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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 617
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week 10
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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

before submitting material please read this carefully: http://www.vitalweekly.net/fga.html Submitting material means you read this and approve of this.

* noted are in this week's podcast

 

CARLOS GIFFONI - ETERNAL NOISE (CD by Bottrop-boy)
NEW HUMANS/VITO ACCONCI/C. SPENCER YEH (CD by Semishigure) *
ANDO - HABITAT (CD by Bine Music) *
SCHLAMMPEITZIGER - SCHWINGSTELLE FUR RAUSCHABZUG (CD by Sonig) *
SOLO ANDATA/SEAWORTHY/TAYLOR DEUPREE - LIVE IN MELBOURNE (CD by 12K)
WILLIAM BASINSKI & RICHARD CHARTIER - UNTITLED (CD by Line) *
ALEX MEIN SMITH - NECESSITY'S FLAME (CD by High Tensile) *
NONOTES - MODE (CD by Motok) *
ERIK LEVANDER - KONDENS (CD by Rumraket)
ELLEN FULLMAN & MONIQUE BUZZARTE - FLUCTUATIONS (CD by Deep Listening)
PAULINE OLIVEROS & MIYA MASAOKA - ACCORDION KOTO (CD by Deep Listening)
GRACEFUL DEGRADATION: VARIATIONS (CD by Sourdine)
ASHER & UBEBOET - A MAP OF THE OCEAN (MP3 by Transparant Radiation)
FEU FOLLET - FOGBANK (CDR by Triple Bath)
NOKALYPSE/NOVOSAK (CDR by Swamp Of Pus)
EARZUMBA & MILAN SANDBELISTIFT - LAMENTAMOS INFORMAR AL UNIVERS0 (CDR by Licht-ung) *
ARSZYN - EMIGRANT (CDR by Sqrt Label) *
TOM HALL - CROSS (CDR by Hellisquarerecordings)
SPARTAK - OSTPOLITIK (CDR by Hellisquarerecordings) *
ONDO - SHIELDS (3"CDR by Tuguska) *
ELEKTRICITEIT = ONZE HOBBY - DIODENEILAND (3"CDR by Audio Office Records)
KOMMBAT/KASPER VAN HOEK - COLOGNE/GRONINGEN (CDR by Audio Office Records)
ROEL MEELKOP - REAL MASS (3"CDR by Lona Records) *
MESSIAH COMPLEX - ABOVE THE FLOODS (3inch CDr by Industrial Culture)
NANOHEX - THE BRAIN EXPERIMENT (3inch CDr by Industrial Culture)
ICHOROUS - CIRCUMSTANCES (3inch CDr by Industrial Culture) *
CHILD BRIDE/HEAD MOLT (Cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
POD BLOTZ - OBEYING SCUM.... LIVE (Cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
AUSTINNITUS AUDIO SERIES (various MP3 releases)
JAMES BREWSTER & PETER HENNING - RÖNNBLOMSGATAN RUDBECKSGATAN (MP3 by Hwem)
CHRISTOPHER MCFALL & JONATHAN BENHAM - FOR WINGS THAT SELDOM SLEEP (MP3 by Klicktrack Music) *
XEDH - EXADH (MP3 by Zeromoon)

 

 

 

CARLOS GIFFONI - ETERNAL NOISE (CD by Bottrop-boy)
NEW HUMANS/VITO ACCONCI/C. SPENCER YEH (CD by Semishigure)
For reasons that in hindsight are no longer clear I turned down the volume a bit when I started playing this new CD by Carlos Giffoni, expecting some full power noise blast. Things aren't quiet either here, but altogether it's not what I expected and I was rather pleasantly surprised. In four lengthy cuts Giffoni explores the outer limits of noise drone. Cluster like tones (not as in the band but in the musical sense) of what may be an organ, or an oscillator, or some pedals on the floor, are recorded with great power and played what seems to be eternal. Which, besides my amazement that something like this comes from the house of Giffoni, is also my problem with the CD. It's great, but each of the four pieces are a bit too long for what they have to offer for the listener.
On Bottrop-boy's art imprint Semishigure a disc from New Humans, which a duo of Howie Chen (electronics, vocals) and Mika Tajima (guitar). The latter is also a visual artist and the duo plays at her art show openings. Here two pieces that played the Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York in 2007 with C. Spencer Yeh on violin and Vito Acconci on voice. The latter the art-initiated may recognize from his famous 'Seedbed' art piece and other works involving his body and (sexual) fantasies. He recites some texts on the first piece on this CD, which I found quite hard to follow through. The musicians deliver in both pieces a whole of sound type of rock noise, or noise rock, which ever way you prefer to look at such matters. In 'Double Negative' (the piece without Acconci), there is the addition of Eric Tsai on drums, although his drumming as such is hardly to recognized. Speaking purely in terms of music, I though this was the better piece of the two, while the other one may appeal more to art-heads. Nice, but not entirely convincing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bottrop-boy.com

ANDO - HABITAT (CD by Bine Music)
Play this CD by Ando to any Taylor Deupree fan and he or she might say: yeah, so why are you playing this to me? I am pretty sure Deupree has many fans who are hardly familiar with his minimalist techno music. It's been a while, I guess, since he last worked in this area. In fact the only one from the new millennium which springs to mind are his two 12" inch records for Audio.NL. As Ando he returns to this style, and it's a taster for a forthcoming album. Four pieces here, which started life in 2004, but were completed last year, of minimalist beats and minimalist electronics. Bine Music is distributed by Kompakt, and that should give those who are keen on anything rhythmic and minimal, a clue as to what to expect here. Four straight forward slabs of of minimal techno, quite groovy - going back to the early days of his career, and which no doubt would do well on the dance floor. Which makes me wonder why Bine Music released this on a CD? Quite fun and with four pieces right on the spot. (FdW)
Address: http://www.binemusic.de

SCHLAMMPEITZIGER - SCHWINGSTELLE FUR RAUSCHABZUG (CD by Sonig)
For whatever reason I never kept up that well with the works of Schlammpeitziger, the work of Jo Zimmermann from Cologne. I am sure there is no good reason or excuse from my side for this. And now I am listening to 'Schwingstelle Fur Rauschabzug' (my german is too limited to make a proper translation), thinking that it's quite nice and that I should have done more trouble keeping up. Having said that, Schlammpeitziger doesn't make life easy for the listener. It's not that he produces difficult music, not at all actually. It's the hyper active part that becomes, at times, a bit problematic. Zimmermann's music operates on various levels at the same time: a jumpy bass line or two, various layers of keyboards playing both riffs and melodies, complicated yet danceable beats and lots of small sounds to top things off; if that was really necessary, which it isn't. Even if you don't dance at all, it's hard to sit still to this music and just listen. Your feet, head or hands will start to move along. In that respect it's quite tiring music to hear. Schlammpeitziger is a ADHD kid on speed. He has a great sense of playing the naive musician card, but that's only a clever play: it's a play, it's not the real Zimmermann. I hope at least. It's great music to dance to, even if you don't like dancing. It's a bit much to take in all at once, unless you are dancing around (which is a bit hard if you sit down to write a review). A jolly fine work, this one, putting a big smile on my face. Time to find out what I missed in this career. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sonig.com

SOLO ANDATA/SEAWORTHY/TAYLOR DEUPREE - LIVE IN MELBOURNE (CD by 12K)
WILLIAM BASINSKI & RICHARD CHARTIER - UNTITLED (CD by Line)
More Taylor Deupree here, but this time not as Ando but as Taylor Deupree. Last year he was in Australia to play some concerts and on his way his found his label mates Seaworthy and a new name Solo Andata (who released on Hefty before). They, being Paul Fiocco and Kane Ikin open up the CD with a piece in which they both play their laptop and small instruments, but it's filled (filed?) with musical gestures. Cello and guitar are the ones we recognize, which are carefully processed as not to break the delicate ripples made by the instruments. It moves seemingly without any problem into the Seaworthy piece, a three piece of laptop and a real guitar. The guitar here comes to us unprocessed and tinkles nicely away, embedded, or rather immersed by a nice set of drones. A sort of condensed form of their CD, previously on 12K. Slowly things get more abstract for them but the piece looses its form a bit towards the end. Deupree, the master comes last and he does what he does best - the reason why I regard him as one of the masters of the genre. A relatively simple drone, sparse, organ like, with the sound of snowflakes falling about.
"The second CD is the result of a collaboration between Richard Chartier and William Basinski. Both of them have gained quite a reputation for their own microsounding work, which, I may add, differs quite a bit from Deupree. Whereas the later works mainly with loops, Chartier and Basinski are more in the areas of drone music. Two lengthy cuts are presented here, and both use lengthy, harmonic drones as the basis of their pieces. The first piece was kind of similar to some of the work produced by Mirror, but with a lighter overall touch, while the second one was maybe also like Mirror, but here the melodic touch was an overall feature. Two pretty strong pieces, I thought, but maybe I didn't expect much else from these drone meisters." That's what I wrote back in Vital Weekly 409 on the CD by Basinski an Chartier. It was released by Spekk and 1300 copies flew away in a short amount of time, so it's good to see a remastered version back in print, with two new, shorter pieces as a bonus. These new pieces don't shed any new light on the previous two pieces, although it seems, especially in 'Untitled 3' to be a bit louder and grittier. Otherwise, it's still the beautiful captured atmospherics that is hardly new for what it is, but it's damn gorgeous. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

ALEX MEIN SMITH - NECESSITY'S FLAME (CD by High Tensile)
Sometimes things get a bit clouded: when I read Alex Mein Smith is from New Zealand and that he played with Birchville Cat Motel, Peter Wright and Anthony Milton, I thought I was ready for some lo-fi guitar/electronics/field recording drone type o'music. But Smith moved to London played in all the clubs and does something entirely different. His music is always built around driving rhythms, fast, fat, mechanical, but more rock than techno. Below, just above the surface, he puts a carpet of electronics, creepy, haunting and sometimes uplifting. Quite a nice move I think, but the album left me a bit alienated. Like a cold shower - it never grabbed the me as a listener. Distant and remote. The sound of the big city at night. Many lights, but is there is anybody in there? I am not entirely convinced - yet - by this set of forceful beat material, but if he adds a bit of personality to the mix, it certainly has a great future. (FdW)
Address: http://www.alexmeinsmith.com

NONOTES - MODE (CD by Motok)
In the second Vital Weekly of this year we reviewed an online sampler, released by Motok. All works on the sampler had involved, one way or the other, Nico Selen, who started as O.R.D.U.C. in 1980 with a track for a Plurex Records, then a LP on his own New Bulwark label and consequently used various names and for each name he had a distinctive sound. His LP from 1980 is still available and thanks to the current revival of synthesizer/electro music, it's still bought and has brought Selen enough money to release a CD as No Notes together with Martin Selen, I believe his son, as the CD 'Mode' is 'dedicated to our (grand) father'. The (grand) father worked as a cabinetmaker and Nico Selen loved the industrial hammering of the machines in the workshop. It's the inspiration for this CD. Nonotes is the band and as such they don't play any notes. Despite the inspiration from machinery it's not an industrial work in say the Throbbing Gristle or Vivenza sense. Nonotes switch on their analogue synthesizers and start switching knobs to create a dark, sometimes unsettling, form of ambient music. At times loud and angular with, in a few pieces, some rusty blocks of rhythm, this is what Conrad Schnitzler would describe as 'non-keyboard electronics'. Put together in various layers, this is more mood music than the factual representation of life in the factory. It's quite nice, certainly when played at a somewhat louder volume. It has no relationship to the previous more pop encounters of Selen as O.R.D.U.C. or The Bearcage and I must say this side of Selen is much more to my personal liking. A great come back album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.motok.org/

ERIK LEVANDER - KONDENS (CD by Rumraket)
Shortly after I popped in this CD, I wanted to switch it off again. Maybe my mood wasn't in for melodic type of glitch music, but I continued until the very end. I took it out, thought nothing of it, and the next day I played it again. Still my first thought was micro glitch, ambient glitch, but for whatever reason the volume was up more than the day before, and actually I was thinking when the CD was over: that was a strange mixture of sounds. This is Levander's second CD, following 'Tonad' (see Vital Weekly 455), in which he shows again to have been a keen listener to Oval, also when things here can get pretty noisy. It makes the album a more varied bunch but the variation is more towards the last five pieces and not in the first four pieces. Altogether it's not something utterly new or innovative, but I must admit that Levander does a pretty good. A fine mixture of pop like structures, shoe gazing microsound (think Tilliander here), minimalist structures and abstract electronic processing. A very fine album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.rumraket.com

ELLEN FULLMAN & MONIQUE BUZZARTE - FLUCTUATIONS (CD by Deep Listening)
PAULINE OLIVEROS & MIYA MASAOKA - ACCORDION KOTO (CD by Deep Listening)
Four female composers, two collaborations and one label, Deep Listening. But the outcome is quite different. First the good news. Ellen Fullman is perhaps, hopefully, best known for her work with metal string music, ever since discovering it in 1981. Here she works with trombonist Monique Buzzarte, of whom I never heard before. Apparently she works with trombone, sometimes in combination with electronics. The results are simply great. Long sustaining tones are produced by the strings and Buzzarte's trombone plays like sustained tones on her trombone. Slow and solemn; that's the way this music moves forward. Majestically. Minimal and melodic. Sombre yet full of light. Six tracks that work best however as one track. If you like Phill Niblock than you like this too. Great work.
I wish I could say the same thing of Pauline Oliveros and Miya Masaoka - also known as accordion and koto. Deep Listening says 'an unlikely combination' and that's true. The two of them improvise together. Rubbing the koto, plucking the koto, short sounds on the accordion, longer ones. A bit of reverb, an Oliveros trademark actually, and that's it. I do like improvisation, but it's all quite self-indulgent playing with forceful, majestic gestures to create 'tension'. Perhaps I am missing a point entirely somewhere. I don't know. But this gave me quite a headache, not knowing wether this absolute state of the art playing or perhaps something entirely different. For now, I prefer to think the latter. (FdW)
Address: http://www.deeplistening.org

GRACEFUL DEGRADATION: VARIATIONS (CD by Sourdine)
ASHER & UBEBOET - A MAP OF THE OCEAN (MP3 by Transparant Radiation)
Only very recently I said Asher should step up, away from the world of MP3 and CDR and start releasing a 'proper' CD. Now he did, but I didn't mean this. Sourdine is the name of a new label, ran by Asher, and in good tradition the first release is a compilation CD. Perhaps the programmatic notes for the future? Asher himself is not present on this CD, but his pals are. All seven of them use, in one way or the other, the sound in decay approach. You have a bit of sound, you loop it, and cover it with dirt. Erase it with computer tools - or better: by analogue means. Add static, add hiss. The original source - be it field recording, be it a piano, be it something else - is sometimes heard, like the erasing process not entirely be completed. It still shows, like a stain that won't away, but a stain that looks nice, so you leave it in. Six of the seven are quite well-known, each of them of with an extensive discography at hand: Steinbruchel, Kenneth Kirschner, Heribert Friedl, John Hudak, Steve Roden and Jason Kahn. Only Ubeboet is lesser known and his best also seems to be a bit louder than the others. A pity Asher didn't put himself on it, but no doubt a CD will be out soon.
Still on the MP3 format then, Asher with Ubeboet in a collaborative work. Ubeboet is Miguel A. Tolosa, who has his work released on Twenty Hertz, Non Visual Objects, Zeromoon as well as his own Con-V label. Their collaborative work is another fine example of what I wrote above. Here it's all field recordings, or so it seems, which pop up every now and then. Water sounds, people talking, perhaps cars passing, but by and large it's covered with 'dirt' - hiss, static, processed central heating system humming and such like. They create a dense, moody, but also rich texture of small events that cross each other. Thicker than is usual with this kind of music, they do a fine job. Both of them are clear examples of how this particular niche operates. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sourdine.net
Address: http://www.bremsstrahlung-recordings.org/transradiation/trans009.php

FEU FOLLET - FOGBANK (CDR by Triple Bath)
NOKALYPSE/NOVOSAK (CDR by Swamp Of Pus)
These two releases are in-breth, the incest well alive. He said with a smile on his face. Tobias Fischer, the man behind Feu Follet (and his own label Einzeleinheit, and co-owning Ex Ovo) has released a CDR by Jan-M Iversen, and this Jan-M delivers, together with his pal Sindre Bjerga (the catalogue of releases reads like a who's who in CDR land), the sound material out of which Feu Follet composed the entire album 'Fogbank'. This is his second full length release, following his debut on his own label some two years ago. Still his interest lies in the realms of drone music. It's not easy to tell that the sound input is by Bjerga/Iversen, but I assume that if you know it makes sense. Feu Follet uses a lot of reverb on his music, which add that much needed atmospherical texture to the music, but it's simply also too much I think. The music becomes clouded by this excessive treatment. I wonder what it would sound like without all this reverb. In all I must say it's a pretty decent release, not the best in the genre, but certainly not the worst either. Alright late night listening.
The man behind the Triple Bath label is Themis Pantelopoulus and he also creates music, as Nokalypse, with various releases under his belt on Echomusic, Phase! Records and here has a split CDR release with Novasak, a.k.a. Todd Novasad, who is the man behind Swamp Of Pus. And he released this one. "An electroacoustic display of noise and space using dynamic volume and spacial depth" is how it's been described and, along with name dropping from Xenakis to Lopez and Menche to Nurse With Wound, that is all indeed very accurate. Both bands take a long form of sound - each track is over thirty minutes of chilly electronics, huge reverb drones and tons of little sound effects running amok. It owes more to serious avant-garde, without perhaps a bit of compositional structure here and there, than to the average noise album - more Xenakis indeed than Merzbow. Of the two Nokalypse is the more refined one, and Novosak is the more noisy one and ultimately I think also the lesser one of the two tracks. (FdW)
Address: http://www.triplebath.gr
Address: http://www.swampofpus.com

EARZUMBA & MILAN SANDBELISTIFT - LAMENTAMOS INFORMAR AL UNIVERS0 (CDR by Licht-ung)
The name Milan Sandbleistift may not be ringing bells but he runs a nice label for more loud forms of music: Licht-ung, having released a handful of limited pieces of 10"s and now some CDs. Here he has provided Christian Dergarabedian, former of Reynols, since long known as Earzumba with a bunch of field recordings, which Earzumba uses to create nine pieces of raw ambience recordings. It moves away somehow, slightly from his previous work in that sense that these pieces are more straight forward, loud ambient pieces and deals less with collage methods, rapid changes and such like. Which is good, since it's different, but on the other hand I was thinking also that this music is something I have heard before by others done equally well or better, so in that respect there is nothing much new under the ambient industrial sun. But Earzumba creates his music with finesse and style, with care for the detail, so let's safely say that this work ranks easily with his best. (FdW)
Address: http://www.licht-ung.de

ARSZYN - EMIGRANT (CDR by Sqrt Label)
Since Poland joined the European Community many workers from that country came to the 'richer' countries to find jobs - jobs that are easy, dirty or otherwise not really done by the people in the other countries. Polish musician Arszyn was in London, in itself a city with lots of immigrants, and found himself fascinated by all the city's noise, and the multitude of languages. He met some fellow country man, interviewed them, as well as the sounds of the busy city, and crafted this into this work, with is as much as a music work and a sociological work. Of course we don't understand all the spoken words, even when there is also a bit of English in here. At forty minutes the point to be made is perhaps a long one, but every now and then Arszyn uses electronic manipulation to change the field recordings, which adds a third layer to the pure field recordings and spoken words, which makes a very fine work to hear throughout. Shorter, or perhaps concise is the better word, would have been better but now it reaches it far edge of what is still interested. And still, it can be of great interest for anyone, even if the subject matter is not entirely his cup of tea. (FdW)
Address: http://sqrt-label.org

TOM HALL - CROSS (CDR by Hellisquarerecordings)
SPARTAK - OSTPOLITIK (CDR by Hellisquarerecordings)
This is the third release by Tom Hall in a relatively short time span (see also Vital Weekly 584 and 598). The first 'Fleure' with the processed sounds of a bridge in Brisbane was quite nice in its variety of approaches to the sound material. 'Floats' and 'Cross', his new release lack these conceptual angles, and that is a pity after 'Fleure'. Hall uses 'live electronics as extracted from melodic and field recordings'. I must say things start out great, the first two tracks are nice pieces of soft versus loud, and have a scraping element - almost like Organum. But then the next six tracks are much alike his previous 'Floats' release. Delicate, crackling, warm and all the other usual ingredients of ambient glitch are present and above all correct. Hall does it absolutely in a great way, but it's nothing new under the sun.
Which one might also say of the duo Spartak, but I was quite pleased by them. Shoeh Ahmad plays guitar and piano and Evan Dorrian plays drums. He's a jazz drummer from Canberra, which is something he is certainly not hiding. Ahmad plays the guitar in a more experimental fashion, hardly through effects but strumming in 'Ostpolitik (draft 1)' and melancholic touches in 'Ostpolitik (draft 2)', while the drums bang along in that one - far away, although no doubt this has to do with the recording than the production. Great free inspired rock/jazz/electronics, along the lines of their Viennese counterparts of Radian and all their off spring. Short, only nine minutes in length and it could have been a great 7". (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/hellossquarerecordings

ONDO - SHIELDS (3"CDR by Tuguska)
The name Ondo, or that of the man behind it, C-J Larsgarden, or his label Tuguska, are all new to me. He's also a member of the folktronic duo A Perfect Friend, works with Rowenta and has another solo project called Pacta. No doubt each in his own musical corner. As Ondo he plays drone rock/doom drone/doom rock music. 'Shields' has one single, sixteen minute piece of music, which is best played at a somewhat louder volume to make more impact. Maybe it's just recorded or mastered a bit low. Large wall of sound type of drones (guitars or synthesizers would be my best guess) with some drum like sounds at the beginning - ritualistik if you ask me - and in the second half replaced by a dreamy piano type of sound, building up to a big bang at the end. It's actually not great, but not bad either. Decent drone music in which just a little bit more happens than in the usual single minded drone work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pactasunterservanda.se

ELEKTRICITEIT = ONZE HOBBY - DIODENEILAND (3"CDR by Audio Office Records)
KOMMBAT/KASPER VAN HOEK - COLOGNE/GRONINGEN (CDR by Audio Office Records)
Behind Elektriciteit = Onze Hobby (our hobby is electricity, well you might have guessed that translation) are a bunch of people I never heard of: Steven Jouwersma, Feiko Beckers, Rik Mohlmann, Bart Nijstad and Gijs Deddens, who got together one day with the modified children toys and a bunch of effects. They recorded some ninety minutes of music, which they gave to the fellow city man (Groningen, The Netherlands) Kasper van Hoek who edited this into the various pieces now on this 3"CDR. Now him we know. Recently presented his best release so far, but here he does a nice job too. It's not easy to which extend he edited the material, or effectively re-composed the material he was given, but he certainly cut and pasted the right pieces together to make a listenable chunks (short chunks actually) of rhythmic noise, bleepy electronics and certainly non-dance beats. Quite nice.
The same Van Hoek worked together with one Marco Medkour, also known as Kommbat and who also works as Akustik Film and Organo Flex, and runs the rec72 netlabel, who is from Cologne. Each of them delivers a track based on field recordings from their own city and a remix of the other's city. It's a short release, of which I don't understand why it wasn't put on a 3" either with such a nice box as the previous one. Medkour's sound picture of Cologne passes without too much notion, and his remix of Groningen is nice, but hardly a remix: he sets forward some beat material and mixes in the street recordings. Van Hoek on the other side picks some sounds and makes short loops and creates his own industrial rhythm from these sound material at hand. Quite nice, but perhaps a bit long. His solo field recording amplifies the hiss aspect of the recording. Good but as great his last offering on Dirty Demos. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiooffice.nl

ROEL MEELKOP - REAL MASS (3"CDR by Lona Records)
Not known as a man of many words, at least not on his releases, is Roel Meelkop, so it's a bit of a surprise to see on the cover this somewhat cryptic message: 'Dedicated to the darker sides of life (for once)'. A dark cloud over the head of Meelkop? Not on the cover, but on the phone, he told me that he uses for his 'Real Mass' piece the voices of Antonin Artaud and Aleister Crowley - an unusual open Meelkop revealing his sources. I listened again, but with different knowledge to this piece. Yes, indeed that seem to be voices. Voices from the past, preserved on scratchy sound carriers. No doubt all of which Meelkop loves his hands on. He emphasis the hiss, slows down the voices and creates a true Meelkopian piece of music. His trademark - rapid changes, decaying until the very end, breaking up with something entirely new - is present here, but it all sounds a bit more roughly shaped than before. No doubt a deliberate move on his side, perhaps to emphasize the darker sides of life. A solid work, dark of nature and a true small delight to hear. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lona-records.com

MESSIAH COMPLEX - ABOVE THE FLOODS (3inch CDr by Industrial Culture)
NANOHEX - THE BRAIN EXPERIMENT (3inch CDr by Industrial Culture)
ICHOROUS - CIRCUMSTANCES (3inch CDr by Industrial Culture)
Above the floods is it seems inspired by the floods in the UK last summer - rumbling field recording with static - sounds very much like an over amplified recording of an urban night's background city hum. The Brain Experiment is more overtly electronic - mostly high pitched feedback and noise - track one - track two reverses this with deep rumbles somewhat restrained which ebb and flow which gives way to a final track of very echoy reverby twitterings. Both explore the idea of change and so render the listener static.. and passive. It is only with the third disk we have what is unmistakably harsh noise -which a poorer review might be tempted to compare or describe - as say Merzbowesque .. but all harsh noise is so - it represents a fixed and unchanging phenomena removed from fashion. It is why it relates not to eroticism with its fashions of stilettos and bikinis' but to the obscene pornography of today's internet which is no different to the imagery found in Sade. Such explicitness, an erect phalluses is and always has been the same - and the acts are and always were - in such unchanging quantity of production that has become the backdrop against which humanity can now think - can now change. Once culture establishes itself as the bassist of phenomena the human imagination is free from the trap of teleology and metaphysics- free to enjoy the changes of the moment whilst the art of harsh noise masks what is demanding and prescriptive of us in society today. (jliat)
Address: http://www.industrialculture.org

CHILD BRIDE/HEAD MOLT (Cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
POD BLOTZ - OBEYING SCUM.... LIVE (Cassette by Teenage Whore Tapes)
From the home with a horrible name, two tapes
with three bands in total. The most interesting one is the Child Bride and Head Molt split release. Child Bride create their music with organ, guitar, vocals, percussion and samples and create a hippy atmosphere with it, mumbling voices and music that sometimes doesn't appear over the hiss. Including a beatle sample towards the very end. Miles away from Head Molt, who use tapes, guitar, vocals and percussion. They sound like a bunch of angry young, with distorted loops, tape collages and spitting vocals on top. It's actually quite nice, since it rapid changes and moves. It's aggressive but it could have used a better production.
Pod Blotz (crazy label name attracts crazy band names, me thinks) operate in the scenery which I these days leave to Jliat, but these twenty minutes of unrelentness noise were actually tolerable. Perhaps it's because my cassette player isn't hooked up to my installation (and seeing the current amount, I think I should hook it up), so I have to revert to my headphones, which is probably more effective for this kind of music anyway. Tape manipulations at point blank. Speeding up cassette tapes, feeding signals through distortion boxes - that work, but as said long enough here. Gives you a certified headache on headphones. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/teenagewhoretapes

AUSTINNITUS AUDIO SERIES (various MP3 releases)
Perhaps I should, or perhaps I shouldn't ashamed, but I was in Austin fifteen years ago, and I don't remember much about it. I think we did our laundry. But Austin is a vibrant city of new music, or so Josh Ronsen tells us. He manages a website, nicely named Austinnitus, which not only provides the interested with links to local artists, but there is also a page where you can actually download music for free from (some of) these musicians. I haven't heard them all, but Ronsen send me a CDR of nine excerpts of these pieces. There was the total free jazz of EFCA, which I didn't care for at all. Thomas Fang's crackle of shortwave and electronics sounded much more interesting. It's somewhere between these two outer limits that things move here, but, fair is fair, more microsound than improvisation - or, rather microsound generated through methods of improvisation, but still sounding micro, such as the dream ambient (with esoteric vocals) by Book Of Shadows, Carlo Pozo's delicate drones or Cory Allen's more simple version there of. Lisa Cameron has a great piece of percussion and electronics which is very quiet and so is the piece for oboe, clarinet, chimes and electronics by Ronsen/Green. It's that I have much music on my plate already, but it's surely worth downloading these names. (FdW)
Address: http://ronsen.org/austinnitus

JAMES BREWSTER & PETER HENNING - RÖNNBLOMSGATAN RUDBECKSGATAN (MP3 by Hwem)
James Brewster and Peter Henning improvise pieces of electronica - sparse sounds - from various sources - including no input mixer, samples and effects. The sounds are delicate electronic twittering and broken fragments - edited down from longer sessions. The impression is of careful working and concentration on the processing of abstract sounds. Development is always a problematic with this kind of abstract work - as it is in general with any form of art which aims at development given the now present history of music and sound art. As this is their first release we are yet to see if and where this goes, if it attempts to go anywhere at all - so I must remain for the moment silent on any trajectory they may undertake - just to add though a warning that progress has in effect been made redundant, though it is very relevant that they produce this as a MP3 download - its no good looking in HMV then. (jliat)
Address: http://www.hwem.net

 

CHRISTOPHER MCFALL & JONATHAN BENHAM - FOR WINGS THAT SELDOM SLEEP (MP3 by Klicktrack Music)
Last year Christopher McFall made his debut in Vital Weekly through his nice, but not entirely original CD for Entr'acte (see Vital Weekly 599) and here returns with a collaboration with one Jonathan Benham. He provided McFall with some of the sounds used on this recording, which deal with field recordings, including electro-magnetic frequencies - the sort of hard to hear sounds from anything that works on electricity. Sometimes he manipulates the sounds while recording them. McFall processes these sounds no longer in real time, but works on them through the use of the computer. Layered, changed, combining, re-mixing that is the sort of work he employs. The four pieces here, spanning about thirty minutes, are quite nice. Even when not entirely original in the world of microsound/glitch/field recordings, there is a good sense of tension in these recordings. McFall uses a bit more reverb (or perhaps added by Benham already) to give a creepy undercurrent to the material at hand. It could be the soundtrack to a scary movie dealing with metallic monsters rising from the earth and coming to live in a rusty scenery. Very nicely executed, can't wait to see things moving here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.klicktrack.com/shop/release.jsp?r=69845

XEDH - EXADH (MP3 by Zeromoon)
More and more Xedh, a.k.a. Miguel A. Garcia surprises us. His last offering was already an excellent display of microsound, moving away from his previous work in noise and rhythm and rhythm and noise, this new EP has three tracks which are again quite low in volume. Each track uses sounds from other people, Simon Daniel, Thierry Massard and Rafael Flores. Xedh transforms the material through the use of his laptop, but also using a mixer, microphones, sine waves and 'treated sounds'. Each track moves into the next, so it's rather a work in three parts, than three different works. The bass end is a bit muddy, which shows when you put the volume a bit higher. But it's another fine work here. Soft, but outspoken, moving around in various territories and crackling like laptop music, but then made using microphones. Very nice. The way to follow and explore more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zeromoon.com

 

Corrections: the correct URL for Creative Sources is: http://www.creativesourcesrec.com/ and the composer Melnyk "is actually Ukranian-Canadian, of Ukranian parents living in Canada, though he spends most of his time in Sweden now".