number 1005
week 45


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DISTEL - ZAND (CD by Ant-Zen) *
KLEISTWAHR - THE RETURN (CD by Fourth Dimension) *
LE POT – HERA (CD on Everest Records)
MURDER CORPORATION - NEKRO (CD by Menstrual Recordings) *
MB - MECTPYO/BLUT (2CD by Menstrual Recordings) *
MERZBOW - ECOBONDAGE (2LP + CD by Menstrual Recordings) *
SOL MORTUUS - EXTINCTION (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
DMT - ULTIMATUM (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
LLARKS - ATAVISTOV HEART (cassette by Kikimora Tapes)
UNFOLLOW - ZERO LIKES (cassette by Kikimora Tapes)
WINDBREAKER - HOSTAGE (cassette by Kikimora Tapes)
UNSTABLE LANDS - ZERO (CDR by Care Not Care) *

DISTEL - ZAND (CD by Ant-Zen)

Local heroes here, Distel… well, meaning Distel is a local band (as in local to
our HQ) and maybe to some heroes (they are not yet on the same level as the other
Nijmegen band whose name also starts out with the letter 'D'), certainly in
areas where they love things dark and electronic. Distel's debut album 'Puur'
is a classic downright (see Vital Weekly 883), which was released as a LP, CD
and cassette and on three different labels by now, plus the LP also including
a 7" at one point. Now they've signed to Ant-Zen, who release 'Zand' as a round-
up of various loose ends, picking up assorted remixes, tributes and a couple of
unreleased pieces. It is stuff that fits together very well. Distel employs a
series of dark rhythms, dark synthesizers and unsettling moods to play something
that perhaps strangely (or perversely) belongs to the world of pop music. The
vocals are sometimes buried a bit in the mix, which make it sound cold, distant
and remote, this is something that owes to the electronic pop of the 80s, but
some of these synthesizer sounds are actually also from the world of techno/trance,
as in 'Unfold'. Because a lot of these pieces are remixes, there are a variety of
vocalists in these pieces and that adds to the diversity of the music. Perhaps
sometimes one could think that the tick of the beat, the analogue synth process
and reverb on the voice is a bit too much, but then there are all these voices
adding a wider range to these pieces. The mastering is great here, with some
mighty fine bass shaking from those speakers. This is an excellent album, forty-
five minutes (so no doubt on LP one day) of bliss full angst loaded pop music,
which nevertheless sounds highly captivating for a solo dance or two. Dim the
lights and play Distel loud! (FdW)

KLEISTWAHR - THE RETURN (CD by Fourth Dimension)

When I reviewed 'This World Is Not My Home' by Kleistwahr in Vital Weekly 947 I
already noted that the music Gary Mundy recorded as Kleistwahr was very much
released before 1990, but that in 2009 he returned with a LP for Noiseville, and
perhaps some of the success of 'This World Is Not My Home' made it possible that
now the Noiseville LP is re-issued on CD, including two bonus pieces. Mundy's main
project, ever since the early 80s, is of course Ramleh, whose history was already
re-issued as 'Awake', a 8 CD set for Harbinger Sound, an excellent band in the
field of power electronics (and still among the favourites here), but Mundy had
various side projects in those busy 80s releasing cassettes on his own Broken Flag
label (and like the previous CD, the cover is most fitting rework of the highly
recognizable style of the label; more re-issues please!). Here we have another hour
of solid noise music, with Mundy picking up the guitar and feeding it through many
effects and maybe even synthesizers. Some time ago I wrote about people with
guitars and doing noise, and how they all want to sound like Lou Reed's 'Metal
Machine Music', and maybe Kleistwahr could be seen as one of those noise mongers
too. But there is more than just another wall of noise being cemented here. Take
the apparent random stab at an organ in 'The Loss', which is set against this wall
of distortion. But it's exactly the addition of elements like that makes that the
noise of Kleistwahr is so much more interesting than those current harsh noise
wall types, who show no love for anything that is a bit softer, or don't care how
to make the noise a bit more engaging, a tad more interesting and Kleistwahr just
understands all too well how to do that. As such 'The Return' is both a return to
the world of power electronics and looking up to a bright future! Hopefully with
more to come, old or new. (FdW)


Vandermark and Lonberg-Holm each have numerous works out, in many different
projects, etc. Their collaborations are uncountable. Both know each other already
a long time, from again many different projects and collaborations. There is no
need to repeat that all here. What makes this release remarkable is that both
experienced players deliver their first duo-work with ‘Resistance’. It is a live
recording from 21 September 2013, when they played in a gallery in Chicago at a
benefit for the Malachi Ritscher collection. Vandermark playing reeds, Lonberg-Holm
cello and electronics, which is no surprise. The surprises are the joyful dialogues
they practice in their improvisations, full of fine interplay. Everything is to the
point in these excursions that come you like in one uninterrupted flow. The spectrum
is very full, especially when Lonberg-Holm electrifies his cello. Constantly  a lot
is happening. The recording is beautiful and well done, so that you can enjoy every
detail of this very fruitful meeting. (DM)

LE POT – HERA (CD on Everest Records)

‘Hera’ is the second part of a trilogy that started with the album ‘She’, reviewed in
Vital Weekly 968. Swiss combo Le Pot is Manuel Mengis (trumpet, Electronics), Hans-
Peter Pfammatter (synths, piano), Manuel Troller (guitar) and Lionel Friedli (drums).
Strange, undefinable things happen here. Unexpected changes of dynamics and colouring.
Melodies and rhythms that evaporate mysteriously. Yes, they search for unusual ways of
structuring a musical work. And they do hit at something, as I found myself completely
fascinated throughout. For this album they started from fragments of music by Benjamin
Britten: “a melody from ‘Requiem Aeternam’, themes from ‘The Beggars Opera’, a song
from ‘A Midsummers Night’s Dream’”.  Alas I’m not familiar with these works, so I
can’t determine in what way these selections serve as starting points for their
exuberant and rich improvisations. Like ‘She’ I experience their music as very spatial,
like a jump into the great wide open. That is somehow connected with their interest
for sound. But structure is equally important. The music feels very open, but at the
same time one senses all their movements are rooted in clear musical concept.  The
improvisations were recorded during four days of playing in the church of St.Roman.
The inevitable church bells we hear in the opening of track 9. Again a very strong
statement from this combo. Can’t wait for the third part of this trilogy, if not
only for understanding why these choose for the ‘trilogy’-format. (DM)


A new release on Shameless, a label of Boris Hauf. Around 2001-2002 he released several
of his projects on this label. And that was it. Not that Hauf turned away from music.
Far from it. But Shameless no longer seemed a useful outlet. But now it is again, with
an excellent first release by The Peeled Eye. The quartet consisting of Martin Siewert
(guitar), Christian Weber (bass), Steve Heather (drums) and Boris Hauf (baritone sax,
piano), make a powerful and convincing statement. They are a “noisecore doomjazzquartet”
in the words of Hauf himself. They construct thick and noisy musical pieces. Seven in
total. Sometimes all seem to follow their own individual path, resulting in a wonderful
cacophonic whole, as in the opening track ‘Kind of”. Evidently free jazz is an ingredient
in their music. Also the prominent sax playing by Hauf clearly comes from a jazz attitude.
Like in ‘Heavy Quarters’ where his playing is embedded in a slow but brutal sounding
rock environment. The intro and the outro of same piece illustrate their interest for
pure sound textures. ‘Diiisko’ has Hauf and Siewert in a fine battle. In all pieces they
sound very tight and together. Complexity and rock primitivism are in a perfect blend
here. This is not just a hell of noise, but free rock at his best. (DM)


A duo work of two improvisers. Eguiluz (voice) comes from originally from Mexico.
Diamantakiou, playing upright bass, is originates from Marseille (France). They started
their collaboration in 2012 in Montreal, where both have their base. Diamantakiou is
also member of te ensemble Rubedo’ro , led by Eguiluz. As a duo they take themes from
jazz standards as a starting point for their free improvised excursions. For their first
release ‘Paso Doble’ they made recordings in February-March 2014 in the studio, using
themes from Mingus, Ellington and Bach. Their improvisations breathe a delicate and
fragile atmosphere. They are full of subtle movements and gestures. Beautifully sung
by Eguiluz who has a characteristic and recognizable voice. Also the playing by
Diamantakiou is fine. A rich and solid work. (DM)

MURDER CORPORATION - NEKRO (CD by Menstrual Recordings)
MB - MECTPYO/BLUT (2CD by Menstrual Recordings)
MERZBOW - ECOBONDAGE (2LP + CD by Menstrual Recordings)

It's not easy to decide what should be played first, but here's what I reasoned: I know,
more or less, Ecobondage, being already re-issed before, and I am sure I heard MB's
'Mectpyo/Blut' before too (as a bootleg, download or otherwise), so why not start with
the all new work released by Murder Corporation, which is the musical project of Moreno
Daldosso, who started to play as Murder Corporation in 1992, 'nearly as a joke', after
hearing heavy metal, punk, hardcore, EBM and then industrial music, and taking inspiration
from Merzbow, Boyd Rice, William Bennett and Kevin Tomkin (and yes, I am not sure about
that 'nearly as a joke' either). Murder Corporation uses tapes, noises, short waves and
distorted voices, along a sampler Akai S01 and tone generator. Much of this is of the
heavy, minimal variation type of noise, but that's not the case throughout. Murder
Corporation can be stunningly silent, which is a great thing. 'Horror Trip' sounds far
away, like a motorway recorded from a great distance, the title track with the clicking
of a camera and moaning like some recording of a porno production, but it's set against
the monotony of 'Roleplay', which sounds like being trapped in a washing machine for
thirteen minutes. The 'quiet' pieces (i.e. the ones without noise and distortion) are
the ones I preferred: it is here were Murder Corporation shows his real talent in
creating some truly unsettling music; odd, alien and downright scary music, like an
excellent score to a horror movie. That would a career-path for him to follow! I really
hope Maurizio Bianchi will live to be very old, and that he will produce many more
records, but I also really hope that by the time he's left this planet, somebody will
write a book about him; actually not that I care about his life that much, but a book
that explores all of his releases in depth, and makes all the right connections between
the various releases and re-releases there have been (something similar would be great
for Conrad Schnitzler, but that's a different story), as I know I lost track.
   'Mectpyo/Blut' came out in 1980 as a ninety-minute cassette and between that and this
official double CD Banned Production and Bacteria Field released it on cassette, but also
came out as a double LP by Marquis Records and a single LP in Japan on no particular label.
This release marks the transition from using the name Sacher Pelz to M.B. and was his
first official release as M.B. (or MB, whatever you prefer). Four pieces here, each about
twenty-two minutes (hence this being a c90 when it came out, and most suitable for a 2LP
re-issue - one day?), and in each of these pieces MB plays around with some low fidelity
means, such as spinning records by hand and taping them to reel-to-reel machines, cutting
them into crude loops and playing around with these. Each of these pieces could be divided
into separate pieces of music itself - 'Musique Belzec' even contains a piece with 'sampled'
rhythm loop. It's not as distorted as some of his later work, and also the use of effects,
such as his much beloved delay pedal on his later records from his early days. The music
is very atonal, devoid of much composition and sometimes way too long staying within a few
limited sounds. Boring? Yes, perhaps indeed, but there is always something captivating I
think about what MB does, and such subjective 'good' or 'bad' are somehow irrelevant; it
either grabs you and you love it, or you stay stone cold and hate it. No prizes to win on
which side I am.
   The artist himself on his ZSF Produkt label first released Merzbow’s ‘Ecobondage’ in
1987, and it is probably a very long album, clocking in at over an hour or so. I remember
getting this record, trading with Merzbow directly (LP against Dutch smut magazines, which
I always thought was a great deal) but not necessarily remember this as a bad pressing.
Now it's re-issued as a double LP with no bonus material, so the new pressing has no doubt
with more dynamics. Along with this comes a CD with the entire double LP as two long pieces
(instead of three as was the first CD issue, released in 1995 on Distemper, it's sole release
on this label actually). This is Merzbow in one of my favourite periods, this mid to late
80s period. He's not yet the noise artist he became later, either with all his guitar effects
transforming acoustic sounds, or with his laptop, effectively reaching for the same noise,
nor playing around with the EMS Synthi-A. In stead he plays percussion and records himself
a couple of times, banging sheets of metal, adding tape-loops of a rather obscure nature,
some hand spun records and the noise is very much of a different nature than on many of
his later work. This is the great times of 'Enclosure' or 'Storage', where metal plays an
important role, scraping and rubbing sheets together to create nasty patterns, or rather:
non-patterns. A curious web of sounds that are not always related, even have an odd
relationship but which work together actually quite well. Everything comes in what seems
to be a never-ending stream of sounds, where sounds pop up for a while and then are moved
to the background somewhere and something moves along. An excellent interplay of disparate
sounds, conjuring flickering images of an equally unrelated kind. If you like Merzbow,
but you think he's doing his overload noise a bit too much on repeat these days, then it's
certainly a wise thing to invest in this true 80s beauty which was until now hard to get:
but here it is again, in full beautiful glory! (FdW)


Out of Poznan, Poland hails percussion player Adam Golebiewski, who has played with Mats
Gustafsson, Fred Lonberg-holm, Ken Vandermark, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore and many others
and, as far as I can tell, this is first solo album. "In his work he focuses on the ultimate
extension of the potential of the drum set and percussion instruments as to their anatomy,
sound and expressiveness, which results in a direct and intense sound language", as it's
described by the label. The recordings were made on a 'jazz drum kit with conventional
microphone system' and it's a rather short album, thirty-four minutes, with rather short
pieces, seven in total. The music is rather intense, with lots of stuff happening in each
piece, and none of this is very rhythmical. One can hear this is a drum kit (jazz or
otherwise), with toms and cymbals and such like, but it's played with objects on those
drum elements, with bows, with stones, Styrofoam and all such like. In a sense this radical
improvisation, and has very little to do with the world of free jazz (for instance) and
everything with free improvisation, and while at times it is all quite heavy, such as the
feedback like cymbal play in 'Half Blame', it also sounds conventional. Other drummers,
like Christian Wolfarth or Michael Vorfeld do similar improvised music. This says nothing
about the quality of what Golebiewski does here: these are seven excellent pieces of music,
some of which is very radical in sound approach and sets a great calling card for Adam
Golebiewski's work - watch out him: he might be going places. (FdW)


On the second part in his Psychexcess series Riggio picks up the trail where the first part
left off, which is, beyond doubt, a good thing. The extremely well designed aural landscapes
are again breathtaking and the compositional diversity makes the album one captivating
experience from beginning to end. Meandering between glitchy IDM, high-end industrial sub
bass mechanisms, vocal driven repetitive structures and acoustic atmospheres without lingering
for too long in any of those areas, Riggio clearly is master of his own realm and retains a
versatile flow without allowing the album to succumb to wayward schizophrenia. And there really
is an sense of proficiency underlying every single part of Futurism, to the extent that the
album has rich moments in which it is pleasantly overwhelming, but remains quite disciplined
at the same time. Still I believe I will have to give it a lot more spins before can honestly
say I’ve taken it all in.
   Another second release in a series is «Sonic Groove Releases pt.2» by Orphx. I’ve been
intrigued by Oddie’s work since I first heard Vita Mediativa and this disc is not going to
change that. The album sets out into a somewhat subdued techno pulse, to be pervaded by post-
industrial thrusts a few minutes in. However, the roughness throughout the album remains quite
tempered, punchy & technoid. And whereas it certainly fortifies some of the tracks to an
industrial extent, at no point does the noise and distortion saturate the dynamics completely,
which makes it quite a easy listen, especially if compared to the already mentioned classic
Vita Mediativa. Although this is mainly a compilation of previously released EPs on, no surprise,
Sonic Groove, the eldest 12" dating back to 2012, the sound and style is quite homogenous and
in that respect this might have simply been a new album and I would not have noticed. The
unreleased track «Hungry Ghosts» is then a fitting conclusion to an already enthralling album.
And then about its looks: I can’t pinpoint why exactly, but the artwork of both the previous
and this part of the series is really amongst the most interesting  and effective sleeve
designs I’ve seen in years. This alone, I feel, is a reason to purchase both parts. (PJN)


While trying to find a proper sofa to sit down and write a couple of reviews, I found myself
a perfect spot in the vast lobby of the remote Azorian hotel where I’m currently staying.
Almost perfect, since all of a sudden the background music turned from a lull of ambient chords
to loungy house beats accompanied by soulful vocal stabs. No better option than to drown it
out with the new Synapscape album ‘rhythm age’. There are no surprises, nor would we want any
different; Synapscape has their specific brand of rhythmic industrial that just bangs on track
after track and sports the occasional vocal part and lashing breakbeat every once in a while.
What struck me though is that compared to predecessor ‘Traits’ this album seems a just little
bit mellower and the rhythmic parts sound less emphasized by distortion. Which is not to say
that that they don’t have that typical Synapscape drive to them. Nor does the album lack the
necessary tracks that do blow your sock off with sledgehammer pounding. Hang on, no, maybe
it’s not even the distortion, but overall I felt sounded less evil and perhaps more ‘angry
engineering meets future science’, if that makes any sense at all. Anyway, definitely more
than a decent bang for your buck.
   «Ascending», the track that opens the sixth Gjöll album cracks on very promising with its
modulating synth drone and ominously whispered Icelandic lyrics. I actually saw the two lads
perform this track live at Maschinenfest 2k15 last week, which really had that low end come
out just the way it should. After diving right into power electronics with powerful vocals on
the second track, the album takes quite an unexpected turn on the third track. A rhythmic guitar
riff seems to be setting the tone for some heavy duty machinery to take the stage, but the
opposite happens and everything fades down to a very minimal electronic beat, some noise and,
again, spoken Icelandic - which personally I find a fascinating language and had me play this
specific track over and over. The riff then returns in a dubby way here and there. Strangely
fascinating and quite a bold move I think. Then halfway through we’re treated to a collaboration
track with 2kilos & More, featuring the booming voice of Black Sifichi, upon which we sink deep
down into ecstatic noise/drone epos «Life as Randomness» and the violence of «In Defense».
Especially these two tracks, I felt, conveyed an immense sense of power, a beguiling place where
capability and compositional skill meet. Quite a diverse album and an interesting one at that.
   Daniel Hofmann = 50% Thorofon = Kommando, a project that actually predates Thorofon. I can
make it quite simple for us all by saying simply: if you’re into Thorofon, or for instance early
Haus Arafna, Subliminal or Genocide Organ for that matter, it’s ridiculously safe to assume you
will probably like this too. It has the angsty vibrato synths wailing away, wonky and guttural
pulsating rhythms and those typical modulated vocals. To me it’s the impetus of those slow
mechanical thrusts that pleasantly reminded me of the reason why I started listening to (post-)
industrial in the first place many years ago. After slowly melting your mind with the first 8
moderately paced tracks of the album, «Crosses» floors it and just stomps away as if there’s no
tomorrow. I had not heard anything from the hands of mr. Kommando before listening to this album
actually, but now I feel commonsensically obliged to check out the rest of his catalogue. (PJN)

DMT - ULTIMATUM (CD by Zhelezobeton)

Three new releases by Zhelezobeton from St. Petersburg, whose interest lies very much in all
things dark and atmospheric, and who always surprise me with another bunch of new Russian
discoveries. For instance Kein, from Yekaterinenburg, who was in the 90s in the 'atmospheric
black metal band' Thy Repenetance, and later on had such projects as Scratching Soil, Carved
ImageOf Emptiness, Church Of Howling Dog, as well as being a member of Prognostic Zero and Zinc
Room (and yes, I think some of these names are a bit silly). Sol Mortuus is his latest solo
project and this time around, on 'Extinction' it is all about 'life in decay, under a dying sun'
and to that end Kein uses a variety of instruments, such as cello, mandolin, blockflute (which
proper name is actually recorder), kaluka, vargan, buben (I have no idea what these three are,
but the latter two might be a Jew harp and a small drum) and percussion. Somehow the music Sol
Mortuus created sounds very Russian: there is the ominous big drones, created through the
extensive use of reverb on acoustic instruments, and throughout he also uses cleaner versions
of these instruments to play along, especially when he starts his more tribal drum patterns.
Topped with something that one could perhaps call 'overtone singing'; it calls for the darkness
of the Russian soul, long winter nights, endlessly cold plains, and perhaps even some kind of
ancient form of tribalism, shamanism or some such. While not entirely well spend on me, I played
this with some interest and actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
   From the Russian desolate landscape we land in social realist industrial workforce with DMT,
whose 'Ultimatum' is the second release in a series called 'Die Zeichen' (the signs), which is,
if I'm correctly informed, to 'publish the archival works of Russian post-industrial projects'
(and done along with kultFRONT) and this time it's the music of Dmitry Tolmatskiy, who died in
2009. In the 90s he was very active as a journalist, but privately occupied himself with
electronic music. This compilation spans sixteen of these pieces from 1999 to 2008, including
a live piece with Alexei Borisov. This is quite a mixed bunch of pieces. Rhythms play an important
part in this music, hard and vicious like a solid industrial dark wave act, but then also at times,
rhythms are shut down and there is more room for electronics and experiments. The balance however
is in favour of the loud rhythmic pieces, which remind me at times of Esplendor Geometrico, but
some of these pieces are perhaps a little bit disorganized: once a rhythm is set in motion, add
some sounds while this goes, but that in itself doesn't bring a great piece of music, necessarily.
At close to seventy-five minutes and some of these pieces being a bit overlong, it is quite a
stretch, but it surely has it's moments.
   In Vital Weekly 933 I reviewed a re-issue of the first release by Sergey Uak-Kib, or rather the
one he recorded as Kshatriy. I had reviewed some of his more recent releases, but never his second
release, which is 'Kshatriy And Mushrooms', which was given away in very small quantities back then.
Much of his music is very drone based, very electronic and most likely originates in gathering
field recordings being transformed extensively. In his more recent works this seems to be very much
in a dronal meltdown that leads to very dark pictures of sound, much bass end, very little light
and high-end, but in the pieces on this release, dealing with mushrooms (in all it's forms present
in the title: growing, flying, curious, crying, angry psychoactive, walking, magic and dying) there
is much more light allowed. Picture hazy sunlight coming through these trees, close to each other,
and you picking mushrooms in the early hours of the day. That kind of light is what this music has,
hazy but light, and at times the shadows brings in a bit of darkness. There is quite some cosmic
delight in this music, not of the nicely arpeggio variety, but experimental, moody and still
delightful. A special mushroom indeed. It's great to see this in print again. (FdW)


Last week or so I had a private discussion about a musician whose music was hardly if at all
reviewed in these pages although he could have been; he's grown into more mainstream music
circles these days, but his music, we both agreed upon, was just very lame cosmic, third rate
Tangerine Dream drivel. Perhaps these days it helps to water down your style, and have a quasi-
interesting hook ('look: all modular synthesizers'), be an imitation of something else, from way
down the line. Anyway, not so interesting, this story, but that unnamed artist is not on par
with say with Idea Fire Company: that's something we both agreed upon. I told this before and
since I am never tired of repeating myself: why isn't the Idea Fire Company on the same level
as some of those post cosmic, ambient, industrial acts? Is the band old hat, or just old? Too
underground? Or Scott Foust too eccentric? The latter would certainly be a main attraction, I'd
say. Over the past 25+ years the duo of Karla Borecky and Scott Foust plus assorted guest players
have released some 12 albums and a plethora of cassettes, a 7" and some CDRs, and when time allows,
I'd like to play them all in a row, not in any particular order actually. In recent years the
focus, certainly on LPs, shifted from the use of synthesizers, sound effects and radio towards
the extended use of piano (played by Borecky, who did a fine solo piano LP, see Vital Weekly 963)
and Foust on synthesizer (here on one piece), trumpet and radio (twice). The music now has a much
more acoustic character, especially when trumpet and piano are the only instruments. Of course
Foust is not really a trumpet player (or rather: he is the perfect non-musician in the best Brian
Eno sense of the word), but it's Borecky's piano playing that creates the foundation for Foust
to let himself go with his curious playing of instruments. The way it's recorded, it sounds like
a microphone is stuck up next to the piano and it records the piano very well; Foust is hovering
about with his trumpet and produces his synth/radio sounds from the backside of the room. It gives
those elements a remote quality. This is all very much in the world of low fidelity and in the
past I may have remarked that there is a world to gain for the Idea Fire Company in a studio with
great microphones and a Bösendorfer grand piano (the Rolls Royce of piano's as Palestine would say),
but these days I am inclined to think something may get lost (at sea?) if they would do that. Much
of their music gains so much more this deliberate lo-fi quality. It remains intimate, personal and
partly obscured. I am biased of course; a long-term fan-boy if you want, and I don't care. I know
you don't care either: I am merely preaching to the converted here, those 'in the know'; the big
bad world doesn’t care about Idea Fire Company. Screw the big bad world. (FdW)


A few years I was quite fanatical when it came to searching online for all of those old and obscure
cassette releases that I once owned, but was too lazy to put in an mp3 form on my iPod. Along the
way I bumped into a few that I knew but never actually heard as well as various tapes and labels
that were entirely new to me. It filled up a hard drive full of music, which I am still trying to
wade through, if time allows me. And even at that there is still tons of stuff from those lively 80s
that I never heard of and which all of a sudden pop up, out of nothing. 'Psst… Wanna Buy A Tape?'
was such a tape, released by El Frenzy Productions, the label run by Bing Selfish, who is described
by The Wire as "Essential for anyone who thinks that rock, politics and humour can't occupy the same
mental and aesthetic space", and which came back then with an underground comic, also called El Frenzy.
This LP is abridged version of that cassette and you could think: oh damn, incomplete product, surely
some musicians will be disappointed to have been left out? That is, until you realize that much of
the music is the work of Bing Selfish anyway, and some of these with his close friends such as Amos,
sometimes known as L. Voag, the Homosexuals or Xentos, and that he is one of the more difficult
people to pin in the world of underground music. One of the reasons this release may not have been
on my radar before is that it operates in the world of lo-fi rock music, post-punk improvisation and
downright weirdness. Nothing so much about electronics, home-taping and such notions (the ones I was
all into back then), but all about squats, small studio's and alternative strategies into the world
of rock music; people who believed something else, different, out of the ordinary (and even punk was
something ordinary by then) was possible, past such things as 'musician hero' or 'fan', in which all
of that would merge together. This is the world of free jazz, improvisation, odd rock, outsider art,
This Heat, The Homosexuals, Die Trip Computer Die, Recommended Records and if you dig into this world,
a whole alternative universe opens up; if you dug into this world before and you missed out on say
this excellent outsider rock tape compilation then I'm sure this is your thing. Playing music, doing
writing,drawing comics and everybody is an artist - not because you want to acquire fame for 15 minutes
like everybody seems to want these days, but because you have something of importance to share. No
comic book this time, but a lovely 16 page stencilled booklet (in very few colours) in which Kosten
Koper interviews Big Selfish in a most unusual manner, but which offers lots of insight in those crazy
times, which, sad as I think it is, will not return. This particular version of the 80s: how much I
miss them! (FdW)


The fact that there is a cheeky flexi frolicking on my record player does not lessen any of the
captivating eeriness of this single-tracked spectre. The text «Dreams of the Incorruptibles» I reckon
an excerpt of which one can find printed as liner notes on the sleeve, is the eighth part in a series
of essays about Electronic Voice Phenomena and elaborately considers the possibility of part of the soul
being trapped in a dreaming state inside the body, in case the deceased who are deemed ‘incorruptible’
- i.e. the dearly departed whose dead bodies seem to be subject to little or no decomposition. Science
is still out on that one, but it is a mysterious background story that colours the experience of the
piece of sound art imprinted on this floppy plastic square. The track launches into a collage of noise
and click loops scattered across the channels with sudden intermezzos of lo fi-recorded voices, whose
merit I imagine must be their phantasmal origin or at least something EVP related. The different phases
of the track each have a pleasant way of filling up the audio spectrum with a decent amount of low-end
gush that has layers of respiring noise stacked on top of it. Check it out, preferably after dark. (PJN)

LLARKS - ATAVISTOV HEART (cassette by Kikimora Tapes)
UNFOLLOW - ZERO LIKES (cassette by Kikimora Tapes)
WINDBREAKER - HOSTAGE (cassette by Kikimora Tapes)

More music by LLarks, the latest of incarnations by Chris Jeely (formerly known as Accelera Deck,
September Plateau and a plethora of other names), who's two lathe cut 7" records were reviewed in Vital
Weekly 982. Jeely is someone who likes to play the guitar (as we will see), but on the lathe cut 7"
there is less evidence of that. No titles on the actual piece of plastic, so I am not sure which side
is what, but maybe the piece with the more or less organ-like drone sounds is the piece called 'Priest'
and then the other side must be 'Vanguard Ghosts'. That one sounds like a bunch of low-resolution guitar
loops being played together, with tons of laptop processing. A highly minimal piece of music, with
shifting loops, going back and forth at the same time. 'Priest' too sounds processed, with some highly
fuzzy drum sounds and hazy organ chords, both of which are drenched with the same minimalist approach
towards composition as the piece on the other side. Shoegazing bytes the processing, senses working
overtime? Highly atmospheric, and both are gorgeous computer pieces. The download contains two extra
pieces of fuzzier guitar drones. Something may be lost in the world of lathe cuts however.
   Also by Llarks, but then on a cassette is 'Atavistic Heart', and the Canadian label Kikomora calls
this for 'fans of Flaying Saucer Attack, Sunn O))), Ride, Mark McGuire' and probably all of those
shoegazing, psychedelic guitar slingers. And indeed the role of the guitar in these eight pieces is
omnipresent. Jeely strums it, plays solo's, derives drones from them; it cries, whispers, howls,
bursts and rings. There are (as far as I can tell) no other instruments involved, and Jeely knows
how to create a wall of sound with just six strings and no doubt a whole bunch of boxes on the floor.
Oddly enough do these pieces sound like something else, hardly like the 7", save perhaps for 'Echo
Entaglment', but here too there is always that bit of guitar. But as said something may be lost in
getting it transferred to lathe cut vinyl and here on tape sounds in glorious shining analogue fuzz.
Quite an excellent album of heavy and moody guitar music. Certainly a must have for those who miss
out on new releases of Jeely's earlier incarnations.
   Maybe if you call yourself 'Unfollow' and your release 'Zero Likes', you deliver some kind of
comment on the nature of social media? Behind Unfollow we have Tony Boggs, who, as Joshua Treble, was
once one half of Desormais, along with Mitchell Akiyama. With him he also worked as Letters Letters.
Unfollow is the new solo vehicle and the label says about this debut that it "was recorded as Tony's
brother spent his last days in Hospice; sampled life support machines and nurse's whispers inter-splice
hazy drones and jaded lo-fi beats. Unfollow zooms in, giving us a dimly lit skeleton; dizzying motorik
beats and paranoid textures undulate freely beneath the steady pulse". I must admit that's not how
I heard it, especially that thing about life support machines and whisper's and such like. Had I not
known all of this I would believe Boggs' intention would have been to create some more experimental
form of dance music, yet all of this still being on the danceable side of things. There is maybe
the odd hiss here and there, but otherwise it's indeed all about straightforward dance rhythms and
synthesizer sounds. A bit dub inspired something, as in 'Play The Wall', otherwise straightforward
floor material of a more minimalist nature. Maybe it's all a bit heavy, topic wise, but without that
context I thought this was a highly enjoyable release!
   Windbreaker from Chicago (West Side to be precise) is the nom de plume for Nick Read, who was once
a member of Thrill Jockey's Lazer Crystal, and 'Hostage' is also a debut. I never heard of Lazer Crystal
before, so I have no idea how this fits in. It kicks off with 'Robert's Cup' and with a great acid 303
sound, but also some synthesizers being played on top. Here too we have dance music, inspired by the
world of acid, disco, electro and techno, with a fair bit of cosmic synthesizers on top. The music of
Windbreaker is less minimal than that of Unfollow, and adds a bunch of melodic touches to the music.
Here too I thought this was highly entertaining music. Certainly, and that goes for Unfollow as well,
stuff you can put on reverse a couple of times, while doing chores around the house. There is both room
for the accessible beats and the some what more experimental sounds, sometimes buried a bit below in
the mix, and which one can pick up if the volume is up a bit more. 'Statt' is one such piece and
Windbreaker at it's most 'experimental' (this to be taken lightly of course).
   These are the first three releases by Kikimora Tapes and offer an excellent showcase of alternative
pop tunes. That's how I like these best! (FdW)


The Spanish (or do I had to write Basque??) label Alteracion Records the album “Destruction des Animaux
Nuisibles #1” in 2012. The second edition is released three years later. The trio Miguel A. Garcia,
Enrique Zaccagnini on electronics and noise and Marta Sainz on voice and effects create a lot of noise.
The album consists of 15 tracks, called Destruction 3 – 17 in 37 minutes. The album is a real kaleidoscope
of noisy music. The alternation between violent harsh noise and noise with more space because of the mix
with a lot of reverb make this album to an interesting entire album. The tracks with white noise completed
with some edited musique concrete sounds are really fresh. “Destruction 15” is different than most of
the other tracks, because the singing aka chanting refers to Eastern or meditative sounds. The album
“Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles #2” is an intense album to walk around in different noisy worlds. (JKH)


Music by P_Lab has been reviewed before, in Vital Weekly 911 and an earlier work with Z and Kasper T.
Toeplitz in Vital Weekly 863 and this time around the two members that make up the core of P_Lab, Paul
Collins (synthesizers, effects) and Adrien Lefebvre (synthesizers, laptop, field recording) team up with
Egmont Labadie, from the Mainstream Ensemble, on electric guitar and effects and 'Zero' is their first
release, recorded earlier this year in Paris. Unstable Lands describe their music as 'electric/electronic
improvised music in the abstract-ambient modal mode', which I guess makes sort of sense. In each of the
five pieces the mood is dark and gloomy, especially due to the guitar playing more or less ambient passages,
in the best Robert Frippertronic tradition: slow, cascading, tumbling, rising and decaying. The other two
members embed these guitar sounds in a bed of more drone like sounds, the oscillators of the synthesizers,
the stretched out sounds from manipulated field recordings; that kind of thing. Developments are quite slow,
but I guess that's the whole idea behind this. Minimalist yet significant changes over the course over a
longer piece, and then creates something that is also interesting to hear for the unsuspecting listener.
Unstable Lands succeed quite well at that, I must say. Their pieces have a sufficient amount of variation
that makes that one keeps listening until the very end of this. Perhaps all of this is not something that
is highly 'new' per se, but it is surely something that is well made. (FdW)


In the last thirty-five or so years, Harold Schellinx has been someone whose music and writing I enjoyed,
even when there is a long gap somewhere in the middle. In the early to mid-80s he wrote for Vinyl, a Dutch
magazine on 'new' music, and it was usually about the people I'd like to read about (Cabaret Voltaire,
Stockhausen, Gilbert & Lewis) in a very intelligent way, as well as being a musician himself, first with
The Young Lions and later on solo for Amphibious Records. Then he was 'gone' for a long stretch, but re-
surfaced in 2011 when the Ultra movement was re-vitalized, and Schellinx wrote an extended book about that
Dutch musical movement. Since then I also come across some of his music again, now more immersed in
improvisational and conceptual projects. Cassettes play an important role, him being closely connected to
Rinus van Alebeek. 'String Quartet With Windows, Open' is one of his more conceptual pieces, in which he
uses "four independent but closely related voices, each of which is generated and visualized on a laptop
computer by an HTML5 script acting on a composed set of 1024 violin phrases, that in turn were created from
a library of violin samples played and made available by a musician that I only know by his moniker: ldk1609"
as he writes on the cover. This string quartet lasts for twenty-four hours, to be played in a room with open
windows, so that the environmental changes become a very important feature in the music. The piece got it's
premiere in Brussels this summer, below the tracks 'Belgian railways leading to & fro the Brussel-Kappellekerk/
Bruxelles-Chapelle railway station', and has additional violin sounds by others, but also other guests joined
in on sopranino sax, 'outside spray can', little Korg organ and other instruments. The piece itself is
something Schellinx edited at home, and played back in the space. This cassette is an hour long, edited from
various bits of the entire performance. That seems a good thing: no matter how interesting this all sounds,
I can't imagine in these busy times someone having time to hear all of the performance. These edited
highlights (?) give you enough idea of how the entire thing sounded. What we have here is a highly Fluxus
like piece of music. Seemingly random violin bits merge with outdoor sounds, cars, trains, people and all
such like, while other players add little bits of their own. Exactly like the package promises actually.
But that doesn't justify what I just heard, which is something with development, with consideration for the
composition; to follow the course of a day and edit the highlights into a logical, ordered piece. From just
a bunch of violin sounds (at night I presume), adding more and more instruments as time lapses, until there
is the busy Brussel nightlife. It ends there oddly enough, but maybe the suggestion is that this should be
on repeat for a long time, thus emulating the twenty-four hour cycle every hour? An excellent release, all
around, and on repeat. (FdW)