number 1234
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 releases reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
complete tracklist here:

Listen to the podcast on Mixcloud!

before submitting material please read this carefully:

Submitting material means you read this and approve of this.

help Vital Weekly to survive:

and become a supporter!

T. GOWDY - THERAPY WITH COLOUR (CD by Constellation) *
MARKUS FLOATS - THIRD ALBUM (CD by Constellation) *
PHILL NIBLOCK - THE DORF (2CD by Experimental Intermedia/Umland Records) *
EVA LINDAL & ANNA LINDAL – BÄVER (CD by Plugged Records) *
NORN - ONEIROPHANT (cassette by Cloister Recordings) *
ANTIBODIES - CAN YOU EAR ME? (cassette by Steepgloss) *
ELECTROLARYNX (cassette compilation by Steepgloss)
MAXIM ENGL/XQM (split cassette by Ephemerol)

T. GOWDY - THERAPY WITH COLOUR (CD by Constellation)

These are catalogue numbers 152 and 153 for Constellation Records and while, years and years ago, I might have thought this was a label for Godspeed You Black Emperor and it's various off-shoots, I surely missed out quite a few releases. Plus, I wasn't aware of the expanded musical territory. Just very occasionally I may receive something. I had not heard of T. Gowdy before, who "accrued production and engineering credits on over sixty albums in the past decade" and 'Therapy With Colour' is his fourth solo album. The inspiration here comes from "self-hypnosis activities using the Nove pro 100 and Sound Mind Machine". It is a short album, clocking in at under thirty minutes (but is also available on vinyl) of electronic music. I have no idea if this is this the sort of thing that people do with modular synthesizers or Ableton Live, or all I know it could be either one of them or even a combination of both. There is a rhythmic component to the music, however minimal it is, that lay beneath the music, slowly (and not so slowly) bouncing around and on top, there are various layers of synths, sines, squares and waves. It is not as neatly organised as Alva Noto or Ryoji Ikeda, but raw at the (analogue?) edges and that reminded me of Pan Sonic and all those who sounded alike, Goem for instance. 'Up Ctrl' has that minimal streak of a Chain Reaction release and 'No Wave II' has that off-beat of wrongly cut lock groove and 'Excavating Air' is Gowdy at his most experimental. While I liked what I heard, I must say I am not sure what Gowdy wants with his music. It is not a dance record and also not something overtly experimental. It is good music, but perhaps a bit too diverse to know what he wants with this; or, perhaps, just too short?
           You would think that something called 'Third Album' is also the third album, but no, it is the debut album for Markus Floats, the stage name for Markus Lake. He too is from Montreal where he plays bass in a wide range of bands, punk, post-punk, experimental and Afrofuturism. His background is in Jazz Performance and Electroacoustic Studies and co-founded the Drones Club, a local indie music space. According to the information he uses "primarily in-the-box midi instruments, along with a handful of samples and field recordings", for whatever that is worth.  The result is quite a strange mixture of various musical interests; drones never seem far away, but also cosmic music and a jazzy aspect that I can't put my finger on. The organ-like sounds seem to be from the world of the liturgy, but none such is pushed very hard. The music shifts back and forth and has a rhythmic, floating undercurrent. This is not the sort of drone music that is static and unwavering, but rather shifting and floating; hence the artist name, I should think. The composer has a strong interest in the world of abstract expressionism, as shown on the cover, and I think I can hear some of that in the music here. It is abstract, as in that these sounds, melodies and tones do not seem to refer to anything in particular but it is also colourful and powerful; it is hardly introspective music, with sounds, melodies freely moving around. It is hard to say if this is all thoroughly worked out or perhaps somewhat loosely improvised, but the result is great, especially when rhythm and melody gently collide together. It is a strange album but it is a great one. (FdW)
––– Address:

PHILL NIBLOCK - THE DORF (2CD by Experimental Intermedia/Umland Records)

As I was reading the information on the cover 'The Dorf' by Phill Niblock, I noticed that one of the pieces was 'Baobab' and I thought I reviewed that before. I hadn't. I got a notification about a CD (with a download link) that a CD was coming from Quatuor Bozzini, playing two Niblock pieces, 'Disseminate As Five String Quartets' and 'Baobab', and I downloaded it (this all early 2019), waiting for the CD to arrive. It sunk away on hard drives, as these things go, I guess, but the title stuck. What is interesting here that on 'The Dorf', which means 'The Village', thirty-eight players on many different instruments perform ‘Baobab’, but with the Quatuor Bozzini version, it is a string quartet. Phill Niblock is, for me at least, one of the masters of minimalism creates dense works of heavily layered sounds that only seem to have the most minimal variation. Sometimes he composes for a single instrument, but which requires to over 1000 layers, with all the attack cut off, so there is a massive drone as a result. 'Disseminate' and 'Baobab' are orchestral pieces, and Quatuor Bozzini recorded multiple takes, so it sounds like there are five string quartets at the same time. In both of these pieces, it is very clear what Niblock's idea is with his music, especially when, as instructed, to play this with some considerable volume; an all-immersive piece of music from which no escape seems possible and which allows for microscopic changes The violins are shrieking as hell and there is a dark drone-based undercurrent at work here. You can't escape! Two times twenty-two minutes of pure aural bliss. If this is already powerful, how does it work out for thirty-eight players?
           I thought for a moment that 'The Dorf’ was a village somewhere in Germany or Austria, where musicians went on a camp and then had this great idea of playing 'Baobab' by Niblock. That is not the case. The Dorf is an ensemble of twenty-five musicians (or more) that have been going since 2006 and has the idea of the village playing together, only limited by the size of the stage. There are other releases, which I haven't heard by what Discogs called 'a large avant-garde jazz ensemble'. As I am not playing these two versions of 'Baobab' back to back, I have no idea if my volume settings are the same as before, but somehow more musicians playing doesn't multiply the all-immersive character of the music; in fact, I am not entirely sure here, but it seems to be all q bit more subdued. There is a difference in instruments being used here, lots of stringed ones, wind instruments, but also various synths, computers, bass, drums, sampler and so on. The music is still a massive force to be reckoned with, and none of the instruments leaps out; there is no solo here, obviously, but all of them stay remarkably close together in the forty-six minutes this version lasts. On the other disc, we find three pieces composed by Jan Klare, who is also the conductor of the group. Maybe I get, as someone who hasn't heard other music by The Dorf before, a notion of what they sound like, otherwise? The wall of sound approach that Niblock has is further expanded here, but with a much different mindset. Now it is everybody on their own, and instruments are now recognizable. I would think the three pieces are partly composed and partly improvised. There is the chaos versus order to be found in these pieces, with hectic phrases being repeated over and over, while others have a freer role to fill. In 'Split', the final piece played that evening The Dorf sounds like fanfare on speed playing the minimal music but something goes very much wrong, but the conductor keeps the train back on track and allows it to thunder on. I was reminded here of something like Hoketus, which to me sounded like a similar ensemble. (FdW)
––– Address:
––– Address:
––– Address:


Following last week's release by Nef (or NEF), here's another release with the amplified alto saxophone by Bertrand Gauguet, in duet with Xavier Charles' amplified clarinet; both also play the instrument acoustically. Both men are active in the world of improvisation. This is, however, not your typical improvised music release, I would think. According to the information, the six-piece explore "multi-phonic spaces on the clarinet and alto saxophone (Phonomnèse 1, Phonomnèse 2 and Phonomnèse 3), spaces linked to breath (Point Fantôme) and the sonic landscapes developed by the amplification (Étendue 1 and Étendue 2)". The latter two were recorded in a different studio than the other four. I understand these four were recorded with multiple microphones, allowing the players to walk around and in the other two, it was more about the amplification. I would think that all six pieces were taped live and are not the result of multi-track recording or layering of sound. Like Nef, this is some very radical music. It is mostly about playing lengthy sustaining passages in which the amplification can seem to take over from the actual playing. However, that said, this is not about total feedback, noise or distortion. Charles and Gauguet maintain a strong level of control over their work, in which they can easily play for a few minutes very quietly and yet one feels a lot of tension between the players. Everything seems to be about this level of control. Each of the six pieces is carefully played out and most of the times it didn't seem like two amplified wind instruments; it could have been some amplified string objects, but not with a lot of reverb. It doesn't sound like a long string instrument. When you play this loud, the sound will be overwhelming and an attack on the ears, but at a moderate level seems to bring out some equally great beauty, without being such a burden upon the listener. (FdW)
––– Address:


As I am playing this new release by Andrew Lagowski I am thinking when I became first aware of his music. I may have missed out on the knowledge that he was one half of Nagamatzu when I first heard them, so I am sure that he came on my radar when I heard his Chromium 12"s in the early '90s. While I haven't seriously considered a study on the subject, I always wondered when he left the world of techno music and went all-ambient; or so, at least, I believed. Maybe he never left techno music and I just never heard it too much after that? Whatever the case, with 'Secrets Of Numbers' he returns to the world rhythm. Lagwoski says about his music that it is all about "understanding and interpreting something my psyche, the universe around me, the people I exist with, human behaviour, time" and that his father gave him a book with the same title as this new release (which was unusual for his father to have an interest in) and this became the seventy-seven minutes on this CD. It is good to hear some of this stomping music in between the entire ambient, drone, improvisation and a bit of noise that I consume daily. Lagowski's techno music isn't exactly brightly polished dance floor hits but usually a tad darker, more minimal and more industrialized versions for the alternative floor. He's heavy on the synths at the time, basslines, pads, arpeggio's, every song has at least one of those to spare, along with the hard biting kicks, glitches and snares. I don't possess enough knowledge of dance music to properly place this in a specific sub-genre of dance music, but the minimalism at times reminded me of Unit Moebius, but the extra synthesizer treatments were certainly not borrowed over there. I very much enjoyed the rough character of the music. It all sounded like it was played live and not the result of extensive composing, mixing and because of this roughness, I am assuming this is was done in a more or less 'live' surrounding, using just a few machines and not a complex modular set-up. Great stuff! (FdW)
––– Address:

EVA LINDAL & ANNA LINDAL – BÄVER (CD by Plugged Records)

The sisters Lindal come from Stockholm and both are reputed violinists performing old as well as contemporary composed music. Eva as a member of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Anna as concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Eva has played in the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra during 1986-2000. Since then she engaged herself in many projects in different musical contexts. She is member of Katzen Kapell, Rebaroque and KammarensembleN, an ensemble for contemporary music. Besides concertmaster, Anna performed as a member of Trio de Lyres for years programs of baroque and classical music. Both have their side-projects and interests, and improvisation is one of them. For their duo-work they decided for an open session, wanting not only to express their love for the western tradition but also their ambivalence. It would be interesting more about this ambivalence, but alas this is not told.“They only decided on possible track-titles that would inspire towards different periods, composers, artistic role models, and authorships. They used written music that was morphed and deconstructed, interspersed with completely improvised recordings.” The opening track ‘Chalkida’ is a homage to the hometown of their Greek grandfather. A very melancholic, ‘bluesy’ piece, sounding like a taksim for a rebetika song. In the title track, one plays along familiar classical lines, plays very explicitly and in an exaggerated manner contrasting movements that suggest she wants to ridicule the serious playing of the other one. Is this a sign of the ambivalence they meant? Further, on however both begin to take one other more serious and a captivating dialogue unfolds. ‘Hjul’ makes a fascinating start with percussive playing style combined with penetrating scratchy sounds from the wooden body of the violin. Using many extended techniques their explorations offer many expressive moments like in the closing piece ‘Knust’ where they create intimate sound textures. I’m not sure about their intentions, but maybe they wanted to free themselves from conventional techniques etc, they practised in their performance of classical music, trying to explore new possibilities and sounds from the violin. Anyway, they invite us for a very captivating and enjoying journey. (DM)
––– Address:


Nilssen is a much in demand drummer from Norway, who works also as a composer, producer and bandleader. Most of the time he is on tour with one of his bands: Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity, Bushman´s Revenge, sPacemonKey, Amgala Temple, Ruby and Gard Nilssen Supersonic Orchestra. A very busy bee, working most of the time in smaller line ups as on this new release. He comes from a family of drummers and also his love for big bands was planted in his early years and it became a dream to work one day with a big ensemble. In 2019 this dream came true at his residency at the Moldejazz-festival. This allowed working with an ensemble of some 16 musicians: Håkon Mjåset Johansen (drums), Hans Hulbækmo (drums), Gard Nilssen (drums), Petter Eldh (double bass), Ole Morten Vågan (double bass), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (double bass), Eirik Hegdal (saxophones, clarinet), Per ‘Texas’ Johansson (saxophones, contrabass clarinet, clarinet), Kjetil Møster (saxophones), Hanna Paulsberg (tenor saxophone), Mette Rasmussen (alto saxophone), Maciej Obara (saxophone), André Roligheten (saxophones, bass clarinet), Thomas Johansson (trumpet), Goran Kajfes (trumpet) and Erik Johannessen (trombone). An exceptional and unique line up of three drummers, three double bassists and ten horn players. Besides all play percussion. They perform six compositions lasting all together for about one hour. The music is composed by Nilssen in collaboration with André Roligheten. Three of them (‘Botteknott’, ‘Elastic Circle’ and ‘Jack’), Nilssen recorded earlier with his trio that is comprised of bassist Petter Eldh and saxophonist Roligheten. Three other ones were written for this occasion. At the start of the opening track ‘Byatta Fort’ we are amidst a jungle of percussive sounds with a repeated drum pattern at the base. After some four minutes, the blowers introduce a theme, with the trumpet player making the first solo variations after a few minutes, etc. Followed by trombone solo a little later while everybody takes a pause, before joining the party again. ‘Premium Processing Fee’ is again a composition with a strong drive and nucleus and more room for free improvisation. ‘The City of Roses’ is the freest and far-out improvisation. All compositions keep a balance between composed and improvised sections, like ‘Botteknott’ that is built around a very melodic theme. I must admit that I never get very excited by big line ups. The procedures along which improvised and composed sections are combined often have something predictable. This was the case here to for me. Also the themes and motives Nilsen composed didn’t do it for me. The surprise here, however, is the unusual instrumentation and the energy that is generated by this eager ensemble who play very generous and with pleasure on this live recording last year at the Molde International Jazz Festival. Released by the Norvegian jazz label Odin Records, a label that is in business again after many years of silence. (DM)
––– Address:


You might think that the disc by Marutti and Giordani is a re-issue, as you saw the title already reviewed in Vital Weekly 1223. But I wrote, "that this piece is the first part of a bigger work to be released in the future"; this is the bigger work. Well, or part of it at least, as these are part two and three of the work and all of this is (again) part of a multimedia project by Massimo Indellicati, called 'Aqualogy - Oceano Interiore', and you don't need to be a linguistic expert to realize this is all about life below the waves. Whereas the first was twenty-two minutes, these pieces span thirty and forty-five minutes. While splashes of water are part of this as well (as before), in "parte II - Ansia E Sollievo' ('Anxiety And Relief'), there are also birds, church bells and street sounds. For some reason it is not all about the sea then, isn't it? Maybe the multimedia project could tell us more about it, but that's the part we are missing here. Marutti is the man responsible for synthesizers, samples, treatments, mixing and mastering, whereas Giordani handles the field recordings, tapes, treatments and mixing. All of this sees the music continuing where we left the first part; mucho drones are laid out, solemnly and peacefully meandering away, or slow (oceanic?) drift, while on top of that the field recordings come and go; it almost sounds like a stream of conscious sounds. or maybe like mixing blind from a bunch of unlabelled sources and see what happens. This is a seventy-four-minute release that could have been a three-hour piece as well. It moves back and forth between louder and quieter sections, never becoming a true noise anthem or a total ambient path. It has some fine urgency and is a true, dark beauty.
           Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata, Kirlian Camera and Daimon member Simon Balestrazzi worked for fifteen years on 'Cautionary Tales' and it consists, as he says, of seven stories. A cautionary story is "a tale told in folklore, to warn its listener of a danger. There are three essential parts to a cautionary tale, though they can be introduced in a large variety of ways. First, a taboo or prohibition is stated: some act, location, or thing is said to be dangerous. Then, the narrative itself is told: someone disregarded the warning and performed the forbidden act. Finally, the violator comes to an unpleasant fate, which is frequently related in expansive and grisly detail" 9a too good of a quote not to include as a whole). While the music of Balestrazzi is all-instrumental and created from digital and analogue electronics, tsymbaly, inside piano, tapes, khene, bowed long string, Rat Spatular, prepared toy psaltery, metal sheets, Ronin, gong, Tibetan bells and field recordings (and yes, for some of this I have no idea what it is) and, quite interesting, in every new piece he re-uses some material used on the previous song. It is something that I didn't immediately notice when I played this the first time, which adds to the quality of the music. Maybe it is because I now know all of this, about the background and the way the music was composed, that I hear (want to hear?) so much more in it. The music is quite spooky, with the crackling of leaves, fire sounds, wind through the woods, along with some carefully played bells here and there, a sparse bass, but also more musical drones (in the short 'Intoxicated While Entering A Deserted Sanctuary') that sounds like some folk song gone wrong. Maybe that's the influence of Kirlian Camera, I think and Balestrazzi's background in playing 'real' (for the lack of a better word) music? This is quite a beautiful release, I thought, powerful, spooky, mysterious, drone-like and musical. Like a fairy-tale.
           In Vital Weekly 1229, I wrote about a compilation by Silentes and that  "a lot of the releases by Silentes are atmospheric affairs" and that one wasn't; here's another one that proofs that they care about other music as well. Like The Snow is the name of the group (I think that it is group; no names of band members mentioned on the cover) and this is their debut album after five years of experimentation. There are lots of synthesizers used, quite a bit of rhythm, all subtly dark and very much inspired by the gothic dance music of the '80s of which the label mentions Clan Of Xymox (once from the beautiful city of Nijmegen!) and Neon. It's not the sort of music I played a lot in those days, so there is very little I could add to those names, although Attrition sprang to mind. It is new wave meets darkwave. Thirteen songs of dark energy, spanning close to an hour worth of music, which I thought was a bit long. I enjoyed it up to a point as it sounded like nothing else today (see also the Lagowski review), which was good enough for some distraction. However, I don't think this is the sort of thing for Vital Weekly. (FdW)
––– Address:


This is the fourth album for Angelina Yershova that I hear (see also Vital Weekly 1042, 1068 and 1178) and it is all about playing the piano. I am not sure if there is this time a political message in this music (no press text came along and it's not clear from the album). in her previous releases Yershova showed us her love for all things ambient, coupled with a few electronics, drones and such but this time, it is, as far as I can judge, the piano solo, apart from a few pieces with additional violin by Manfred Croci. She plays it well, she plays it very melodically and it's a very new age like. There is no edge, no danger, and just lightweight beauty. I was thinking of Richard Clayderman at times and that is not a good sign. We have fourteen pieces here, mostly short, two to three minutes and each is a small painting/sketch by itself but there is not enough difference between them. Put some heartfelt lyrics behind some of these ('Dusha' for instance) and Yershova might score a big hit. I think that is something she should try. This is not something for Vital Weekly. (FdW)
––– Address:


As I am listening to this new CD by former Einsturzende Neubauten member FM Einheit and Andreas Ammer, I am trying to think hard about why I never was into Neubauten? I liked that early cassette with 'dub' versions of their early songs, which I gave away to the accountant of the firm I worked who was more of a fan than I was; she had the Neubauten logo tattoo. Beyond the first album, I heard some of their work and none was for me. Einheit left the group in 1991 and since worked with Andreas Ammer, "The award-winning German author, cultural journalist, TV producer, documentary filmmaker and writer of radio plays, is also part of the group Ammer & Console". 'Hammerschlag' is a live recording (I think; it sounds like a live recording) based on the writing of "Russian futurist Aleksej Kapitonovic Gastev, the "bard of the machine age'", later executed under Stalin's regime. "In his last lyrical work 'A Bundle of Orders', published in 1921, Russian futurist Aleksej Kapitonovic Gastev wanted nothing more than to finally destroy literature. In a historical document, there is a description of a concert based on the text: The choirmaster stood on a balustrade, which conducted the sound with the help of a complicated signalling device. After this noise overture had raged for long enough time to completely numb the auditorium the real passion game began." There is some operatic singing and narration by Rica Blunck, and noises on objects, electronics and sirens by Einheit and Ammer, plus help on drums, basses, tuba and trombone from others. I quite enjoyed the music end of this, but the text, once again, is something that is very much in the way of enjoying this. I have no idea what it is about, as I never listen to them, even when they are in a language I understand, in this case, English and German, mixed with some Russian here, but it all sounds very serious and artsy. I am sure it is all great stuff, very much the sort of serious art history stuff people like, but I am not one of them. I was reminded of some Test Dept theatrical appearances (‘Gododdin’), which I found quite over the top as well, but which was well-received at the time if I remember well. So, no doubt I am wrong here. (FdW)
––– Address:


This is a fanzine about one person; one person being photographed in his home and only presented with a minimum of text, which is not an interview. I am not sure if there are any other issues of 'Portraitzine', but this one is dedicated to Gintas K and comes with a 7" of his music. In case you have no idea who Gintas K is, he's a composer from Lithuania. Originally he was a member of Modus, an industrial group, but since some twenty years, he works with a laptop and music software. It is, of course, an interesting peek in the surrounding where Gintas K lives and works. As a laptop artist, he doesn't need much more than a table, some controller, laptop and speakers and we see some of his house, which looks all very modest; children drawings on the wall, some chairs, a crucifix, a buddha statue, bookshelves and a bunch of CDs (not detailed enough to see what he has!). On the record, Gintas K has two pieces of music. You could wonder if such delicate computer music is well suited to be on vinyl, but maybe Gintas K figured out that the element of crackle and surface noise would become a part of the music. The pieces are called 'Cut Piece' and 'Uncut Piece', connected I guess, via shared sounds and software approach. These are two delicate pieces of unstable electrical charges that lingering on, not knowing if they should fall or rise further. Gintas K is a puppeteer that holds the invisible wires of the sounds and playing tricks with the listener. As modest as his surroundings I thought. (FdW)
––– Address:

NORN - ONEIROPHANT (cassette by Cloister Recordings)

Following Norn' one-sided 7" lathe cut record 'Mobula' (Vital Weekly 1208), there is now a cassette of new works. The gap between that and this is much smaller than between that and the one before that, the CD 'Usotsuki' (Vital Weekly 971). That could be an indication that Peter Johan Nijland has a more active interest in working with Norn? He is also a member of Distel, Hadewych, O Saala Sakraal and half of Trepaneringsritualen, besides a plethora of other projects, but Norn might be his new main thing. It is good to have a cassette of this, as a one-sided lathe cut 7" may be a nice arty item, it was also very short. Here we have nine songs and continue where 'Mobula' left off. Granular synthesis plays an important role, crumbling up field recordings, but there is plenty of room for the fat synthesizer pads that we also heard in the last Distel release and of course Nijland's voice and texts, of which the meaning eludes me; that is my problem and not Nijland's delivery. A new addition, or perhaps something that Norn also added is the sound of a drum machine that is used very sparsely; that too is fed to the granular lions and becomes a further stone in the grainy textures of these atmospheric tunes. This is not just some other drone project with the surprise addition of vocals, but Nijland employs improvisational techniques in Norn that he doesn't use elsewhere and that adds an element of surprise to the music; that and the addition of vocals make this hardly your traditional drone record and should you be tired of that then this is your way to explore something new. (FdW)
––– Address:

ANTIBODIES - CAN YOU EAR ME? (cassette by Steepgloss)
ELECTROLARYNX (cassette compilation by Steepgloss)

Steepgloss is a label that doesn't release solo releases, but works of collaboration. Sometimes it is “artist a & artist b”, but sometimes it is a project by two people who choose a project name. Behind Antibodies, we find Stefan Brandstifter and Dirk Huelstrunk. The first works mostly as a visual artist with a strong love for found objects and Huelstrunk is a voice artist. From him, we reviewed a CDR in Vital Weekly 928. There are no instruments mentioned here, but I would think that Huelstrunk is the man for the voice material and Brandstifter for electronics, by which I think we should think along the lines of Dictaphones and maybe some sound effects; a delay pedal or two for sure. All of the titles are wordplay; 'Send Receiver', 'Mic Robes', 'Discushion', 'Yesnow', 'Flamengo' and the title piece. The voice of Huelstrunk reminded me at times of Jaap Blonk, which I guess is the most common thing to be reminded off when you hear voice/sound poetry, but it is now embedded in a pretty dense mix of lo-fi soundscapes. Brandstifter throws in his electronics, toys and Dictaphone abuse (that reminded me of Posset and Sindre Bjerga's work), which, all together sounds like the world of the jungle (in 'Mic Robes') or a mass of voices in the sample-heavy 'Discushion', like a tormented choir in church. Maybe some of the pieces are a bit too long for what they are, but at thirty-four minutes of this, is just the right length for such a lo-fi experience.
           The other new release sees ten voice artists working with voices and appliances. Each was asked to record a three-minute voice piece and a household appliance. Listed are who did the voice-first and the appliance second. So, the first piece is the voice of Mariam Rezaei and the appliance of Bryce Galloway (running water it seems), while on the second side, Galloway does the voice and Yol the appliances; etc. Confusing? Clear? Steepgloss refers to this as a work of dada-inspired qualities, which I am not sure it is. But sure, Kurt Schwitters and Hugo Ball used voices in the work, a century ago, and no doubt some sort of household appliances, so maybe this is dada as well. There is some excellent interaction here, such as between Yol (voice) and Jonny Marks (sound), who offer an aggressive voice mangling object piece (or maybe vice versa?). In other pieces, the musicians seem to be more interested in a sort of dreamy approach and that is fine but also doesn't seem to be standing out beyond the world of sound poetry. Maybe there is an aspect of Dada that I am missing here? Altogether it is a most enjoyable compilation with the occasional standout piece and that is, of course, fine enough. (FdW)
––– Address:

MAXIM ENGL/XQM (split cassette by Ephemerol)

From XQM we already reviewed a few releases but Maxim Engl is a new name for me. He is the guitarist of a group called Ephemerol, but on this solo release he does, so the text says, something quite different. He says he's inspired by Robert Fripp and his Frippertronics system (Google that if you never heard of that) and Derek Bailey but arrives at something quite different. His piece, close to thirty minutes is mainly a guitar meets drone meets noise piece of music that starts quite mellow but as the layers of guitar sounds pile up, via looping no doubt, it becomes for some eight minutes quite the noisy beast, but eventually, he pulls back and he manages to return to this state of uneasy quietness. While the noise bit in the middle didn't necessarily work for me very well, I very much enjoyed the rest of it and for I know that could be stretched to thirty minutes. The two XQM men use a sequencer and analogue synthesizers and come up with a pretty coherent slab of dark tones that sound like a rusty ship at night. The sequencer is set to very slow so there mid-low bass bang to be heard and while there is not a lot of development, the piece shifts nicely back and forth between the parameters set. It's dark and brooding and not necessarily noise-based; it's the best thing I heard from them so far! (FdW)
––– Address: