number 895
week 35


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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help Vital Weekly to survive:

KAZE – TORNADOS (CD by Circum Disc)
WARM DIGITS - INTERCHANGE (CD/DVD by Distraction Records) *
NECRO DEATHMORT - EP1 (12" by Distraction Records) *
QONIAK - SENTIENT BEINGS (LP by Everest Records)
ARVIND GANGA & ROGIER SMAL (CDR by Toztizok Zoundz) *
LOUIE RICE - DEGENERATES (cassette by Hideous Replica)
VASCO ALVES - VOLUME 1 (cassette by Hideous Replica)

KAZE – TORNADOS (CD by Circum Disc)
‘Tornados’ is a fantastic album from the French-Japanese combination Kaze. First there is the unusual line up of two trumpets (Christian Pruvost, Natsuki Tamura), plus drums  (Peter Orins) and piano (Satoko Fujii). It is their second one. Debut-cd ‘Rafale’ contained a live recording of November 2010, in concert in Krakow in celebration of the bicentennial of Frederick Chopin. ‘Tornado’ came into being from 2 days of playing in a studio in France in november 2012. The title ‘Tornado‘ is well-chosen, as the music turns and circles around a strong nucleus. Listening at the opening track ‘Wao’ I almost fell - literally - from my chair. Furious and intense music, with inventive playing. Especially the trumpet players make extended techniques. The compositions are very rich, multi-sided and intelligent. So there is a lot to discover here. I guess they don’t practice every week together, but they do sound as a very powerful and convincing unit. In all aspects fascinating music. Chapeau! Both French musicians also participate on ‘Feldspath’, a meeting of two ensembles, La Pieuvre and The Circum Grand Orchestra, 32 musicians in total performing a composition by Olivier Benoit. Both ensembles, the first one conducted by Benoit, operate about ten years. For this new project they are not melted into one. No, Benoit played with the characteristics of both ensembles. La Pieuvre are at their best in free improvisation. Circum Grand Orchestra play a kind of free-form jazz injected with the intensity of rock. Their collaboration here results again in another marvelous release of the Circum Disc label. Everything in this a adventure is big. Not only a mega line up, but also mega compositions. ‘Sanidine’ stretches out for 53 minutes, and ‘Andesine/Bytownite‘ almost takes an hour. ‘Sanidine’ starts from a conversation between two people (in French of course). After a few minutes musicians start to interfere, adding and underlying the speech with their improvisations. More and more musicians join in. The conversation disappears in the improvisation, that culminates in a gigantic and frightening cacophony. After this intro the music starts again searching for a point of departure and develops into a succession of rhythmic, hammering and banging sections. With fine dialoguing between the two subgroups of the line up. Lovely minimalistic and strongly rhythm-based sections like nr.7, full of tension and with many fine accents. Comparable to work of the Belgian group Présent. Impressive wall of sounds made up of a massive orchestral thickness, are changed for more nuanced and more sparsely instrumented sections. Impressive. (DM)
Address: http://www.circum-disc.com

Behind Novi-sad we find Thanasis Kaproulias, who has released before on Staalplaat and Sub Rosa and is perhaps the last laptop artist to acquire some fame. Usually I look for some older reviews and search the folder that Vital Weekly, and in 2011 I found a concert announcement of Novi_sad that read: "‘Neuroplanets’ is an audio project which explores the aesthetics of information on sound. Initially based on multiple ways of audio analysis in sonic phenomena from other planets, this project has been developed and produced by applying data from Neurosciences on tracks commissioned from: BJ Nilsen, Daniel Menche, Francisco López and Mika Vainio.". Now this finally released in the young composers series of Sub Rosa. I must admit I am afraid I don't get this CD very well. Not because it's bad, far from it actually, but because it's all quite ordinary laptop music. The sound input by his four colleague's are easily to spot and typical of them, but Novi_sad processing is rather normal. Lots of equalization on the sounds, layering a few radical blocks of these equalized sounds together - very high end, very low end - into lengthy sustaining blocks of sound. Music that reminds you of Fennesz being very ambient, early Stephan Mathieu, Tim Hecker and such like, and perhaps less of find musique concrete composer, which is something that Novi_sad would no doubt be. As said, the music as such is not bad at all, but it's all something that you may have heard well enough before. (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

Because I never browse the local listenings to see what's playing, except those which I am not connected to (contrary to popular believe), I missed Pere Ubu's concert some two months ago, and thus also the support act Roshi featuring Pars Radio. I must admit that I am not sure if I would have headed out anyway, but that is a different story. I like old Pere Ubu, and I like the music of Graham Dowdall, formerly of Ludus and also known as Gagarin, but when playing with Iranian Roshi Nasehi. She sings, plays piano, keyboards and synths and Dowdall plays electronics, beats, samples, atmospheres and found sounds, plus there is some cello by Richard Thomas on three songs. Songs indeed, as this has very little to do with the music normally reviewed in these pages. Roshi's voice is a very nice, sweet voice, which is not unlike some of the finer voices in trip hop, but the music is a bit different. She samples her voice on the spot, plays a bit of keyboards, and it has the bearings of a slightly vague nightclub/lounge club, smokey and obscure. When it becomes a bit too jazzy, I am not really that much interested, but luckily the majority of the pieces are a bit more on the experimental side. Dowdall's beats tick away time nicely and he ornaments the piece with subtle electronics and processed beats. But the song structure is apparent in all these eleven pieces and nowhere does it sound very 'abstract' or 'experimental', even when birds twitter in the sky in 'Nunhead Cemetary'. Highly introspective music indeed, and I wonder how that worked out live - but then I had to check the Pere Ubu night I guess. Excellent laid back tunes to be found here. Off the Vital Weekly map for sure, but such a nice delight. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gagarin.org.uk

Following the footsteps of Fennesz, Taylor Deupree now releases his album with Ryuichi Sakamoto. But these seeds for this collaboration where already planted in 2006, when Deupree did a remix for Sakamoto, and the latter released on 12K before, when he worked with Christopher Willits. In these recent years, Sakamoto excels at playing the piano and no longer seems to be working with synthesizers, like in his earlier life with Yellow Magic Orchestra. The basic recordings for this album was Sakamoto's piano playing, recorded in rehearsal for a concert he did with Deupree in April 2012.  His playing is sometimes traditional, with a few notes and keys being played, but he also plays the piano in a more 'prepared' fashion, inside, the board and strings. All of this makes an excellent starting point for Deupree to continue. Taking the sounds from this playing but also from the room the piano was in, the chair Sakamoto sits on and all of that, transforming them them, and adding more sounds to it, while maintaining an overall feeling of silence and emptiness makes up forty-five minutes of highly careful, meditative music; but not always just careful, or just silent. That would be some kind of boring new age music and that is not the case here. Deupree knows how to add sounds which are a bit sharper, with a bite, an edge. If you play this at a low volume you may not notice this very well, but turn up the volume and you see what I mean. You will discover so much more here, which is sometimes buried beneath, way beneath, the level of audibility. Then this wealth of sounds unfolds, with high pitched tones, the squeaking of a chair, and obscure rumblings of contact microphones, which makes this record a cross between an electro-acoustic record and an atmospheric excursion into the land of piano. Brian Eno would not have this any better!
It's been six years since I last heard Moskitoo, the music of Sanae Yamasaki, hailing from Sapporo. In the meantime she has been playing live concerts, and doing sound/voice work for Japanese television, as well as working as a painter. Her album 'Drape' (see Vital Weekly 565) was back then quite a surprise, as it showed a way into the world of 'dream pop', using all the techniques from the world of microsound. Away from the purely instrumental, emphasizing the vocals. That was a big surprise, and since then 12K expanded further in this direction. There are two downsides to this album, I think. First, and that was something I remarked with 'Drape' also, I am not blown away by the way she uses her voice. Whispering, sighing - like the Japanese version of French whisper-singing. It's very introspective of course, atmospheric, moody, but it's something you must like, and it's not something I like for the entire length of an album. Second point of slight discontent is that this all sounds quite similar to the previous album. Where's the innovation, the change, the development? That's something I am missing here. What was in 2007 a big step for 12K, seems now a bit out of date. That's perhaps how quick these things can be. On the whole however not a bad album, as the instrumental part, the glitch laden laptop pop works pretty well, still. I sign up for any of that, any time. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

As far as I know, pop ambient is a term coined by Kompakt, Cologne's finest home of minimal techno beats, and since many years also a yearly pop ambient compilation. Its perhaps no surprise that this album by Gaston Arevalo is distributed by Kompakt. He is a classically trained composer is from Uruguay and on this release he sculpts his compositions with the use of field recordings from his home country. Now, just what is pop ambient? Surely, those nice, twisted characters at Kompakt thought of this term with some sardonic twist, but perhaps you could say, it's a bit of the classic ambient music of Bria Eno, but then with pieces that are within the time frame of a pop song, and these heavily treated field recordings sound like electronic music, with no audible traces to the original field recordings. Unlike some of the drone like releases that we usually find in Vital Weekly, there is a romantic notion about this music, with all that string like processing that takes place (think those early Gas releases setting the template for this music). I am not sure about this, and found myself caught in various thoughts. The sun is shining, I am sitting comfortably, reading a bit, looking outside, and throughout enjoying this music, but somehow, in the back of my head, I keep hearing this voice that is saying: this is all very easily made, it moves very much around templates which you can find in abundance on the Pop Ambient compilations. But, I know, I should not care about that and just enjoy the moment. That's surely something I do. I think this was a great CD for some early morning coffee, wake up time. Perfect chill out. (FdW)
Address: http://www.oktaf.com

A long, long time ago, back in Vital Weekly 540 I reviewed 'Butterfly Wings Make' by Orla Wren, the musical project of Tui, who, back then, traveled Scotland in a van, selling his photographs and making music; the latter in a cottage, rather than in his van. Now he has recorded a whole bunch of new pieces, which expands on the themes set out on that previous album - maybe I missed something in between - which is combining electronics and 'real' instruments such as acoustic guitar, cello, spoken word, vocals, bass and concert flutes. These are mostly played by others, while Tui himself plays a variety of instruments, such as a korg monotron synthesizer, pipe organ, music box, flute, whistle, clarinet, guitar, tibetan singing bowl and many more. He recorded eleven pieces over the past years and this is all high and dry mood music. Everything about this album says careful. The delicate spoken/singing, the instruments being strummed and plucked and the use of field of electronics and field recordings. It's all highly refined indeed, and these songs easily expand over five minutes. Thirteen songs make easily some seventy minutes of music, and me personally think that is a bit too much. Like I said, it's all nice, but after a while I should think there could be a bit of difference in these pieces, a bit more variation to the plate. Sweetness I like, but a lot of it gives me a tootache, if you know what I mean. It's partly also because in this lovely package, there are three art-cards but also a DVD with visual interpretations of the songs we just heard. Perhaps unsurprisingly these video's look a bit like we would expect, even when they are made by several different film makers: vague images, flickering images, layered images. It's perhaps the kind of images you would except, and that is perhaps something of let down to this. I am sure however if the music on the CD is something you did like, then you will find equal fine satisfaction in the DVD. As an objective reviewer I'd say this is a great, but somewhat over complete package, and as a listener I'd rather wait until autumn to enjoy the grayish mood, but no doubt fans of this will have an entirely different opinion. Just as well so! (FdW)
Address: http://homenormal.tumblr.com

Here are two releases on a new label called Konvoj Records, and both of them deal with improvised music and both deal extensively with wind instruments. Tied together by Jakob Riis, from Denmark, who plays laptop and mixing board feedback on one release and computer and real time processing as part of the Konvoj Ensemble on the other, where we also find Lithuanian reed player Liudas Mockunas. They have been playing together a lot since the early 2000s in various combinations. Since 2010 they are active again, after a hiatus of some years. The recordings on 'Uncertain Statics' were made in 2010, but apparently were found strong enough to release now. I can agree to that, as the music is quite strong indeed. While the clarinets and saxophones of Mockunas are sometimes a bit too jazz like for me, whatever it is that Riis is doing certainly makes up for that. Drone like sounds, deep bass hiss, along with some very nice acoustic rumbling - metal on contact microphones perhaps - work best when the wind instruments goes into a similar mood of sustained playing. These are the moments when this works best, and luckily there are plenty such moments around here. It's a wild free music release, except that everything seems to be well under control. It's not about making many movements, wild gestures or crazy bending the limit, but a total love for sound that makes music. Excellent!
Both Riis and Mockunas are, as mentioned, members of the Konvoj Ensemble who recorded on October 12th last year with tenor saxophonist Evan Parker and grand piano player Sten Sandell in Malmo, Sweden. Now, as said, this too is the work of improvising musicians, who in this instance operate as an orchestra. It seems to me that the piece (fifty some minutes) they are playing is a bit like an orchestral piece, with various movements, in which various instruments of the ensemble lead on; sometimes the drums, or the various wind instruments, whereas the laptop plays an odd role in this, and sometimes it's not very clear what he does (except, I guess, around the thirty minute break). This piece has a very jazz like feeling to it, with instruments playing solo parts, and then everybody joining in, except not around fixed musical parts. But as said, much of this is very jazz like in approach and while that is not my particular field of interest, I must say that much of this actually sounded quite good, especially when it became orchestral and more abstract. Then I am most surely all ears! (FdW)
Address: http://konvojrecords.com

Tom Nunn is an improvisor and designer of self-built instruments to be used for improvised music. He is doing this since 1975 and  constructed over 150 instruments. The skatcboth is built “out of cardboard boxes and played with combs, this recession era wonder conjures up sounds previously unknown to man. The mere sweep of the comb across the box creates a new universe of sound reminiscent of wind, the seashore, trees rustling, birds singing, frogs croaking and other magical sounds”. As T.D.Skatchit Company , Tom Nunn and David Michalak play their skatchboxes, with 17 musicians adding their musical reflections (McDonas, Djlll, Bruckman, Perkis, a.o.).  As the title suggests, this is a very turbulent piece of music. The work consists of 14 parts. The title track and first piece on this cd has Nunn an Michalak only on skatbotches. In all other pieces guest musicians take part in this stormy weather. The work is built from a non-musical, natural phenomenon, the storm, more precise hurricanes and thunderstorms. No wonder what we hear  are very abstract sound improvisations. It is the concreteness of sounds that counts and makes the difference.  In the ‘Woman who laughs’ the music comes most close to normal music, in a bizarre song. Also  in a track as ‘Doorways’ conventional elements, like melody pop up for a second. But above all they do their  best to transcend all this. Their improvisations in all their abstractness are very vivid and warm, even charming. If you need a comparison, their music has the same physical feel  as work by Michel  Waiswisz. On "Plastic" we encounter another instrument built by Nunn: the sonoglyph, designed in 1992. On suggestion by Allan  Crossman Nunn composed a work for chamber orchestra and this particular instrument that was chosen for its wide sonic range. "Plasticity" became the result, an interesting confrontation between very different tunings. ‘Critter and Box On The Rocks’ is a composition in three parts by Michael McGee.  Each part features Blake McGee on Bb clarinet in duet with a Nunn-built instrument: the T-Rodimba , the Skatchbox and the Crustacean. These instruments are also featured in the four closing improvisations. Engaging pieces and sounds,  but more academic than on ‘Ear of the Storm’. They gave a good impression of the possibilities of Nunn’s instruments. I especially liked the deep resonating sounds of the Crustacean. (DM)
Address: http://www.edgetonerecords.com

WARM DIGITS - INTERCHANGE (CD/DVD by Distraction Records)
NECRO DEATHMORT - EP1 (12" by Distraction Records)
Back in Vital Weekly 794 I was highly pleased with the release by Warm Digits, a duo of Andrew Hodson (drums, programming, visuals) and Steve Jefferis (guitar, synthesizer, video), who play some great electronic pop tones with that great Neu! like motorik drive, and a nice bunch of layered guitars. They hail from Newcastle upon Tyne and they found a whole bunch of photos that deal with the construction of the metro in that city in 1970s. These photos are used to create a forty-two minute video to which they created six pieces of great music. It's however not a video that is entirely made in Imovie using static photographic images, but they added also color with abstract images that sometimes look like the Tardis moving through space, and sometimes like architectural designs set to psychedelic coloring. I am not always the biggest lover of video art, but I think this looks great. But maybe I am blinded by the music, which I also like very much. Great electronic drive to this, very retro futurist music, Tangerine Dream meeting disco and some spacious guitar playing which pierces your ears but it works excellently. Nijmegen has no metro, but should it have one, I would immediately take the metro and play this loud on my headphones and create my own soundtrack while traveling. Very psychedelic, both music and visuals, and even when I still think it could use a bit of vocals (sung or sampled), this is an excellent work. One to play on repeat for a while.
On vinyl for the first time is Necro Deathmort, who already released two CDs on Distraction Records, see Vital Weekly 782 and 833. They are also a duo, of AJ Cookson and Matthew Rozeik, who, so I assume, play all electronics, synths and drum computers. Here they have six new pieces of their heavy mixture of techno, dub and analogue synth mayhem. Top heavy music that is, with some extreme frequencies. In 'Titan' for instance these slow heavy beats start up but then speed up towards the end. This is perhaps not techno music that one could easily dance to, and perhaps it's not strange to see that they play a doom festival like the Dutch Roadburn festival (unless they were booked solely on the basis of their name). Doom techno anyone? Does that yet exist? I saw some announcement a while ago that 'commercial' techno was death now and it was back to the basics, the industrial big bang music again, and perhaps Necro Deathmort fits that very well. Play loud for optimum pleasure. (FdW)
Address: http://www.distractionrecords.com

QONIAK - SENTIENT BEINGS (LP by Everest Records)
A band with a name that sounds like a drink. A fancy new drink perhaps based on something old. Qoniak is a duo of Vincent Membrez on synths and Lionel Friedli on drums, with the help of one Joy Frempong on vocals and Flo Stoffner in guitar. The duo started ten years ago, and was inspired by Paul Lovens and Thomas Lehn or the duo of Roger Turner and Phil Minton, but their work on this record, which is my introduction to their music, sounds much less improvised and much more structured. Especially in the way the synth and drums interact, the guitar make a solid wall behind that, while the vocals provide the most free play around here. This is music that defies any description, which of course it should always be like, but as a reviewer (and maybe you as a reader) would like to have some idea. Here we find traces of rock music, mainly in the use of rhythm, improvised music, hip hop, techno and improvisation, all clutched together in six pretty long pieces, which make up for something that has unmistakably a psychedelic feel to it. You could easily loose a sense of time here. In 'Bewitched Scheme' they are a loose on the acid and trip about, just as in the closing piece 'Dark Matter', which is quite closed and intense. In total this is a great record of some highly original music! Take a trip and go down, down, and down under in this journey. (FdW)
Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch

One of the active forces in the experimental music scene in Greece is Nicolas Malevitsis. Without him there might be no scene of any kind, and many labels owe him for his knowledge on releasing and distributing. And he's been at for a long time, and yet he's only forty now. Amazing. Rekem Records celebrate his birthday by releasing a LP by The Nihilist Spam Band, clearly a favorite band of mister Malevitsis. Now, they have been around for much longer than forty years, playing together on a weekly basis since 1966 in their home town of London, Ontario, Canada and continue to do so until this very day. A band of non musicians playing entirely free music, although perhaps after all these years they may have picked up some tricks. There have not been a lot of releases by them over these years, so I can imagine that Malevitsis is proud to be instrumental in adding to that small catalogue. It's hard to say wether the Spasm Band is in fine condition here. They sound like they always sound. Dirty, loud, uncontrolled, slightly distorted, a bit muffled. The drums bang on nicely, while the guitars wail about and there are strange voices of someone trying to sing, but howls like wolf. Four pieces and perhaps they are all the same - which they aren't of course - but they really belong together, as taped perhaps on one of those mondays; maybe last week, maybe last year, maybe ages ago. I thought this was all a most enjoyable record, very much a Nihilist Spasm Band record, exactly the kind of thing you would expect. Nothing changes. (FdW)
Address: http://rekemrecords.tumblr.com

The ever so busy Michel Banabila, from the city of workers, as we say in The Netherlands. Here are some of his most recent releases. The Banabila I once knew, the one that was interested in ethnic music, is a man of many talents. In many of his recent works he displays an interest in all things electronic music, from industrial to musique concrete and then towards, as easily it seems, quiet, ambient and introspective music. The first release is a five track mini LP/12"/Lp which has two songs by Banabila, and then one each in collaboration with Polish composer Zenial, home town boy Machinefabriek and somebody named Erker. I assume the latter plays saxophone on this highly moody piece, a film noir soundtrack. Two pieces are exclusive to this track, the other from previous releases, so I wonder for whom this teaser record is actually released. Why not an all new, all exclusive record? I did hear the piece he did with Zenial and it's still a powerful piece of everything dark and dance alike. The other four pieces are all much more introspective and relaxing. The film noir piece with Erker, but also the more abstract imaginary film soundtracks of the other three. Here we find an absence of rhythm and a strong love for sound processing with the aim to create some excellent mood music. If you like vinyl and you need an introduction to the recent Banabila (or maybe an update if you know his work from ages ago), then I'd say do not look further.
Also on the collaboration side is a lovely 7" Michel Banabila recorded with Robin Rimbaud, also known as Scanner, since many years. It's not that I expected them to work together easily but then why not. Two pieces here, a total of eight minutes, of which the title piece has time stretched drone sounds on top of which a piano is placed which tinkles away in a rather non linear fashion, calm and relaxing, but very effective. 'Sleeping The Sleep Of Stones', which is actually the a-side of this record, has a voice, maybe picked up from a Lomax record, or maybe scanned from the airwaves surrounding the studio, with a musical setting of synth, guitar and sparse percussion. Both of these pieces work quite well as 'songs' - always my concern when it comes to a 7", but hey, I am old fashioned - and certainly long for more. Will this be the start of more music between these electronic lizzards - changing to whatever tone is needed? That would be awesome indeed.
'Zoom World' I got as a CDR with a nice pro-printed cover, but maybe it's just available on Banabila's bandcamp site. Maybe if you try and order a CDR, you'll get one. As far as I understand from the same website, these seven pieces are created by going back to earlier releases from Banabila, such as 'In Other Words', '47 Voice Loops' and 'Mltvz7', and three of them were made in collaboration with Radboud Mens. Here we find five pieces of what we could easily call nice accessible ambient music, with mysterious rhythms, darker passages on keyboards and guitar samples and throughout great atmospheric music. I must admit I am not that familiar with the original songs, but these sound great anyway. It's all a bit darker than I would expect from Banabila - but then, we learned to expect the unexpected - and a tad of glitchy rhythms are tied in here. In the final two pieces, which span almost twenty minutes, Banabila goes out to an underworld in 'Mltvz7' of very subdued sound in almost complete stasis, drone music at the verge of standstill. In 'The Late Hour' much of that returns but in the end there is simple, far away drum machine majestically humming away. Three releases by Banabila, three times different, and three times great. (FdW)
Address: http://www.banabila.com

It's been a while since the first release by Clade, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 821. Clade is from Oklahoma, but it says in the information that the recordings were made in 2010 in Chicago, and 'we apologize for the delay'. Perhaps Clade was on tour, and they stayed for a couple of days in Chicago, since the tracks are called 'Thursday III' and via Friday ends with 'Saturday III (Long)'. I am not sure, but I guess that they record this music also in one take, just like the previous release and that the instruments are still lots of guitars and electronics. Clade plays drone music, but there is a bit of difference with the previous release. Whereas then we found traces of noise/drone metal, that seems to be have disappeared here. The mood in these seven tracks is very subdued, calm and highly atmospheric. It's a wall of sound, but then of a relaxing nature, introspective. More Troum than Earth, if you catch my drift. It's however still not the most varied release that you could imagine, but these seven pieces, spanning some forty-eight minutes, are clearly various shades of the same color, and not many colors. The previous encouraged 'chemical accompaniment' - although not required - but then the forceful character of the music may have caused some damage. You'd better save those chemicals for this one, as this is the perfect music for such chemical enhancement. I thought this was the better release of the two I heard so far and I would certainly hope they would continue to explore these roads further. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cladistic.org

From Australia hails Tessa Elieff, who works as Tattered Kaylor and here releases a three piece EP - twenty-five minutes - on Stasisfield. She works within the field of acousmatic music, and all three pieces were commissioned one way or the other. These pieces last all around eight minutes and use field recordings of some kind, and all of them are treated within the realm of the computer. What can I say? I'd love to say that this is all something I haven't heard before, but that is sadly not true. I did hear this kind of music before. The heavily treated field recordings turning into warm glitchy ambient drones: it all sounds a bit like something from say a decade ago, the kind of things Stasisfield label owner John Kannenberg did with equally finesse. It sounds alright, I must say. It's not bad at all, but not great either. Very solid in the way the music has been made, but it all seems rather not original. (FdW)
Address: http://www.stasisfield.com

A nice package of a booklet with very naive drawings in comic style. done by Rogier Smal, who also plays the drums on this release. We know him otherwise as RoRo and we reviewed some of his earlier work. In his solo work, Smal takes on a more conceptual edge at playing the percussion he uses, but this, and I must this is the first time I hear his work in collaboration with others, he uses a drum set up to record his music with guitarist Arvind Ganga. I am not sure, but I don't think I heard of him before. Of the six pieces, three are called 'Improvisation 001', '002' etc and three have 'proper' titles such as 'Raga Gavati', 'My Babe' and 'Magg Zelma'. On the cover they also refer to this as 'songs', but the way it sounds, it may make no difference. Maybe because they refer to it themselves as 'songs', it's possible to see this in terms of music, rather than improvisation per se, and while much of this is played freely, the nature of these improvisations makes that this sounds like a guitar and a drum kit. Ganga and Smal don't go all the way to search for all sound possibilities of their respective instruments, but play them rather freely, so we understand there is a guitar and a drum kit. Nothing wrong with that of course, and the six pieces are absolutely great. My favorite is the opener, 'Raga Gavati', which has a strange raga/blues like undercurrent. It's probably where they reach out to something that sounds like a real song - which may not be the reason why I like it, as there is enough beauty to discover here in the other songs too. Ranging from introspective soft to reasonably loud, this is a highly varied disc. Very nice indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://toztizok.nl

LOUIE RICE - DEGENERATES (cassette by Hideous Replica)
VASCO ALVES - VOLUME 1 (cassette by Hideous Replica)
Two of the three members of VA AA LR present solo works on these two cassettes. Both of these aren't with too much information, not even on the website. More and more I enjoy the works by VA AA LR, who sound like group on the edges of musique concrete, live electronics and performance and reminds me of the Dutch trio BMB con. I started with the tape by Louie Rice, which has five pieces and spans twenty-five minutes. No information, so it's hard to guess what Rice does, but my best guess would be that he plays around with synthestic sounds, maybe from an analogue synthesizer with some rusty knobs, feeding it to speakers which are likewise a bit rusty, connected with some cables that produce a bit of noise too. His synth plays soundwaves in rotating curves without much change, but the change we hear is in the reproduction of the sound, but no doubt there is some hands on action somewhere. But, like I said, I am merely guessing here. I quite enjoyed these five pieces. Very austere, minimal and sounding precisely right. Action music from static sounds. Plus it sounds great on cassette.
The other cassette is a single sided cassette, which is something I never quite understood - ever since the local punk band did a single sided cassette release back in 1980. You could at least repeat the program? The plus here is that it says something: 'a battered portable cassette recorder, December 2012 - June 2013', which I take it was used to tape these field recordings to, and as such we may not have various pieces, but a sixteen minute collage of such battered sounds. They are stuck together in a rather arbitrary manner and comes across as a bunch of raw sounds, waiting to be used in another context, say the work of VA AA LR. Maybe there is a conceptual edge I am missing here, like battered sounds recorded on a cassette, brought to you on a cassette or some such, and perhaps, while am I at it, why not fill the entire thirty minute tape with such raw sounds? There is plenty to pick from already, but maybe more is better? It's of course not easy to isolate your favorite sources here, but give it a random spin in your next DJ set and see what's going to happen. Now we wait for Adam Asnan's solo encounter! (FdW)
Address: http://hideousreplica.co.uk/