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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 652
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week 46
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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

 

LOREN CHASSE & MICHAEL NORTHAM - THE OTOLITH (CD by The Helen Scarsdale Agency) *
AUTOPSIA - RADICAL MACHINES NIGHT LANDSCAPES (CD by Illuminating Technologies) *
HPC ­ HALFBREED (CD by Hymen)
ZELLER ­ AUDIO VANDALISM (CD by Hymen)
KLANGSTABIL ­ MATH & EMOTION (CD by Ant-Zen)
NEBULO - AVUTMA (CD by Hymen)
KK NULL GALACTIC TORNADO (CD by Quasi-Pop)
STROPS - [UNTITLED] (CD by Raubbau)
CHOI JOONYONG & HONG CHULKI & SACHIKO M & OTOMO YOSHIHIDE - SWEET CUTS, DISTANT CURVES (CD by Balloon & Needle)
JIN SANGTAE - EXTENSITY OF HARD DISK DRIVE (CD by Balloon & Needle) *
IBITSU - FOOLPROOF BETTERS FOOLS BETTERING FOOLPROOF (CD by Editions Mego) *
BELA EMERSON - HESPERA (CD by Bip Hop) *
BIP HOP GENERATION VOL. 9 (CD by Bip Hop)
MATS/MORGAN BAND - HEAT BEATS LIVE / MORGAN AGREN - TOURBOOK 1991-2007 (CD & DVD by Cuneiform)
HARUKI - HAPHAZARDLY, WHILE SITTING (CDR, private)
AARDE - DESPERATE ISLANDS (CDR by Dirty Demos)
NO CONTEXT - LINES TO FOLLOW COLOUR CHANGES IN LEAVES (CDR by Contra Musik Produktion) *
THE NURSING HOME BAND - YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO BE OFFENDED (CDR by Nursing Home Records) *
EVERY DAY IS HALLOWEEN (CDR compilation by Nursing Home Records)
MICHAEL CHOCHOLAK - ALVEROMANCY (CDR by Triple Bath) *
TZESNE - LA CARNE (CDR by Triple Bath)
LUMINOUS - THE VHM EP + THE BAD EP (CDR by Hikokomori Records) *
ORDER OF THE BEAK - SIC SEKEM (CDR by Hikokomori Records)
TBC - CHICAGO 2 (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
TBC - ANTISYSTEM (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
CLAUS VAN BEBBER/ERHARD HIRT - TEFITON (CDR by Wachsender Prozess) *
INTERPRETATIONS 1 (CDR by AMT)
L'IDIOT DU VILLAGE - BESTIOLES (CDR by Steelkraft Maschine)
HYTC - BESTIOLES (CDR by Steelkraft Maschine)
KNURL ­ TRIBOLUMINESCENCE (CDR by Brisecul)
HUNTON QUINTET - BERTOS PARTS (CDR by Unverified Records)
UFO ANTLER BAND (CDR by Unverified Records) *
THE SPEECH ORGANS (CDR by Unverified Records)
CROATAN ENSEMBLE - WITHOUT (CDR on Eh?)
GAMMA GOAT - BEARD OF SOUND BEARD OF SAND (CDr on Eh?)
ANTRACOT - GALVANISM (3"CDR by Tosom)
MX NIHIL - SICK BEATS (3"CDR by Tosom)
DARSOMBRA - NYMPHAEA (CDR by Public Guilt)
OBLONG BOX - THE 13TH FLOOR (3"CDR by Public Guilt) *
TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A./HARSHCORE (3"CDR by Dokuro)
ENT - SONIC INDUCERS (3"CDR by Dokuro)
DEAD BLACK ARMS - AWAKE FROM THE DEAD! AWAKE FROM THE DARK! (3"CDR by Dokuro) *
33.333 - GRAB, BLIP, NOISE (3"CDR by Skumpy Records)
JASON KAHN - TIMELINES_NY (MP3 by Con-V)

 

LOREN CHASSE & MICHAEL NORTHAM - THE OTOLITH (CD by The Helen Scarsdale Agency)
We haven't heard from Lorren Chasse in some time, but then all of a sudden two releases in a short time span. Following 'The Footpath' (see Vital Weekly 648), there is now a release with Michael Northam. The latter is also not very often in these pages, but over the years more than Chasse, I'd say. In each of their solo works, there is a strong interest in using field recording on one hand, and instruments on the other, such as autoharps, ouds, flutes, bells, gongs, bowed wires, harmonium and Northam's magnetic table harp. The eight pieces on this disc were recorded over a period of three years in various locations - indoor and outdoor - in the USA and Europe. It may sound a bit daft, but it's exactly what one should expect from these men: drones linger, swift, sustain, swirl, and on top we have a rather interesting blend of the instruments - and sometimes things are reversed: the starting point being the bells, gongs and flutes to which various field recordings and drones are added. This makes a nice mixture of sounds - the rumble of the wind, the rumble of the wind in the chimes and the drones from a harmonium and the drones of resonant frequencies from various electrical currents. That might sound like I am disappointed in this release, but let me assure you I am not at all. Sometimes its fine to get whatever you hoped for. Fine music, executed well, highly atmospheric and done by two masters of the genre: what more do you want? This is a very nice work indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.helenscarsdale.com

AUTOPSIA - RADICAL MACHINES NIGHT LANDSCAPES (CD by Illuminating Technologies)
A while ago I knocked over a pile of CDs and at the bottom was 'Death Is The Mother Of Beauty' by Autopsia. One of the first CDs I ever bought. One of the great bands of the mid 80s, at least that's what I thought back then. I even used a part of one of the songs as the 'theme' for my radio show on the local squat radio. I picked it up and was trying to remember when the last time I was played this. I couldn't remember, but I decided to play it again. I remembered it was something with sampled orchestral sounds and I assumed I would it hate it now. I didn't. I played it from start till end, and really liked it, still after all these years. As you might have guessed I didn't keep up with Autopsia over the years, but much to my surprise I received a new CD. And what a strange CD it is. Again, the classical component prevails here. Heavy pastoral passages is what it begins it, and for a while seem to be the strongest component of the release, but at one point we are landed in a modern classical world, serialism perhaps and even electronics start to play a role. Then, towards the end, even a techno like rhythm comes in and I know that must sound like a strange and alienating affair, it does however makes sense. It makes great sense. I must admit that one point I had the idea of eating a large sweet cake, one that is too big and perhaps things are a bit of a cliche around here, but then I thought it is the reality of Autopsia - unchanged after so many years. Dabbling with the cliche's romantic classical music, of modern technology and current waves in popmusic, and it makes all sense. I like the pathos of Autopsia, the self-seriousness of Autopsia. One to keep and cherish every now and then, just like 'Death Is The Mother Of Beauty'. (FdW)
Address: http://www.illuminating-technologies.com

HPC ­ HALFBREED (CD by Hymen)
ZELLER ­ AUDIO VANDALISM (CD by Hymen)
Two new albums from Hymen Records have seen the light of the day. The temperatures dramatically decrease to freezing levels on the debut album from the artist calling himself HPC. Behind the name you find a Norwegian composer that already at a young age began to explore the different aspects of electronic music from psytrance to breakcore and noise. "Halfbreed" is an intense ride into seriously dark and cold electronic soundspheres. The isolationism of compatriot artist Biosphere shines through, though the feeling of isolation is executed via quite different angles. Only equation between the two Norwegians is their starting point in atmospheric ambience. Above the expressions of dark ambient, HPC creates a mixture of breakbeats, dubstep and heavy syncopated beats. At other moments the dark ambient fully develops only accompanied by distant dreamlike voices. Climax is the truly amazing sonic nightmare "Dissociate". Very promising debut indeed! As the titled suggests, next album is a far more aggressive beast than was the case with HPC's "Halfbreed". Zeller is an artist from the southern part of France. Even though the artist works in soundtrack'ish spheres, the album titled "Audio vandalism" has a far more destructive nature. The album is a furious mixture of breakbeats and distorted synth-textures pulling Zeller towards the Industrial-scene where HPC more had a focus on the dark ambient-style. Otherwise two interesting albums from Hymen records. (NM)
Address: http://www.hymen-records.com

KLANGSTABIL ­ MATH & EMOTION (CD by Ant-Zen)
My first album by Klangstabil, was "Straftat gegen das leben", purchased in the Copenhagen-based record-store Baden Baden back in 1997. From this quite Industrial-based and technoid album it is quite impressive how this joint-venture project has managed to develop, founding new approaches of their musical explorations. With the previous album, "Taking nothing seriously" (Ant-Zen, 2004), Klangstabil began to focus on a quite emotional pace built on deep felt vocals from Boris May beautifully combined with grandiose soundscapes added a few doses of semi-harsh interventions, making the album nothing short of a masterpiece from the Industrial scene. Now four years later comes this follow-up from Maurizio Blanco and Boris May alias Klangstabil. The grandiosity and the melodic approach are even clearer on this new album titled "Math & Emotion" meanwhile the harsher elements are suppressed resulting in a quite listen-friendly work. A quick comparison could the dark electropop of Depeche Mode, but Klangstabil has their own unique style powered by the strong vocals combined with the duo's ability to create catchy rhythm textures and pompous synthlines. On "Math & Emotion", Klangstabil once more proves that they belong to the first class of the contemporary Industrial-scene. (NM)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com

NEBULO - AVUTMA (CD by Hymen)
Autumn has reached the North western parts of Europe. Apparently it has also reached the sound of French composer Nebulo. The yellow-red toned color of leaves and paling trees on the cover-sleeve in itself reveals the melancholic tone saturating this second full length of Nebula. The twelve pieces on the album titled "Avutma" swims in the borderlands between ambient textures and IDM with elements of clicks'n'cuts adding a little complexity to the otherwise gentle tone. Momentarily the compositions turns slightly noisier, otherwise the listener is brought safely across an ocean of comfortably drifting expressions. Beautiful. (NM)
Address: http://www.hymen-records.com/

KK NULL GALACTIC TORNADO (CD by Quasi-Pop)
More sound art than noise, this contains many variations of electronics and
acoustic sounds, at times anthropomorphic at others technological, and again
rhythmic, pulses, drumming, and abstract. Structured in tracks, blocks and
tonality which develops thematically though never melodically. Obviously
Kazuyuki Kishino has no need of introduction here or am I going to attempt
any appraisal of an artist with such a wide catalogue except to note that
there might be a general movement via computerized sound and electronics
away from the distortion of noise prominent in the Japanese school towards
more structure and less, little or no noise harshness and feedback. The
problem then however is though harsh noise is a simple affair, sound
experimentation requires a degree of insight, technical ability and
deliberation which I have noticed is missing in lesser artists who assume
that sound art is simply improvising with electronics, it isn't and their
sad offerings are nothing like the solidity of the music found on this CD.
Virtuosity of mind and body are obvious here, and as a warning to those who
might imitate, very much an art of thoughtfulness, practice and
consideration. (jliat)
Address http://www.quasipop.org/

STROPS - [UNTITLED] (CD by Raubbau)
Raubau is new german label based in Berlin. Present album is the third shot from the label since its birth back in 2007. The artist of the album call himself Strops and comes from Riga, Letland. Having released three albums on Sturm Records this is his first on the Raubbau-label. The untitled album is certainly an interesting acquaintance. Based on heavy buzzing drones and pulsating rhythm textures the atmosphere on the album is isolated and a great companion for some deep listening. The work combines old school ambient-textures that reminds me of early solo works by krautrock-legend in Tangerine Dream, Edgar Froese though with a noisier Industrial approach. The strangely harsh buzzing drones are sometimes changed by more grandiose soundscapes that reminds me of the interesting project Infinite Wheel and their amazing album "Blow" (Brainiak Records, 1996). Strops has created an album that in its hypnotizing buzz drones will fascinate listeners of demanding and drifting music. Highly recommended! (NM)
Address: http://www.raubbau.org/

CHOI JOONYONG & HONG CHULKI & SACHIKO M & OTOMO YOSHIHIDE - SWEET CUTS, DISTANT CURVES (CD by Balloon & Needle)
JIN SANGTAE - EXTENSITY OF HARD DISK DRIVE (CD by Balloon & Needle)
The releases by Balloon & Needle from Seoul, Korea always look nice without being too fancy or over the top, like some others sometimes do. The releases often, but not exclusively includes the work of Choi Joonyong (CD players) and Hong Chulki (turntable, electronics), who team up with Sachiko M (sinewaves) and Otomo Yoshihide (turntable, guitar) in this concert recording of 2006, when M and Yoshihide visited Seoul. If the work of the Japanese part of this CD is in anyway familiar with you, then you know what to expect. Sachiko M's sinewaves are the very bottom, or foundation if you want of the music. Things buzz in the front, in the back, below and above, high and low, but they buzz. On top of that the three men add their own blend of cracks and cuts, from the media players at hand - what the guitar is unclear, but no doubt he fits into this in a clever way - either sounding like a sinewave or like another crack or hiss. This is a work that is great, but but but its also something that we heard before, mostly in the work of the Japanese two involved here. That perhaps makes things less of a surprise, but the total concentration involved by all four players requires full concentration on the side of the listener. Only then it will reveal its true beauty.
Jin Sangtae (who actually recorded the previous disc reviewed) worked as a part-timer on the Yong-san electronic market in 1994, and its there where he found his interest using hard disk drives and radio's as the source for his improvised music. On this CD he limits himself to using just two hard disk drives, disassembled and 'manipulating the vibration that occurs when they emit sound', all captured with a microphone, so that the space has a say too in the whole. Its not easy to imagine what Sangtae does when he plays these, but the music makes a great impression. Surely we can say that this is noise. The sound is loud but utterly 'dry', almost like acoustic noise. Rhythmic, buzzing, feedback like (but never forming a real wall of sound) and it makes the drives almost singing. Not easy noise to sink into, but highly demanding music. At the length in which it now arrives - three tracks, over fifty-five minutes - is however a bit long - almost like an endurance test. Perhaps a bit shorter would have increased the intensity a bit more. (FdW)
Address: http://balloonnneedle.com

IBITSU - FOOLPROOF BETTERS FOOLS BETTERING FOOLPROOF (CD by Editions Mego)
It seems like I miss out on something here: the piece by Ibitsu took about ten years to complete and is a 'digital composition'. Somebody asked me not to refer to 'its the age thing', but I seriously doubt wether my ears are still good enough to pick up on this. A twenty-five minute of speaker rumble, sub sub sub bass and somewhere half way through high high high end sounds. 'An acid drenched take on the spirit of early Trente Oiseaux releases', Mego tells us. Ha, that's what it is. One of things people can talk about for ages in internet discussion groups I gather, and perhaps indeed has the same aural impact as Lopez' 'Warzawa Restaurant', although, when opened in an audio editor, this actually has wave forms to see - not that they are easily heard, but hey there is something there. Exactly the right length and dramatic built up. For various reasons quite an interesting release - it will shake up thought on digital music once again, and that's one of the great strengths of Editions Mego. (FdW)
Address: http://www.editionsmego.com

BELA EMERSON - HESPERA (CD by Bip Hop)
BIP HOP GENERATION VOL. 9 (CD by Bip Hop)
The electric cello is the instrument of Bela Emerson and she can feed the instrument into various electronic machinery to transform the sound. She improvises and 'Hespera' is her fourth release (and the first I hear), and is recorded by former Orb member Kris Weston and Grantby. She has played with lots of people (of which I mention Stomp, one of the more dreadful percussion ensembles I know) and work for film, theatre and cabaret. A busy bee, but I must admit I am not blown away by her release. I have no idea what kind of electronics she uses (loop pedals? Ableton live?), but they sound to me like an average set of electronics. In 'Skinny Fingers' she uses short repeating loops, but in a rather naive manner - its too much improvisation without tension or urgency nor is it a great composition. And that's mainly my objection against this CD: its all done a bit too 'easy' or perhaps too 'hasty', unbalanced and therefor of not to great interest. I think it would be a great idea to start working multitrack for her and put more effort in the end mix.
Its been a while since Bip Hop released a volume of their ongoing 'Generation' series, but here's volume 9, and it seems that 'jazz' is a keyword. Certainly in the pieces by Kammerflimmer Kollektief and Spacehead, the first four on this CD. In both bands wind instruments play an important role and have laid-back jazzy lounge feel - more with the Kollektief than the heads. Its with Andrey Kiritchenko that we land in more 'traditional' microsound territory of quiet guitar strumming and field recordings. The for me unknown Ilachime Quartet (one of the strengths of this series is that it combines well-known names and new names) goes back, at least in some way to jazz, with rhythm machines and piano playing, the latter in a rather free manner. Its however not the most interesting pieces here. Piano is also at the basis of the collaborative of Hauschka and Antenna Farm. The latter take the piano of Volker Bertelmann (who is Hauschka) and transform inside the digital realm of their laptops. This recording is from their first meeting and at times a bit haphazard, but throughout quite nice. Adrian Klumpes closes the CD with a long piece. He's a piano player too and a member of Triosk. His piece, for solo piano is a great one. Meditative, slow, minimal and evocative. A very fine introduction, topping of a high quality compilation with only one weaker brother. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bip-hop.com

MATS/MORGAN BAND - HEAT BEATS LIVE / MORGAN AGREN - TOURBOOK 1991-2007 (CD & DVD by Cuneiform)
A monstrous duo-release of a CD and a dvd this time, the follow up to their last studio-album dating from 2005 ('Thanks for Flying with us'). Another thrilling effort by these two exceptional swedish musicians operating at a technical level that is unbelievable. Their names are Mats Oberg and Morgan Agren, playing together since childhood. In 1988 they performed with Zappa who was greatly impressed by their skills and musicality. Afterwards Mats and Morgan started releasing CDs of their own music. Their most recent one 'Thanks for Flying with us' was the first to be released outside of Sweden and brought them in contact with a international audience. At the moment Cuneiform is also rereleasing some of their earlier albums. But for now this double release has our attention. The CD contains live recordings made between 2005 and 2007 on different locations. Although recordings were made after their album 'Thanks for Flying with us', tracks from this album are not on this live album. If you need any prove this is a true live band, here it is. The CD open impressively with 'The Return of Advokaten'. A very tight and precise exercise. The following track 'Rhinecliff Hotel' is in a jazz vein, with extensive solowork by Mats. Here like in the other jazzy, lyrical pieces their music sounds a little superfluous to me. But it is impossible not to be impressed by the musicianship by these two. It is however quite a job to sit a whole CD through in one take. Their music is of a constant high intensity and enormous energetic level. I had to take a pause from time to time. What kind of music is it? Spontaneously I would name it a kind of fusion. That's the term that fits best. Complex compositions, equally indebted to jazz as to rock music. In some of the tracks they are accompanied by basplayer Tommy Tordsson. In two other ones we hear a even bigger line up at work. Also there a few solo tracks with just Mats or Morgan. Although I'm impressed by their virtuosity and I enjoy many of the tracks, I don't feel actually moved by their music. But that is very personal. Anyway, if you can't believe what you have heard on the live CD you can look at it with your own eyes on the dvd.
The Tourbook covers a period of some 16 years. The spotlights are mainly shining on Morgan here. Implying we have to go through a lot of solo drum work by Morgan. In a non-chronological order we see 65 outtakes from different periods offering a true kaleidoscopic view on the musicianship of Morgan. Of course there are also many fragments of Mats/Morgan Band, but besides we see Morgan playing with other musicians like the fantastic Fredrik Thordendal. Sometimes in a hardcore-like style, followed by free rock exercises and what you have more. Off special interest is the Magma-tribute using original Magma-vocals taking from one of their records. Also in 'Lick my Decals' of Beefheart, Morgan and his mates do an excellent job. Although it once again proves that the voice of the Captain was one of a kind. If you still can't believe what you heard and seen on this crowded dvd, go watch them live! (DM)
Address: www.cuneiformrecords.com

HARUKI - HAPHAZARDLY, WHILE SITTING (CDR by Corps-Morts)
No information on Haruki, no website address mentioned anywhere, except that 'all music was made sitting on a chair by Haruki, some noises, though, were made while standing or walking about. The occasional pulling and slapping of a rusted saw was done by Kristof Deneijs (Yuko)', plus ten track titles. One could take themselves a bit more serious, me thinks. It sounds like banging on a guitar, well, perhaps a rusted saw perhaps, a banjo, or something with metal strings, to which some distortion is added. Unfortunately this is the compositional approach that returns in every track, which makes this a rather boring listening experience. A rather boring disc. (FdW)

Address: www.myspace.com/haruki9 http://www.corps-morts.com

AARDE - DESPERATE ISLANDS (CDR by Dirty Demos)
NO CONTEXT - LINES TO FOLLOW COLOUR CHANGES IN LEAVES (CDR by Contra Musik Produktion)
Adam Baker, boss of Dirty Demos, sent me two releases, one on his own label and one in which he is involved as a musician but released by Contra Musik Production, a label of which I never heard from Germany. Aarde, being the duo of Lois Laplace and Guillaume Gargaud, already surprised us in a pleasant way with 'A Whole Day' (see Vital Weekly 601) and here return with 'Desperate Islands', a shorter release then before with six pieces continuing their interest in somewhat more crude variations on glitch and micro ambient. There is guitar doodling, sturdy sound processing, a bit more louder things then before and sometimes totally in line with Line, such as 'Looking At The Coast', with its icy, glacier feel and sustained bowed sounds. Like before I think this is a really nice job, well produced and nothing much new. But as said before, sometimes that is not necessary.
No Context is a trio of Baker (also known as Dead Wood), Allan Upton (from Textured Bird Transmission) and Adrian Newton (from Nemeton, Zaum and Safehouse). There is no credit as to the instruments used, but judging from the music, I suspect that this is a laptop trio. They are not three individuals working solo and mailing results to eachother, but operate as a real band who play concerts. The ten pieces on this release were recorded during five concerts, throughout 2007. They play some really great small tunes of laptop microsound. There is a bit of drone, the rhythmic particles, the cracks and the cuts. Music that would/could have been released by Ritornell a decade ago. Stillupsteypa during that period is one reference that springs to mind. Like Aarde its not really anything new, but the cuts from various improvised concerts is a rather nice one. Perhaps a whole concert may have some hit and miss, but cut short they seem to have a keen ear on picking all the right moments. (FdW)(
Address: http://www.dirtydemos.co.uk
Address: http://www.contramusikproduktion.de

THE NURSING HOME BAND - YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT NOT TO BE OFFENDED (CDR by Nursing Home Records)
EVERY DAY IS HALLOWEEN (CDR compilation by Nursing Home Records)
When the mail arrives the things that look like something 'unknown' is quickly scanned to see if it should be forwarded to other reviewers. These two seemed from the outlook to be noise based, and perhaps they are, but perhaps it would not require the Jliat standard. No information was delivered with either of them. The Nursing Home Band seems to be a duo of Helter Skeletor on drum machine, vocals, programming and samples and Baba Yoga on keyboard, guitar and additional vocals and some additional guests. With so many vocals, it is indeed a wise idea to enclose the lyric sheet. Musicwise The Nursing Home Band seems to draw their inspiration from Kingdom Scum, Suicide, Screamers and Mister Quintron. Heavy on the rhythms, heavy on the vocals, a bit of guitar and the attitude of a good punk rock song, although they don't operate in the two-minute genre, as some of these pieces are bit longer. Menacing as much as they are probably they are quite funny. No harm intended, it seems, but it has a good attitude. Maybe a bit long as a whole and maybe some pieces would have benefitted from being a bit shorter. Otherwise very nice.
As I write this, Halloween is just a few days ago, and of course it went by without noticing. Its getting stronger this other USA influence on daily, European, life and I am clueless why. Actually I am totally clueless about Halloween anyway, but on Nursing Home Records, there is, over-long, compilation of 'scary music' by, I believe, the current USA noise underground, the real thing. Some of the names looked familiar, like Panicsville, Zombie Battle Axe, Josh Lay and Nursing Home, but also new ones such Frank Castle, Paid In Puke, Pork Lion, Entropy Pool, Hex Apparatus and Teenage Arsonist (no doubt some of the names are really funny). As said, this can be regarded as 'scary' music, but no youngsters currently running around to test this on, and the adult me is less easy scared. From the pure noise of Istituzioni Ambienti Naturalismo to Eraritjaritjaka to guitar noise of Castle and the more doom rhythms of Nursing Home, its the harsh noise that makes the majority here. Even when you are not scared (and why should you), this is a very interested compilation of many new US noise names. If ever you have a party of any kind, then you know where to take your pick. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/nursinghomeband

MICHAEL CHOCHOLAK - ALVEROMANCY (CDR by Triple Bath)
TZESNE - LA CARNE (CDR by Triple Bath)
The name Michael Chocholak is perhaps not very well-known, despite his work in underground music for some twenty-five years. Originally a guitarist, these days he's using anything he can lay his hands on: from the guitar to the computer, from drums to glass - all of this is used to the extent of no longer being able to recognize what it is. Creating large pieces of vast and dense clouds of sound. Music that sounds very electronic, yet very organic too. You don't recognize the initial sources - its only because they are mentioned in the press text. Music like this would be called ambient industrial: its too noisy to be fully ambient and relaxing, and too ambient to pass on as real noise. This is sort of ambient (industrial, drone whatever) music that I really like. Referring to modern electronics (especially Roland Kayn), heavily processed electro-acoustic music and Germany's cosmic music (especially Conrad Schnitzler), this is music that hardly sees innovation, but in the capable hands of Chocholak its still a great miracle.
Much younger and more active in the Vital world is Tzesne from Spain, who already has a string of CDR and MP3 releases. 'La Carne' means 'meat' and has three lengthy pieces. The first one is the title piece, and then a 'reconstruction' by one Luis Marte and an additional piece, called 'Additional'. Tzesne too operates inside the world of ambient industrial, yet where Chocholak is a bit more ambient, Tzesne would be a bit more industrial, but the margins are quite small. The title piece starts out in a more heavy vein, but takes back gear and very slowly builds again. All built from what seems field recordings and lots of electronic processes. The remix seems to follow the same course, but does things a bit quicker. I am not sure if I think it was really necessary to release this piece. Its not bad, but a bit superfluous. Which perhaps also can be said of 'Additional', even when that seems to be made from just field recordings. The total is a bit long, whereas with just 'Le Carne' it would have been a fine release too, More is not always better. (FdW)
Address: http://www.triplebath.gr

LUMINOUS - THE VHM EP + THE BAD EP (CDR by Hikokomori Records)
ORDER OF THE BEAK - SIC SEKEM (CDR by Hikokomori Records)
Behind Luminous is one Tim Chaplin, who was once a singer/songwriter, but now as Luminous is in the more experimental area of music. Since 2000 he has released a whole bunch of music. His release contains two EPs. 'The VHM EP' was 'recorded very quickly, using basic loops and samples' and 'The Bad EP' was recorded on a cassette which previously had Michael Jackson and Type O Negative, so you could still hear some of that through the Lumnious music. 'The VHM EP' does indeed sound quite crude: a bunch of rhythm loops, some electronics, some organ like sounds, half an attempt at techno, but nothing seems to be worked out very well. 'The Bad EP' seems to be more successful in what it is: also inspired by techno music, also with loops, but longer yet with a more clear idea of what he wants: minimalist electronic music with a strong love for rhythm. All in all not really good or really bad, just a bit too hastily made, I think.
Order Of The Beak is Jeremy Crawford from Gainesville, Florida, since 1991 and since 1993 joined by Ian Lambert. They were briefly signed to Invisible Records and they split up in 1997. '$ic $ekem' was recorded in 1995 and is of a kind that I never really understood - the US version of industrial music in the late 80s and 90s. Heavy rhythms, loads of distortion, screaming vocals, repressed anxiety and such like. I guess not unlike Ministry or such like - all of the sorts of bands I never really cared about really. I am sure its all meant to be 'haunting', 'creepy', and appealing to our 'darker senses', but its nothing for me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hikokomori-records.com

TBC - CHICAGO 2 (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
TBC - ANTISYSTEM (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
CLAUS VAN BEBBER/ERHARD HIRT - TEFITON (CDR by Wachsender Prozess)
INTERPRETATIONS 1 (CDR by AMT)
You got to hand it to Thomas Beck, TBC and Wachsender Prozess boss: he does everything wrong here. Five releases, in stead of three, of which one was already reviewed in Vital Weekly, and they all seem to be released more than six months ago, namely in 2007. But I know him well, and he means well, so for once I'll make an exception. On 'Chicago' 2', TBC consists of Beck on tapes, turntable, mixer and effects and Hans Fallopen on sampler and effects. Just a few seconds under 80 minutes, makes this an altogether heavy weight release, both in length and weight. TBC's more regular style is a crude mixture of electronics and musique concrete, here its a full eighty minutes of noise, along the lines of Merzbow, but recorded with a lot less power behind it. Things shift and back forth in a minimal way, making all of this quite an endurance test. Acoustic sources are sampled and fed through the line of effects on end.
Then immediately after this I started playing 'Antisystem', which is exactly eight seconds shorter than 'Chicago 2', but it seems to me that its absolutely the same thing. Nothing different, or so it seems. A mistake? A joke? Or maybe I am too tired after 160 minutes of this stuff?
A bit shorter, sixty seven minutes, is a release by Claus van Bebber (who is German, but not 'von'!), who plays turntables and one Erhard Hirt, of whom I never heard. In 2004, they played two dates, one in Wiesbaden and one in Wuppertal, which can be found on this release. I have no idea what Hirt plays, but it seems to me to be something of an electronic nature, a synthesizer and sampler or something like that. Both pieces seem to me to be unedited, which I think is a pity. It has some great moments, but it also has moments in which both are searching for the right sound or the right mood (or the right mood to play the right sound). That makes the sixty-seven minutes of this release not an easy one. I think a combination of the best moments of the two concerts could have resulted in one great release of about half this length.
The final release is a compilation in which TBC took part. It deals with a graphical score by Slavek Kwi. Its reprinted rather small on the insert, so its not easy to see what it is. Also the disc itself is rather vague, if I might say so. There is one Aiofe McGovern with various fragments, but it has some nice bits by NMF, Zbigniew Karkowski, Dale Lloyd, AMT (being Slavek himself) and TBC long piece built from insect sounds, which by far beats the two full length releases mentioned above. Totally out of place seem to be Secret Society Music here in this lot of field recording artists. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hoerbar-ev.de/?mitglieder:tbc

L'IDIOT DU VILLAGE - BESTIOLES (CDR by Steelkraft Maschine)
HYTC - BESTIOLES (CDR by Steelkraft Maschine)
KNURL ­ TRIBOLUMINESCENCE (CDR by Brisecul)
Steelkraft Maschine is the sub-label to French label Steelwork Maschine that earlier this year released the ultra-brutal power electronics-album "We are meat / the vultures" from the French project Neon Rain. Apparently the sub-label follows the paths of its parent label with two albums that also belongs to the harsh territories of electronic expressions. First album comes French artist L'Idiot Du Village. The album titled "Bestioles" is a quite strange beast. With starting point taken in Noise, the album uses field recordings of insects, such as ants, cockroaches, moths, butterflies and centipedes to create quite unique sound spheres that lies in the crossland between drone ambient and harsh noise. Compared to many other noise albums there seems to be a more careful focus on the utilisation of sound sources giving a more sophisticated approach to the noise style. Another remarkable thing is the integration of old clips of movie and cartoon soundtracks adding a strange humorous element to the music. Interesting. Next album is from a project with the very strange name "Hyperbarich Yperite Therapy Chamber" (HYTC). Present album titled "Doomsday cult" is,  as the project name and the title suggests, a more dark and serious beast with full throttle noise thrashing into the poor face of the listener. Four lengthy pieces built on a combination of distorted noise drones  and screeching noise, supported by deep rumbles in the background manage to convince even the most skeptical listeners that apocalypse does await you, just around the corner. Another one to reach the apocalyptical levels of noise is Canadian noise-legend Alan Bloor who has been active with ear-shattering compositions for the open-minded listener in almost twenty years. Operating under the two aliases Pholde and Knurl, the latter is probably his most well known alias. On present album carrying the extraordinary title "Triboluminescence", Mr. Bloor once again blow the hell out of the speakers with six tracks of sheer violence. The sound textures are extremely fast and very intense with a noise spectre ranging from crushing power electronics to high frequency screeches. An extreme album the will make your power drill sound like Beethoven. Extremely intense! (NM)
Address: http://www.steelwork-maschine.com
Address: http://www.myspace.com/briseculrecords

HUNTON QUINTET - BERTOS PARTS (CDR by Unverified Records)
UFO ANTLER BAND (CDR by Unverified Records)
THE SPEECH ORGANS (CDR by Unverified Records)
Let's hope that the fine print on the cover of Hunton's Quintet doesn't have something really important, but the typing was so small, that I gave up. Pretty much the same goes for the line-up, although there seems to be a guitar, percussion and effects, vocals. About an hour of 'improvisation', although more that's too much honor for what I just heard. "Let's do something, anything at all' under the banner of free improvisation, with some lo quality recording device.
Well, and if that wasn't enough, the next forty minutes were spent with UFO Antler Band, whoever they are. More freely improvised music, with a bit more electronics, but so it seems with the same recording device. I used to have tapes in the early 80s that sounded quite similar. Then I liked it more than I do now I guess, but then more water has passed under the bridge also and recording devices have become so much cheaper and better, so there is hardly a need to make it sound so lo-fi. Unless that is, and no doubt it is here, your esthetic. Probably like the willfully low musician ship. I had, needles to say great trouble with both.
There is, however, light at the end of tunnel, and we can conclude in a more positive vein with the compilation 'The Speech Organs', which consists of pieces of music that deal with the human voice. Many new names, but also Phil Minton, which I assume is quite a coup for them. The speech organs at use here are quite crude and rude, in the best Henri Chopin tradition. Not really a story nor a poem, nor a narrative, but the mouth as the source of sound. Sometimes as plain as you can get, but many of the artists use some sort of electronic processing. In many of these cases the end result is quite a lo-fi affair, but it has some captivating moments. Still the presentation is as with the other two, quite low. Included are Dylan Noukis, UFO Antler Band, Dead Labour Process, Usurper and many others. Nice one! (FdW)
Address: http://www.geocities.com/unrecs

CROATAN ENSEMBLE - WITHOUT (CDR on Eh?)
GAMMA GOAT - BEARD OF SOUND BEARD OF SAND (CDr on Eh?)
What a good title for a label producing such diverse material, Gamma Goat are almost a rock band, maybe they "are" a rock band, well I think they say they are - but drumming and un-recognizable vocals- is it a pastiche? Probably not - anyway I must admit after listening to this first time I wanted to play a stones track - "start me up"- and that presents a problem as I was driving, cursory glance and it was not obvious - the best of stones CD was probably underneath the seat with decaying things- I'm not a tidy car person. The second problem is this- if you want rock music then you play the Rolling Stones - ?Sí?
Croatan Ensemble layer synths and electronics in beautiful droney layers, improvised I think, full of interesting textures and carefully done, and if you like that kind of thing worth a listen, its far more crafted the G.G.- but GG sets out to be un-crafted, so unfair to compare. For me C.E. was just too much like film music, in the inoffensive pejorative sense. neither made this grown man cry.. (jliat)
Address: http://www.publiceyesore.com/

ANTRACOT - GALVANISM (3"CDR by Tosom)
MX NIHIL - SICK BEATS (3"CDR by Tosom)
I like this label, despite its quirky web site- which could benefit from some reasonable html and a bit of graphics in keeping with the products (blue and pink not good and Lucida font - cummon guys) which comes from Memmingen, Germany, a medieval town well suited to these releases on 3inch CDR which I would describe as noise, and though on Galvanism you do at times appear to be listening to machines destroying themselves - it is keeping with illustrations of early factories which are permeated by a sense of the alchemic and Hermetism which also appears on the Sick Beasts, though here the occultism is laced with sexuality, on both swathes of noise lo-fi, lo-freq underpin what might be sexual or mechanical deviant praxis. So guys - google images - Hermetism - there's that wonderful Dürer http://www.ljhammond.com/phlit/images/melancholia.jpg - a local of yours and in keeping with the general feel of this series - and use some texts such as "O son, how many bodies we have to pass through, how many bands of demons, through how many series of repetitions and cycles of the stars, before we hasten to the One alone" preferably not in Lucida but gothic blackletter. And maybe pack in card sleeves rather the dull and sensible DVD plastic case, then this might make these collectable releases more popular- which
they deserve to be. (jliat)
Address: http://www.tosom.de/ go there you'll see what i mean...

DARSOMBRA - NYMPHAEA (CDR by Public Guilt)
OBLONG BOX - THE 13TH FLOOR (3"CDR by Public Guilt)
The notion of remixes in the world of 'commercial' music is about getting your product known to a different kind of audience, who would normally not hear your product. In the underworld of Vital Weekly, the remix is more a hobby of keeping your friends busy. The only previous release by Darsombra, being one Brian Daniloski, we reviewed was 'Delirims & Death', a 3" CDR, although there are more releases on Public Guilt by him. Here he offers one new track which then get duly remixed by twelve friends of his, which include, name checking here, Guilty Connector, Strotter Int. and Destructo Swarmbots, and loads of people I never heard of. I guess its not an easy task to make a remix of the guitar and drum song which is like a heavy rock anthem then a microsound doodle. Max Bondi & Bleeding Heart Narrative as well as Ala Muerte add vocals to it, which I think is quite a stunt and unusual for remixes. I believe the remixers had access to the multitrack sounds as some built it around specific elements of the music whereas others simply add more effects to the original, thus not adding much news to it, like Perfect Teeth. The best pieces are those who take the original into an entirely new territory, such as Destructor Swarmbots, Max Bondi & Bleeding Heart Narrative, Guilty Connector, Magicicada, Strotter Int and Le Knell. In fact the majority does that and that's what saves this as a compilation I think. It makes a pretty varied bunch of music in the end.
Bill Henson, one half of Juhyo and owner of Housepig Records, is the man behind Oblong Box. Four tracks of what can best be described as 'dark ambient' or 'music for films of a somewhat darker nature'. Eerie synthesized sounds, lifted spoken words from films and more of these haunted/haunting tunes. Maybe a bit too short at nineteen minutes to make a full, balanced judgment about it, but these tracks are mighty ok. Nothing spectacular, nothing great, but quite delicate and made with great care for the finer sonic details. (FdW)
Address: http://www.publicguilt.com

TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A./HARSHCORE (3"CDR by Dokuro)
ENT - SONIC INDUCERS (3"CDR by Dokuro)
DEAD BLACK ARMS - AWAKE FROM THE DEAD! AWAKE FROM THE DARK! (3"CDR by Dokuro)
One of those things that happen, is that I know To Live And Shave In L.A., and even heard some of their music, but somehow I can't say I am an exact connoisseur of their music. The piece they do here is one of great plunderphonic nature. A cut up of a band introduction (R.E.M.?, how would I know?), which is spliced together by blasts of noise, electronic bleeps, and towards the end their own voice material. A great take piss on the self-importance of the big rock musicians. They share this release with Italy's Harshcore, whom we reviewed before and even saw playing live with their animal masks. The starting point of their 'Sun Hidden There' is Bukowski reading his own 'Dinosauria, We', cut up eventually, added with echo. On top Harshcore improvise around with a drum loop, bass and taped sounds, until the voice disappears and they built a new piece from improvisation and allow Charles back in. Maybe a bit long for the amount of information, but its surely one of the more refined Harshcore pieces. Nice one.
ENT have released before on Baskaru, but this new release seem to be a departure from their previous work. These three pieces no longer deal with rock music as such, but with the tehnoid rhythms of dance music. But somehow I must say it doesn't work very well. If the music doesn't engage to dance to, then what remains? Heavy rhythms that make an uneasy swing, a bit of noise lurking below, but its not an entirely convincing sound. Maybe if I would hear this much louder than is possible at home, I would be perhaps be more convinced.
The last one is a new name for me. Dead Black Arms is one Claus Haxolm from Denmark, who presents a piece of drone music. Not of the subtle kind, but one of a rather louder and more abrasive kind. An organ is recorded as loud as possible, but without distortion, and then superimposed upon each other. Some sections seem to appear as loops, whereas over the whole there is an overall layer of two, three or more. Then somewhere some distortion is used, which wasn't necessarily, I'd think, but throughout I thought this was a nice piece. Crude, rough minimalist drone music. A violent Palestine! (FdW)
Address: http://www.dokuro.it

33.333 - GRAB, BLIP, NOISE (3"CDR by Skumpy Records)
Sometimes it seems that the necessity to release anything at all wins from the actual content. On the cover of 33.333;s 'Grab, Blip, Noise' there is nothing else than just that and that it's 'written, recorded and produced by 33.333', although according to the letter that came with this, there are titles. 'Recorded using various stereo mic techniques and then mixed down so that each track is only audible in either the left or right ear'. Two left, and two right, total playing time under nine minutes. Digital noise along the lines of Merzbow or the high pitches of Ikeda, all two minutes in length ('previous pieces have been long, 30+ minutes'). I can only say, why? Why release this as such? Its not really bad, but a bit more could have been nicer. And why this separation of channels? Why not invest some more time and come up with something that is really good? (FdW)
Address: http://www.skumpy.co.uk

JASON KAHN - TIMELINES_NY (MP3 by Con-V)
Hmmm... didn't we already review a work by Jason Kahn called 'Timelines'? Yes, we did, in Vital Weekly 464, when we wrote: "Also on the subject of graphical scores is Kahn himself, in his 'Timelines' piece, for six players with whom Kahn worked before. These are Thomas Korber (guitar, electronics), Norbert Möslang (cracked everyday electronics), Günter Müller (mini disc, ipod, electronics), Steinbrüchel (laptop), Christian Weber (contrabass); the sixth one being Jason Kahn himself on analogue synthesizer. Kahn says that '"Timelines" approaches the idea of a "social music", in that this composition can only work with these particular people in this particular context'. 'Timelines' is a lengthy piece, around seventy minutes, and that is a bit too much. This mainly has to do with the dynamics of the piece, or maybe rather the lack thereof. Things go by in a seemingly endless stream, in which each player gets his solo role (the cracked everyday electronics of Möslang burst out at one point), but at the same time, in the background things continue to sizzle, crack and hum. Some of the passages take too much time. What I miss in this piece is the tension between the players, maybe some dramatic built up or something like that. Maybe the piece should have been forty minutes, with a little bit more dramatic tension among the players. Plus it would have been nice to maybe see in the booklet how such a graphical score looks like." That last thing is corrected here with a PDF version of the score, which looks indeed very much like a nice graphical score. This New York version lasts no less then two hours, so pretty much of what I wrote about the CD release applies here again. Its all a bit long