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VITAL WEEKLY
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number 772
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week 11
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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!
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* noted are in this week's podcast. Feed at: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.xml






KRAIG GRADY - OUR RAINY SEASON/NUILAGI (CD by And/Oar) *
A DANCING BEGGAR - FOLLOW THE DARK AS IF IT WERE LIGHT (CD by Audiobulb) *
STINA - SUMMERS IN MARIANA (CD by Someone Good) *
ZERO CENTIGRADE - UNKNOWN DISTANCES (CD by Audio Tong) *
ZSOLT SORES AHAD - AHAD'S MASTERS GARDEN III (2CD by Audio Tong/Fourth Dimension) *
JANNIK GIGER - OPUS FATALIS (CD by A Tree In A Field Records) *
MAY ROOSEVELT - HAUNTED (CD, private) *
BILL - SPIELWIESE ZWEI (CD by Klangbad) *
ANDREW WEATHERS ENSEMBLE - WE'RE NOT CAUTIOUS (CD by Sleep On The Floor) *
ARBEIT/BEAUCHAMP/PALUMBO - TORINO 012010 (2CD by Tourette Records) *
KENTARO TAKEI/KAZUYA ISHIGAMI (CD by Neus-318)
KAZUYA ISHIGAMI/TAMAKO KATSUFUJI (CD by Neus-318)
LOTUS EATERS - WURMWULV (2LP by Taiga)
CHRISTIAN WOLFARTH - ACOUSTIC SOLO PERCUSSION VOL. 4 (7" by Hiddenbell Records)
COEVAL, MIGUEL A. GARCIA AND MIGUEL PRADO - TIRASSE (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
NIGEL SAMWAYS - NINE BARROW DOWN (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
STEINER - UNTITLED (CDR, private) *
SMALL THINGS ON SUNDAYS - MORE (CDR by Striate Cortex) *
ADRIAN SHENTON - SLOWTIME (CDR by Phonospheric) *
OGNI VIDENIY - TAJUSHIE (CDR by Vetvei)
VRESNIT - SEED SOLAR (CD by Vetvei & Aquarellist)
LUNAR ABYSS DEUS ORGANUM + HATTIFNATTER & NEZNAMO & KSHATRIY & VRESNIT - SONASTROIKA (CDR by Vetvei)
OTHER VULTURES - THE GUILT GROUP EP (CDR by Copy For Your Records) *
COREY LARKIN - RAW DATA STUDIES (CDR by Copy For Your Records)
RADERE - A SEASON IN DECLINE (CDR by Full Spectrum Records) *
MATT NORTHRUP - WORD IS BOND (cassette by Full Spectrum Records)
CJ BOYD/ANDREW WEATHERS - OVER MY OBSTRUCTIONS VOL. 1: THIS VOICE SAYING THESE WORDS (cassette by Full Spectrum Records)
MUENNICH - RUGGED (cassette by Fragment Factory)
ELLENDE - GROWING A BEARD, DRIVING A BIKE WITH A NAKED GIRL ON YOUR LAP DOES NOT MAKE YOU A MAN (cassette by Impulsy Stetoskopu)
ADDERALL CANYONLY - IT WAS A DARK AND STONEY NIGHT (cassette by Field Hymns)
REPETITION/DISTRACT (casette by Weevil Neighbourhood)


KRAIG GRADY - OUR RAINY SEASON/NUILAGI (CD by And/Oar)
Back in Vital Weekly 582 I first encountered the music of Kraig Grady. It was an amazing CD, compared by with the best of Alvin Lucier, Phill Niblock, Ingram Marshall. Since then there have been more releases, in which Grady explores his own tuning system. I do believe he is a writer of scores which are performed by other musicians, but then maybe I am wrong. Two lengthy pieces here on 'Our Rainy Season/Nuilagi'. The first is performed by Jim Denley (bass flute, alto sax and wooden flute) and Mike Majkowski (upright bass), while the second deals with metallophones played by Erin Barnes, Jonathan Marmor and Graidy himself. As said its not easy to figure how Grady works. In 'Our Rainy Season', Denley and Majkowski were asked to improvise on single notes with extreme pitch accuracy. I assume Grady then took these recordings to the computer and collate a piece of music out of it (or perhaps I am entirely wrong, and this is them playing together without much editing - the cover is not entirely clear about this). Its an almost fifty minutes piece of music which has all that great things that I like in music: long sustaining, acoustic sounds, which at times sound like sine waves, and making beautiful tonal drifts. 'Nuilagi' is about half that length (and perhaps you could wonder if that first piece isn't enough for one CD) and 'celebrates the coming of the rainy season after the relentless dry season that precedes it' and has a likewise beautiful touch to it. It reminded me of Indonesian music (Grady already produced a LP for Ini.itu, whose aim is to deal with Indonesian music in new contexts). Ringing overtones, slowing down, fading out, but then, curiously returning in a full force, perhaps even a bit louder, and then the process of decay starts again. Two excellent pieces of modern classical music with a strong exotic touch. No longer the big surprise, but a fine continuation of what Grady has already planted. (FdW)
Address: http://www.and-oar.org

A DANCING BEGGAR - FOLLOW THE DARK AS IF IT WERE LIGHT (CD by Audiobulb)
Behind the oddly named A Dancing Beggar is one twenty-three year old James Simmons. I never heard of him, and despite his young age, this is already his second full length album. From what I gather from the information, he comes from the post-rock background: this album is mixed and mastered by Ludovic Morin, who worked for Sigur Ros, Fleet Foxes and Beirut and Simons already played live alongside Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai) and Epic45. Guitars are also a primary interest, it seems, for Simmons. He recorded his album at home, surrounding by a bunch of effect pedals/stomp boxes, his guitar, but also a bit of piano, field recordings and even vocals. In this opening 'Creeping Into Dusk', the listener is transported back to the shoegazedaze, staring downwards while Simmons mumbles his lyrics. It kind of sets the tone for the album. The seven lengthy pieces are all of similar introspective layered guitars, bits of piano and lots of the chorus pedal. Shoegazing meets ambient meets post rock. I thought it was a pretty fine album, although perhaps the musical genre is not entirely my cup of tea. Its just occasionally listening to Sigur Ros or Mogwai: always nice, but never for too long. That can be said of Simmons work too. These forty some minutes are quite nice, but then the inward staring is already enough. I am not too familiar with all the ins and outs of this kind of music to judge if A Dancing Beggar is the most original voice in this corner of the music world, but I must say it all sounds pretty good. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiobulb.com

STINA - SUMMERS IN MARIANA (CD by Someone Good)
The word 'avant-songtress' is new for me, but its what Stina, hailing from Perth is, and 'Summers In Mariana' is her second album, recorded over a two year period, at home. Now that word 'avant-songtress' may imply that she sings, but largely this is an instrumental album of music played on a variety of keyboards. There is organ like sounds, harmonium, piano, a bit of rhythm, and perhaps a wee-bit of computer processing, though not a lot I think - its released by Room40's pop spin-off label Someone Good, so you know it has to do with popmusic, one way or the other. Instrumental popmusic in this case, or as Someone Good calls this particular release 'contemporary chamber music'. But perhaps that has also to do with the fact that the songs were created in different rooms of her house - which is quite a literal way of calling it chamber music. Melodic music, but always with a nice rough edge, an odd loop of some kind, or some rough edged recording quality, which adds a bit of spice to the music. Melodic and melancholic, but always with a summer-like feel to it: its warm in the shade kind of music. An excellent release for the early spring season, waiting for that first summer heat. (FdW)
Address: http://www.someonegood.org

ZERO CENTIGRADE - UNKNOWN DISTANCES (CD by Audio Tong)
ZSOLT SORES AHAD - AHAD'S MASTERS GARDEN III (2CD by Audio Tong/Fourth Dimension)
Three discs of improvisation here. Two of them come in one package and the other just by itself. Two players on that one, both of whom I never heard before. Tonino Taiuti plays acoustic guitar and gets credit for composition, while Vincenzo de Luc plays trumpet. Alright, so someone gets credit for composition, so perhaps its not a disc of improvisation? There are fifteen tracks to be found on this CD, all relatively short, almost pop-like in length. The nature of the improvisations is a bit, excuse the word, ordinary. Plucks, blows, a bit of electronics through the contact microphones, silence, the instrument as object. I guess its not bad but it rarely walks into something that totally amazes the listener. Its all alright, but never really good. On scale from one to ten, I'd say six.
The other disc is by Zsolt Sores Ahad, from Hungary, who recently (Vital Weekly 741) was reviewed with a disc he made for the Ronda label, together with En and Q. This new double CD is subtitled 'Ahad's Masters Garden III (2007-2009): The Harmonian Blues', and as a further subtitle 'music for film, theatre and dance'. Ahad is known from the lively improvised music scene from Hungary, and he plays many instruments, such violin, voice, guitar, tampuram modified sitar, a low-fi optical theremin, zither, percussion etc. Furthermore he gets help from various people on similar instruments. The two discs are quite apart I think. The six pieces on the first disc all seem to delve from the great goldmine of minimal music meeting rock music. Electric violins, hammering guitars and percussion, all in strict minimal tempo, but also with sound ornaments loosely improvised around it. Ahad extends his music quite a bit, with long waving guitar solos such as in 'On The Top Of The Darwin Tillite', which has a sort of Henry Flynt like character (but is perhaps a bit too long). Throughout however this rockiest improvised mood is quite nice; spacious, open, expanding in all directions and quite nice. An odd mixture of moods and influences. The other disc has just one piece, composed for the theatre performance of SHU Workshop based on Beckett's play 'Endgame', its called 'Lessness (Meeting With Godot)', and is basically one long linear piece going up. This is a much more experimental work, breaking away from anything even vaguely rock like that may or may not form parts of the first disc. Quite a thick, somewhat muddy sound here, with lots deep end bass rumble and scraping of bend violins in the basement. I must say this disc didn't do much for me. A certain amount of clarity seemed to be lacking from this piece, with not enough details. Still not bad, but top-heavy. Throughout however a fine disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiotong.net http://www.fourth-dimension.net

JANNIK GIGER - OPUS FATALIS (CD by A Tree In A Field Records)
A new name for me, this Jannik Giger, who hails from Switzlerland where he studied at Berne University and these days at the Conservatorium Lucerne, main subject composition. His main interest is 'objet trouve' (found objects) and musique concrete. He doesn't dabble with field recordings, but rather uses sounds taped from CDs and vinyl (I assume) from the world of classical music. To this he adds analogue and digital synths, electric guitars and drums, which he all plays himself. The music is quite strange. Not bad at all, but I'm not sure if I really like it either. I can certainly hear the quality of recordings, playing and collating, and Giger's own playing along with whatever he has sampled together is all quite nice, but just what is it then? Its perhaps on a crossroad of modern classical music, but then also a bit pop-like (certainly when it comes to the length of the tracks), a bit experimental. If anything I can imagine that this music goes very well with movies. Wide camera shots of landscapes, urban or otherwise, and with Giger's music underneath, and one senses anxiety or trouble somewhere. That's a good thing, but as a CD by itself I am not that convinced. As said: its not bad, but who exactly is this music for? (FdW)
Address: http://www.atreeiafieldrecords.com

MAY ROOSEVELT - HAUNTED (CD, private)
'Haunted' is the second disc by one May Roosevelt, who debuted in 2009 with an album called 'Panda, A Story About Love And Fear', which wasn't reviewed in Vital Weekly. She works with the ideas from Greek dances (not a territory I know a lot about). Roosevelt plays the theremin as her primary instrument, but also rhythm machines and synthesizers, as well as a bit of vocals. Each of the eight pieces comes from a dance. Yet the music presented here doesn't sound in any way traditional and also, perhaps also surprising, not as experimental as it suggests. The whole thing is more popmusic than I anticipated after reading the information, such as evidently clear in a piece like 'Dark The Night'. Haunted may be indeed the right word for this music. There is certainly a spooky atmosphere is many of these tracks, and the theremin can certainly create that atmosphere. Rhythmic, electronic, poppy: this is almost like a great 80s obscure electronic record. Maybe at eight tracks a bit too short for my taste, as I'd love to have a bit more of this. An excellent work, even when the whole Greek angle is lost on me. I believe her when she these beats are Greek origin, but if they were not, it be still a great record. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mayroosevelt.com

BILL - SPIELWIESE ZWEI (CD by Klangbad)
The name Bill stands for the B of Clive Bell (who played wind instruments with Jah Wobble, David Sylvian, Jeff Beck, Bill Laswell), the I of Hans Joachim Irmler (Faust), the L of Robert Lippok (of To Rococo Rot fame) and the other L is Jaki Liebezeit, best known as the drummer of Can. Quite a supergroup line-up, me thinks. They went into the Faust studio for one week as part of a project called 'Spielwiese Scheer' to work on an album. They only played together once at the Faust festival Klangbad. A drummer, a wind instrument player and two persons responsible for all things with keyboards. The music sounds partly improvised, based loosely around the drumming of Liebezeit. In one track, 'The Thrower' a sequencer driven backdrop provides that everybody can improvise loosely, but its the weakest track here. When things are shorter, they are also more coherent, such as in 'Lovely Ending', with a spooky bass riff, electronically treated flutes and far away electronics. Or the joyful opening of 'Glassbamboo', the filmic, eastern sounding 'Under Water' (although perhaps a bit long) and the ambient atmospheres of 'Das Boot'. Six of the seven pieces are very nice, offering a variety of moods and styles and is executed with some great care. And all of that in the matter of one week. (FdW)
Address: http://www.klangbad.de

ANDREW WEATHERS ENSEMBLE - WE'RE NOT CAUTIOUS (CD by Sleep On The Floor)
Like Mark Northrup reviewed elsewhere, Andrew Weathers is also from Greensboro, North Carolina. His first CD, 'A Great Southern City', was reviewed in Vital Weekly 720. Back then it was all inspired by Greg Davis, Peter Broderick and Machinefabriek. He must have had various other releases in the meantime, as the press text says he has four solo releases, before releasing , as the Andrew Weathers Ensemble. Himself he takes credit for playing guitars, banjo, organ, percussion, voice and electronics, and then there is a whole bunch of people playing saxophone, vice, flute, guitar, violin, harmonica an clarinet. Membership is flexible for this group. The music sounds like it sounded before, moody and introspective, but it also sounds expanded, richer and fuller. 'Go Lightning' starts out with an organ drone, but slowly more and more instruments are added, where the banjo and voice play an almost folk-like tune, but then with a time clocking in at close to eight minutes. Just as easily there are bits where electronics are more extensively used, blending nicely with the instruments. Throughout the ensemble plays minimal music, with not a lot of variations inside a piece, but they explore their material quite well. Again the references stand as before, but also the recent move for 12K records. Perhaps its not a coincidence that one of the tracks here is called 'Seaworthy'? An excellent release of great textures. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sleeponthefloor.com

ARBEIT/BEAUCHAMP/PALUMBO - TORINO 012010 (2CD by Tourette Records)
Jochen Arbeit one played guitar in Die Haut and Einsturzende Neubauten, and me, cynically, thinks that that fact still opens doors. I haven't followed his career nor that of the bands he was in. But apparently at one point he had an 'Soundscapes' improvisation project, of which the "focus being on the moment of the spontaneous meeting of different systems of soundscaping, the task and challenge of exchanging the results of individual sound research in a public space". This, at one point, expanded into a trio with Paul Beauchamp and Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo "(the duo known as Blind Cave Salamander)". They play guitar, electronics, musical saw and electric viola. They already had a LP and now this double CD with a studio session and a live recording from January 2010. That seems a bit much I think. This trio uses a lot of e-bows on their guitars, some oscillating synth and are throughout in the field of drone music, atmospherics, dark and dusk. Music from that already crowded field of Bass Communion, Fears Falls Burning/Microphonics and no doubt whatever Robert Fripp is up these days. I must say I quite enjoyed both discs in this package, but saw little difference between the studio disc and live companion. Both were equally good, and both seemed to translate well from studio to stage, or vice versa. But to play both in a row was a bit much. Then I heard not enough variation. But it was surely nice enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touretterecords.com

KENTARO TAKEI/KAZUYA ISHIGAMI (CD by Neus-318)
KAZUYA ISHIGAMI/TAMAKO KATSUFUJI (CD by Neus-318)
Two split releases, and both involving label owner Kazuya Ishigami. The first one is 'just' a split release, containing three of his pieces and three by one Kentaro Takei. His three pieces are collisions in the world of pure electro-acoustic sound and electronic music. The acoustic sounds, of which it is hard to decipher where they come from, but are best described as rumbling of contact microphones meet up with sparse sine wave like electronics. Sparseness seem to be his goal, but he is just a bit too sparse to be fully interesting for the amount of time his three pieces take up here. Of more interest, also about half the length, are the pieces by Ishigami, whose work is entirely created in the world of computer processing. He composed for INA-GRM, so that may explain this a bit. From the various releases I heard from him, this trio of piece is certainly one of the more interesting ones. Avoiding the usual trap of tumbling sounds and glissandi, his pieces are quite concentrated affairs of closely knit sound files working along and against eachother. Easily his most interesting work to date.
The other split release is with a female composer called Tamaki Katsufuji. She also worked at INA-GRM. Both use here spoken word by Kenichi Higashino, who is a scroll painter and story teller, telling what we see. Not an easy job if you haven't mastered the Japanese language. That is a bit of a problem with this release, since the voice is pretty much upfront and present in this release. And since we don't know what these stories are about, its hard to see how they relate to the music. Is the music supportive, contradictory? Hard to say, but I think its more supportive of the story, rather than working against what is told. Quite an amount of acoustic objects and bits of computer processing. What I thought was good was there isn't much difference in approach and execution by both composers. Now that could be a problem if it was 'just' a split disc, but here the connection, the voice of Higashino, makes the whole thing into an unified whole complete release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.neus318.com

LOTUS EATERS - WURMWULV (2LP by Taiga)
If I understand the press text well, then this double LP by Lotus Eaters, a trio of Stephen O'Malley, James Plotkin and Aaron Turner is a remix conducted by Plotkin of a previously released as a CD. I didn't hear that CD, so I don't know to what extend this material has been remixed, remastered and rearranged. Apparently in here there is also material from their 7" for Drone Records, which I also didn't hear. So this is my first encounter I guess. I am not quite sure what I had expect from this trio, but perhaps not what I heard. Maybe I expected a loud wall of guitar noise, metal ambient or something like that, but its not. Its all a rather abstract spiel of sounds, hovering closely towards the lower end of the sound spectrum on the first part (I am reviewing this from a cassette, so its hard to say what track is what, but apparently there are three of them). Then there is some organic rumble of organ like sounds. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for this kind of music, but this set of isolationist music didn't do much for me. It drones away nicely, perhaps, and no doubt will be picked up by many fans of those involved in this trio, but I thought these three lengthy excursions were just a bit too easy going for me. Not enough variation, just too easily compiled. Perhaps I am just missing a point? (FdW)
Address: http://www.metamkine.com

CHRISTIAN WOLFARTH - ACOUSTIC SOLO PERCUSSION VOL. 4 (7" by Hiddenbell Records)
Prayers heard! In my previous review of the 'Acoustic Solo Percussion' 7" series by Christian Wolfarth, I remarked it would be good to have all four 7"s on a CD. That may happen later this year, along with a disc of remixes. Still without edits, overdubs or electronics, this is exactly what it is: acoustic solo percussion. 'Cabin No.9' is a piece for… for what exactly? Cymbals crashing into eachother, played with kitchen utensils? It sounds like it. A wildly vivid piece of music. The b-side has 'Well Educated Society' which is a frighten piece of music of bowes bending cymbals in a crashing way, ending on a beautiful resonating tone, almost early Organum like. An excellent conclusion to a great series. Bring on that CD! (FdW)
Address: http://www.ch.wolfarth.ch.vu

COEVAL, MIGUEL A. GARCIA AND MIGUEL PRADO - TIRASSE (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
NIGEL SAMWAYS - NINE BARROW DOWN (CDR by Ephre Imprint)
Music of the members  of the Spanish improvising ensemble consisting of Coeval (Juan Carlos Binacos), Miquel A. Garcia and Miguel Prado have been reviewed several times at Vital. " Tirasse" is a 21 minutes long piece which is released at the Spanish label Ephre Imprint. The mix between fieldrecordings, electronics and guitar is a great combination and the music develops really slow. In slow-motion sounds of nature and soft electronic sounds melt together and carefully played guitarstrings complete the sound. In one moment a harsh bleep disturbs the quiet atmosphere and the trio started to play louder and with more harsh sounds. But still they do not get wild and the quietness and control is tangible. The tracks ends as it started, just some ongoing sounds, calm and with tension. A great electro-acoustic piece of music. Same length, but with a totally different approximation of sound is the piece of Nigel Samways. This English sound artist takes the listener to a dreamy world on his third release at Ephre Imprint. "Nine Barrow Down"  starts with a beautiful voice saying/singing something surrounded by mysterious wide dark sounds. This piece of music is coming back several times at the E.P. Music has been played on acoustic and electronic instruments with a lot of echo and reverb. It seemed that two pieces of music vary each other and in this variations the music becomes more and more sinister. This sinister mood fits really well by the cover which shows us a green field with a white form like a human-being which is moving on the grass, but also is integrated with the blades of grass. The music have connections with reality, but the combination, editing and setting of the tones, rhythm and sounds makes as if the music is created somewhere down in the earth with some holes to the sky. Highly recommended piece of experimental work. (JKH)
Address: http://www.ephreimprint.eu

STEINER - UNTITLED (CDR, private)
No relation, I think, between the musical project called Steiner and Rudolf Steiner, founding father of the Anthroposophy. Behind Steiner is Stijn Huwels from Brussels, Belgium. He's been playing music which never lead to any releases, but during a sleepless night in August 2010, he set up his laptop, guitar and ebow, and started playing around with some moody, textured music. The result was satisfying, so he released in a limited edition with a nice cover. And quite rightly so, I should say: this twenty-six some minute piece finds him working a long the lines of Fear Falls Burning (less the dramatic climax) or Microphonics (but perhaps all a bit more rougher) in what is ultimately quite a nice piece of atmospheric music. Perhaps its not the most original in the world of mood music, coming down from say Brian Eno to Dirk Serries, but Steiner does a pretty decent stab at the world of drone/ambient music. Maybe a bit of additional mastering would have helped to bring out more of the disc, but its a most promising start. (FdW)
Address: http://www.steiner.bandcamp.com

SMALL THINGS ON SUNDAYS - MORE (CDR by Striate Cortex)
Its always great to see a band perform that I first heard only on CDR, such as Small Things On Sundays. A week or so I saw the duo of Henrik Bagner and Claus Poulsen play their drone music on two laptops, and some acoustic objects, such as an acoustic guitar. Perhaps the presentation was so so, and a bit too heavy on the reverb, but otherwise it seemed to translate the music I heard on CDR quite well. I got this new release handed from the band members that night and playing it reminds me their concert. Small Things On Sundays are a drone based band, who play six fairly long drone like pieces, adding a bit too much reverb at times to their sounds - especially when field recordings are added - but who play the dark atmospheric card quite well. 'Pioneers' has a fine fairground feel, stale arctic wind like sounds and a nordic feel to it. In their previous works they added slowed down vinyl, but I am not sure if that is still the case. There was a time when we used to call this kind of music ambient industrial, and I still think that is best term to used for this kind of music. Ambient in its spaciousness, and industrial in all its bleak, darkness - nocturnal waste land music. Quite nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.striatecortex.co.uk

ADRIAN SHENTON - SLOWTIME (CDR by Phonospheric)
A new release on Phonospheric, and one by label owner Adrian Shenton. His first release on his own label was 'Houseworks' (see Vital Weekly 682), dealt with a lot of outdoor sounds, but for this new work he plays keyboards, with pressing down chords to make clusters and layers them on top with ornamental sounds, like a sparse keyboard line (which sounds like a bell, in the first piece) sometimes along with field recordings (in various of the other pieces). Long, sustaining sounds, in the lower region on the keyboard, making this is a fine statement of drone music. A bit Twin Peaks like at time, and throughout with enough variation to hold ones attention, yet relaxing in a dark sort of way, while the somewhat crude mixing provides. Twilight shimmering music. This is definitely a step forward from his previous 'Housework' release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.phonospheric.co.uk

OGNI VIDENIY - TAJUSHIE (CDR by Vetvei)
VRESNIT - SEED SOLAR (CD by Vetvei & Aquarellist)
LUNAR ABYSS DEUS ORGANUM + HATTIFNATTER & NEZNAMO & KSHATRIY & VRESNIT - SONASTROIKA (CDR by Vetvei)
Vetvei label is a label from Yaroslavl/Russia and run by Ilchuk Sergey, who is also the man behind Vresnit. The label is specialized in magic orientated music. The  artwork of the label  is of high quality, created by multi-layered images presented at a six-panel full-colored envelopes. The art is a mix between digital technics, photography and paint-art. It has a high magical character. Ogni Videniy is a duo consisting of Petr Abysov and Alexandr Chulkov. Spring 2009 they recorded they CDR Tajushie, what stands for "Melting". Petr Abysov plays singing bowls, bells, wind chimes and uses his voice. Alexandr Chulkov recorded and mixed these Buddist sounds and subtile he changes these ancient sounds with some effects. Field-recordings of the sea, water and other undefinable sounds are added. The combination of these elements is well-chosen and balanced. A great CDR for people who wants to meditate in an adventurous way. Vresnit released already more albums on Vetvei and Seed Solar is the sixth release on his own label. For this CDR he cooperated with Kshatriy, Hladna and Neznamo and they created four tracks. Seed Solar is more experimental and has a deeper mood than Tajushie. The intensity is stronger, because of the whipping beats and ever floating flutes or the singing of mantras. The album develops into more and more industrial mood, becomes more abstract and multi-layered. No easy-listening ambient, but great music for people who likes drones with a mystic character. In november 2010 Lunar Abyss Deus Organum, Hattifnatter, Neznamo, Kshatriy and Vresnit performed in the Experimental Sound Gallery ESG-21 Club in St. Petersburg. During this performance there were no separate concerts, but the musicians played together. Field recordings, voices, guitars, synthesizers, wind instruments and electronics. This album is the answer to the perestroika for more softness and attention for the combination of nature and culture in Russia. All the musicians are connected during this performance and the quality of this improvisation is high. The sextet created beautiful soundscapes to dream away in meditative moods. Vetvei is a interesting label, especially for lovers of music which is related to drones, psychedelica, meditation and other rituals. (JKH)
Address: http://vetvei.ohms.ru/

OTHER VULTURES - THE GUILT GROUP EP (CDR by Copy For Your Records)
COREY LARKIN - RAW DATA STUDIES (CDR by Copy For Your Records)
Two releases of more or less, one way or another, noise music. First we have a duo of Frederick Butler (on drums) and Arthur Sedgwick on bass and vocals. They are called Other Vultures' and have five tracks on 'The Guilt Groupe EP'. Since 2009 they are on an undiscussed break, and these recordings were made just before that. Their playing is apparently physical at times, ending with blisters and blood. Somehow it seems that these boys aren't necessarily great masters of their instruments (they call themselves 'proudly-inept noisecore'), but its all about intensity of playing music. And as such they succeed well, I think. Although not entirely my cup of tea, I quite enjoyed these furious blasts of rock noise of a total free spirited character, ending the furious finale of 'End'.
On the electronic side of things we find Corey Larkin, who has a 'fan CDR' (mini CDR shaped as a big CDR) with two pieces that were derived from 'raw data'. You open up an image in your sound wave editor and see what it sounds like. One short piece and one very long (fifteen minutes) of these pieces. 'Exploring possible tensions between methodology and perception, determinacy and interderminacy' as Larkin calls it. My copy broke a bit when I took it out of the box the second time, which at first I thought was bad, but luckily the music could still be largely enjoyed. Its hard to tell what Larkin did to the music in terms of composing or editing, but the raw data sound pretty loud and visceral, penetrating brain and body. Larkin uses the collage technique, which means loud clusters are replaced by single shots at sound, and even a bit of silence here and there. A pretty decent, not altogether surprising, release. (FdW)
Address: http://cfyre.co/rds

RADERE - A SEASON IN DECLINE (CDR by Full Spectrum Records)
MATT NORTHRUP - WORD IS BOND (cassette by Full Spectrum Records)
CJ BOYD/ANDREW WEATHERS - OVER MY OBSTRUCTIONS VOL. 1: THIS VOICE SAYING THESE WORDS (cassette by Full Spectrum Records)
The second release from Carl Ritger, also known as Radere, again for Full Spectrum Records. He has left his older references at home when exploring new territory for his music. This time he presents one piece of music which is for sure noisier than the previous work - no lurking at 12K this time around. I think percussion lies at the core of this music, plus a big wash on a guitar and too much reverb. That literally seems to drown out in this piece, certainly when things are up and running. Quite fuzzy and noisy this particular release, and I can't say I enjoyed this radical change of hearts. While referring to shoegaze, this whole forty some minutes work is too gritty and too fuzzy for my appetite. Only the first fifteen minutes, when things are still calm and building up (but even then with quite an amount of reverb) actually pleased me. I think I rather have Radere in his first incarnation.
On cassette we find one Matt Northrup, from Greensboro. He plays guitar and has five tracks on a rather short cassette. His guitar playing is fed through a bunch of loop devices which allow him to loop around his playing and add more things on top. Spacious music which fits the current trend of cosmic music (say Emeralds), but in this case I'd say it also reminds the listener of Manuel Gottsching (before falling asleep in his new age doodling). Some of these themes could have easily expanded to longer pieces, and I am not sure if I like that he didn't. I'd be curious to hear some of these being a bit longer, but then it may not work. Maybe short equals good here and leaves the listener wanting some more. A cassette to played in repeat mode. Excellent handsome catchy tunes, marking a summery feel. Spring is here.
More music by Andrew Weathers, see also elsewhere, but this time solo. In the 'Over My Obstructions', musicians give eachother instructions of what to do and what not, such as 'only 1/3 of the instrumentation used can be a guitar' or 'all songs must be under five minutes'. An interesting approach, I think. One CJ Boyd gave five instructions to Andrew Weathers and vice versa. Boyd asked for one piece, with 1/3 being a guitar, including a fugue, a section must generated from someone else's music and include a cover he dislikes. So Weathers has the side long 'Seams And Seams', which is a much more loose end piece than the CD he just released. More like an all night jam on some instruments, including guitar, organ, voice material, all glued together to generate the idea of one composition. I must say I didn't recognize the cover, or counted how many times I heard the guitar. Throughout however the piece was alright, but a little less worked out than his major works on CD. Weathers asked Boyd for all songs under five minutes, at least one with no instruments, no ostinato on any song, some upright bass at least 2/3 played with a bow, and at least one consectutive minute with no tonal center. Boyd's first piece start out with singing and bowing the upright, so he delivers straight away. It seems to me there is indeed a fair amount of bowing, and I'm not sure about the ostinato's, but here too I have the impression things were put together in a rather loose way. Partly improvised around a set of ideas, rather then fully worked out ideas. Which I guess is not a bad thing, but somehow I expected perhaps a bit more. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fullspectrumrecords.com

MUENNICH - RUGGED (cassette by Fragment Factory)
ELLENDE - GROWING A BEARD, DRIVING A BIKE WITH A NAKED GIRL ON YOUR LAP DOES NOT MAKE YOU A MAN (cassette by Impulsy Stetoskopu)
ADDERALL CANYONLY - IT WAS A DARK AND STONEY NIGHT (cassette by Field Hymns)
REPETITION/DISTRACT (casette by Weevil Neighbourhood)
A short tape, around twenty minutes, by one Michael Mennich, of whom I never heard. The two parts of 'Rugged' were recorded directly to tape, as it says on the cover, and there is no mentioning of any soundsources. The label's website mentions this: "Embracing drones and traces of rust, far-off hissy sounds, ongoing crackling and feedback serenades. Peeled-off roughcast. There's horses appearing on the B-side", which I guess doesn't make things clearer. On the a-side things build up slowly, around some kind of drone based background and the rumbling of contact microphones on top. Quite a nice piece. Part two is more noise based, with a loop of galloping horses - or so I assume - along a cascade of feedback like sounds - and its probably a little less effective than the more spaced out first part. Throughout however a nice release.
In the recent, second, volume of the Encyclopedia of Noise, released by Impulsy Stetoskopu, we find an entry for Ellende. We learn its an anonymous musical project, led by one Wim Bontjes (who died in 1995), an author whose work is the basis of sound material. Musicians from all over the world deliver their sounds to the project and mixed together by the other three members from The Netherlands. Some of their music has been reviewed before. This cassette, also released by Impulsy Stetoskopu, contains two live recordings, one from 2008 (in Pieterburen, The Netherlands) and one from 2009 (New York). No members are mentioned here, but both pieces were created with 'various analogue instruments'. Both were picked up using a microphone, rather than a line recording, which adds a more raw edge to the end result. Probably its fair to say that we are dealing here with a rough form of cosmic music. Lots of synthesizer buzz around, sweep, oscillate and bubble and create fine, dense waves of cosmic music. Effectively it may seem that both concerts sound alike, which made me think that the same musicians are at play here, even when the 2008 concert is a bit more louder. I have no idea which literally references are in play here, but the title is great!
More popmusic can be found on the cassette by one Adderall Canyonly, who is from Portland, Oregon. During two years he worked on a bunch of analog synthesizers and drum machines to create the untitled pieces on his cassette. Lots of bouncing rhythms, vocoder like voices and disco riffs on his synthesizers. It has a very retro 80s feel to it, and by that I mean from the underground. Whereas we may reminder lots of noise on cassette from those days, there was of course also these guys with one or two synths and a drum machine creating their own synthi pop tunes. Raw in execution, not really dance floor friendly, spacious and occasionally out of control. That's exactly the kind of sound Adderall Canyonly is after and he succeeds pretty well. Welcome to the underground disco party, wearing your 80s costume. Not every track is a hit, but played with sheer fun and energy.
Following three 12"s, 'The Weevil Series', it now time for The Weevil Neighbourhood. Releases will be limited and it deals with the idea of 'topology ('neighbourhood') with places, scenes, actors etc. instead of a linear development'. I believe various musicians are part of this ongoing project, and according to the cover, here its one Felix Hoeck, who plays music as Repetition/Distract. Its a curious lo-fi rumble of sorts. Hard to decipher what exactly it is though. An amalgam of loops of daily sounds, all rendered beyond recognition, I assume, with bits of electronics thrown in. Its a pity that the music is somewhat clouded, muffled or hidden away in the low-affair recording. With some extended equalization it would certainly reveal more, unless of course its the intention of the composer to do it exactly this way - its hard to tell. Certainly a free-flow improvised stab at musique concrete, and at that, quite nice indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://fragmentfactory.com/
Address: <impulsysteoskopu@yahoo.com>
Address: http://www.fieldhymns.com
Address: http://www.weevilneighbourhood.com



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