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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 609
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week 2
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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

there are some problems with the feed, so go here to get the podcast: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html

 

* noted are in this week's podcast


PUPKULIES & REBECCA - BEYOND THE CAGE (CD by Normoton)
VAIMOUS - BOX (CD by Empop) *
LITTLE WINGS - MAGIC WAND (CD by Ahornfelder) *
TAUNUS - HARRIET (CD by Ahornfelder) *
ROEL MEELKOP & GIUSEPPE IELASI & HOWARD STELZER & FRANS DE WAARD - ZONDAG (CD by Port) *
DEADSET - KEYS OPEN DOORS (CD by Front Room Recordings)
BARDOSENETICCUBE + NOISES OF RUSSIA - NEW ORTHODOX LINE (CD by Some Place Else) *
GELSOMINA + NO XIVIC - FURNACE (CD by Some Place Else)
SON OF GUNNAR, TON OF SHEL - SAME (CD by Edgetone Records)
A BAD DIANA - THE LIGHTS ARE ON BUT NO-ONE'S HOME (CD by Jnana Records) *
FREIDA ABTAN - SUBTLE MOVEMENTS (CD by Jnana Records) *
KEVIN PARKS & JOE FOSTER - IPSI SIBI SOMNIA FINGUNT (CD, private)
MOE! STAIANO'S MOE!KESTRA! - TWO ROOMS OF URANIUM INSIDE 83 MARKERS: CONDUCTED IMPROVISATION VOL II (CD by Edgetone Records)
IGOR OGOGO - SOLO VIEW (CD by III Records) *
LATITUDE/LONGITUDE - SOLAR FILTERS/MOTHER EVENING (7" by Free103point9)
RADIO RUIDO - FALSE ROSETTA (double 7" by Free103point9)
JOE FRAWLEY - THE HYPNOTIST (CDR, private) *
JLIAT - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL NOISE VOL 10 (CDR by Jliat) *
JEFF GBUREK - RED ROSE FOR THE SINKING SHIP (CDR by Triple Bath) *
MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON - MASS WASTING (2 X CDR by Primecuts Recordings) *
MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON - ID CONTROL (Cassette by deep fried tapes)
RAFAEL FLORES & MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON - EL SONORE DE LA PELICULA DEFETO (2x3inch CDr by Phase!Records)
MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON MARC ZAJACK BRIAN OSBORNE- MIXED CASSETTE (cassette by Heat Retention Records)
DAG ROSENQVIST & RUTGER ZUYDERVELT - FEBERDRÖM (3"CDR by Odradek)
IF, BWANA - THE GHOST OF REALITY (3"CDR by Odradek)
HOWARD STELZER/FRANS DE WAARD - TORN TONGUE VOL. 1 (business card CD-R by Moll)
PETER DUIMELINKS - REVISIE (HEROVERWOGEN) (3" CD-R by Moll) *
THE FORTIETH DAY - PELUSIUM: 540 AD (Cassette by Cipher Productions )
ELEKTRIK UNDERGROUND 20YM (MP3 by Motok)

 

PUPKULIES & REBECCA - BEYOND THE CAGE (CD by Normoton)
The second album 'Beyond The Cage' by the duo Pupkulies & Rebecca, which is consisting of Janosch Blaul and Rebecca Gropp, is one of those cases when the songwriting approach and execution of the music and the songs crossovers with some of the styles from the electronic dance scenes, musical styles like house, techno or electro, forming a kind of music that can be filed under: indietronica. All 11 songs on the album are very carefully performed and produced by the duo. Rebecca sings in English, French and German languages and her vocal performances are always seductive and catchy in the way she sings the lyrics. All of the tracks on this great album are consisting of very clever and often melancholic melodies that are efficiently developing in every track, sometimes sounding like minimal(house) music in a songwriting context and sometimes the melodies are witty, as in 'Some gin'. The music on 'Beyond The Cage', with it's sensibility, reminds of and can be related to the artists like Pulseprograming, Lali Puna and other similar indie-tronic artists. Specially interesting in the music of Pupkulies & Rebecca are the moments when the acoustic guitar sounds in the right and correct place when it's played together with some very delicate and carefully chosen techno beats in the background, creating a fusion between the guitar, the singer-songwriting vocal elements and the beats, and delivering the great music on this album, with a special intimate touch and sensibility that are attached to it. (BR)
Address: http://www.normoton.de

VAIMOUS - BOX (CD by Empop)
The man behind Vaimous is one Johan Sandsjö, who still uses software he downloaded to his 486 computer in 1998, when the Swedish government started a program of bringing PCs to their civilians. The pieces on this CD were recorded over a long period, from 2003-2006, and they were recorded to be played live. Thirteen relatively short electro pop tracks are to be found here: stomping rhythm box, fat bass and vocoder vocals. Maybe it lacks some variation here and there, but throughout it's a very pleasant listening. I was reminded of good Suction Records releases (whatever happened there?) and releases of Swedish Slowball label - which also seems very old by now. But that's doesn't mean that this sounds old or worn out, Vaimous brings quirky uptempo electro-pop punk and it's great. A small strip of sunlight on a rainy day. (FdW)
Address: http://www.empop.se

LITTLE WINGS - MAGIC WAND (CD by Ahornfelder)
TAUNUS - HARRIET (CD by Ahornfelder)
It went by me unnoticed by the releases on German's Ahornfelder were all instrumental, but with Little Wings they move away from this small tradition. Behind Little Wings is one Kyle Field of whom Ahornfelder also published a booklet in 2007. Field plays guitar, piano and sings. He can easily be called a folk singer, and perhaps that's what is the problem here and it might be entirely my problem. I am known, I hope, for not caring too much about lyrics and rather for listening to the texture the voice produces along with the music, but with music like this, which is so little music, and so much voice/text based, the vocals should be really good. But Field's slight false, nasal singing is not all spent on me. After a while it even starts to irritate me. But like said, it might all be my problem and I am dismissing something that is really good. Time will tell.
To 'proof' my point there is also the CD by Taunus, which also has vocals, although not in every track. Taunus' core are steel guitarists Jan Thoben and Jochen Briesen with several guest plays on percussion, banjo, harmonium and vibraphone when they play live. They too have a folk-like sound, but the pieces sound much more interesting, perhaps since the fact that they dwell less on vocals, and more on a wider variety of instruments. Fingerpicking guitar, soft vibraphone passages, this is rather sweet acoustic music. Partly composed and partly improvised, the music in eight tracks is a gentle and merry flow down the stream and one that fits the Ahornfelder catalogue pretty well. Although similar, superficially, similar to Little Wings, a much more mature and complete recording this one and to these ears at least, much more interesting to hear. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ahornfelder.de

ROEL MEELKOP & GIUSEPPE IELASI & HOWARD STELZER & FRANS DE WAARD - ZONDAG (CD by Port)
The Dutch word zondag translates as Sunday in English and indeed these
improvisations were recorded in a single day, a Sunday in January 2005.
Quite in contrast with the speed of the recording, the recordings themselves
were then shelved for no less than 2,5 years before they were revised by
Roel Meelkop in June 2007. This CD, smartly packed in cardboard material as
used for cardboard boxes, lists exactly who does what on the sleeve. Meelkop
plays on Roland SH-101, Ielasi plays guitar, De Waard plays his trusty and
ancient Korg MS-20 and Stelzer does what he does best on cassettes. The CD
starts off quite promising with the beautiful track "Untitled". In fact, all
tracks are called "Untitled", which is something I have trouble with. I know
I'm something of a "title-man", but even so by calling tracks "untitled" you
make the same statement as if you had given them actual titles. I even tend
to think of this practice as a bit "artsy-fartsy" for "artsy-fartsy" sake.
But enough of me complaining, this is about the music and, as said, the
first track is beautiful. With a relaxing pace, a fragile atmosphere of
synthesetics interspersed with what sounds like guitar (much like an
instrumental track by Swedish wonderboys Sheriff) this is gripping music.
However, this relaxation ends abruptly with track 2, which is far more noisy
with nervous arpeggios and blasts of noise. All within a certain range mind
you. It's noisy, but it's never noise. Despite that, this is not my
favorite track. Track 4 has low MS-20 groans and sweeping wind effects.
Later on bells appear, which (to me) makes the Sheriff connection ever
stronger. Track 5 features cassettes played like only Stelzer can. Anyone
who's ever seen our small hero live, will know what I mean. The idea that
there is someone out there using cassettes and a cassette recorder as
instruments is something which I consider to be simply brilliant. The final
track is a remix by Evala. I'm not quite sure of what earlier track this is
a remix, but the result really fit the previous tracks. Slow, carefully
played and despite the four people involved, quite coherent in atmosphere.
Despite the noisy bits and pieces on Zondag, the sound and feel of the music
is remarkably open and even tranquil. With four personalities at the helm
there is a huge risk that egos take over and all good intentions are drowned
in a pool of muddy noise. Luckily Zondag is nothing like that. In all,
Zondag is a great listen, restrained and well-played. With not a dull moment
in sight, this album will turn any Sunday into a lovely quiet fun-day. (FK)
Address: http://www.port-label.jp

DEADSET - KEYS OPEN DOORS (CD by Front Room Recordings)
It's not easy recording a good album with electronic dance music these days, when there are a lot of good artists and labels that are releasing their music for the dance floors. With their debut 'Keys open doors' Deadset have managed to do that, to record a good album with primary dance music but also very suitable and amusing for home listening. It is not a surprise that the music by Deadset is a mixture of electro, house and techno, since the mix of those three styles is common in almost every modern dance music production today. In each of the 15 tracks on this CD some of the previously mentioned styles prevail and Deadset are usually using the electro elements in their music, to develop the melodies in their tracks. The 4/4 beats are there, the techno atmosphere is also present with the electro moments and even some experiments in few of the tracks, which remind and can be compared with the music of Modeselektor. Deadset are not afraid to experiment and that is how they achieve in creating a special touch or a twist in some of the tracks, as it's well done in 'Ape man abacus'. With an excellent production, never sounding narrowminded but with an atmosphere that is varied in the various tracks, 'Keys open doors' is sure one of the best dance albums in 2007, an album that sounds great when it's listened at home too. (BR)
Address: http://www.frontroomrecordings.com

BARDOSENETICCUBE + NOISES OF RUSSIA - NEW ORTHODOX LINE (CD by Some Place Else)
GELSOMINA + NO XIVIC - FURNACE (CD by Some Place Else)
Finnish label "Some Place Else" focuses on music of the outer limits. The label had its 10 th anniversary in 2007 and almost approaches 50 releases in its catalogue. Having reviewed a couple of their older releases some years ago in this magazine, the two latest releases definitely represent some of the more extreme expressions from the label. First album is a joint venture between two of Russia's interesting projects from the Noise-related scene. Noises Of Russia is a quartet known for its high activity of live performances plus a large number of albums and videos released. The other project is called Bardosenetticcube also being in the forefront on the Russian scene. This album titled "New orthodox line" is a strange beast even in the noise scene with the inclusion of sacral soundscapes consisting of church bells and orthodox choirs swirling in the storm of abrasive noise drones. Consisting of one lengthy track of 47 minutes the expression is impressive with a nice emotional approach to sonic aggression. Intense. The other album just released by the "Some Place Else"-label present to compatriots of Finland. No Xivic is the solo project of Finnish artist Henkka Kyllönen known for his electro-acoustic approach to dark ambient. Gelsomina is a Finnish harsh noise group. Containing three tracks, the album opens with a collaboration between the two projects: The track titled "Furnace" runs approx. 25 minutes and has much focus on guitar-based noise and expressive buzz-drones. Second track titled "Everlasting fire" demonstrates the harsh style of Gelsomina in full throttle. "This is the way youth get to know Satan and hell" the description says on the cover-sleeve and yes! - This work sound like the symphony of hell - impressive. Equally to aforementioned track, the third and final track on the album, titled "Greater suffering", wasn't made to make the listener feel comfortable during the listening process. Also belonging to the harsh expression, the track is stylishly more subdued and introvert compared to the expressively extrovert contribution by No Xivic. Towards the end the hostile noise drones are overtaken by atmospheric, almost musical drones ending up with a very beautiful finale to this particular track as well as to the album as a whole. Two great releases by Some Place Else. (NM)
Address: http://www.someplaceelse.net

SON OF GUNNAR, TON OF SHEL - SAME (CD by Edgetone Records)
For this project Aram Shelton and Steini Gunnarson mixed up their backnames to the anagram Son of Gunnar, Ton of Shel. What more did they mix up? Let's have a look. Shelton plays saxophone, bass clarinet, trumpet and processing. Steini Gunnarson concentrates on prepared guitar and processing. In may 2006 they recorded several improvisations somewhere in Oakland. What can we tell of these young musicians? Gunnarsson was born in Iceland in 1982. He studied composition with Alvin Curran, Fred Frith and Annie Gosfield at Mills College. Shelton comes from Florida, and played later in several groups when moved to Chicago. In 2005 he moved to the Bay Area to study at Mills College. So I guess this is the place where both gentlemen met. Their music largely depends on improvisation. Both share a love for extended and long improvisations. Besides prepared guitar and windinstruments both make use live sample-based processing via PD and MSP. Through these extended techniques they create streams of multilayered sounds and interesting aural environments. Very exuberant like in the second piece, but most of the time in a more sober way. In several tracks, like track 5, they come close to the minimalist music of Terry Riley in his early days. Surely they know what they are doing on this CD. They are good players and know how to handle extended techniques. But for same reason or another it didn't work for me. A bit too introspective. Also the almost lyrical style of Shelton (track 6) doesn't fit perfectly with the more repetitive style of playing by Gunnarson. On the other hand, there is enough quality on this cd to be curious to their next steps. (DM)
Address: http://www.edgetonerecords.com

A BAD DIANA - THE LIGHTS ARE ON BUT NO-ONE'S HOME (CD by Jnana Records)
FREIDA ABTAN - SUBTLE MOVEMENTS (CD by Jnana Records)
In the old(er) days of Vital Weekly, when we were wasting paper, we started a discussion about women and experimental music, and why there were so few. We never found the answer, and in twenty years things hardly improved. Still the number of males outnumber the females in these pages - sad but true. But here are two, one representing the 'old' (careful there, my boy) and the 'young'. The old, without any disrespect, is Diana Rogerson, who used to go by the name of Crystal Belle Scrodd ages ago, and then was silent for a long time returns to the scene. Maybe you recognize her voice from Nurse With Wound albums, and in her own right she may sound a bit like the nurses, but hey what can do if the man if your companion for so long. Also partying here is Matt Waldron of Irr App (ext). In all seven tracks the voice of Rogerson plays the central role. Reciting and singing her usual unusual lyrics, set against a great, warm bed of rhythm and electronics. Psychedelic, cinematic are the keywords here. It's been a while since I last heard anything by her, and hearing this made me think to unshelve some of her previous work too. A highly refined work, culminating in the almost fourteen minutes 'Chant D'Amour/Da Mort' of distant piano tones, warm drones and text.
The young generation is Freida Abtan from Montreal. Most curious enough, her feminine side is hardly shown, save for some voice treatments here and there. Much of what she does can be lumped in with acousmatic music, even when it seems - although I can't be sure - it's less computer based and more tape like. It seems - again - that she fills the multi-track recorder with lots of weird sounds that hardly make sense, until she starts to mix them. Then things fall into place, faders go up and down, and the sounds are fed through an endless line of effects, perhaps a bit too many effects at times, but she depicts crazy sound collages. Less academic than her Canadian counterparts of No-Type/Empreintes Digitalis, divided into much shorter pieces than is usual in that scene. The Nurse With Wound influence is quite apparent, with sounds bouncing in and out, swirling electronics and female voices every now and then. Quite a pleasant album, of which I could only say it's a bit too long for my taste. It lasts about an hour, and could have been twenty minutes shorter, which have had a much higher impact.
Interesting to see that the younger is the more experimental of the two, while Rogerson stays more of musical side, but she knows how to keep her things more under control and Abtan lets things run more freely. But both are great, no matter of generation, gender or differences. (FdW)
Address: http://www.jnanarecords.com

KEVIN PARKS & JOE FOSTER - IPSI SIBI SOMNIA FINGUNT (CD, private)
These boys have guts. A nice package, a pro-pressed CD, but besides their names, a title for the release, the year and track titles, no other information. No label, no website. The note said 'improvisations from Seoul', but that's it. Quite odd. Perhaps they don't want to sell it? I can't see why that should be. It's a bit hard to tell what sources Kevin Parks and Joe Foster up (down?) in Seoul are using. At times I thought they were dueling guitars and electronics, like reverb and echo units, but then there might also be some computer involvement. Or perhaps not. Things work best when they keep their material under control. That is when things are carefully played, feedback kept under control, blowing balloons and let the sustain run out beyond it's decay. When not, and those moments are also present here, things explode in a loud and vicious manner. This is more towards the end of the CD than at the quite strong first two tracks. With considerable lengths, this is a bit overlong and the editing tool could have been used more. However if one could play just the first two pieces and the softer opening of the third, then one has a great CD. Switch it off when things get out of control. (FdW)
Address: none given

MOE! STAIANO'S MOE!KESTRA! - TWO ROOMS OF URANIUM INSIDE 83 MARKERS: CONDUCTED IMPROVISATION VOL II (CD by Edgetone Records)
Originally Moe! Staiano worked as a percussionist and played in bands like Vacuum Tree Head and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. Later he concentrated on conducted improvisation using graphic scores for very extended ensembles (25-50 persons). He titled this project as 'Moe!kestra!'. First results were released on Edgetone in 2003: 'Two Forms of Multitudes', containing 'Conducted Improvisation Piece 5 and 4'. With his new CD Moe! Staiano releases two other examples of his conducted improvisation (nr. 6 and nr.11), both recorded in 2003 at the Oakland Box Theater. 'Improvisation nr.6' is played by 9 players on strings, voice and percussion. 'Nr. 11' by 32 players and uses also windinstruments, and a diversity of percussion instruments. Some of the players have familiar names like Myles Boisen (guitar) and Carla Kihlstedt (voice), but most of of them are unknown musicians from the Bay Area.
For 'Conducted Improvisation nr 11', the orchestra was split in two, both playing in separated, though connected rooms. Staiano conducted both orchestra's simultaneously. On the cd it sounds as one whole, although the mixing makes it possible to identify both groups. But being part of the audience walking from one room to another it must have been altogether a completely different experience. The improvisations don't excel in virtuosity. That is not what they are about. The music sounds heavy and rude, and it is far more close to rock and punk music then to the esthetics of jazz. It is evident that Staiano loves a big and loud sound, using groups of instruments playing the same patterns, gradually working to chaotic climaxes. This brings the work of Glenn Branca to the mind if you need a comparison. But the music of Staiano stands on its own big feet of dinosaur proportions. A challenging and successful work. (DM)
Address: http://www.edgetonerecords.com/

IGOR OGOGO - SOLO VIEW (CD by III Records)
The Igor in the Igor Ogogo is one Igor Grigoriev who was born in 1950 in Moscow, but who moved to the Los Angeles in the 1990s and became part of groups as Roof, Asphalt and Ogogo. Igor plays the guitar, and these days teaches this instrument, along with music history, jazz history, ensembles and improvisation. On his album 'Solo View' he offers us eight pieces of what is called 'avant-garde jazz', which prompted me to think of forwarding it to our regular improvisation/jazz reviewer, but I suspect he would not like the somewhat noise based excursions of Igor. Not that it could bother our noise reviewer either, now I come to think of it. The eight pieces by Igor are all over the guitar, feeding through a line of delay and distortion pedals, playing jazz motifs against a small, thin wall of noise. To be honest, none of the eight tracks could bother me that much. Wether he is playing solo guitar, adding a rhythm machine or put his fists on organ, it all left me quite cold. Maybe fans of more regular loud improvisation, softer improvised noise may find this of interest, but I pass this on. (FdW)
Address: http://iiirecords.com

LATITUDE/LONGITUDE - SOLAR FILTERS/MOTHER EVENING (7" by Free103point9)
RADIO RUIDO - FALSE ROSETTA (double 7" by Free103point9)
Audio Dispatch is a series of releases by the ever so active Free103point9, a radio station, concert space and who knows what else - a label also! In this series they release work by people who played there, or who were asked to record something specially for them. Latitude/Longitude is a duo of Micheal Garofalo and Patrick McCarthy, which are announced as an 'electro-acoustic duo', since they use 'test oscillators, homemade cassette tape and field recordings, radio transmissions, toy electronics as well as traditional instruments as guitar, banjo, mbira and vocals'. I may have expected something else than this, but these two pieces are gorgeous alternative pop songs. The 'day-side' has 'Solar Filters', a piece for drum loop, banjo, melodica and voice. There is something country & western like about it, or a workman like song, of simple beauty. 'Mother Evening', on the other side, is a more mellow song, based around a simple one-stomp loop and sorrowful voice in a bed of pedalsteel and perhaps some electronics. Both pieces cry for more. A sort of alternative pop 7" that I cherish since the early 80s. One long tradition here.
Radio Ruido is a project by Tom Mulligan and he deals with number stations. In case you forgot about those since the excellent 'Conet Project', number stations are shortwave radio signals that consist of number reading, words, tunes, morse code and are perhaps perhaps used by secret agents all over the world. Dial on your radio to the far end and look for it yourself. It can provide some excellent source material to create music. Mulligan creates four pieces out of what he found on the waves. It's of course pretty experimental and dark this music, but what else can you expect? It tends towards the noise side of things, but it never goes over the top. Perhaps that is a bit of a problem, I thought. It stays all a bit too much on the safe side of things. No menace, no treat, no harm. Nice, but perhaps a bit too normal. (FdW)
Address: http://www.free103point9.org

JOE FRAWLEY - THE HYPNOTIST (CDR, private)
The third release by Joe Frawley, following 'Tangerine' (Vital Weekly 579) and 'Wilhelmina's Dream' (Vital Weekly 564), which both were highly appreciated in these pages. Frawley is a piano player, which comes more to light on this release I think than on his previous two releases. There are more differences to be spotted, for instance the fact that we are dealing with a story throughout the whole release: 'the central is between a visitor to an unfamiliar city and a therapist exploring the mind of a patient through hypnotic techniques'. To his end, Frawley uses various conversations, dialogues and speeches from various speakers and various situations that he stole, or perhaps speaks himself, well some of it. The piano music not unlike Ravel, Debussy, Satie or more recent Harold Budd. Very cleverly he mixes in some field recordings and classical music lifted from other sources. I have no idea why there is a 2008 remix of 'Wilhelmina's Dream', since it's recorded in 2007, and even when it's not a strange thing on this release it seems, conceptually at least a bit out of place. Otherwise I think this is another great release by Frawley, a great combination of melancholic piano music, field recording, spoken word and plunderphonic. (FdW)
Address: http://www.joefrawleymusic.info

JLIAT - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL NOISE VOL 10 (CDR by Jliat)
"Oh yes - i do. In the past whether and whatever i did i always had to push on to something new - even the drones in the end became from the point of making them less and less interesting / exciting. I remember feeling sick that this happened and envious of painters like Pollock who could continue the same kind of thing for many works over a period. But with the noise works this just hasn't happened! So i've been making these short tracks for soon a year and have recorded already up to volume 20. When time allows i want to make many more and create a virtual Mall online of downloads. Maybe an animated shopping Mall where all the shops stock jliat noise... so just as the 3.59 tracks parody the pop single i can parody the present consumerism..." (FdW)
Address: http://www.jliat.com

JEFF GBUREK - RED ROSE FOR THE SINKING SHIP (CDR by Triple Bath)
Only a few weeks ago, in Vital Weekly 600, I reviewed 'Virtiuous Circles' by Jeff Gburek on A Question Of Re-Entry, which I thought was a great work of field recordings, here he returns from his home in Berlin with another release on a Greek label and 'Red Rose For The Sinking Ship' 'informally constitutes a sonic essay about Mao Zedong's leadership of the Chinese Revolution, for fifty years until his death'. How that works exactly is not told, as Gburek loves a bit of mysticism. Triple Bath delivered some more notes about Gburek and we learn that he plays the guitar and self-constructed electronic environment to process the guitar playing. He has played with many improvisers from the field of electronic and improvised music area. This new work deals with the guitar and not with field recordings. Divided in five parts, this is however one piece. In the beginning the guitar sounds like a guitar, moving delicately through various forms of electronic processing, without losing the idea of a real guitar. It ends in the very last minute by sounding like a music box and in between it has taken many shapes: loud click noise music, soft sections and in much of that the guitar is not recognized as such. Not at all. It's again a pretty fascinating journey that he takes the listener on, moving through various textures, moods and atmospheres. Despite some of the harsher textures here and there more microsound than one would expect. A great release, again, one that will reveal some of its beauty only after a repeated playing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.triplebath.gr

MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON - MASS WASTING (2 X CDR by Primecuts Recordings)
MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON - ID CONTROL (Cassette by deep fried tapes)
RAFAEL FLORES & MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON - EL SONORE DE LA PELICULA DEFETO (2x3inch CDr by Phase!Records)
MICHAEL THOMAS JACKSON MARC ZAJACK BRIAN OSBORNE- MIXED CASSETTE (cassette by Heat Retention Records)
"Art has become iconoclastic. Modern iconoclasm no longer consists in destroying images, but in manufacturing a profusion of images where there is nothing to see." So wrote Baudrillard in 'The Conspiracy of Art" - the truth of this has never for me been greater, and yet the same can - and I would say is also true for the idea of philosophy itself- and of course then this review. You might like to think about this - you might not - that is the point, that after all is Baudrillard's particular point here. Now what is this to do with music, and Michael Thomas Jackson's in particular? Well there is rather a large amount of material here and not particularly within my scope of interest at present - "Michael Thomas Jackson is a composer and multi-instrumentalist.. he has been involved in notated composition, free improvisation, electronic studio work. - employing microtones and multiphonics as fundamental elements of music-making. This spirit of experimentation." And listening to these works I can agree, I can be in total agreement, and though it is true that there is a profusion here, maybe unlimited experiments it's the fact of it maybe having content that makes me not dislike it, but reject it in the spirit of Baudrilliard's idea above. (jliat)
Address: http://www.microearth.com/jackson/
Address: http://www.deepfriedtapes.org
Address: http://www.phaseweb.tk
Address: http://www.heatretentionrecords.com

DAG ROSENQVIST & RUTGER ZUYDERVELT - FEBERDRÖM (3"CDR by Odradek)
IF, BWANA - THE GHOST OF REALITY (3"CDR by Odradek)
Exactly one year ago, in Vital Weekly 559, I reviewed 'Vintermusik', a collaboration between Dag Rosenqvist and Rutger Zuydervelt, the latter of course better known as the owner of Machinefabriek, and no doubt one of the more busier bees around the globe and fastest rising stars on the firmament. Rosenqvist is also known as Jasper TX from Sweden. Glacierlike music I wrote back then. The rest of the year was spend on recording another collaboration, no doubt through the use of the internet and the outcome is this new piece, twenty-three minute in length and working in a strict linear fashion. I have no idea who does what here, or who created the mix of it, but it's a great work. High static crackles, a mid-range bed of warm drones and a bass that rumbles somewhere below. Much along the recent works of Machinefabriek, and a sound that brought him his fame so far. Maybe there is a risk of repeating, but no doubt the fans will take that for granted. Nice one.
A bit older is the release by Al Margolis' If, Bwana project. I wasn't blown away by his last release (see Vital Weekly 602), but this one makes up things in a nice way. The two pieces here date back from 2006. 'Too Too' was made with 'computer processing, some of the source material drawn from Salvatore Linguido's CD 'Theme', it says on the cover and I think it's a trade mark If, Bwana piece. Various layers of sound move over eachother. Layers that sound similar, but not always of equal length thus creating a phase shifting pattern. A bit drone/ambient like, but more modern classical than anything noise related. In 'Imp' Margolis fiddles around with a ARP 2600 synthesizer in what seems to be a random manner, but here too he cleverly builds a whole web of sounds. From all the aleatory sounds, small patterns occur, that only start making sense over the course of the piece. More 'rhythmic' than much of his other work, but Margolis applies his techniques and it works well. Great covers on both of these releases. (FdW)
Address: http://www.odradek.net

HOWARD STELZER/FRANS DE WAARD - TORN TONGUE VOL. 1 (business card CD-R by Moll)
PETER DUIMELINKS - REVISIE (HEROVERWOGEN) (3" CD-R by Moll)
Frans de Waard seems to like business card CD-Rs, and he regularly releases some on his Moll imprint, the latest one being a collaborative work by himself and Howard Stelzer. Each of the two has one track and I guess they exchanged source material and then worked individually on their respective pieces. Stelzer is of course well known for his tape manipulation techniques, which dissolve all information originally stored on the tape into blasts of abstract noise. However, rather than the start/stop-aesthetic that I would have expected from him, his piece on this CD-R is an almost static drone. Even at just over two minutes in length it is utterly captivating because of its textural quality; it consists of a thick hissing sound, which occasional reveals some tiny acoustic details, and stays as minimal as complex throughout. Frans' track is then much more dynamic, a fragmented composition based on processed bits of what I would guess to have been burst of tape noise. It is a solid, OK piece of abstract digital noise - quality stuff, albeit not really surprising. In the context of this short release it does make perfect sense, though, and the juxtaposition of two distinct aesthetic approaches makes for a good five-minute release.
Peter Duimelinks is, as it is probably well known among the readers of Vital Weekly anyway, one third of Kapotte Muziek (with Roel Meelkop and Frans de Waard being the other two members). The track on this 3" CD-R was created in 2001 already, but back then rejected by the label it had originally been recorded for. This mode of production obviously allows for more precise accentuation than live improvisations (Kapotte Muziek's usual domain, these days). This becomes particularly obvious during the first part of Duimelinks' track in which he focuses on the quiet and delicate sounds of small objects gently rubbed and stroked, accompanied by almost imperceptible electronic pulses in the background. In contrast the gritty shortwave frequencies, which he introduces later, seem almost brute, but they work well as a kind of compositional hinge to lead over to the final, again quieter part. Duimelinks uses his material in a very sensitive way, composing with the given sounds rather than treating and processing them extensively, thus keeping close to the original aesthetic (which I can of course only extrapolate from other KM recordings I've heard, as I don't know Duimelinks' sources for this piece) while successfully translating the tension of live improvisation into a more controlled and calculated mode. It's hard to see why this wasn't released back when it was created, but it is for sure a good decision to make it available now. (MSS)
Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl/moll.html

THE FORTIETH DAY - PELUSIUM: 540 AD (Cassette by Cipher Productions )
Industrial sounds I would say - like being in the engine room of the titanic pre iceberg, are in fact the guitar/bass duo of Isidro Reyes and Mark Solotroff, though this is far from obvious and extremely processed and heavily split across the stereo field it clinks on in washes of noise in search of its iceberg. The Fortieth Day is to do with some orthodox ritual for the dead and Pelusium a city on the Nile delta, and the year 540 AD marks the outbreak of the bubonic plague in that city, and appears as one of the first historical accounts of the famous European outbreak which continued into the last century in parts of the world. Such scary events are only reduced to absurdity when one thinks of a stupid baker burning down London and so relieving the city of its rat vectors and giving Wren the opportunity to create some remarkable churches, and of course forcing Newton home to his apple orchard.. the deaths from the plague generally increased the economics of a faltering Europe and given the impact of Newton's work on subsequent industrialization makes the occult glee I surmise is hinted at here somewhat questionable. (jliat)
Address http://www.iheartnoise.com/cipherproductions/

ELEKTRIK UNDERGROUND 20YM (MP3 by Motok)
The names which you are about to read never appeared in Vital Weekly, despite our reputation as the world's oldest online source for experimental music. It's not because 'fresh' and 'young' are what these bands are about, but because they have been in hibernation for a long period. Motok is the creation of Nico Selen, erstwhile of New Bulwark Records and Tapes, then of the short lived Sun Sound Systems and from a long, almost twenty year gap in which not much happened, but as Selen was googling his name and activities he discovered his band O.R.D.U.C. and releases were still hot with lovers of early 80 electronic music. It spawned him to create new music, and dust of the machines and get proper profiles on the internet. O.R.D.U.C. is Selen's 'best' known band, but his work knows many aliases, some of which can be found here. He's responsible for all eight pieces on this release. Synthesizers play an important role in all of them, and also guitars, sound effects and such like. For each name, Selen invents a new sound, or alternation of sound direction. Cosmic Dream plays indeed cosmic music, while as Ilo Istatov it's more experimental music and the O.R.D.U.C. track even ventures into 'dance' music. Some of the pieces are old and contain a fair amount of tape hiss, but that seems to be OK to get the picture of something old. In 1993 he created a piece of music on a mac computer and as Mac Music Machine it sounds much louder (the album is volume wise a bit unbalanced). There is in some of these pieces still that naivety that is apparent in many of Selen's work, but it works out pretty well in these pieces. (FdW)
Address: http://www.motok.org/