number 786
week 25


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.

help Vital Weekly to survive:

* noted are in this week's podcast. Feed at: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.xml

UNDER THE SNOW - DELTA (CD by Silentes) *
PSYCHIC TV - THEMES (7CD by Cold Spring)
MZ. 412 - VAULT (CD-Boxset by Cold Spring)
CHARLIE MORROW - TOOT! (3CD by XI Records) *
MAJDANEK WALTZ & SAL SOLARIS - TENEBRAE (CD by Zhelezobeton/Shadowplay Records)*
HI FICTION SCIENCE (CD by Negative Drive)
TRAX 0982 XTRA (CDR by Radical Matters)
ART DETOX (CDR by Ethereal Open Network)
H. - HEVADA (CDR by Das Andere Selbst) *
TIMLIN - [PTE:TR] (CDR, private) *
KRYPTOGEN RUNDFUNK - LIVE 2005 (CDR by Zhelezobeton) *
B*TONG - OV ELF AND HAARP (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
R.X.O.N. - IN STRUMENZ (2CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
HOLZKOPF - SHARP LIKE A BROKEN BONE (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *

Work by Pascal Battus, as reviewed in Vital Weekly, is usually recorded in combination with others, for Battus is someone with a background in improvisation. His work is with people like Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Christine Shenaoui Abdelnour, Michael Johnsen or Jean-Luc Guionnet (to dig out some old Vital Weekly reviews). I am never sure what its that Battus, but on the first disc, 'Simbol', he realized recordings with 'cymbals, using specific techniques which enable me to sustain the sound and allow pure frequencies selected from the cymbals' upper partials to emerge'. The three pieces which result from this are excellent pieces of singing cymbals: rich in overtones, but without gliding into mediocre drones. Battus rubs against the skin of the listener, with occasional noise outbursts, high pierced tones, as well as singing bowls like chimes, and deep end bass sounds of the bigger cymbals. This is an excellent first disc.
The second disc is 'close in spirit to improvisation, recordings often made at home in the heat of discovery, with no particular project in mind. Instant writings, unrefined yet complete and more or less unadulterated'. No instruments are mentioned for this disc and there are five pieces here. As said, no particular instruments. I think 'Bouteille Magnetique' is with a guitar. For the four other pieces its almost impossible to tell. I listen very carefully, and don't know. Throughout this second disc, save for that guitar piece, a lot more noisy and direct than 'Simbol'. I scribbled 'tortured tuba' for the first track. I really liked 'Bouteille Magnetique', but the other four pieces are a bit too improvised for my taste, and make this second disc more into a sort of bonus disc to the great 'Simbol' disc. Not bad, I'd say. One and a half great disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.herbalinternational.tk

What happens if you amplify a trumpet? Or two? That might the question asked by Peter Evans and Nate Wooley. Both are well-known improvisers and usually from a free jazz area, and known for their silent playing. No such thing however on 'Amplified Trumpets'. If in fact these are trumpets: its not easy to say. The amplification is of course, as you may expect 'high', emerging into the world of feedback and distortion, and just very occasionally these guys pull back and let the trumpet hear, such as in the fourth (untitled) track. I liked that piece a lot, since it shows the dynamics of the trumpets in relation to the amplification. Think Borbetomagus but not as 'full on loud all the time', but surely on par as to intent of producing noise in the field of free improvised music. Quite nice, but with a length of over an hour, also perhaps a bit long. It could easily skip two from the first three tracks and have the rest on. Track four and five where highlights. Quite strong and a bit massive. (FdW)
Address: http://www.carrierrecords.com

Updating the website is not the number priority of Silentes, but they do release lots and lots of CDs, all of which can be loosely referred to as 'atmospheric', and the differences are in the details. One such detail is the use of instruments. Last week's release by Z'EV seemed to be dealing with percussive works in an electronic context, here its the duo of Stefano Gentile on guitar, objects and field recordings and Gianluca Favaron on 'processing', loops and field recordings. Their first release (as heard by me) was reviewed in Vital Weekly 771. I thought that was a nice release, but seemed to dwell a bit too much on computer processing and not on the guitar, or a combination as such. I have no idea if my words fell in good earth, but upon listening to 'Delta' it seems it did. Here the balance 'laptop and computer' is almost like 50% again, whereas the results may be very much along similar lines: atmospheric music, drone like, microsound and such like. Most striking however is the use of voice samples in the three parts of the title piece, probably lifted from some Alan Lomax recording (to whom these three pieces are dedicated). Once again, nothing new under the sun, and the combination guitar/laptop is hardly a surprising one, but these pieces are quite nice, especially the title pieces.
Two cryptic messages on the release by Yannick Franck and Pietro Riparbelli (aka K11). The first is that this work uses short wave radio signals, feedback, voice, various effects and filters (all normal so far), but also 'different works of the Italian Baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti as central sound source.' The second is that 'the title of this album refers to the Lyke-Wake Dirge, a 14th-century English funeral chant from north Yorkshire (which chorus is sung by Franck on the last part). Its a warning about the lack of empathy and generosity and their repercussions within the travel of the soul on its way to heaven'. I am not sure what this funeral chant has to do with the operas and cantatas by Scarlatti. Thank god, I don't need to find out, since what I hear has more to do with funeral chants than Baroque music. A forty minute drone in two main sections. The first is relatively soft, while the second half is more piercing in a low end sense of the word. No singing as such was detected here. But it did have some organ like music, adding to the funeral aspects of it. Details again: this is one piece, forty minute of heavy dark drones, while Under The Snow has seven shorter pieces in less time, and throughout of a more lighter nature. That is perhaps 'afternoon' music, while Franck/Riparbelli is more (scary?) night music. A massive humming chant. Similarities: both have a great quality and both aren't necessarily something new. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silentes.net

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first triple set on 12K, and its by Kenneth Kirschner, which is hardly a surprise. Kirschner plays long pieces and need time. So three discs and 'just' four pieces. I had him down as a piano player and computer musician, but in fact he plays all sorts of instruments, such as say metallophones and xylophones in the first piece 'January 4, 2011', which is quite a chaotic piece, at least for some one like Kirschner, who I also noted down as 'quiet' man. But in this piece he bangs away, and the great thing is that it is hard to tell what exactly the level of processing is, or in fact if there is any processing at all. It doesn't like it, and that might be the best compliment one can give (the press text says there is no processing of any computer kind - well alright). It reminded me of some very old tapes I have from the Kubus label and a tape by De Sekte, both ancient Dutch musical projects. The second piece on disc one is however much more like what we know from Kirschner: piano, strings and celeste play a very soft piece of music, the essential microsound like recording. A true beauty.
The second disc has one piece, in which we hear 142 different chords without repetition played on strings, woodwinds and horns. Another fine beauty of great sparseness. After each chord there is a bit of silence, making this highly contemplative music. The third disc has a piece for two piano's and is perhaps the kind of music we know best from him: music with sparse notes and a lot of hiss. Here no extra silence was added and it makes this a piece that has continuos sound throughout, sometimes abruptly moving somewhere else in a strange twist of fate. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

PSYCHIC TV - THEMES (7CD by Cold Spring)
When you see see the line-up of Psychic TV, you know what to expect, even if you didn't know about this legendary project in the first place. The band was originally established by the true industrial-pioneering legend, Genesis P. Orridge of Throbbing Gristle, in company with Alex Ferguson from the early punk group Alternative TV in 1981. Shortly after the two some were joined by another Throbbing Gristle-member, Peter Christopherson who later has become an even bigger name thanks to his incredible Coil-project. Being a project that both dealt with audio and visual expressions, Psychic TV called itself a video group that create music rather than a music group creating videos. Considering the fact that Psychic TV was first of all exploring the sound world a human generation ago, a large number of experimental listeners of present time doesn't know anything about this important project. British label Cold Spring has dug into the historical archives of early industrial scene and assembled this amazing box of Psychic TV's Themes-series. The series consists of four inter-sections. First CD is exclusively based on acoustic sounds with a line-up counting Genesis P. Orridge, Peter Christopherson and David Tibet, another true legend known for his legendary project Current 93. As you might expect with a line-up including members of Coil and Current 93, there is a great ritual feeling on this first part. From the opening piece titled Part I : Piano and Clarinet being an almost classical piece of ritual piano to pieces based on various bell instruments. Also field recordings takes part of the show with among others recordings from Jonestown at the time where the infamous mass suicide ritual took place back in november 1978 led by Jim Jones. First part of "Themes" was originally released in 1982 as a limited bonus LP with the first 5000 copies of the legendary PSYCHIC TV album "Force The Hand Of Chance". Next part, "Themes 2" was originally released on LP in 1985 by Temple Records and subsequently reissued as an extended CD version by Cold Spring in 1997. The music on this double-disc album was composed to accompany the films and videos of experimental visual artist Derek Jarman. The music is slightly noisier with distorted guitars pushing drones into pieces that remains ritual in expression. "Themes 2" also contains the piece titled "The loops of mystical union". The piece was a dedication to classical composer Alexander Scriabin (1872 - 1915) who is considered as one of the important fathers to the contemporary avantgarde music scene. This piece was analogue looped edits from Scriabin's classic work "Poem of Ecstasy". The music is suggested to be heard painfully loud in a dark room. As is the case with most pieces in the box-set the tracks of "Themes 2" is lengthy giving plenty of room to develop a nice trance-inducing ritual character. "Themes 3" was originally released on LP in 1986 by Temple Records and is presented here for the first time on CD, completely remastered. Where the two first themes were studio recordings third theme was the only one recorded live. The album is suggested to be heard in a darkened room facing a TV with full contrast on a non-transmitting channel. The album was recorded live by Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth Sunday 22 April 1984 & Monday 23 April 1984 Club 950, Chicago U.S.A and the 22nd April 1984 at 'Eventworks', Boston Massachusetts College of Arts, Massachusetts, USA. Last chapter in the "Themes" is a new album created by Genesis P. Orridge in collaboration with his new line-up consisting of among others his daughter Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge and Larry Thrasher and Bryin Dall. Musically "Theme 4" separates from the others with a more up-to-date style though still with the cut-up-based expression of Psychic TV. Overall the album is musically more accessible compared to the more demanding sounds of the earlier Psychic TV. Opening track "I'm making a mirror" draws associations towards Coil's beautiful album "Queen of the circulating library" but overall the album sounds like a mixture between experimental electronics and cabaret sounds. As a bonus disc comes a live recordings from Nottingham in 1986. The box also includes a 32-page booklet of rare photos and essays. An awesome guide to the world of Psychic TV and for everyone familiar with this milestone project this box is a superb addition. Highly recommended! (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

MZ. 412 - VAULT (CD-Boxset by Cold Spring)
Swedish label Cold Meat Industry was one of the leading labels to release industrial-based ambient-albums that was often termed black ambient or death ambient. One of the true legends from the label was Swedish artist known as MZ. 412 who together with compatriot artists Deutsch Nepal and Brighter Death Now was a leading artist to form the style of Cold Meat Industry. Now more than one decade later British label Cold Spring has taken the trip back to the past to the early days of MZ. 412 and now releases all five albums from the master of black magic. Mz. 412 was originally born as Maschinenzimmer 412. Brain-man behind was Henrik "Nordvargr" Bjorkk who has also released solo-albums under the name Nordvargr with among others collaborations with noise artist Merzbow. Mz 412 circulates in-between spheres of industrial, power electronics and dark ambient with a black metal edge. Maschinenzimmer 412 was developed in 1989, where the shortage MZ. 412 became actual from 1994 forward. All five re-issues have been remastered and comes in a neat package: A black designed digipacinner sleeve with minimalist front-design and early satanic artwork painting on the inner sleeve. First two releases "In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanas Luciferi Excelsi" (1994) and "Burning the temple of god" (1995) is ritual works of martial rhythm textures and subtle drones of crushing power electronics. What is remarkable by these two is the elements of black metal expressions that suits well into the black atmospheres. On the next album "Nordik battle signs" from 1998 the expression seems darker and more heavy. Elements of black metal has disappeared. Instead the expression is more brutal with crushing power electronics. The album among others contains the absolutely astonishing pieces of ritual brutality "Satan Jugend II : Global conqueering" and "In hoc signo vinces".  As we move to next album "Domine Rex Inferum" the expressions turns more subdued with focus on black ambient expressions until the final tracks where hell breaks loose with destructible power electronics. Last album in the box originally was released five years after the aforementioned previous album "Domine Rex Inferum". The album titled "Infernal affairs" moves away from the subtle textures of "Domine Rex Inferum" and thus takes the listener in to more upfront and bombastic textures of Industrial with elements of utterly dark ambient and cynic black noise. Hordes of samples from humans whispering, conversing and sometimes screaming in pain saturates the album meanwhile black whooshing drones creates a cinematic atmosphere. An absolutely astonishing boxset demonstrating why MZ 412 is considered one of the true kings of the Swedish black industrial-scene launched from Cold Meat Industry. A true milestone! (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

Its not for the first time that XI Records surprises me with the work of a for me totally unknown composer. Although if I would have memorized Tom Johnson's book with pieces he wrote for The Village Voice, I would have recognized the name Charlie Morrow. But I didn't. I read the extensive booklet with great interest and noted that Morrow is apparently a man of many talents. He composes serious music, for say 30 harps or 40 celli, but also tape-collages, field recordings, commercial jingles, installation pieces and radio-plays. All of that is present on this three CD set, which makes this hardly a coherent collection of music, but on the other it is a wonderful collection of music. His very slow piece 'Very Slow Gabrieli' from 1957 is present which he wrote as a teenager is a fine ambient like orchestral piece. 'Wave Music VII' for 30 harps has a great minimal quality. Field recordings are present in 'Central Park 1850' and 'Central Park  2007' as well as in 'Toot N Blink' Chicago (1982, in which Cage made his famous comments on Branca). The third CD has the longest work, made for Dutch radio, about a book from c 1540 and uses many mediaeval music as well as nature sounds in what became a most strange piece: the meeting of the 16th century and the 20th. And there is so much to explore on this set. Normally I would 'complain' about the longitude of such releases, but here I listened with much amazement and enjoyed myself immensely. (FdW)
Address: http://www.xirecords.org

MAJDANEK WALTZ & SAL SOLARIS - TENEBRAE (CD by Zhelezobeton/Shadowplay Records)
With my mobile phone I can make phone calls and send and receive text messages. The world of 'apps' hasn't reached yet here, but I was thinking, and perhaps it already exists, it would be nice to have an app when, if you play music it would translate the lyrics from say Russian to Dutch (or, if that's far fetched, English). That way I could understand what the lyrics/poetry of the release 'Tenebrae' is about. Or, perhaps, I could question why most of the text on the cover is in Russian anyway. The project is by Majdanek Waltz and Sal Solaris. According to the (English) press text the texts are by Paul Celan. The music is curious mixture of dark electronics, bit of field recordings and drones, all courtesy of Solaris and Waltz provides with cello, violin, clarinet and piano. A somewhat uneasy marriage of two ends with makes 'neither nor' music. Neither neo-folk, nor ambient, but a curious blending of both ends. I am not a particular lover of neo-folk-noir, and this music is quite bleak at times, I thought it was also quite a nice release. The reciting of the texts set against the highly atmospheric, yet sometimes atonal drones and the melodic interjections of the instruments. Not entirely my cup of tea, this dark mass of music, but surely I can appreciate the excellent production of the music; very well made. (FdW)
Address: http://zhb.radionoise.ru

The release by Anne Guthrie is surely one of the stranger discs of this week. Guthrie is an 'acoustician, composer, French horn player and writer' from Brooklyn. She studies right now at Rensselaer Polytechnic (where Pauline Oliveros teaches) and she is interested in exploring non-musical sounds and acoustic phenomena. Nothing out of the ordinary for Vital Weekly, you might think. There are three pieces on this CD, of which the first and the last are separated into two parts. In the first we hear field recordings, humming quite low in part one and ventilator sounds in part two, over which Guthrie improvises with the French horn Bach's cello suite No. 2 (the prelude to be precise). The final piece repeats this but with Guthrie singing a folk song. Sandwiched between these two is a recording from Times Center in New York, which seems to be a pure field recordings piece. Its a bit unclear, but perhaps that's the great thing about music, if she is singing these pieces, or playing the horn, on location or wether she uses various recordings mixed together to create her pieces. Is she in a tunnel, like in the final piece suggests, or on the street in the piece before? Guthrie seems to be interested in creating audio illusions with her music - raising questions as to where and how things were made, if there was any subsequent treatments (which I doubt, but in her Times Center piece also difficult to ignore thinking about) and obviously what it all means. A most curious disc indeed. At first a bit annoying ('french horn trying to play Bach, what is that all about?'), but the more it is played - and use some more volume here - the better it gets.
Paint on the so-called 'fan CDR' still seems a bit wet on the Richard Kamerman CDR 'I Stayed In The Apartment For Thirty-two Days Without Leaving'. An old friend of my parents used to hear bits of the music I liked and said I'd end up in some asylum. That was perhaps twenty-five or more years ago, imagine what he - now deceased - would say about this. 'That guy is already crazy and no doubt after looking himself in a room for thirty-two he would do such music'. Kamerman did some interesting works in the past for sure, but I am not blown away this 'computer glitch opus' as Kamerman calls it. No doubt others would call this 'harsh noise wall' (you don't to call it harsh noise wall if the term bores you, I guess). I always wondered with harsh noise wall: once you put the thing on automatic pilot, do these composers actively listen to it themselves? Apparently cut from an almost three hour work - if the rest is a like, consider this the review from the remaining two hours and thirty minutes. (FdW)
Address: http://cfyre.co/rds

HI FICTION SCIENCE (CD by Negative Drive)
There is a listn.to website and a twitter account for Hifiction Science (of perhaps Hi Fiction Science), as well as a bandcamp site, but no hard information is forthcoming. On the bandcamp site this album is tagged with "acid-folk art-rock folk-rock post-punk psychedelic rock shoegaze Bristol", but perhaps its just to gather more traffic? I have no idea how these marketing tools within the 'social' network actually work. Yes, this five piece band have indeed something that is vaguely rreminiscent of art rock, post punk, a bit of shoegaze and all that. I heard 'all that' before and perhaps these bands from one to three decades ago serve as a template for some good solid copying by modern day bands - some even play bigger stages than their fore fathers ever did, a great injustice, me thinks - and no doubt in one to three decades bands like Hi Fiction Science will be some template for future copyists, but as an 'old' man I stick to the ones I grew up with. One to three decades ago that is. (FdW)
Address: http://hifictionscience.bandcamp.com/album/hi-fiction-science

Gamelan music from the Java/Bali areas has always been considered an important source to the development of the experimental music scene, after Debussy experienced the gamelan style at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1889. Freiband, being the solo project of Frans de Waard has launched the first LP inspired by the hypnotic expressions of the gamelan music-style. The album is titled "Stainless Steel" and is released on the label Ini.itu. As a follow-up to the launch of the LP, Freiband also has a new release on the 3" exclusive label, My Own Little LabelThe aim of the label is to release materials from the huge production catalogue of Frans De Waard, but also his joint ventures with other sound explorists. Present MOLL-release from Freiband titled "Stainless steel redux & finale" is an excerption from the aforementioned LP. The single piece "Redux & Finale" on the 3" runs 20 minutes. As is the case with the original two pieces on the full-length LP present track on the 3" is based on processed sounds of gamelan music. "Redux & Finale" is a quiet, almost inaudible piece of microsounds. As we enter the 17th minute run-time the volume level slowly turns up and the microsounds is transformed into the percussive sounds of Gamelan music. Interesting modern take to the early avantgardism of gamelan on this one! As mentioned the "Redux & finale"-track was based on the two original tracks from the LP: "Stainless Steel" released on the label Ini-Itu. Both tracks on "Stainless steel" is re-processions and manipulations of the early gamelan music. First track opens with an ambient-take to to the gamelan music with the percussive expressions looped into a long-stretching drone drifting over subtle crackling noise. After approx. five minutes the drone fades out and silence gradually turns into clanging repetitive noise-expressions. The piece is quite interesting since it pushes the quality of the gamelan music to the extremes with the hypnotic effect brought into the electronic manipulations of Frans de Waard. Despite the fact that second track also is built on the gamelan style, this particular track is electronic avantgarde at its most abstract moment. On this track the concrete sounds has been transformed into icy pulses of clicking beats and clicks. The LP thus both presents the quality of the gamelan style in its pure origin and 21st electronic avantgarde by one of Holland's finest sound artists. A superb ode to the importance of the gamelan music for the modern sound experimentations of the Western world. (NM)
Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl/moll.html
Address: http://www.iniitu.net/

TRAX 0982 XTRA (CDR by Radical Matters)
ART DETOX (CDR by Ethereal Open Network)
More talk about the past, and for a historian like me, a favorite passtime. I already talked about Trax, when the first of four re-issues of their main compilations was released by the Small Voices, which now seem to have disappeared.  That was 'Rednight/Nottarossa', dedicated to William Burroughs. The re-issue project has now been 'reduced' (but who cares when its available again?) to a free download, but I strongly recommend getting the CDR version of it, since its not as MP3 but better quality audio (I see on the website that the 'Anthems' project is also available in this way - a pity that I didn't get a copy of that - me sad now) and surely looks better than from your own printer. Trax was a label with a strong background in mailart and this particular compilation made clear what they were about: exchange of material and ideas. This is not a regular compilation with bands sending a track and then a LP emerged, but artists send in some basic sound material to Trax Unit 01 (Piermario Ciani), who collated various pieces of these basic materials together and thus had music from various people who never met or played together. This was before the well-known 'Distruct' album by P16.D4 which worked along similar lines. Involved musicians here are Vittore Baroni (perhaps the best known face of Trax), Martin Hall, Enrico Piva (sadly deceased now), Nocturnal Emissions, Ado Scaini, Massimo Giacon and others. This doesn't always make coherent music, but its the great idea that counts. Like with 'Rednight', the whole thing is remastered by Gianluca Becuzzi, who delivers again an additional remix, which involves more contributions by mail (with Nigel Ayers of the Nocturnal Emissions fame as the only one from the original project). This twenty-five minute ambient opus of whispering voices and sustaining guitars is a fine work and resembles the similar attitude of composing with disparate themes into a coherent piece of music. Maybe its the technology that makes things easier? Excellent re-issue all around.
And just how lovely those old Trax tapes, but hard to get, can be seen and heard on the CD-R 'Art Detox'. The R stands usually for recordable, but in this case its a rom thing. Besides some twenty minutes of music, it is filled with tons and tons of images, photos and some films all dealing with a 'collective project' of music, mail art and performance. The idea was to detox from art: how many invitations for events, exhibitions and presentations do we get every day? People wore paper hats with the word 'art detox' to museums - lots of photos of that! In the plastic bag that documents this event we find more ephemera that deal with this, all in the style that is so recognizable Vittore Baroni. The music, by such people as Vecdor featuring Korka Helgadottir, Gina Pritti Tutti al Lago, Ratto Goal, Gianluca Becuzzi and Le Forbici di Manitu (the musical group of Baroni and Manitu Rossi and others), is not as experimental as it used to be, perhaps with the exception of Becuzzi who created quite an ambient mix of sounds, like his trademark is, the other four pieces are quite popmusic like, with sampled rhythms and voices and a nice contemplative piece by Le Forbici - almost in Pascal Comelade style. Way not enough music to watch all the images on the Rom part of this. Excellent Art stuff! (FdW)
Address: http://www.radicalmatters.com/asp/cd_cdr_catalogue.asp
Address: <vittorebaroni@alice.it>

Now that the music industry finds it more and more difficult to survive, its quite a daring move, I'd say to release no less than fifteen CDRs in, pro-duplicated in digipacks (editions of 250 copies), of (mostly) live recordings from the period 1986-1993. But its something that Violence And The Sacred do. They now operate as VioSac, but in the 80s known under the long guise. They did a bunch of tapes, and maybe a record (maybe even two, I am not sure), and there was a time I thought they were the Canadian answer to Illusion Of Safety and Boy Dirt Car. Rock like but with influences from the world musique concrete and improvisation. Somehow I wasn't that familiar with their music in the 80s as I was with the US counterparts. Listening to these three releases might also for me be the first proper (re-)introduction in years. In 1986-1987, when these three releases were made, Violence was a four piece band dealing mostly with improvised music, played on cello, guitar and synthesizers, along which they added tapes and voices.
The first release is a concert recording from May 1986 and shows Violence in its extremist form: a very free play on the strings, noise outbursts, sex snippets, shouting, metal percussion, radio's (Carpenters!). All in quite a rockist mode, which was the style of the day, I guess, at least for some bands. Its the kind of music that nobody does anymore these days.
The other 1986 release, 'The True Poison', has four live recordings from October 1986, four from November 1986 and four studio recordings. This continues the music from the previous disc, but it seemed to me that things are a bit more calmer here. Not exactly relaxed, but seemingly a bit more toned down. The guitar plays an important role, with endless solos in the four pieces of October and November. The voice of St. Deborah is used to recite more spoken word, making this all more radioplay like. Free-jazz like too at other times, but altogether I thought this disc was less interesting than the previous one. I preferred the more furious attack carried out there, then the somewhat tiring doodling on this one.
Shortly after that, Violence And The Sacred performed again, on January 2nd 1987 at the Fallout Shelter in Toronto again with the same line up. This particular recording was already released on cassette in the 80s and continues from the previous disc in a way that its less loud but also with a less dominant guitar sound and also a less prominent role for the voice, although both are still there. It seems that all the elements are more in place, more balanced, which results in music with a lot more tension than on the previous 'The True Poison' and ultimately is the best out of three. Playing almost over three hours of this kind of music is, I must admit, also a bit much to take in at once. (FdW)
Address: http://www.viosac.net

H. - HEVADA (CDR by Das Andere Selbst)
Heloise Thibault, born in Paris, now living in Bristol, works as H. (that is with a full stop behind the H). Probably to be pronounced in French, which makes it very funny. The labels' website doesn't give much further info about H. and we can just listen to the music. Like with the previous release I reviewed from Das Andere Selbst, rhythm is an important feature in this music. Sampled together, no doubt, from rock records, hip hop and what have you, and to that he adds a bunch of like wise sampled guitars and electronics, or perhaps plays these in real time. It brings us some quite entertaining electronic music in which I heard not much news under the trip-hop like sun, be it that all was much more experimental than what the more usual outing in this field. It left a leaving that all was alright, but somehow I was thinking that H. is also in need of finding his own voice in this. Or maybe the album was just a bit short at just under thirty minutes to make my mind fully up. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dasandereselbst.org

TIMLIN - [PTE:TR] (CDR, private)
In a small edition of 53 copies, but with a very nice cover (all individually printed by Montreal based artist Yen-Chao) comes a release by Timlin, Marko Timlin that is from Finland. He build his own 'sensor-sound-machine', based on ultrasonic sensors, solar panels and microprocessors. He has played this instrument during concerts of his own and sometimes with dance and visual arts. Timlin says of this new release that it 'was conceived as a sonic image of the world's timeless dance of mutating elements inside distinct structures'. I am not sure what it means but the press text also mentions that these are improvised pieces of music. Although I think the music sounded quite alright for what it is - digitally manipulated sounds through means of improvisation, within a more noisy context - I also think that seeing this 'sensor-sound-machine' is perhaps better than hearing it. Say if this involve manual action to alter the sounds - which can be the case if it works with sensors - it would make more sense to see the actual action. Now we have to judge it solely on its musical merits, which draws comparisons to the work of Alva Noto and Pan Sonic, maybe a bit more crude and a bit more improvised put together. Its done with great care and throughout a fine, if not always original release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.timlin.de

KRYPTOGEN RUNDFUNK - LIVE 2005 (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
Apparently it has been since 2004 that there was a solo release by St. Petersburg based artist Kryptogen Rundfunk, labelboss of Zhelezobeton). I know that he has been playing concerts since then, so I am a bit in the dark as to why he decided to release these two older live recordings from 2005. Its been awhile since I last actively Kryptogen Rundfunk, both in concert as well as on CDR, but this release brings back good memories as it sounds exactly how I remembered it. Two pieces of densely layered electronics, build from one or more analogue synthesizers, lots of electronics which are used to expand those synth sounds from, bits of short waves, voices and a small amount of computer processing. Dynamic ambient music, I would call this. Things always hiss and bubble, continuously moving forward as well as backward, like connections in an old phone connector being interlocked with eachother. The two pieces, recorded with one week, in St. Petersburg and Moscow, show how different these things can work out. In St. Petersburg it stays on a rather mellow side, but in Moscow the sound becomes much more menacing and deeper. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that both pieces employ the same sound material, but that work out entirely different in the mix. Excellent dark ambient with a great electronic twist. (FdW)
Address: http://zhb.radionoise.ru

B*TONG - OV ELF AND HAARP (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
R.X.O.N. - IN STRUMENZ (2CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
Handmade was once the ultimate sales point. But when it turned out to be a photo with a dash of paint on it, one wondered why one paid so much money for it. These days paint is still used to say something is handmade. For instance with these three releases, in the 'Limited Edition Series', which are announced as 'hand-painted and numbered copies with extensive booklets', meaning CD bags with small colored cards inside and paint on the CD bags, which, yes, is hand made, but is it good? Beautiful? Maybe I was spoiled with the hand painted cover of 'The Shroud Of Bernard' LP by Doc Wor Mirran, which at least looked like someone put some effort into it. The Attenuation Circuit label started out with the release of music by Emerge, and now expands to other artists, and the first one is B*tong, the Swiss artist who has already produced a fine body of atmospheric and ambient music. This new one is more or less a concept album about the conspiracy theory 'on the High Frequency Active Auroral Research project', which, according to Wiki, is 'its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance purposes', set up by the US government, so you know for a fact there is a hidden agenda (not me). This sort of conspiracy theory/lunacy about such matters fits the music really of B*Tong, who is known to use radio signals, sound effects and electronics to create chilly, eerie, atmospheric music. Sometimes there are voice bits, whispering, not singing, adding a radioplay like texture to the music, which is otherwise quite inspired by the work of Lustmord: lots of reverb, but used in an effective way and not over the top. Excellent work.
I never heard of R.X.o.N. but he is one Eric Zwang-Eriksson. 'In Strumenz' is about instruments. On the first disc he explores various per track, such as voice, drums, feedback, percussion, strings and ipod, whereas on the second disc he combines them altogether in a sort of ensemble piece. His music is multi-layered, using various forms of electronic manipulation - software based - of each instrument. Time stretching, looping, slowing down and speeding up. As such he works in the tradition of acousmatic composers and musique concrete, but without falling in the usual traps of the more learned and academic composers in this field. R.X.o.N.'s work is a bit more raw and untamed, and sometimes takes too much time to develop or too easy in terms of loops running around, but bouncing from noise to microsound and back is something which he does quite nicely. Not as thoroughly composed as some of his peers, but at least with a rather fresh look at his material. Nice promise for the future.
Holzkopf is from Canada and makes up for the beats we have been missing so far on this label (in their words that is). Luckily for them, he plays a lot of them, at 180 bpm in one piece that last twenty-seven minutes. You could dance to it, I assume if I knew how to. Highly distorted, this is from the land of drill 'n bass. A while ago I saw in an otherwise empty festival people dancing to such music, so this is perhaps the thing that could be of interest for them. Over the course of this twenty-seven minute piece there are changes, be it minimal and slow, but they are there. There is a charming amateurish thing about this doodling with a beat or two, and all the filters that Ableton Live have on offer, but I must say its hardly my cup of tea to play a lot. Too easy perhaps, and dancing is not for me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/attenuationcircuit

David Dandomore is best known as Detritus, but apparently he also works as A Wake A Week, in which he produces music that is less rhythmic and more based on drones. Apparently, according the information, this music uses piano, but its not until the third (title-) piece that we hear this. The other pieces are much more drone like, of a relatively lo-fi nature, a bit more noise oriented than what is common in this field. Especially the first two tracks show this. The final track, 'Forgetting', is the best out of these four. Sustaining notes on, perhaps, the guitar, glide by in gentle way. Quite nice, these different approaches.
I don't think I heard of David Tagg before, but is an 'experimental musician, designer and photographer' and uses mainly the guitar to play his music. Two pieces here, from fall 2007. The title piece gets its inspiration from shoegazing music with lots of fuzz and chorus, whereas the second piece, 'The Embracer' has a more delicate tone to it. Although both are fine pieces, I couldn't help thinking that this is the kind of music I heard well enough before, equally good or done better. It seems to me that Tagg does sound like others in his field, but not yet found his own voice in this field.
Simon Whetham does have his own voice, as his work is principally based on the use of field recordings. Here he has a piece that is based on field recordings from Manorbier, South Wales in 2009. A twenty-four minute (hey even that fits a 3"CDR!) work of very subdued tones, in which it is hard to recognize any sort of field recordings. A dark of work of what I think to be heavily processed sounds. Much equalisation has been used it seems. What remains is a very nice, very dark work of droning residual matter. It could be water, or perhaps wind, or a combination of both. Not his best work but certainly another fine one.
Fabio Orsi is not unknown in the world of Vital Weekly. He recently moved to Berlin, where he still plays the guitar, effects and spices them with field recordings and filters. His 'Light Was The Day' falls apart in two sections. The first is for sustaining guitar sounds, woven together by a strings of effects, while in the second part instruments are slowly pushed away in the echo chamber, and field recordings take over towards the end of the piece. Quite a strong piece, which shows the power of the music of Orsi. Excellently done, but with a note that as such there is not much news happening. (FdW)
Address: http://www.taalem.com

When U.S.-composer Keith Fullerton Whitman released the album "Multiples" (Kranky, 2005), it was well received. The album was so hyped that even more mainstream-oriented medias in Denmark reviewed the album. "Multiples" was developed at the Harvard University using the university's supply of vintage synthesizers and electronic instruments. The album also attracted me at the time of its release. Since then I haven't listened to other materials of Keith Fullerton Whitman until this present 3"-release on the Moll-label. M.O.L.L. is the shortage of My Own Little Label. The MOLL-label is owned by Frans de Waard. The Album titled "The eve of the year" is a collaboration between Keith Fullerton Whitman and Frans de Waard, only consisting of one single track running approx. 5 minutes. It was recorded at the New Year's eve in Boston back in 2006. The piece opens slowly with distant drones gently flowing in. After a minute or so the drones are assisted by short waves of whooshing drones, washing in. As the track progresses concrete sounds fades in and out of the sound picture creating a pleasant organic feel to the abstract but extremely atmospheric universe. (NM)
Address: http://kormplastics.nl/moll.html