepback instrument, tromboscillator and inseckt synth proved me right and wrong. Both ends of the spectrum are used. The 'real' instruments are played as their teachers once told them at a very young age, and that probably doesn't appeal to me very much. But embedded in the hot bed of sizzling, sparkling and bubbling electronics, makes this into a crazy and sometimes uneasy and always unlikely marriage. It also makes things highly interesting! As said, not always blown away by the free improvisation textures they come up with, but together with the electronics this is a highly fascinating journey, with many surprising jumps and cuts. The more electronic the better things get here, but throughout this is a highly surprising release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monium.org.uk

DESTRUCTO SWARMBOTS - CLEAR LIGHT (CD by Public Guilt)
On stage Destructo Swarmbots (not really a prize winner for a good name) can be up to five people, but in the studio it's just one Mike Mare from Queens, New York. The live shows are described as 'chaotic walls of white noise, improvised textures and battered instruments', but on the CD in front us none such can be heard. 'Clear Light' is 'influenced heavily by 200+ needle-dropped, out of print psyche records'. That I can see. Four pieces, of which the opening 'Banta' takes up almost half the fifty minutes. A large, dense sound cloud strolls over. Played on guitar (in various ways, but much of it through sustained and bowed sounds), bass, synthesizer and what seems to me an endless amount of sound effects. Darkly textured music, with occasionally a melody humming beneath the surface, this is very well music that works the psyche. It doesn't make the title very true, as there isn't much 'clear' light on this release. A hermetic closed field of sound, that is indeed evocative and nice, but also quite dark. Post rock going underground. Very nice, if a bit too retro at the same time. 'Mastered by James Plotkin' - go and find some of his old work and you know where Mare got his inspiration. (FdW)
Address: http://www.publicguilt.com

FRANK NIEHUSMANN - DAY TRACKS 3 (CD by Nur Nicht Nur)
Only recently we reviewed the CDs 'Day Tracks 1' and 'Day Tracks 2' by Frank Niehusmann (see Vital Weekly 510 and 523), and here is 'Day Tracks 3', the final episode. Maybe there will be 'Night Tracks', with more peaceful music? Not that Niehusmann plays loud music. His work is about a piece of software which he built himself, and which allows him to sample sounds and play around with them. Again, like before, we get twenty pieces of his 'direct to tape' playing of electro-acoustic music and much of what I had to say about the first two releases, I can state here: It's a bit too much for me. In the end it's hard to see the difference between the various pieces and the trick is known after say ten tracks. It's worthwhile to select your own ten favorites and put them on your player, as it's hard to imagine anyone sitting through this in one go altogether. But there are certainly quite nice pieces to be detected around here. Look and you'll find. (FdW)
Address: http://www.niehusmann.org or http://www.nurnichtnur.com

RELIGIOUS KNIVES - REMAINS (CD by No Fun Productions)
BURNING STAR CORE - BLOOD LIGHTNING (CD by No Fun Productions)
So does a dream match-up between members of Double Leopards and Mouthus sound as great as it should? Yes, and then some. Mike Bernstein & Maya Miller from DL and Mouthus' Nate Nelson have combined three limited and by now sold-out releases on "Remains". For the follower of these groups this might not be so understandable, as all three releases might have been as limited as anything in the genre, but they weren't completely impossible to find, and of course we would've preferred newer material instead, but it makes sense to set them up together. It starts of with "Bind Them", which sounds like a bunch of Arabs on opium with too many krautrock records in their bin. Great drumming, a wordless voice waving in from the other side, and some nice meandering organ tones. "Electricity and Air", the second track from a No Fun 12", further develops the organ clusters as it sleepwalks around a closed off bazaar. Next up is a recent 7", where the organ gets traded in for some distorted guitar notes on the A and some drunken synth lamenting on the B. The last piece of solid space is called "The Train", and finds them as fragile as possible. Overall quite different from both motherships, this project seems to hark back a bit more to the 70s, or maybe to a different time altogether. Really rather beautiful.
C. Spencer Yeh has been recording mainly as Burning Star Core for a while now, and this is his second 2007 disc after the great LP on Ultra Eczema. It even has 2007 in the title, so I assume this album expands on the "Blood Lightning" title which he has used for tracks before. The beautifully titled "The Universe is Designed to Break your Heart" starts things off rather peacefully, a slowly creeping drone that gets joined by his signature violin playing. It gets creepier on the second track, with a deep male voice twisted around some dark moods. It's called "A Curse on the Coast", so I expect it's just that. It gets more noisy on the fourth track, but it's done in that occasional BXC melodic style that just makes your heart stop, not knowing if it's because of terror or beauty. But it doesn't seem to matter why it happens, as long as it does. Last track is a live one, and not solo material as the other ones are, but recorded with his frequent companions Robert Beatty & Trevor Tremaine (Hair Police) and Mike Shiflet. It misses the compositional focus of the studio material that went before it, but it makes up in the mania/mess that is so much part of BXC. All in all one of the better if not best BXC albums I've heard yet. (RM)
Address: http://www.nofunfest.com

MOLJEBKA PVLSE - SADALSUUD (CD by Some Place Else)
Music by Mathias Josefson, also known as Moljebka Pvlse has been reviewed in Vital Weekly, but also many have not, simply because we never get anything on Cold Meat Industry. Josefson is an active bee, currently in art academy, but also with recording and playing live. For 'Sadalsuud' (a star in the constellation of Aquarius), he got help from many friends, mainly from Sweden, providing him with sound sources. Not just 'sounds', but also guitars, piano, synthesizer, melodica, flute and voice. Being part of the Cold Meat family always gives me certain expectations, but in the case of Moljebka Pvlse I am not always proved right. Certainly Moljebka Pvlse plays a dark tune or two, and hardly allows any light in his music. In that sense true Cold Meat, but the harsher undercurrent that (used to) hoover in many of the Cold Meat releases is pretty much absent here. The music develops in slow pace, with long, if not endless sustaining sounds that are not unlike the drones of Nurse With Wound's 'Soliloque For Lilith' or some of the more louder Hafler Trio moments. Also on this new album, the influence of Irr. Apt (Ext) can be heard, mainly in the whispering of voices (which is also a Nurse With Wound thing I'd say). Dark and atmospheric, this is best described as the soundtrack to a horror movie that doesn't dwell on sudden effects, but which has an overall creepy atmosphere. Nothing surprising going on here, but very nicely made. (FdW)
Address: http://www.someplaceelse.net

THE SEA - THE BOATS ARE IN THE BAY (CD by Music Related)
Let me admit first that I never heard of The Boats, a band with members of The Remote Viewer and Hood, but they had so much material that they could fill a second CD, which should be under another name, The Sea. The rest material was never released, even when The Boats made more albums. Now this material from 2003/2004 becomes available. The difference, well apparently, lies in the fact that The Boats features mainly instrumental material and The Sea would have vocals and violin. Bernd Hamblin and Berling Yeoman are credited with 'instruments and electronics', by which the first means piano, xylophone and violin. Esker sings. The Sea play ambient pop, folktronics or whatsayamacallit. Dream ambient pop. Music that long (?) ago was heard on Morr Music, but such acts as Mum, but not so much in recent years, at least not here. There are parallel lines to be drawn with some of the counterparts from Finland and the Häpna label, but The Sea is a bit more electronically. Highly atmospherical this music, but after a while a bit of boredom leaps in. Not every track is equally great, and sometimes the music is a bit too randomly organized around a set of loosely played tunes. A smaller dose would perhaps have been nicer, but just a few of these a day, will keep melancholy alive. (FdW)
Address: http://www.musicrelated.net

V.A. - TRIMIX (CD + DVD by Innova)
As Frans remarked in these pages some weeks ago, reviewing a compilation tends to be a difficult task, as it usually forces you to keep your statements pretty general or to pick out some contributions while neglecting the rest. This compilation doesn't make a difference in that and so it leaves me writing about the concept first. The photographic work of TJ Norris, who curated this compilation, focuses on textures and structures that he finds in the uninhabited, industrial areas of big cities, like abandoned buildings or train- and shipyards. The photographs present a highly aestheticised view on these motives, abstracting them and partly combining them with 'post-minimal' painting or sculpture. A selection of TJ Norris' works, plus some installation views from his exhibitions is featured on the DVD. And while this might not be enough to decide if he is successful in "culling what he calls 'evidence' of the urban environment", as it reads in the liner notes, it is certainly nice to get an idea of what his work is up to. In the development of some of his recent work Norris collaborated with a series of international sound artists. He asked them to compose 'soundtracks' to act as basic sensory inspiration while taking photographs out in the streets. These tracks were then given to yet another set of musicians, who reworked the material. The results became an intrinsic part of TJ Norris' installations and are now collected on the compilation reviewed here. It's an impressive array of people involved, and I cannot name them all, so it's best to visit the label's website for a full list of participants.
The great strength of this compilation lies in the fact that, with minor exceptions, all the music perfectly makes sense in conjunction with Norris' visual work. It's not a relationship of mutual illustration, but it's obvious that people working in different media are interested in similar phenomena and aesthetic parameters. So, while being far from homogenous in its approach or the atmosphere it evokes, most of the music focuses on abstract textures, clearly digital in nature, often subdued and highly minimal. There are, however, also a couple of contributions dealing with guitar-drones, minimal beats, and lively cut-ups. As with every compilation, some tracks stick out, according to personal taste and interests. For me that is above all the contribution from Richard Francis, who reworks material by Humectant Interruption. I admire the LP "Technologies of Sleep" and the 7" "Two Ways" which he released several years ago under the name of Eso Steel, and I was delighted to find that, although his sound has changed and he has abandoned working with reel-to-reel-recorders in favor of a computer these days, his track presents a very convincing update of the aesthetic sensibilities that make the aforementioned releases so fascinating to me. Similar things could be said about Troum's track, in which they rework material from all the other contributions. And finally Nobukazu Takemura does a fine job with his subtly fragmentized sounds that move about gently. Although I've heard stronger material from some of the other people involved here, it is overall a fine showcase of current tendencies in the field of digital experiments with sounds and textures.
I already mentioned the DVD-part of this compilation, and it does not only contain an overview of TJ Norris' art, but also four videos with music by Beequeen, Asmus Tietchens, Scanner and Matthew Adkins. This is interesting, because these are some of the original tracks that got reworked for the audio-part of the compilation. But first of all it adds another facet to the sensibilities explored by the other contributions. Here it is the collaboration between Sue Costabile (video) and Beequeen (sound) that succeeds best, with reduced flickering patterns that dwell in a fragile state of abstraction and beautifully match Beequeen's warm and dreamy sound, while the piece by Miles Chalcraft (video) and Matthew Adkins (sound) with its mixture of breakbeats, film footage from Berlin and videogame brutalities seems all too obvious and didn't do much for me. (MSS)
Address: http://innova.mu

THILGES - LA DOUBLE ABSENCE (CD by Staubgold)
KAMMERFLIMMER KOLLEKTIEF - JINX (CD by Staubgold)
ORGAN EYE (CD by Staubgold)
It's been close to five years since we last reviewed something by Thilges 3, who are now called Thilges, simply because there are more than three members these days. Originally Thilges 3 started out as an electronic trio, playing a bunch of doepfer synthesizers, but three years ago, they suddenly came in disguise as Izdiuzc, with one Asim Al Chalabi on the Oud and Zohreh Jooya on vocals and now these two are still a member of Thilges. So the new band name didn't work, and they returned to the 'brand name' (ho ho) of Thilges. But there are more members to be welcomed such as Franz Hautzinger, Eyvind Kang and Peter Romanith. The music of Thilges doesn't sound like anything of the old Thilges 3. An oscillator sweep can be recognized, or some electronic percussion, but the main music is played on the oud, viola, trumpet and even vocals. As such this new release is closer to Izdiucz, but just in case you forgot how that sounded: it also comes close to the ethnic music, very close, but with a strange electronic twist. I am not sure what to think of this. Some of the pieces I really like, but some also sound like a cliche, well, to whatever extent my knowledge of these musics reach of course, which is not very far. I kind of liked it, but without knowing exactly why.
Two years after 'Absencen' (see Vital Weekly 461), follows 'Jinx' by Kammerflimmer Kollektief. After a long and probably tiring tour, the Kollektief is reduced to three core members, but per track they know how to attract musicians to play along, so the 'big band' approach is still there. Apparently this new album is more based on improvisation than before, but the eight pieces sound as diverse as before. Harking to minimal music, folk, jazz and rock, Kammerflimmer Kollektief seem to do all, but besides offering a diverse plate, there is still the 'usual' melancholiac touch to these pieces. Perhaps it has to do with the instruments such as harmonium, double bass, cello, piano, lap steel or the wurlitzer, but there overall undercurrent is melancholy. The best piece is 'Palimpsest', the opening piece, which sounds like a mellow post rock piece with lovely sustained sounds. Like before, I like Kammerflimmer Kollektief to a certain extent, but not too much and not too often.
OK so David Maranha is back. After Osso Exotico's collaboration with Verre Enharmoniques (see Vital Weekly 557), and a re-issue of 'Piano Suspenso', he now pops up as Organ Eye, together with Patracia Machas and Jasmine Guffond and Torben Tilly, otherwise known as Mimit. In February both Maranha and Mimit played at ZDB in Lisbon and later Machas came along and in between March and December 2006 they made the two pieces that form the self-titled debut album. Maranha plays hammond organ, violin, Guffond electronics, Machas harmonium, bass drum and bowed piano and Tilly electronics. If one is a bit acquainted with both Osso Exotico and Mimit, it would be no surprise that drones play an important role here, but it's quite violent ones. More say Tony Conrad & John Cale than Mirror or Monos. Highly improvised it seems to me, with lots of small strange sounds shivering below the surface: the electro-acoustic component of this music. The meeting of the acoustic instruments by the Portuguese, versus the electro-acoustic, loop based Australians. It's quite a tour de force this one. Loud, but not too much noise, present and clear, rather than lulling the listener into sleep. Very intense music and perhaps for all four involved a break with what they have been doing so far. For me the best of the these three. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

HERPES Ö DELUXE - KIELHOLEN (CD by Hinterzimmer)
It's been quite a while since we reviewed the first CD by Herpes Ö Deluxe ('Havarie' in Vital Weekly 369), which by itself was strange to see. The band has been active for more than 10 years at the time, but it took ages to get around releasing anything. Plus then: nothing. Until now. 'Kielholen', released on a new Swiss label called 'Hinterzimmer', is their second release. Herpes Ö Deluxe is a four piece group playing analogue synthesizers, tape-loops, turntables and voices. Normally their pieces are 'structured sound monuments' that easily last thirty to fifty minutes. Perhaps that's the reason why they don't release much. Reto Mäder, also known as RM74, proposed to make a selection of the best excerpts from these compositions and in the process of post production he added some material of his own. It's of course unclear now how an entire sound monument sounds from Herpes Ö Deluxe, but the six excerpts are much along the lines of their first CD. Ambient industrial music. Music that is not harsh, but also unsettling enough to avoid the ambient tag. Music that develops slowly, but builds in tension through the evolution of a piece. Slow rhythms, the mumbling of voices (is that Willem de Ridder in the first piece), small melodies swirl around. These are the ingredients that Herpes Ö Deluxe work with and they do an absolute fine job, if not a bit retro. Again, like before, the name Illusion Of Safety came to mind, especially their late 80s/early 90s period, but also more musique concrete projects such as early THU20 and P.Children. But then I thought: probably not many people remember that, so let them check out Herpes Ö Deluxe for some finer harsher cross-over of musique concrete and industrial music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hinterzimmer-records.com

ONE MORE GRAIN - PIGEON ENGLISH (CD by Victory Garden)
After the checking the mailer twice, I knew that Victory Garden has no clue about Vital Weekly as there is nothing experimental (in the widest sense of the word) about the album by One More Grain. They play rock music with jazz influences, the dreaded p-rock word comes to mind. And oh they have a singer. I don't understand why all seven tracks sound alike, not just from the instruments used, but also the singing and the way it all sounds. I do like something odd every now and then, but this is just something that doesn't fit in anywhere, not even the 'out of the ordinary, but still dig it' section. (FdW)
Address: http://www.victorygadenrecords.co.uk

DUSA - LJUNG (LP by AKultur)
Much of the website from Akultur, who released this LP by Dusa is in Swedish, a language which I haven't mastered yet. Also the myspace page is not very clear, other than a strange selection of influences, such as Andrej Tarkovskij, Deutsch Nepal but also Wordsound and DJ Shadow. If you play the record, then things fall in place, I think. The found sound work of DJ Shadow, desolate sound scapes like a Tarkowvskij movie and the spacious music of a more Deutsch Nepal. Folk like electronics, like some of the music on Häpna (also Swedish, perhaps no surprise), but dwelling more on field recordings than say Tape. Going outside, the empty land in Sweden and recording the atmosphere, rather than a particular sound event. A bird flies over, but it was intended in capturing that particular sound. Then the radio comes in and leaves without a trace almost instantly. The guitar tinkles away, and there is a violin somewhere. Highly unfocussed this music, but that is surely not its aim. That might be to create a dense, atmospheric sound that oddly enough is also empty at the same time. Whereas the Norwegians have their noise, it seems like the Swedish have their folk tronics. Dusa is a rather fine example thereof. (FdW)
Address: shttp://akultur.org/aka/produktion/label/

SUDDEN INFANT & CARLOS GIFFONI - OSLO OSCILLATION ORGY (LP by Entr'acte)
Two masters of noise team up. The old master from Switzerland is Joke Lanz, also known as Sudden Infant since about twenty years and Carlos Giffoni from Venezuala but since some time in New York. They met four or five years ago and have played together a number of times. The record now released by Entr'acte was recorded in last two years in London and New York. For some reason I expected the full forty minute noise blast, but not so. Of course this record is not the softest discussed this week, but it turned out to be one interesting slab of sound collating through skipping vinyl, looping of sounds (which could be from reel to reel recorders) and manipulations through computers. Occasionally these things explode into noise, but throughout everything sounded more through out than I anticipated. After the recent release by Sudden Infant on Absurd which I didn't enjoy very well, this is a real blow in the face. Intelligent noise, well crafted. (FdW)
Address: http://www.entracte.co.uk

HARRY MERRY - FIRST CONTACT (LP by Ole Records)
Yes, well, sooooooo there is a bonus 7" with the first 200 copies of this LP! The question is really if anyone would want more of Harry Merry's music after an entire LP. The disc is full till the hilt with this unique blend of Harry Merry's absurdly ridiculous music. Don't be fooled by these mere words though, it's meant in a sort of positive way, maybe. Who knows really? Some say Harry Merry is the dutch Felix Kubin, some say he's Captain Beefheart reincarnated without the band. All we know is he's probably the most deranged dutch musician alive now. His quality is basically to create intricate melodies and then playing them so totally over the top on cheap keyboards that he ruins pretty much all of it. Add to this his not very nice vocals and the result is simple: you will love this or you'll hate it. Now that is a quality if you ask me! To compare Harry any further would do injustice to this seemingly completely autistic entity, so I'll leave it at this. Fucked up keyboard pop by a dutch guy who seems to be on his own planet all the time. You'll love it or you won't.
Address: http://www.ole-records.nl/

AMOLVACY - HO HO KUS (LP by Blackvelvelfuckererecordings)
CRAPPY NIGHTMAREVILLE - NEUTRON DRACULA/BLACK BEAM DUB (7' by Blackvelvelfuckererecordings)
Probably I confessed this before, but I was a big fan of UK punk outfit Crass. Some the former members of Crass play improvised music these days, which I never heard. But Crass playing improvised music, is what came to mind when playing Amolvacy, a trio of vocalist Sheila Donovan, and Aaron Moore (of Volcano The Bear) and Dave Nuss (of No Neck Blues Band). The sheer aggression of Donovan reminded me of the female vocalists of Crass, but the instrumental part is way more experimental and improvised than much of Crass' work. In that sense it harks back to some of the post punk from the early 80s: very free playing, with dashes of free jazz, ethnic rumbling and free rock. It's not easy to understand what the lyrics are all about, but it's surely great retro stuff.
Likewise weird is the 7" by Crappy Nightmareville from Louisville. The a-side is a lovely free gypsy tune played by Spike Jones. A joyful piece that put a big smile on this face, well perhaps because of the lovely horn section. The b-side makes up for the nightmare in their name. A totally free improvised rumble of 'everybody is free to play whatever tune or out of tune' he or she wants, with which eight people doing that is guarantee for a total blow out. Nice, though! (FdW)
Address: <blackvelvet79@hotmail.com>

SCANNER - MOSKAU DISKO (12" by Bine Music)
'Where can I sign up to get one?' was the final statement from this reviewer when listening to 'Teenage Wochen' by Scanner (see Vital Weekly 528), but the follow up to that 12" is not the full length album, but another 12". Which is fine, I can wait and please myself with another 12". 'Moskau Disko' is another uptempo electro/acid song with a great groove and vocals. The keyboards sound very 80s (or even 70s like if you take Kraftwerk in account), adding a nice retro touch to this record. And just like 'Teenage Wochen' the b-side is more atmospheric with some highly motorik arpeggio's and some great sounds popping like balloons. A colder side than the flip, but both sides are great. The full length has now four great tracks. And counting. (FdW)
Address: http://www.binemusic.de

EMIL BEAULIEU/JASON LESCALLEET - ROCK 'N' ROLL/TOYS IN THE ATTIC (7" by Absurd)
Rock n roll is here to stay? Probably it never goes away. In 2004 Rock N Roll became an old man of 50 and Emil Beaulieu and Jason Lescalleet were invited to do a celebration 7" (the format of rock n roll), but for some reasons it's released now, in 2007 (when sex pistols split up thirty years ago). The cover is inspired by 'Through The Past Darkly' by The Rolling Stones (of whom I never had a record, quite proud of that) and is octagonal shaped. The Beaulieu side shows him in a good mood: loud and dirty. No surprise he was once the king of noise, albeit self-proclaimed. On a good day is on par with Merzbow, on bad day he's the greatest conceptualist alive. Lescalleet on the other side goes to the attic and plays with his old toys. His rusty machines are never far away to capture the moment and provides us with a dark collage of musique concrete sounds. More to celebrate almost sixty years of musqiue concrete, which is coming soon. Quite a nice one, and with a true nice cover. (FdW)
Address: http://www.void.gr/absurd

SECONDS IN FORMALDEHYDE - INAUDIBLE (CDR by Verato Project)
Martin Fuhs is the man behind Seconds In Formaldehyde who plays ambient guitar drone music since about five years. His music is played on electric guitars and sometimes uses drum programming. Although more recent, there is a strong similarity with the music of Fear Falls Burning. Slowly strumming, feeding the sound through a bunch of colored sound effects to create a long sustain, and bob's your uncle. The drumcomputer, a feature not to be found in Fear Falls Burning trunk, is used on the first two tracks only, but it adds an extra flavor to the music which makes it more interesting. The final track is lengthier and sound a bit too much alike his Belgium counterpart (again: even Fuhs may play this longer than Fear Falls Burning, this is my first encounter with his music, and I believe he started to release music after september 2006), who already produced a large body of music. So: it's certainly nice what he does, and done in a really good way, but at the same time, also a bit too much of a copy. (FdW)
Address: http://www.verato-project.de

ROEL MEELKOP - 1(HOUR AS GOD'S GIFT GETTING STUCK IN YOUR GIZZARD) (CDR by Audiobot)
STARVING WEIRDOS - WITH ALL THE HUES OF THE RAINBOW (CDr by Robo Records)
The signified is never revealed (This is the great myth of the enlightenment - the hunting of the Snark) it always escapes, "Writing is read, and "in the last analysis" does not give rise to a hermeneutic deciphering, to the decoding of a meaning or truth." Starving Weirdos (unfortunately) still appear to be located in the great meta narrative of experimentation, an attempt at truth, located within the framework of late modernism - which of course is 'improv'. Their 'music' is good at what it attempts, a transcendental signified, as far as we realize the program ended awhile ago - improv aimed at pushing envelopes, had structure, meaning direction... Roel Meelkop demonstrates the failure of all such programs, meta narratives... mythologies in an hour of noise originally broadcast on resonance FM. Not that noise is not music, not signification, as a denial noise would engage in a dialectic with music, and those who think it might reveal in such a dialectic a new synthesis are mistaken. (Roel Meelkop's) Noise is not empty of music or feeling, but is full, a plenum - so cant expand, progress... oppose, it has captured all meaning, all possible signification, an endless signification where food can be fashion, can be art, Noise a priori supersizes everything. (jliat)
Address: http://www.freaksendfuture.com

N.STRAHL.N - MINDSCREEN (3" CDR, private)
Behind N.Strahl.N is Mario Loehr of whom we reviewed 'Eingang', his debut release, in Vital Weekly 534. The field recordings here consist of sounds of old TV and computer screens among others, but everything is heavily processed. It seems less noise related than his previous release, and also the absence of other electronic devices, such as synthesizers. Hissy, scratchy but also drone related. That is what springs to mind with this release. Rusty sounds of the dying screen, still as desolate as the previous release, but in a more ambient territory. Quite a gentle step forward from the previous release too, I'd say. Sparsely limited to 32 copies, which is perhaps a bit sad. Time to pick up upon and do a real release for a real CDR label. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nstrahln.blogspot.com

MOCKINGWYRD - CRACKS IN THE VOID (3"CDR by Some Place Else)
Some Place Else try to produce a smoke screen around Mockingwyrd, supposedly not knowing who it is. Yeah right. That tactic doesn't work anymore. Let me safely guess it's just labelboss Niko Skorpio playing bass and sound effects. Two long tracks of deep bass howl that go straight in the darker chambers of your brain. Highly atmospheric, despite the fact that it's all improvised. The effects seem to be there to make some spacious sounds, which succeed rather well. It's not the greatest of releases, but it's all pretty decent, at least for the twenty minutes this lasts, which seems to be enough for me. And the whole mystery: well, if one gets a kick out of that, well, fine. (FdW)
Address: http://www.someplaceelse.net

DAS NATURHISTORISCHE MUSEUM DER KLAENGE - The End of Hip (CD-R by Das Naturhistorische Museum der Klaenge)
HARS/SIMON/VAN ALEBEEK - __Trio (3" CD-R by Postcard from Paris)
HARS/VAN ALEBEEK - Fifty/Fifty (Tape and Walkman by Fifty/Fifty)
Das Naturhistorische Museum der Klaenge, which translates as Natural History Museum of Sound, was originally set up by Rinus van Alebeek, Zan Hoffman and Tim Ruth, with one release on ZH27 back in 2001. At times the museum's 'curators' invite friends to join them, and the recordings on the CD-R reviewed here result from Rinus van Alebeek (the curator for Europe) collaborating with Tibor Macek on site-specific works in Calabria, Tuscany and Berlin. The name of the group clearly hints towards their interest in field recordings and you might expect some sort of an archive of untreated field recordings here, presented in a matter-of-factly way, but this is not the case. Despite the name, Macek and van Alebeek feel free to manipulate their field recordings (albeit never beyond recognition) and combine them with other sources. So everyday sounds like steps on the ground, running water or passing cars mingle with radio-hiss, found or plundered sounds and some electronic noises. Voices of all sorts, both sampled and recorded out in the streets, play a great role throughout and often give the whole a bizarre twist. Old Dictaphones, tapes and analog effects are Rinus van Alebeek's preferred equipment, and this can be heard in all the hum and lo-fi noises that are present in most of the tracks. And, although it might seem an odd combination, his sounds work quite well with the digital and markedly clearer counterparts coming from Tibor Macek. There are some less interesting moments here and there, especially when it comes to the use of artificial reverb. These moments are spare, however, and on the first track, for example, the reverb is indeed used quite effectively in conjunction with the voice.
The second release reviewed here finds Rinus van Alebeek, again on Dictaphone, improvising live with HarS (Harold Schellinx) on Dictaphone, and Philippe Simon on violin, at La Miroiterie in Paris in December 2006. This is a total lo-fi affair, a 16-minute buzz of frenetic violin playing, found voice sounds, crude tape manipulations and bizarre rumblings. And, yes, it's great. Sure, the energy this must have had live is not captured, since the sound quality is pretty mediocre. However, this intensifies the lo-fi-character of the music even more and thus, rather than being a poor reproduction, it adds up to the existing. Right from the start they go at full volume, with snippets and washes of sound swirling in and out of the mix - or maybe rather mud. Schellinx's and van Alebeek's approach to working with tapes is not so much about radical abstraction, as for example Howard Stelzer's, but they are rather using their Dictaphones as playback devices with possibilities for spontaneously manipulating the sound, while the focus is on exploiting the inherent technical limitations to transform and obscure whatever sound finds is way on the tapes. So, as said, in combination with Simon's straightforward violin-scraping and blurred even further by the recording quality, this makes up for a great piece of lo-fi drone noise.
Both Schellinx and van Alebeek turned fifty last December, and on this occasion they played a short concert together, which is now released on tape, in, of course, an edition of fifty. Music-wise this goes in the same direction as the trio recording reviewed above. Voices, singing and talking, found and plundered, play an even greater role, mixed with field recordings, rudimentary electronic noises and snippets of popular music (which I, as usual, cannot identify, although they sound so very familiar) and again obscured and melted together by the overall lo-fi sound. It's nice, albeit without Simon's violin it somehow lacks the upfront energy that was so fascinating about the recording reviewed above. However, this release is not only a tape, but each of the tapes comes with a functioning walkman cassette player (either found or bought second hand at garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, etc.), and everything is packed in nice, individually decorated boxes. As a concept this is really great. It pushes the lo-fi aspect of the whole affair to the limit, with the inbuilt speakers of the walkmans transforming the sounds even further (at least that's how I imagine it, I only got a CD-R and played it back over the inbuilt speakers of my notebook) and combining it with the poetics of cheap disposable electronics and thrift store finds. (MSS)
Address: http://www.zeromoon.com/rinus
http://www.harsmedia.com/SoundBlog/fifty_fifty.html

 

PARALUX (DVD-R by Series Negras)
The first release by Paralux, an 'one woman visual band' with the DVD-R as her first release, containing two short films with soundtracks. The music is dark but in 'Lux-ed' there is a very nice, desolate trumpet that almost sound like 'The Last Post', against a wall of dark humming synthesizers. Visually it is a bit of an assembly of pictures that don't seem to make much sense. In 'La Laguna' the sea plays an important role, both in the visuals as well as in the music. It seems that what was filmed was also taped and only slightly processed. Wind blows straight into the microphone. I must admit I liked the music from the first film and the images of the second. Both mastered the excitement of ambient music, but in both pieces there is also something lacking. Nevertheless it's a most promising start. (FdW)
Address: http://www.seriesnegras.orgs

 

 

 

correction: On the CD by Keichiro Shibuya reviewed last week, no Max/Msp was used, but computer programs by mister Ikegami, written in C Language and no field recordings were used.
The correct website for Balloon And Needle (see Vital Weekly 565): http://www.balloonnneedle.com/releasesen.html