\ / | ----- /\ | \ / |== |== | / | \ / Week 16
\ / | | / \ | \ /\ / | | |/ | \ / Number 77
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Q.R. GHAZALA - REQUIEM FOR A RADIO (CD by Realization)
Q.R. GHAZALA - THRENODY TO THE NEW VICTIMS OF HIROSHIMA (CD by Realization)
Ghazala builts his own instruments through 'circuit-bending' (the creative
short-circuiting of various electronic devices) and is now presenting two
works on CD. To aptly describe the concept of 'Requiem' I should re-write
the extensive liner-notes, but in short: a radio is destroyed, then smashed
in an ice crusher, then melted, and then sawed into chunks. Each of these
actions result in a 15 minute music piece. The destruction of a small
plastic radio is performed with great precision, a slow process, but
delivering a great, concentrated musique concrete piece. The contact
microphone is then attached to the ice crusher. There is machine drone in
the background and small sounds of falling objects. In the third piece the
radio pieces get thrown in a metal container before they are cremated. I
suspect some studio treatments are added here, since there is some stereo
echo used. The sawing piece is the most 'industrial' piece with its heavy
backdrop of rhythmic machinery. Of course there is a lot more to it, than I
could describe here, but it remains a fascinating requiem.
The 'Threnody' is a 5 piece work recorded for the 'insect voice
synthesizer'. Long sustaining drones make up what could be a requiem as
well. The drones are high pitched, thus giving the work a rather dark
meaning: it sounds like an air raid siren going off during a bombardment.
This ain't pleasent listening, but a rather powerful work that, in all it's
harshness, does make sense. (FdW)
Address: 9452 Telephone Road #116 - Ventura, CA 93004 - USA

ONOMATOPEIA - IRRELEVANT (C45 cassette by Perverse Series)
Just what is irrelevant? This release? Or the fact that Onomatopeia tells
us what the ingredients are in every track? Onomatopeia is one of those
active musicians who still releases on various formats, including
cassettes. Each of the 5 tracks on this tape is recorded by using one
soundsource: hunting horn, cymbal, piccolo, bass guitar and home-made
zambomba. These instruments are fed through a whole bunch of effects and
samplers. I can't recognize the piccolo or the guitar in amongst all the
disturbing sound effects. The resulting pieces can easily be described as
industrial, but the kind of industrial that is put together with more skill
then the average 'how do I set my cassettedeck in all the wrong
connections'. (FdW)
Address: P.O.Box 62140 - 15201 Chalandri - Athens, Greece

WE - AS IS (CD by Asphodel)
We are a bit of everything. We are trip hoppy. We are breakbeat. We are
jungle. We are a bit of ambient. We are a bit techno. We may ask: do We
have a face, or are We as blurred as the images on the cover? We made a
nice entertaining CD, but maybe a bit too faceless. We are puzzled. (FdW)
Address: <asphodel@interport.net>

MARNIX DE NIJS - THE SOUND OF NEIGHBOURS (CD)
When reviewing this CD, one has do some name dropping. Marnix de Nijs is a
visual artist from Rotterdam and for an art project he attached a
microphone to the wall of his neighbours. He taped some of their daily
events of his neighbours, like them watching soccer, enjoying family Life,
having a telephone call, while fucking and pissing. An invasion of their
privacy. Just like, here comes the name dropping as promised, Scanner. When
hearing and reading the liner notes, we can't find out whether they knew
they were taped (or wether they gave permission to release a CD). Now what
in terms of music? Is it music at all? I would say it is. In musical terms
this is just as much as soundscaping as, say, recording birds or water. Of
course everything sounds cranked (recorded through walls, remember), but
this CD raises once more a lot of questions, such as: how far can one go,
in terms of privacy (if such a thing still exists), how far can we go, what
is music?
Address: <staal@euronet.nl>

PHTHALOCYANINE - NAVY WARSHIP (CD by Plug Research)
With CD production prices dropping all the time, everyone can make a CD.
This one of those really low-budget products. No info whatsoever on the
band, just hand scribbled titles and address. The music is a lot of rhythms
layered over each other, which in some way are borrowed from all those
dance music areas, but it never reaches jungle, trip hop or (fill the rest
in yourself). There is also a lot of organ-like sounds, echoes to go along
with, but these 10 tracks have too much hit andlack character. None of
these tracks really go anywhere, and sound like a random mix of sounds
stapled on the multi-track. I prefer to pass on this. (FdW)
Address: telephone & fax: + 1 714-552-6954

SHIFTS - SUPERIMPOSED (7" Vinyl)
ULTRASOUND - LOOM (12" Vinyl)
BRUNNEN - GOODBYE BY BRUNNEN (12" Vinyl)
ALL ABOVE ON KORM PLASTICS
Every two or three months Korm Plastics, Amsterdam based label, releases a
bunch of records of different sizes and playing speeds. They are all
limited editions, which makes them quite snaffable anyway, and usually
score about 2 out of 3.
The first of this new batch to come under the needle is the 7" '
Superimposed' by a person called ' Shifts', and he works from the premise
of guitar as source of ambient. Not a new idea, and hardly worth
mentioning. But I have. So there. This is the 2ND 33RPM 7" by this
composer, and as I found one of the tracks on the previous record
absolutely excellent, I thought I'd better give this some time. It is much
more aggressive than the last disc, opening with a severely stressed
bell-like sound which almost strobes out of the speakers. Low tones slowly
encroach but never come close enough to shatter the weird web that these
bells carve out of space. This is followed by a white heat roar, the sound
of something big falling down. Track 3, Side 2...knock on wood, bouce the
delay, bright chords burst forth and perhaps resurface in the next track
which might be later on in the take. Those bells are getting LOUDER, as
they ricochet off sonic walls.
The LP by Ultrasound is a much more intense kettle of fish...instructions
on the back of the sleeve suggest splitting the outputs from the turntable
to two amplifiers and four speakers. Having listened to this on a normal
stereo system I can easily associate with this idea. The group is mostly
R.F.Olvelz, occasionally accompanied by members of Stars Of The Lid. It is
a massive drone, produced by godnosewot, which sounds like pure waves
bunged through a bunch of filters and the obligatory 'verb units. It is
similar to an exploration of a room filled with wires which, once brought
into vibration, rub against each other producing accidental crashes and
harmonics which spin off into the corners of the space. It is relentless,
demanding and a perfect aid to interdimensional travel.
Last up is my favourite of this series of records, probably because it is
completely unlike 99.9% of what I have on my shelves. Brunnen is Freak
Kinkylaar, half of Dutch duo Beequeen. The source tapes for this LP were
recorded about two years ago (just after the 'Queens' finished
'Sugarbush'), during a concert in France. The Kink was accompanied by Ryan
Moore, bassist for the Legendary Pink Dots and several and a half months
after recording this, handed it over to two blurks who did the final
production. It is a beautiful, personal and completely whimsical collection
of tracks, none of which try to be anything more than what they are. There
are no disguises here. There are some love songs, simply executed with
guitar, voice and one or two other sounds, which are separated by weird
atmospheric instrumental pieces. Names that came to mind were Julian Cope
and Syd Barrett (and that's a compliment, Jules!), mostly because of the
completely other-world (beyond the fourth, the fifth and even the sixth)
vocal takes and stuttering instrumentation. A fragile, delicate and
refreshing addition to my vinyl piles. (MP)