number 883
week 21


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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ROTOR PLUS - DUST (CD by Radiophonics Trading Company Of New Zealand) *
OHANAMI - AGAPANTHUS (CD by Wonderyou) *
VERNACULAR (2CD compilation by Whereabouts Records)
FOREST CITY - PELOTON (CD by Autres Directions In Music) *
SKRAP - K.O. (CD by Vafongool) *
FOMA - OPEN IN DARK ROOM ONLY (CDR by Ressonus Records)
DISTEL - PUUR (LP by Enfant Terrible) *
THUOOM - RESONANT (CDR EP by Textural Healing) *
HOSPITAL NEON - CHEAP FLOWERS (CDR by Listen Loudest Records) *
YOSHIWARA (CDR by Ikebukuro Dada)
AARON DILLOWAY & TOM SMITH - ALLEIN ZU ZWEIT (cassette by Fragment Factory)
PHILIP MARSHALL - PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE (cassette by Fragment Factory)

ROTOR PLUS - DUST (CD by Radiophonics Trading Company Of New Zealand)
It's of course nonsense to think of certain countries and specific musical interests. We, on this end of globe, may think that there is a certain common esthetic in music from New Zealand, but maybe we just see a small portion of the complete picture. Rotor Plus is just one person, I think, and the music he creates has little to do with the lo-fi esthetics of many of his fellow country men. If I understand the liner notes correctly this is the third part in a trilogy and perhaps the final release from Rotor Plus. Three long pieces, which, according to the tracklist, could be subdivided into several shorter pieces, about which I wonder: why didn't they sub-divide them? The music is an excellent mix of analogue sounds, mostly on string instruments such as violins, cello and guitar and electronic sounds, both used, however, quite sparsely. Throughout the music is quite soft and not very outspoken, but if you turn up the volume you will find much beauty just below the surface. Rotor Plus reminds me of those modern classical lot, say the Nils Frahm gang, even when Rotor Plus is perhaps a bit more electronic. But the sparse piano notes at the beginning of 'Beginning: An Empty Street', with highly obscured field recordings (streets? tunnel?), fading into a sudden outburst of violins, suggest a strong interest in that kind of modern classic music. But it's also presented more like a sound collage, with abrupt changes and longer electronic parts. All of this is highly atmospheric, and, what's more, none of this is really lo-fi. The recording sounds great; none of that dictaphone stuff that we encounter on some many of his fellow country musicians. This release is packed with an excellent cover: a hand bound booklet (gold embossing) of pictures, drawings and bits of text, creating an overall arty atmosphere. One wish physical objects of beauty like this would never disappear. (FdW)
Address: http://rtcnz.com

These two CDs came in one package, although from different labels, but also musically they are tight together, in a way. Both cover a certain ambient ground, which is not easy to define. First there is the debut album of Saburo Ubukata, who is 'also an expert in the field of acoustics' and who plays piano. He sets his piano tunes in bed of field recordings, made all over Japan, and some electronics. The latter, it seems, more at the beginning of the album than at the end. Towards the end, it's also rather solo piano and very few electronics. In the beginning of the album we find a piece like 'Seaglass', which has a steady ticking beat to it. 'Light Passages' opening insects sound like 'Pacific' from 808 State, but moves around in a much less dance oriented field and reflects nature more perhaps. I quite enjoyed it, even when some of this sounded quite like a cliche of modern piano music, say Nils Frahm, with bits of field recordings; maybe like a nice dish of something sugary, which tastes fine at the beginning, but then after a while is all a bit too much and too sweat. But I would give this album the benefit of doubt. There is enough un-smoothness around here and it is exactly these rough edges - mainly in the use of electronics, actually - that make this stay on the more adventurous side of music.
The other CD is also ambient, perhaps, in a sort of way, but the label urges us to file this under 'Ohanami Pops'. This is a duo of Yoshio Machida, who is a steelpan player and Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, who plays drums in the band of Jim O'Rourke. This is surely one of the stranger releases I heard in some time, and like with the Ubukata release I have no idea what to make of this. This is percussion heavy music, using drums, crotales, gongs, percussion, steelpan, toy piano, electronic steel pan, metal slit drum and, oddly enough, an EMS synthi AKS. Again according to the label, 'at first, they sound playful like kids jamming with toy instruments', but of course if you listen closer etc. Indeed, it sounds like a kids jam, very playful, but of course you can hear these people are much more skilled than just kids banging away. Especially when they hit upon more jazz like passages, they show their skills. There is jazz, improvisation, bits of electronic texturing going on here, and it's at times all a bit too nervous and hectic, which can be a bit tiring in the end. Yet, at the same time, there is also something here that is quite relaxing, a laid back atmosphere, like springtime music. I am not always blown away by the sound of the steelpan, to be honest, but it's not used a lot throughout here, and sometimes, such as in the rockier 'Hibiscus' it sounds actually quite nice. But throughout, to be honest again, I have no idea what to make of this. (FdW)
Address: http://www.spekk.net/kaico
Address: http://www.naturebliss.jp/wndu

Now here's a compilation about which I won't complain about for a change. This has all to do with the excellent presentation of the whole thing (thumbs up for designer Meeuw here). Some ninety pages of information and photographs, posters and record sleeves dealing with the first fifty years of the Institute For Psychoacoustics And Electronic Music in Ghent, Belgium. I must admit I never heard of this studio before, and from the people who worked there, I recognize only such names as Karel Goeyvaerts, Helmut Lachenmann and Ricardo Mandolini. This studio was part of the Belgium radio, like it was common in those days (see Cologne or Milan) to have such a studio. This studio was partly for the creation of new electronic compositions, but also research, such as into new ways of notating music, new technology and multimedia. The double CD (or if you choose: there is also version of the two CDs, with the same material on three LPs, in a box) contains pieces of these fifty years (1958-1999 to be precise, even when the studio was officially founded in 1963) - actually a little bit before that. The main texts in the book (more or less LP sized) are about the history of the studio in a more linear form, but also there is a history which follows the various pieces on this package, which is an excellent read if you play the music. There is some mighty good music here, such as 'Torso (tape Part)' by Raoul de Smet, Louis de Meester's 'Incantations' (a very early marriage between voice and electronic sound), lots of pure electronics, such as 'Les Cephalopodes' by David van de Woestijne, the rather playful 'Nachklänge Aus Dem Theater Part 1' by Karel Goeyvaerts, the political piece 'Chile (part 1)' by Frank Nuyts, or the long piece for electronics, percussion and flutes (it seems) by Stephen Montague. There is lots of great music here actually, and lots of new names. Alongside say the three double CDs of Dutch Electronic Music which Near put out, this is a likewise excellent overview of a historical nature. You would wish for another box set to emerge really quickly from these archives. (FdW)
Address: http://www.metaphon.be

VERNACULAR (2CD compilation by Whereabouts Records)
The word 'Vernacular' means "native language or native dialect of a specific population, as opposed to a language of wider communication that is a second language or foreign language to the population, such as a national language, standard language, or lingua franca", and here it's the thematic approach for a neatly designed double CD compilation in which curator Yui Onodera reconsiders 'Vernacular, which has been cut by the "universal design that transcends locality and ethnicity" of modernism'. He claims that 'the meaning of a sound and the way it is used is different in each country and I think it should naturally be apparent in the sound of their work, if artists work on it consciously'. That is a rather bold claim. I slide in CD 1, sit somewhere else, away from computer which shows me the tracklist and away from the actual package. When disc one is done, could have I told I heard artists from Australia, America (twice), Japan, UK (twice) and Italy? Or Greece,  Estonia, The Netherlands, Argentina, America (twice) and Germany, following disc two? I must admit: not really. What can be noted is an overall uniform approach to sound and the way its played, processed and composed. Carefully and delicate music, is what all of these fifteen people connect. One a bit more on the field recordings side of things, the other process that lot via the computer into something altogether more abstract and here there we find the presence of an instrument, usually in the form of a guitar, such as with Federico Durand and Troum (whose presence may seem like an odd-ball here, but it fits in quite nicely) and the piano of Kenneth Kirschner. Steve Roden provides his usual musical loops and may also seem be a bit odd. Otherwise, music seems to be an universal language for these boys (no girls as far as I can see), and nowhere I had the idea I was listening to something that was very specific from a specific country. In that respect this compilation may seem like failure, but the quality is overall great here. Find here pieces from Hior Chronik, Yui Onodera, Janek Schaefer, Simon Scott, Tu M', Dale Lloyd, Jos Smolders, Yves De Mey, Kim Cascone, John Grzinich and Lawrence English. (FdW)
Address: http://whereabouts-records.com/

From newspaper reading I understand that there is a 'movement' of people who play their ambient textured electronics - we call them laptop artists at home - in combination with piano or violin and create easy, quiet modern classical music. I hardly go out and when I do I tend to avoid the hip spaces - otherwise: why would I be where I am now? - so I hear not a lot of this kind of music. I think I heard music by Marsen Jules when we still reviewed MP3 releases, which I liked, and of course his career went sky high with releases on City Centre Offices and Kompakt (so high they never reach this desk) and his own Oktaf label. That label is now used to release 'Presence Acousmatique' by Marsen Jules Trio, which is the good man himself on electronics and live soundscaping, Anwar Alam on Violin and Jan-Philipp Alam on piano and violin. On two tracks there is also the saxophone of Roger Döring. Although they played all over Europe (except Nijmegen, I think), this is their first album. I am not sure what to make of this. The music is very atmospheric and moody, a bit dark, but the combination of piano and violin music with the more abstract, larger soundscapes of Jules himself work quite fine. It's all rather 'smooth'; 'smooth' in a jazz like sort of way, a smokey nightclub atmosphere. And sometimes, when Jules samples the instruments to play them back while the instruments continue, its more abstract and real modern classical music. While I believe this music is not made for me, I played this with great interest. It's quite good I think, and it give me a good hour worth of nice background music. I am not sure if I would play this again, sometime soon, or if I would head for a concert when it would be locally, but at home, with a coffee and a book within reach, this is the perfect ambience music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.oktaf.com

Here's a true story: a couple of years ago I was checking on a flight to Athens the man before me in line was carrying a guitar. He had a familiar face. I tried to read the name tag on his guitar bag, but couldn't. I wasn't going anywhere where people would play guitar. We started chatting and it dawned upon me this was Andy Moor. He played somewhere else in Athens. I am never good with faces, is my lame excuse. Anyway, I have mister Moor down in my book as a great guy. I genuinely like his music, his label and the band he is in, The Ex. I was utterly disappointed to learn that they applied for a grant as a band with the Dutch government. They didn't get it, unlikely previous times. After thirty or more years, I think I no longer belief in the DIY ethics of punk. Why am I bringing this up? Because I am somewhat disappointed in the marketing of this CD. The CD contains music that was released in the last year or so as four 7" records - see for reviews Vital Weekly 773, 782, 818 and 852. And its re-issued on CD. What's the DIY punk ethos here? First you pay for the 7"s, then for the CD? I already reviewed the music - check out those reviews - I loved it, I love the whole idea, it's great music, Andy and Anne-James, and it's what (post-)punk should all be about: doing something different, something new. I wish their press agent send me the new release by The Ex to ponder over, instead of rehashing this and spilling my guts. Andy, you I know I love you. I will never forget your face again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.unsounds.com

Sub Rosa is busy presenting new and young composers and here have a release by Luca Forcucci. "His work observes the perception of sound through an architectural approach in the relation of sound and space". He studied in Berlin, Paris (at GRM) and the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland. I am not sure if he has other releases available, but this is the first time I hear his music. The three pieces on this release are inspired by the fog horns he heard when he landed in San Francisco in Spring 2011. Obviously he recorded those and uses them as source material on these pieces. On the title piece he gets help from Goo Le Gooster on turntables, scratch, cuts and echoplex and in 'Winds' it's the cello of Michael Kott. When I visited San Francisco, a long time ago, I didn't hear fog horns, but I can imagine what they would sound like. the long sustaining and slowly shifting sounds of the horns over big distance, would already be enough to be music by itself, but Forcucci's treatments to the material enhance the mood further. Quite dark and desolate - like recorded from below the sea surface where metallic objects softly touch upon the microphone - in 'Winds' and hazy, fog like, not entirely clear for all to see in in 'L'Ecume Des Jours'. The title piece is the place in which happens most. Here the fog horns form a web behind a collage of field recordings - people talking and walking, bird calls and a bit of scratch like sounds. Oddly enough (but why?), I thought this was the least interesting piece of these three. Maybe the whole marriage of field recordings with a bit scratching just didn't work well; maybe it gave me an uneasy sense of being forcefully 'hip' to some extend? I don't know. But the other two pieces are really good. (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

FOREST CITY - PELOTON (CD by Autres Directions In Music)
Its been quite a while since I last heard music by Christophe Bailleau, who once worked as Glyth, then as La Chiesa and then under his own name. I am speaking here at least a curve of fifteen or more years, but the last time might have easily been six years ago. Apparently he has been signed by Still Records 'for half a decade', but here teams ip with C-J Larsgarden, whom we know as Ondo and Yrsel (also silent for quite some time) and Thomas Jonsson, who goes by the name of Thomas I'm Kingfisher, of whom I never heard. I'm not sure if the three of them went into the studio together, or if this was all recorded through (e-)mail exchange. There is the usual laptop, electronics, guitar and, perhaps an oddball, vocals. The music is unmistakably introvert, ambient and dreamy, but throughout I found to have some trouble with it. No doubt it's with the vocals, softly sung by Jonsson, which just isn't the sort of thing I like. This sort intimate, half sung, half spoken, barely understandable is probably very poetic (and does no doubt well with the girls) but lost on this boy. The music seems to be following the voice and doesn't seem to be very outspoken. It goes on and on, without much head or tails as such. Here too we think the atmospherics are high up, but it seems to be lost in haze of dope smoke. Maybe I am not in the right mood right now? That surely is a factor here. To listen to moody music one has to be in the right mood too. Drinking coffee on cold friday morning may not help. I am sure this is a great release, just not for me, not right now. (FdW)
Address: http://autresdirections.net/inmusic/

SKRAP - K.O. (CD by Vafongool)
There is not a lot of information to go by here. Skrap is a duo of Anja Lauvdal and Heida Karine Johannesdottir Mobeck. They play Korg Ms-10 and Tuba. That is, me thinks, an odd combination. Also odd is that this CD has fifteen tracks in thirty-two minutes, various under one minute and the longest close to six minutes. For whatever reason I am not sure of, I thought this would all be very noise based, but I am happy to report it's not. It's of course (??) firmly rooted in the world of improvised music, like so many things from Norway, but how it exactly works is a bit difficult to say. The Korg provides an occasional heavy backdrop of deep bass rumbling and high pitched squeaks, while the tuba is played in all those ways we normally don't associate with the word 'tuba'. I am not sure, but there might be some real-time electronic processing taking place with the tuba, or maybe an additional microphone is used to relay some of the tuba playing via 'external audio input', into the Korg. I might be wrong altogether of course. This is quite a curious release I would think. Sketch like, fragmented and scattered over the place, with a firm notion of musique concrete around all of this, such as in piece named after the band. The shorter these pieces are, the better I think they were. The bulk of longer of pieces are towards the end of this release, and they aren't always a strong as their demented, fragmented peers at the beginning of this release. It's all actually quite a little curious release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vafongool.no/

FOMA - OPEN IN DARK ROOM ONLY (CDR by Ressonus Records)
A case of mistaken identity here. I like pop music for sure, as a private person. I admit I hardly know anything about pop music, even when I read books about it, or occasionally a magazine, if people give me one. Here we have band from Sweden, formed in 2009, with 'indie pop/rock with americana and a pinch of Swedish melancholy', which sounds to me an apt description. There is a banjo (check), a mandolin (check), melancholic vocals (check) and a bit strings, trombone, flute and such like. I played a few with interest, and then didn't know what to write. Surely entertaining, that's all I can say. I am sure none of the members read Vital Weekly, and just culled the address of a list of 'worthwhile resources for your review copies'. It doesn't matter what they write, as long as they keep writing. I know: I could find Vital Weekly someone to review this kind of pop stuff and expand the musical horizon of Vital Weekly. Let's not go there.
Entirely different kind of music can be found on the four track CDR by Foma, a duo of Jiri Rilgner and David Rambousek, who create heavy dance music, which have the vocals of Sonja Neverstop on two pieces and it sounds like R&B and rap, with some electro rhythms. When things go instrumental, they borrow a bit of dub in 'Morass', which is easily the only track I really enjoyed here, and closing track 'Dark Room' is indeed dark, almost gothic. That's four styles in four tracks, maybe I should be lucky its not ten songs? Slim Loris won't make it to the podcast, but this nice one dub piece isn't too out place. (FdW)
Address: http://www.slimloris.com
Address: http://www.ressonus.net

This project intends to offer an interpretation of William Blake – primarily through the book "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell". It does so by utilizing a variety of electronic musical forms, spoken verse and song. The whole structure being ‘held together’ by a space ( a spacey space) produced by
electronic reverb. And I’m sorry to say I can’t give a positive verdict on this interpretation. Firstly its wildly ambitious, Blake was a mystical genius in every sense of the word, his work shared a strange naivety of thought, spirit and rendition coupled with, and perhaps therefore, a genuine idiosyncratic vision of the cosmos, although one which can be accessed via other sources, the Gnostic tradition being one. All too often his work is abused, this is no exception, but doesn’t fall into the same level of abuse as the right-wing English adoption of Jerusalem as one of its anthems, or the wrong idea regarding dark satanic mills, which did not refer to industrialization but the rationalism of the enlightenment which set to capture the bird of the human spirit in a cage of logic, one we are still confronted with today. So much then for my first blow. The second is much simpler, the idea of interpretation is anathema to the Blakean universe, originality, creativity and freedom from the rules of interpretation and the mechanical copying through to the mindless politics of the masses, science and technology. His depiction of Newton should say it all, his ideas on technology should be approached from his view that deterministic philosophy was in-human. The best we can do with Blake is become ourselves and not interpreters. (jliat)
Address: http://www.hcbrecords.com/

More music by Yannick Dauby, of whom we reviewed a work last week. That one seemed to be about real chimes, but here it's something else, entirely. Dauby originates from France, but moved to Taiwan in 2007, where he still lives and works. Much of what he does deals with field recordings, both from the country side as well as from urban situations. He presents these along electronic sounds, from an array of devices, analogue and digital. On this new album he plays around with modular synthesizers and field recordings, more especially, field recordings of frogs. Maybe it's a bit odd to do so, (as he says himself), but in these thirty-six minutes I must say it works rather well. The frog sounds work wonderfully well with the electronic sounds. Sometimes it's hard to tell what's what here, and what seems a frog might be a synth, and vice versa of course; sometimes it's all plain and clear. The music bounces around like frogs do, it's all over the place, and makes this rather a jumpy, joyful record. You would almost rush out to a pond yourself and experience the sounds yourself. (There is no such pond easily around here however, and it's raining - although that would create a nice effect too). Maybe I like to be at home anyway? This record is a great one. It has the playfulness of an improvised music record, but upon closer inspection the more rigid organization of a seriously composed record, and none of that takes anything away from the pleasure of hearing this. Excellent record, maybe the best I heard from Dauby so far. (FdW)
Address: http://www.iniitu.net

DISTEL - PUUR (LP by Enfant Terrible)
Now here's a record which I actually bought, right from the musician. I wonder myself if that would have happened had I not known him on a social level, part of a small gang of people who get together and listen to thematically linked records.  It means you get to know their tastes and dislikes, which shall remain unpublished, and very occasionally a private anecdote slips through the maze, such as 'I have a new record out'. Last year I heard Distel for the first time, live, as part of what I considered the best evening of concerts in 2012, the Nijmegen Ultra event in March, where Distel played a bunch of Mekanik Kommando songs in a haze of fog. Barely recognizable, but distinctly electronic. Now it's time to hear their first LP in full glory. There is a love of short words as track titles, all ten of them. With music like this, I tap into a world that is not really mine, yet it is a world that is surely quite underground. A world of heavy rhythms, dark synthesizer, sparse melodies (but nonetheless: melodies) and remote vocals. I am not allowed to use a certain word for this kind of music, but a quick investigation leads me to words I haven't used, such as angst-pop and witch house. Now whatever that is I thought. The vocoder treated vocals remind me very much of 80s cassette music, maybe sometimes like a darker version of Ende Shneafliet, while the analogue hissing synths may actually do the same thing. These lyrics are probably not always to be understood in one way, but paint a more atmospheric picture of the mood a song can have, here with Distel. Maybe this is dance music (witch house? which house!) for some, but not for me, not at home at least. It fits neatly with a lot of retro sounding acts who have a similar fascination for analogue apparatus (not unlikely to be found on the same label as Distel), combined with a touch of all things noir. You'd never expect me to like this; maybe that's why do. But believe me, I genuinely liked this, even had not known one of the two musicians. (FdW)
Address: http://www.enfant-terrible.nl

Ahm, Norbert Möslang going techno, with his black disco sleeve and two sides on 45 rpm (still spanning twenty-six minutes)? Not really, as this is not really dance like music. This Möslang as we know him. I don't entirely comprehend what is written in French on the cover (I won't say anything about that; I already made that mistake once), but it seems to be about some manifestation with art and music, and in 2011 these two heavy bass slabs of noise were recorded. Möslang still uses his cracked everyday electronics, like he did in the old days with Andy Guhl and Voice Crack, but these days his live sound seems to be a bit more spaced out, a bit more under control and sometimes a bit more ongoing in what it is. Möslang arrives at a point, and then plays around with the events of that moment, instead of making a quick collage of all the sounds at his disposal. While I quite enjoy this record, I was also wondering why this had to be released. It's an excellent record, with a great sound (45 rpm!), but as far as I can judge, also not really something special or out of the ordinary for him. In a world that is already flooded by releases, especially live recordings, one could wonder if it needs more of them? (FdW)
Address: http://label.cave12.org

More music by Bert Vanden Berghe, whom we first met as Invertebrata (see Vital Weekly 877) and then as Brunk (see Vital Weekly 880). Each of these had their own approach to the central notion of guitar music, be it very improvised or sound scape like. It's no difficult thing to guess that there is noise angle to his guitar playing, and that is Passive Cable Theory. Here we have something that was released in 2010 on a CDR and bandcamp and now again as a CDR in 2013 (maybe this press text is just an one-off with a recent release date, so I am tricked in reviewing something old?). Vanden Berghe uses digital and analogue sounds, guitars, effects and digital editing. Four lengthy cuts here of heavily layered noisy guitar bits, but luckily not just a wall of noise. It seems that Vanden Berghe has put together various sessions of him wailing on the guitar and effects and plays them rather randomly at the same time, with some minor editing here and there. I must say it's not entirely my cup of joe, and I was surely more attracted to his earlier work, especially as Invertebrata. Some of this noise stuff was alright, some of it seemed a bit like a pointless exercise, like perhaps 'good noise' usually is. Mixed feelings here about this one, but, please, some more Invertebrata wouldn't hurt. (FdW)
Address: http://passivecabletheory.bandcamp.com

THUOOM - RESONANT (CDR EP by Textural Healing)
Tuomo is from Finland and he calls himself Thuoom. He has been playing music since fifteen years, but mostly metal and alternative rock. Since 2007 he plays around with electronic music, and so far has twelve releases on his own Textural Healing netlabel, but now feels its time to expand on the physical format. I am not sure why, if you want to copy it on a 5"CDR you would keep it under the length of a 3"CDR. Why not a bit more? To be frank, these three pieces are very nice, but not merely than an introduction. Tuomo writes: 'you can call it post psychedelic electronic; I like to call it forestelektro', but basically it's mix-up of many ideas from the world of experimental music: ambient, electro-acoustic, improvisation. To his end he normally uses 'real instruments (e.g. guitars) and non-instruments (e.g. wine glasses)', but the cover here lists here 'alarm clock, bird cage, wine glasses', and such can be easily recognized. In 'Glasses' for instance he plays them in a rhythmical way, and not what you would expect, working with overtones from playing the top of the glasses. No doubt Kuomo sampled these glasses and there is some (computer?) trickery involved, but there is a nice minimalist vibe to the music. Its constantly shifting in various timbres and before you know it, it's an entirely different place. Gamelan like in both 'Glasses' and 'Caged', and more abstract in 'Yarn', but each of the three pieces have a similar idea of shifting patterns. This is all most delightful music, in a way original and in a way perhaps not. It's open, joyful, delightful, minimal and moving about. Yes, surely I'd loved some more on the same disc. (FdW)
Address: http://texturalhealing.blogspot.com

HOSPITAL NEON - CHEAP FLOWERS (CDR by Listen Loudest Records)
Over the past few years I have been enjoying the collaborative work by PNDC and housework, one from Belgrade, the other from Athens. Th first is responsible for all the music and the second for words and vocals. We are in pop-land here, and it's pop-land I like. These boys like working together so much, that they choose upon a band name, which I think is a fine decision. It seems more 'serious'. Maybe they should go out and be a real band? Everything for this album was planned, exchanged, rehearsed and commented, and then created. Judging by these eight new tracks, they have a fine relationship, except they have never met. That is, besides the music, probably a most amazing thing, and something which you couldn't tell from hearing this music. On 'Cheap Flowers' they delve the heavy rhythms and guitars more and move away from their more early synthetic sound, more later day Depeche Mode than early Depeche Mode. It's overall quite rocky, and perhaps a bit too rocky for my taste here, preferring a more electronic approach. But still I think this is great. Maybe my judgement is clouded: anything with a Roxy Music cover ("Love Is The Drug" in this case) is fine in my book. These boys should definitely be playing together in person, and take their music on the road. The kids will love it. I know I do. (FdW)
Address: http://hospitalneon.bandcamp.com

YOSHIWARA (CDR by Ikebukuro Dada)
The blurb gives this as a “Long wall of noise (28:59) with guitar feedbacks and detuned bass destruction….” Which I think is inaccurate, it’s much more organic than that! And that’s not to say this is a bad thing!  The musicians here – and they are – are playing – and they do – a very free form of improvisation which could or once could – be considered as jazz. Perhaps as noise is now the new jazz – promoters swap the terms, but this offers a great dynamics of musicians who listen as carefully and responsively as they play – the hallmark of such improvisation, and a million miles away from the slapdash unskilled productions of noise. (jliat)
Address: http://ikebukuro-dada.blogspot.co.uk/

AARON DILLOWAY & TOM SMITH - ALLEIN ZU ZWEIT (cassette by Fragment Factory)
PHILIP MARSHALL - PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE (cassette by Fragment Factory)
The first time I was asked to play music I liked on radio was for a local squat illegal radio station. They had a five minute jingle, 'because sometimes we have no guests, and then we play this'. Hence the name of the program, 'Together Alone', which is also the title of this cassette, but then in German. It has a solo ('Allein') piece by Aaron Dilloway and a duo ('Zu Zweit') piece by Dilloway and Tom Smith, formerly of To Live And Shave In L.A. and since many years residing in Germany. Last years they both played at FSK in Hamburg and this cassette documents that. The Dilloway solo piece is one of suppressed noise. Will someone remove the cloth from the speakers? Oh, it's intentional. I like that, but hey I easily like something that brings back the good ol' days of cassettes back. Although perhaps these days I like the supposedly 'wrong' sounds better than before. Dilloway's tape loop manipulation is slow in development, but lands, cleaning up in the process in a more noisy territory. Maybe it goes out in a sort of strange way, just fading away. The other side starts out with both in drunken mood, singing/chanting/shouting over some records, and then hand spinning same or similar records, and more drunken ramble. I don't understand this. It was great fun that night, if you were doing this. It may have been great fun if you were watching this, and consider this: would it have been released if it was mister nobody doing this?
Philip Marshall is one of the worms - people that have something to say over the out of The Tape-worm, a cassette only label, in some ways connected to Touch, and still something different. I must admit I didn't hear much (if any) of Marshall's previous output. He is apparently also "one third of 3-33.me (because 4:33 is so last century)" and "he is currently mostly living and working on Air Berlin flights between Berlin and London". I assume one side of his tape is called 'Passive' and the other side is 'Aggressive'. The passive side is indeed, perhaps, a bit passive, with the shifting of some loops, albeit, not a lot of them, not very loud and without seemingly too many development. It all grows over the course of the piece, in comes a bit more distortion and out it moves again. It's alright, but doesn't seem to be that spectacular. Similar loop(s) are used on the 'Aggressive', which luckily isn't what I expected: a full on noise assault. Here it's merely the addition of more frequencies and a bit more effects, which add 'body' to the piece, and hence perhaps would qualify as 'aggressive'. I have the same question: if mister nobody would have submitted this to either this label or Marshall's own Tape-worm, would it pass? Honestly? (FdW)
Address: http://www.fragmentfactory.com

In Attenuation Circuit constant search for 80s obscurities they stumbled upon a work by Allan Zane, who calls himself Sir Bear Trapper, and Sid Redlin, core members of an otherwise loose group including also Lorelei Erisis and Ms La-Dee-Dada & Her Pet Eye Ov Tomato (they might listed otherwise in the phonebook). This is heavy on tape-collage, 'stand-up comedy', noise and acid rock, and acid like it is intended by Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Leary, both RIP and both thanked on the cover. Apparently its no less than 80 minutes long and it comes without any indication of instruments or sound sources. But early, primitive sampling of sound sources seems to me a most likely participant. Maybe the early casio SK-1 or the boss sample-delay with hold function. Like modern day DJs they sample whatever comes by, and much of this is barely recognizable. Much, again very much in a 80s tradition, without heads or tails, not thoroughly composed, but more like a stream of unconscious sounds, more like a LSD trip, relax and float downstream will dropping out, turning off, and tuning in - or whatever the good Dr Leary prescribed back then. Not something to enjoy lightly, but that's only if you listen and study close. If you, on the other hand lie back and let it all pass you by like small events passing like a wind stream, then you may go under in this bath of sounds. A whirlpool of madness. It makes you wanna like drugs even, I guess. How would I know? (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de