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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 610
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week 3
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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

 

ANGEL - KALMUKIA (CD by Editions Mego) *
M.B. - E.D.A. - REGOLELETTRONICHE (CD by Baskaru) *
THE STORY OF MODERN FARMING - SOMEONE NEW - (CD by D'Autres Cordes)
MATHIAS DELPLANQUE - LA PLINTHE (CD by Optical Sound) *
KAPITAL BAND 1 - PLAYING BY NUMBERS (CD by Mosz) *
MERZBOW - HIGANBANA (CD by Vivo Records) *
KK NULL - BARYO GENESIS (CD by Vivo Records) *
DE RAASKAL BOM FUKKERZ - VENNOTEN IN DE SCHADUW (CD by Toztizok)
MICO NONET - THE MARMALADE BALLOON (CD by Mico Nonet Records) *
MICO NONET - MALOJA PASS/HAMMOCK (7" by Mico Nonet Records)
CRITIKAL - GRAPHORRHEA (CD by Kvitnu) *
KRAKEN - DRIFT (CD by Spectre Records) *
SKINCAGE - THINGS FALL APART (CD by Spectre Records)
THE [LAW-RAH] COLLECTIVE - ...AS IT IS... (double 3"CD by Spectre Records)
ASMUS TIETCHENS - TEILS TEILS (LP by Swill Radio)
FEAR FALLS BURNING - FIRST BY A WHISPER, THEN BY A STORM (LP by Tonefloat)
FEAR FALLS BURNING - WHEN MYSTERY PREVADES WELL, THE PROMISE SETS FIRE (LP by Tone Float)
STAPLERFAHRER - TREETOPS (LP by Heilskabaal Records)
KASPER VAN HOEK - NP3 (businesscard CDR, private)
LOGOPLASM & PUNCK - DRUNK UPON THY HOLY MOUNTAIN (CDR by Setola Di Maiale Records) *
Z-ARC - ACCUMULATIVE EFFECT (CDR by Boltfish Recordings) *
KIRAMEKI (CDR by Bearsuit Records)
SPIT - LITTLE KING ANNUAL (CDR by CLaudia) *
PLAYING SOUND (3"CDR compilation by CLaudia)
HEARING MUSIC (3"CDR compilation by CLaudia)
METEK & JLIAT - PINGUU++BONDAGE (3"CDR by Jliat) *
IN THE EYE OF VISION (tape by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)
GAS SHPEHERDS (tape by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)
FRICARA PACCHU - KLEINSTEIN & CO (tape by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)
HENRY KUNTZ - SPEED OF CULTURE LIGHT (4 tapes by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)

 

 

ANGEL - KALMUKIA (CD by Editions Mego)
The word 'hobby project' is a word I don't particularly like. It sounds like something is not serious or for plain fun, without too much effort. With various releases as Angel, it's probably safe to say that Angel is no longer the hobby project of Ilpo Vaisanen (from Pan Sonic), Dirk Dresselhaus (Schneider TM) and since their last CD also Hildur Gudnadottir (Lost In Hildurness, she also plays on the latest Pan Sonic release) - it's as much a real thing as their 'main' occupations. Four lengthy cuts here of guitar, cello and loads of electronics - loads as in many, but they are not used all the time and to the same extent. The pieces are rather empty, like a dessert can be empty, yet full of sand, if you look at the detail. 'Kalmukia' seems like a concept album, with the four pieces linked together. It moves away from the previous, much louder and fuller releases. More is less it seems. The empty music is not always bright, or rather: hardly bright. This is not black but grey music - an area in between the sun doing down, or autumn changing for winter. In between space music. The music howls about like cold wind over the tundra - perhaps a better reference than a hot dessert. Cello and guitar strum about, while the electronics shiver in the background. A bit of raw and a bit quiet. Very nice, this grey and cold winter music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

M.B. - E.D.A. - REGOLELETTRONICHE (CD by Baskaru)
Twenty years of silence is made up in a few years via an endless stream of releases from our beloved Maurizio Bianchi, also known as M.B. who teams up here with his twenty year colleague Emanuela de Angelis, who was the lead singer and guitarist of Joyce Whore Not and who founded later Mou, Lips!. Since 2004 she works solo. Like with a lot of collaborations that Bianchi undertook in recent times, it's pretty unclear how things were made, who did what. Bianchi gets credit for 'rulelectronics', loops and waves and De Angelis for drones, re-echoings and also 'rulelectronics'. 'Electronic rules for reflecting disciples' it says on the cover. The four pieces are pretty minimal affairs of shifting layers of drones of similar yet detailed differences. The whole things hums, vibrates and shakes on all sides. Ambient industrial at it's very best, steady moving, slowly changing. Very cleverly things get stretched throughout a piece, to make more space, which works best in the opening piece 'Earthly Principle'. This is a pretty strong collaborative disc, of highly unsettling ambient drone music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.baskaru.com

THE STORY OF MODERN FARMING - SOMEONE NEW - (CD by D'Autres Cordes)
This obscure french label is new to me. It is, in their own words, a "post-radiophonic, avant-jazz, electronic, pop rock label. So be it. Their small catalogue concentrates on french musicians, but with The Story of Modern Farming this is not the case. It is a duo of two young female talents.
From Denmark comes Loise Dam Eckardt Jensen,
playing alto-saxophone, xylophone a.o., Jessica Sligter is from Holland (but living and working in Oslo). We hear her on keyboards, electronics, guitar, and above all vocals. On their debut they present a collection of 10 songs, most of them built around the vocals of Sligter. Most compositions were composed, improvised together. Sligter wrote the vocals. It is obvious she listened a lot to jazz and soul vocalists, and in a way she stays close to this tradition. The difference however is that her singing is not accompanied by a swinging jazz band. In stead electronics dominate, together with the subtile saxplaying by Jensen. They create an minimalistic and ambient-like background, with, from time to time, loud eruptions produced by the free-jazz playing Jensen, or freaky playing on the keyboards. Altogether it is strange slow music, open and poetic in nature, evoking dreamy atmospheres, meditating on themes that come from daily life. 'Kenny Gsus' is the exception, and has a nice instrumental battle between the ladies. Throughout the album Sligter and Jensen give an emotional and inspired interpretation of their songs. An unusual and interesting release it is. (DM)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/dautrescordes

MATHIAS DELPLANQUE - LA PLINTHE (CD by Optical Sound)
Like many other musicians, Mathias Delplanque works under different guises to present different kinds of music. As Lena he plays dub like music, and under his own name things are more microsound. I wasn't blown away by his previous 'Le Pavillon Temoin', but this new one, 'La Plinthe' (meaning The Baseboard) is better. Although, I readily admit that the differences aren't that big. Again, Delplanque seems to be using various acoustic instruments (such as guitar, piano, drums etc.) but treats them to such an extent that that can be no longer traced back to the original source, so I must admit I am guessing here. It's a bit hard to say why I like this album better than the previous. Maybe it's because there are lesser attempts to create small melodies and overall it seems that album is more abstract, working more along the lines of say Richard Chartier or Roel Meelkop. The pieces are more worked out, and have tension throughout, which grabs the listener more than before. Throughout 'La Plinthe' is a pretty strong album. Maybe not in its genre per se, but quite a leap forward. (FdW)
Address: http://www.optical-sound.com

KAPITAL BAND 1 - PLAYING BY NUMBERS (CD by Mosz)
It's been a while since we heard first about Kapital Band 1 (Vital Weekly 404), but no doubt Micolas Bussmann and Martin Brandlmayr have not been lazy in the past five years. There seems to have a second album, which I missed out upon. On this new album, the two extend beyond their usual instruments (bass and drum) and add cello, guitar, vibraphone, marimba, voice and flute, all but the latter played by them. Their background in other bands, such as Beige Oscillator, Ich Schwitze Nie, Radian and Trapist can be heard in their playing. The partly improvised music has, certainly in the title track, a strong jazzy feel to it, mainly through the use of drums and the cello. The long 'Playing The Night In Vienna' is based on a street recording to which they add sparse instrumentation, but which give a very nice environmental nocturnal feel to it. That feel is continued 'Counting The Waves' which has more 'musical' information, including a voice reciting the title. Highly comfortable, easy music, with strong melodic music that works best sipping a glass of red wine in the evening. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mosz.org

MERZBOW - HIGANBANA (CD by Vivo Records)
KK NULL - BARYO GENESIS (CD by Vivo Records)
One undisputed king of noise, and one that could be king if there wasn't one already. Merzbow, the unstoppable, is the undisputed king of noise. This is release number 'I long forgot' and harks back to so many of his recent computerized noise releases. Playing 'noise, computer and EMS synthi A' this is all known territory. At times it seems like there is no progress in Merzbow's sound, and this one is one of those 'more of the same'. Its great of course, and I really like it. I have been collecting Merzbow for twenty years until a few years ago, when I found myself playing a lot of them only once, which I believe should not be the point of collection music. Collecting music by a certain artist means you have to play it. If you can't find the time anymore to hear things more than once, one should stop collecting. Since then I only hear new Merzbow when it lands on my doorstep and all the others are missed out upon. No problem, because since then the occasional Merzbow is much better than the one time only Merzbow. 'Higanbana' is fine disc, but a stand still. i don't believe the fans would care about that.
KK Null would have been king of noise if Merzbow wouldn't be on the throne. Ever since his work with ANP and Zeni Geva he loves to work with the raw end of music and sound, which has become increasingly more abstract and less rock based than say in his Zeni Geva days. Unlike Merzbow there is a stronger rhythmic component in his music which forms the backbone of his music. It's however not a rhythm of stomping kind, techno like or any such like, but more the repeated action of highly splintered sound fragments, which are looped. On top KK Null plays a brand of harsher noise textures of freaked out psychedelic electronics. Other than Merzbow - again - KK Null's sound is much more detailed and clearer, even in the endless stream of information that his music is. Four strong heavy blasts of noise, and the tracks are pretty long, but in order to get this music working right, it only seems natural to give it such a length. Here too we can wonder about the progress of the music, since it's certainly not Null's first CD, but with a discography that is considerable smaller than Merzbow's that is hardly a problem. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vivo.pl

DE RAASKAL BOM FUKKERZ - VENNOTEN IN DE SCHADUW (CD by Toztizok)
"Hi Frans, hey man cool that you gave me that CD. Is it because I'm 20 that you want my opinion, or because you know I like rap music? Or perhaps both? Well, these are cool dudes playing rap music with wacked out Dutch lyrics - a bit like De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, but more heavy and strange. It's not the usual shit I hear, because they sound a bit heavy on the music bit - you know a bit like that crazy junk you always play when I am around. Well, of course not as extreme, but this lot is not like the regular TMF stuff. No doubt, the people that read your thingy Vital something that you do, will like this, but if you print these words, I can keep the CD, because you have a review, right? Love - A"
Address: http://www.toztozok.nl

MICO NONET - THE MARMALADE BALLOON (CD by Mico Nonet Records)
MICO NONET - MALOJA PASS/HAMMOCK (7" by Mico Nonet Records)
Always I believed that a nonet is an ensemble of nine people, and Mico Nonet has five, so that should have been quintet? Or perhaps I am all wrong - and I didn't pay attention when my father tried to teach me classical music terms. The five musicians at work here all have day jobs with symphony orchestra's, all over the world: from Berlin, Richmond, Baltimore to Philadelphia. Only their leader, one Joshua Lee Kramer (who is a member of Matt Pond PA) is not, and he's also the only one who plays synthesizer. He describes Mico Nonet as 'ambient chamber music' and quite right it seems to me. French horn, oboe, cello and viola are the other instruments and they play quiet chamber music that you could easily define as ambient. 'The Marmalade Balloon' is their debut album with thirteen relatively short pieces that glide by like a cold winter, sun-covered day. It's cold outside, warm inside, and this music is the perfect soundtrack for such a day. Sustained tones, glissando and pianissimo with the synthesizer very much pushed to the background, producing an overall color, rather than adding sound. Highly atmospheric music that could come straight out of the Cold Blue Music catalogue. Peaceful music, without being a cliche or new age.
It's a bit unclear why they also release two tracks from the album on transparent 7" vinyl, as the charts seem far away, but played separate from the album, this proofs that a single song the music works well too. 'Maljola Pass' is a sad song while 'Hammock' is a bit more 'experimental' and free flow. Nice indeed, but as a whole I prefer the album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.micononet.com

CRITIKAL - GRAPHORRHEA (CD by Kvitnu)
The internet is a community - well, that is to say, some people like to believe that. It works for small groups but not for the big mass, all the facebook and myspace and what have you is not a community at all. You may disagree. Critikal is a group of people who may meet up every now and then, because the music of Vital Weekly is also about tourism, but not doubt they meet more in the digital area. It started out with Jeff Surak, Andrey Kiritchenko and Jonas Lindgren; the latter left and now it's also with Dmytro Fedorenko and Tobias Astrom. Each of them plays a variety of sound sources, usually ending with a laptop. Kotra's Fedorenko is the main creator of the music on 'Graphorrhea', 'transforming' the sounds supplied by the others. It would be nice to hear what those sounds were, so we could 'check' as it were what Fedorenko transformed, or perhaps even try our own hands on the material. Fedorenko created thirteen short pieces of what might be called 'laptop doodling'. As Kotra he likes things to have some volume, and for this work it's not different. Short explosions of distorted sound, with his own bass at times dominant present, this doesn't always leave a good impression. It seems to me that some of the tracks have more potential than what is offered here, and some tracks have no head or tail. They just happen, as a block of noise, for the sake of noise. That's too bad, since, as said, the full potential has not been explored here. A more balanced product could have been the result. (FdW)
Address: http://kvitnu.com

KRAKEN - DRIFT (CD by Spectre Records)
SKINCAGE - THINGS FALL APART (CD by Spectre Records)
THE [LAW-RAH] COLLECTIVE - ...AS IT IS... (double 3"CD by Spectre Records)
Releases by Belgium's Spectre label always look great - a sort of cross-over between Staalplaat and Ant-Zen, and also the music they release may be found in similar areas. Kraken is a stall artist for Spectre Records, but I don't have much further information about who, what and why. Judging by the various titles of the pieces it's more or less a concept album about fish and how their caught. Sushi is murder is one of the tracks (well, a translation of the title that is). It seems to me that this album has a highly political meaning - the advocate of vegetarian life style, and to that end they use on one hand synthesizer, sound effects and voices and on the other hand what seems to me field recordings recorded on board of ships. The end result however sounds less political - rather than a pamphlet its more a poetic rant against the inhuman action of fishing. Dark ambient is stamped all over this. Deep drone like, drenched in a lot of reverb, screaming sounds of seagulls and other underbelly underworld rumble. An unsettling work that however has more power than say Merzbow's actions for animals. Darker than dark this hörspiel.
I don't think I ever came across the music of Skincage's Jon Ray. His debut CD is from six years ago, so maybe I have forgotten about it. His music is created with 'broken or somehow manipulated selfmade instruments', which he seems to have sampled together. Music wise is a bit atonal, with nasty high end sounds, lo-fi samples, percussive elements, strange drone intersections. You guessed it: I thought this album was not very good. Despite working on it for six years, it sounds like created in a couple of days, with half ideas and not much thought to make his pieces interesting or create an overall atmosphere. It's all rather unsurprising and dull. The sort of thing which you can make yourself and better at that.
The [Law-rah] Collective did pop up in Vital Weekly before, but usually for events they organize in Utrecht. Events that deal with ambient music, and their own music is never far away. Their previous release, '1953' (also on Spectre) was a conceptual, narrative piece on the flood of the same year that hit the Netherlands. This new work, divided over two 3"CDs seems to have less of a conceptual edge to it, or at least less obvious. The first CD is has one piece called 'Water Torture' and the second has two pieces 'Heaven' and 'Hell'. Important for the The [Law-rah] Collective is the use of voices, especially female. Not singing, but reciting text, poetry or words. What they are about is not really important I think, since they are embedded strongly in the music. The music itself is created through analogue synthesizers and sound effects and have quite a strong ambient industrial character. Not 'easy' background wallpaper ambient music, but one of a more unsettling kind. Very nice. Packed in a 7" sleeve with die cut. No doubt the owner of Spectre Records has good connection to a fine printer. (FdW)
Address: http://www.spectre.be

ASMUS TIETCHENS - TEILS TEILS (LP by Swill Radio)
Now that Die Stadt is half way through re-releasing all the LPs by Asmus Tietchens on CD, which I believe is a format that fits his music much better, the anti-naturals of Swill Radio come with a new LP by him. Although it seems, we are not entirely certain here, Asmus' music works in a sort of digital environment these days, which makes it more delicate than before, this LP is crisp and clear. Still derived from his 'Menge' series, resulting in a whole bunch of CDs and some off shoot to vinyl (called 'Teilmenge'), here are three more examples, plus a piece that is called 'Ein Weiteres Leben Geht Zu Ende', which refers to a title on 'Notturno' if I'm not mistaken. 'Teilmenge 20' is on the entire first side, and has a crackle rhythm throughout, and underneath there are various blocks of sound which are moved around, softly. It's like objects being pushed around through the room and it makes a pretty unsettling atmosphere. Quite mathematical in a way, but it has great warmth. On the other side there are three tracks of which are two more pieces of 'Teilmenge', which have the same high pitched sound as we know from the other pieces, the ring modulator working over time. In the middle there is the 'Ein Weiteres Leben Geht Zu Ende' which could be a heavily treated piano piece (if it is at all linked to 'Notturno'), slow and peaceful. Excellent pressing this record, great minimal cover, fine music. What more do you want? Something special. And be sure to turn up the volume for this LP! (FdW)
Address: http://www.anti-naturals.org

FEAR FALLS BURNING - FIRST BY A WHISPER, THEN BY A STORM (LP by Tonefloat)
FEAR FALLS BURNING - WHEN MYSTERY PREVADES WELL, THE PROMISE SETS FIRE (LP by Tone Float)
March the 1st 2005 was a historical day: for the first time Fear Falls Burning is mentioned in Vital Weekly (in 463), with his first release 'First By A Whisper, Then By A Storm'. That was a self-released CD which he sold on a tour which kick started his career. Recently he found some more copies of that CD along with the very first recordings he made as Fear Falls Burning, which are now sold together. For a review of the CD go back to Vital Weekly 463, but the LP is pressed in a very limited edition. There is of course nothing amateur about these recordings, as Vidna Obmana came out of Vidna Obmana, which had be Dirk Serries' main project for twenty years, but with hindsight one can see that these are the first sketches. Things are alright, but not yet as refined as his later stuff. Dirk here tries to play in real-time longer pieces, while applying all these effects to create an interesting piece of music. This works best with the second piece on the second side with its shifting pitches. Quite one for the fans I think, but they are plenty by now.
Today, in Vital Weekly 610 it's the twenty-fourth time Fear Falls Burning is mentioned and no doubt it's mostly about new releases. So let's say twenty or so releases in three years - you could do worse. 'When Mystery Prevades Well, The Promise Sets Fire' is a beautiful gate-fold sleeve LP with two pieces, one per side. Glacier like music in which it seems that the effects have a bigger role than the guitar. It's quite hard to recognize the guitar in this music, with moves in a minimal way. More Eno)) than Sunno)) I'd say, although there is a creepy undercurrent in Fear Falls Burning's music. This record sees Dirk moving away from the signature sound from before: the endless crescendo wall of sound building up, suddenly collapsing and stays more on the ambient side of things. Maybe a bit more Vidna Obmana than Fear Falls Burning - but I'm sure that would not be his intention. Very nice! (FdW)
Address: http://www.tonefloat.com

STAPLERFAHRER - TREETOPS (LP by Heilskabaal Records)
KASPER VAN HOEK - NP3 (businesscard CDR, private)
One of Eno's 'Oblique Strategies' is 'to honor thy mistake'. I had to think of that when listening to the very first LP by Steffan de Turck's Staplerfahrer project. So far he came from the crude noise to more sophisticated microsound, but due to some mistake in mastering this LP isn't cut too well, which distorts in various places. So it has become a different record than what he had in mind, I think. What was supposed to be a record of more microsound like structures, became a more noise related item. On side A there is long 'Soundtrack to Treetops For The New Millennium' a film by Mahatma LeRoi, which has nice parts of seagulls, musicboxes and distorted low and high end passages. It's of course hard to tell how this is related to the film. On the other side there is 'Lover's Breath', which starts out in a softer tone too, but when things reach their peak it's loud and uncontrollable. I think this album displays well the possibilities of Staplerfahrer to generate music that is interesting, even given the technical problems surrounding this record and surely cries for more like this in the future, but then exactly as intended.
Labelboss Kasper van Hoek released a business card CDR, for whatever unclear reasons not on his own Heilskabaal label, but as a private thing. Three pieces which were made as part of an exhibition in NP3, where he found all the sound. Kasper's music so far has not been the most quiet, but it was never as noisy as it is here. Loud distorted, chopped to pieces, with feedback and scratching the surface. The brief character of this makes this a lovely little item. Not a second too long, or too short. (FdW)
Address: http://www.heilskabaal.net

LOGOPLASM & PUNCK - DRUNK UPON THY HOLY MOUNTAIN (CDR by Setola Di Maiale Records)
Two active members of Italy's microsound scene, each with a long discography to their names, mainly in the areas of MP3 and CDR. Logoplasm is the duo of Laura Lovreglio and Paolo Ippoliti and Punck is Adriano Zanni and the three of them love to record the field and feed it to their laptops. Here things are processed, treated, mixed and constructed into one long track, which falls apart in various distinct different sections. The drones they built something reminded me of The Hafler Trio in the early nineties, while they use extended techniques to change the field recordings: cow bells, rain, voices, sea gulls and such like. Together that makes a lot of sense and they created a most interesting piece of music, compelling and intense as well as relaxing at times. Perhaps not the most innovative things around, but surely their most refined work to date. It's about time for a real CD or real piece of vinyl. (FdW)
Address: http://www.setoladimaiale.net

Z-ARC - ACCUMULATIVE EFFECT (CDR by Boltfish Recordings)
Boltfish Recordings seems to have an endless stream of musicians that from the outside - my side that is - are interchangeable, but no doubt in the language of Boltfish are all highly unique. Z-arc is one Kris Derry, who has releases on October Man and Clickclickdrone since 2005, but before played with 'pop-rock' groups and has been DJing with a 'battered old MC303', but these days he is an advocate of 'virtual studio technology' - meaning, I think, he uses lots of software to create his music. This software imitates analogue synthesizers and rhythm machines to create that fine IDM styled music. His inspiration comes from novels by Asimov and popular science concerned with universal atomic expansion. I'm quoting the press text here, since I wouldn't have guessed by just listening to the music. That could be, as far as I'm concerned be about anything - from a science fiction movie soundtrack ('Transbeam' would be a good one for that) to travel music when crossing the Orinoco. Which means that like much of the artists, also the music they present is a bit interchangeable. I hear only minor differences between this and other artists on Boltfish. It's surely nice, entertaining and sometimes that is all that is required. Not bad at all, but also something you might forget when done with it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.boltfish.co.uk

KIRAMEKI (CDR by Bearsuit Records)
Two Japanese musicians, Harold Nono and one that goes by the symbol of _ form the duo Kirameki. I have no idea when and how this CDR will be released by Bearsuit Records, as it all seems rather sketchy, but perhaps this sketchy-ness fits the music quite well. Sketchy and vague. A bit of breakcore at times, sampled together bits of pop and bits of computer processing. It makes that this release is a bit all over the place, but somehow never in the right place. Sometimes it's alright, but it seems that they don't know what they want. Breakcore, disco, plunderphonics or macrosound? I think it would have been better to find a direction first, then create some songs and then release a work. Sometimes things do need their time. (FdW)
Address: <bearsuitrecords@hotmail.com>

SPIT - LITTLE KING ANNUAL (CDR by CLaudia)
PLAYING SOUND (3"CDR compilation by CLaudia)
HEARING MUSIC (3"CDR compilation by CLaudia)
Three new releases on CLaudia, one of New Zealand's finer CDR labels. The big one is by Spit, also known as Ryan Cockburn, who moved from Dunedin to Melbourne, where he recorded this album. Cockburn has been turntable and was a member of EYE, but for this album he picks up a wide variety of instruments. On the CLaudia website you can find detailed notes on all instruments used, which include anything from cheap toy guitars, mixers, microphones and computer. The result is, despite the use of a computer, a pretty lo-fi affair, but also a pretty varied affair. From strumming the guitar, feeding the boxes on the floor, to pieces that include drums, such as the rock like opening 'Etude Pour Un Derive'. The pieces are pretty long and one could wonder if they aren't too long at times. It could have been better if Spit would have trimmed things down a bit. But when he bumps in some variety inside a track, like in 'Cheesegrater For The Knuckles' things are pretty nice. One geographically very well defined product.
The other two releases by CLaudia are compilations. 'Playing Sound' has four pieces of each five minutes of guitar music. That is to say: music that is made with guitars but do not necessarily sound like guitars. Un Ciego, Ben Spiers, CJA & Jani Hellen and Pumice do the job well. There is the wall of noise approach by Un Ciego in a deep down mood, while with Spiers the guitar still sounds like a guitar, albeit on fire with the blues. Something similar, a guitar to be recognized, is the piece by CJA and Jani Hellen, but with a lot more effects to create a semi-psychedelic mood. Pumice's guitar is highly distorted through use of some very crude computer processing. Four approaches with four times a fine result.
The other compilation deals with field recordings and is a re-issue of four individually released business card CDRs, compiled here so 'all the better to collect their similarities and compare their differences'. It starts out with Jane Austen playing the piano in a room with sleepy animals (or so it seems), but it's not the best piece around. C. Cotrell has five short pieces (here as one piece) of field recordings and computer processing, which is quite nice. Yek-Koo also has field recordings, which he recorded "onto home-made audio loopers. Then performed and mixed live with the addition of two digital effects pedals." Automated music that works nicely in a raw but ambient music way. Mark Sadgrove has 'Supoutso No Koe', a.k.a. sport songs, recorded in the tennis court. Pretty much unprocessed, this is not exactly music to sweat by, but provides a nice ambience and some Japanese intensity. Nice compilations! (FdW)
Address: http://www.halftheory.com/claudia

METEK & JLIAT - PINGUU++BONDAGE (3"CDR by Jliat)
Our man of noise, busy with many volumes of 'Now That's What I Call Noise' teams up with the for me unknown Metek and 'the process of exchange on 3inch and 12inch vinyl', here only arrives in the form of a 3" CDR. Twelve minutes of loud and vicious noise. My brother once asked me wether I was recording the brushing of my teeth, when I was playing noise. The sound produced by Metek and Jliat sort of reminded me of brushing teeth - but then with a microphone, amplifier and a distortion box. For this release Jliat processed fourteen one minute tracks by Metek, who reprocessed this later again, while Jliat edited the whole thing. Pretty straight forward as one piece; that whole process information is a bit lost in this endless stream of noise. For the amount of musical information - twelve minutes in total - it's perhaps even not necessary to know all of this. Long enough to hold the attention, even for those who only mildly love noise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/jliat

IN THE EYE OF VISION (tape by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)
GAS SHPEHERDS (tape by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)
FRICARA PACCHU - KLEINSTEIN & CO (tape by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)
HENRY KUNTZ - SPEED OF CULTURE LIGHT (4 tapes by Dreamtime Taped Sounds)
Belgium's Dreamtime Taped Sounds loves the sort of mystery that I don't love. Of these four (!, no seven!) tapes two of them come with a printed cover that has absolutely no information on it. No artist name, no titles, no label. Why that is so great simply eludes me. In The Eye Of Vision is one of them (I got a letter saying which artist belong to which cover, and the rest is on the website), which is a 'collection of edited jams between 1/2 ZIM ZIM ZIM and 1/1 DOLPHINS INTO THE FUTURE', whoever they might be. For thirty minutes they dabble around with electronics in a sort of lo-fi manner. Perhaps lo-fi is not the right word: no fidelity can be found here. Perhaps it was fun to create this, but why share it?
Also no information whatsoever on the cover of Gas Shepherds, but again according to the website they are 'two Birmingham druids that speak their language with an odd dialect' and classified as "english autodidacts and "musique concrète" - whatever all of that may mean. Tape loops in the old meaning of the word of instruments, some feedback, and perhaps some 'concrete sounds' - that's about what I could detect through the hiss that seems to be the main instrument of this release. Better than 'In The Eye Of Vision', but also one that deserves better attention when it comes to recording and mixing. One feels the ideas buried in there, but not fully explored in the release.
More 'information' is on Fricara Pacchu's 'Kleinstein & Co'. It's recorded in Turku, Finland. One Kevin Regan is behind it, and he is a member of Avarus and Maniacs Dream and the label Lallallal - none of which ever washed upon this shore. Much better recorded, much better music - maybe that's what prompted Dreamtime Taped Sounds in spending more time on the cover? Wildly improvised music at work here. It's hard to tell wether this is the work of a band or just a crazy guy and a computer, but things rock out for sure. Space rock like, but with healthy, firm dose of noise thrown in. Very nice. This should have been on CDR - at least!
The best bit we have saved until the end. Liner notes! In Vital Weekly 579 we reviewed for the first time music by Henri Kuntz, but he has been around for a long time. That previous CD showed his interest in saxophones an wayang puppets, this new release spans his career from the last thirty years and has a lot more to tell. Kuntz is foremost an improviser, the saxophone is main instrument, but over the years he has also played violin, ethnic instruments, vocals, solo and in duo, trio or larger groups with others, such as with his band Opeye (which takes up the second tape in this box). This boxset lasts four hours and is best listened in one go, uninterrupted. The whole picture will then unfold for you. It will no doubt leave you very tired behind, certainly when listened with full attention, and this is music with lots and lots of sonic information, but fans of regular improvisation will certainly want to investigate this. If I had to choose one of the four as my favorite - they are all divided in various categories - then it'll be number four which extends from his previous reviewed CD, solo saxophone and gamelan. (FdW)
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