number 1407
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week 42
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Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offer 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: http://www.vitalweekly.net/podcast.html

Listen to the podcast on Mixcloud



NOEL MEEK & MATTIN – HOMAGE TO ANNEA LOCKWOOD (CD & book by Recital Program) *
ARISE (2CD compilation by Cold Spring Records)
CHORE IA - POSTSCRIPTUM/NEOGOLIZMOWA (2CD by Antenna Non Grata) *
PIIPSTJILLING - IN SPOAR (CD by Cloudchamber Recordings) *
ARTHUR CLEES - STAY, TEMPORARY HOME (CD by Macro) *
VATHRES - LITURGY OF LACUNA (CD by Thanatosis) *
STEVEN STAPLETON & TONY WAKEFORD - REVENGE OF THE SELFISH SHELLFISH (LP by Nihilist Recordings) *
RUDOLF EB.ER - HEXENMILCH (LP by Rural isolation Project) *
NUSIDM - THE LAST TEMPTATION OF THRILL (LP by Bruit Direct Disques)
MICHEL HENRITZI - FLOWERS OF ROMANCE (LP by Bruit Direct Disques)
JAVIER HERNANDO - D​​MINA ESTEL​​CTRICA (LP by Geometrik/Munster Records) *
SORIAH & HANS JOACHIM ROEDELIUS & NORMAN WESTBERG - LUMINA (10" by Mobilization Recordings) *
PALINDROM & SHIP HER SON - SLEEP/EVERYTHING IS NOT SO BAD (7" by Steelwork Maschine)
MOINEAU/WESTWIND - HEJ SOKOLY/ZASVIT VSTALY KOZACHENKY (7" by Steelwork Maschine)
SOMNAMBULANCE - WALLY'S ASHES (CDR, private) *
DAN OF EARTH - SPPY (3"CDR & comic book) *
AD HOC - CORPSE (cassette by Shame File Music) *
T.JERVELL - 2ND TWO (cassette by Moonside Tapes) *
GOLGOTHA COMMUNICATIONS LTD. - EVIDENTIARY HEARING (cassette by Moonside Tapes) *



NOEL MEEK & MATTIN – HOMAGE TO ANNEA LOCKWOOD (CD & book by Recital Program)

In Vital Weekly 1387, I reviewed a record by Ruth Anderson and Annea Lockwood. I admitted that even though I had known the name of Lockwood for a long time, I also didn't hear much of her music. I can speculate why that is, but what's the purpose there? Unlike Noel Meek and Mattin, I am not a devoted fan. Martin regularly features in these pages with his conceptual approaches to music. Noel Meel "is a Pakeha musician, composer and video artist based in Otautahi, Aotearoa" (I had to look that up, but Pakeha is "a white New Zealander as opposed to a Maori person"; Otautahi is also known as Christchurch, and "Aotearoa is the contemporary Māori-language name for New Zealand"). According to the booklet, Lockwood is a New Zealand-born composer (1939) and has a "lifelong fascination with the visceral effects of sound in our environments and through our bodies, " resulting in concerts, installations and performance art. This project started during the lockdown when Meek and Mattin concluded that they both deeply admired Lockwood and wanted to make this happen to her and her work. They had a Skype conversation with her, which they transcribed "and used it as a score for the realisation of this record". In the first piece, we hear the voices of all three; this is an excerpt of the Skype conversation. Quickly into the work, the voices start to fade and erode, with lots of filtering going on, making the speech impossible to follow, but off and on, they return, like ghosts appearing out of a mist. Towards the end, there is talk about a performance piece Lockwood did, which involved recording a burning piano. Then we get to the second piece, 'Computer Burning', in which Mattin sets fire to an old laptop and offers fifteen minutes, maybe using microphones inside the computer (as per the original piano recording). It's very conceptual, a bit noisy, but most enjoyable. Noel Meek is responsible for the last two pieces. First, there is 'Otakaro/Where The Children Play', a recording from Christchurch, where the Māori didn't permanently live, as it was a swamp land. Following the 2011 quake, the ground around the Otakaro River, called the Red Zone, is now deserted, and there is a Stalker-like atmosphere, says Meek. He recorded sounds from below the water's surface, which is a reminder of Lockwood's best-known piece, 'Soundmap of The Hudson River'. The final report is 'Homage To Annea Lockwood', which uses three voices singing in the church where Meek married earlier this year. This is the most conventional music piece on this release, even when I am unsure what the text is about. I guess (!) that this deals with the Fluxus side of Lockwood's work. It tops an interestingly varied and highly informative release; the booklet details a bit of Lockwood, and I should spend more time with her work. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.recitalprogram.com/



ARISE (2CD compilation by Cold Spring Records)

Swarm, Shrine, Throne, Pyre, Earthen ... Arise! We all know about Cold Spring Records from the UK, their brilliant work, the extensive mailorder and the many releases they provide us with. And amongst those releases, there is what seems to be a very frequent sampler which holds the middle of a label presentation, a 'best of' and a well-organized overview of new names to keep track of. It's all done affordably because, yes, it's a promotion of the label, but it has become more than that because the label has grown so much since those first cassette-only releases back in 1988.
    So this year, Cold Spring released "Arise"; two CDs with 33 tracks and over 150 minutes of sounds in all styles. And even though it's all different styles, there still is a proper flow to the whole album, making it 'not weird' to listen to it in one sitting. Therefore, it is perfect for a Sunday afternoon while going through the weekend paper or reading a good book. You only have to change the CD after 17 tracks and maybe pour yourself a nice cup of tea when you feel like it.
    Because of the many rereleases Cold Spring has in their roster, two tracks found on "Arise" are authentic 'golden oldies', those tracks being Coil's "Ostia (The Death Of Passolini)" and S.P.K.'s "Invocation (To Secular Heresies)" from the legendary 'Zamia Lehmann (Songs Of Byzantine Flowers)'. In my honest opinion, it is an album that everyone everywhere should have or at least have heard. But rest assured, these are not the only two tracks that make this sampler a good one from the 'Desert Island' perspective.
    As said, there's something for everyone, from droney ambience (Llyn Y Cwn, Lull, Sleep Research Facility) to various forms of noise (Merzbow, Drew Daniel & John Wiese). From music with a tribal, ritualistic background (Trepaneringsritualen, TenHornedBeast) to power electronic (Kollaps, Satori), there are even some quite open and approachable sounds (George Fenton, La Breiche). But hey, those names are only a third of the full line-up of 33 names. And it's available directly from Cold Spring for only eight quid. What's keeping you? Wake up! ARISE!!!
––– Address: https://coldspring.co.uk/



CHORE IA - POSTSCRIPTUM/NEOGOLIZMOWA (2CD by Antenna Non Grata)

When I reviewed 'Reanimacja' by Polish musician Chore Ia (Vital Weekly 1309), "philosopher, bassist, avant-garde rock enthusiast" Jacek Wanat, I didn't investigate the history of this project. This release prompted me to do so, as I learned that 'Neogolizmowa', the more significant part of the second disc, is a re-issue of a cassette from 1995, his debut release, plus some bonus tracks. There was another release the same year, then nothing until a CD release in 2020. I don't know why there was a reason for this long silence. Wanat plays bass, cello, voices, processing and painted the cover. There are two sides to this release: the old and the new. I started with the latest and found these five pieces to align with the previous release. Music rooted in drone music, in improvised music, and it's all highly atmospheric and spooky. I don't know if his words are intended to be heard and if these lyrics have any meaning, but they flew right over my head. The voice may add a slightly gothic element to the music, which I am not always fond of. Yet overall, I found this (mostly) instrumental album a pleasant one; I like the condensed, dark clouds of hazy sounds, in which many electronics transform the original instruments until only the murky shadows remain. Very nice.Although I find it always interesting to hear where somebody's coming from, the historical background.
     'Neogolizmowa', is far removed from the current Chore Ia sound. It is much more song-based, for instance, with a drum machine and instruments that are easy to recognize. The same goes for the voice in Polish, so I have no idea what these songs are about. The improvisational elements are already in place, but the density of his current work is not yet here. Some pieces are short, almost demonstration-tape quality, and some are too long. I am not blown away by it. It's too dramatic (gothic?) for my taste. It's alright, I guess, but more from learning about Chore Ia's background. The old version is not my cup of tea. (FdW)
––– Address: https://antennanongrata.bandcamp.com/



PIIPSTJILLING - IN SPOAR (CD by Cloudchamber Recordings)

Almost ten years have passed since I last a new release by Piipstijilling, the quartet of Mariska Baars (vocals, guitar), Jan Kleefstra (words), Romke Kleefstra (guitars, bass), and Rutger Zuydervelt (electronics). I don't know why there was this long silence, but let's say they were too busy to get together again. Certainly, Zuydervelt is one busy bee. Like their previous releases (Vital Weekly 942, 756 and 627), this album was recorded live in a church in Ketlik by three male players, while Baars, due to failing transport, recorded her part at home, in Kekerdom, which is very close by the VW HQ. Later on, her part was edited into the music. Her vocals consist of long-form humming, very tranquil, which fits the otherwise tranquil music very well. Romke Kleefstra and Rutger Zuydervelt create drone-like textures, carefully constructed and very vulnerable, almost on the point of collapse, an eerie drone, a fine mixture of guitar and electronics. Music that conjures up images of an open landscape, and it's hard not to think of Friesland, the part where the two Kleefstra live. Wide open, with tons of small lakes (well, less than Finland, of course), and from the few times I visited, full of clouds and sun, with the sea not far away. Jan Kleefstra delivers him in the Frysian language (it's not a dialect) and his poetry (translation in English on the cover), and he does that in his well-known delivery, fitting the music very well. There are longer passages of music in which he has no text, and for someone like me, for whom words are relatively less important, there is much to enjoy. With Baars' humming, long-sustaining sounds, the circle is complete. Music that is massive on the atmosphere, from all players, all on the verge of breaking down, to go into complete silence, yet that never happens. Everything here is in slow motion, like the sea, on a windless day, which makes this the perfect soundtrack for a grey autumn day. (FdW)
––– Address: https://cloud-chamber.bandcamp.com/



ARTHUR CLEES - STAY, TEMPORARY HOME (CD by Macro)

'Stay, Temporary Home' is the debut album from a 21-year-old composer./drummer/percussionist/vocalist Arthur Clees, of whom nothing is shared. It is a strange album, and by weird, I don't mean so much the musical content, or, perhaps, I do, but more in terms of 'is this something that fits our pages'. The singing, indeed, doesn't help. Clees doesn't fully sing the blues but whispers, sighs and sings softly. Maybe that accounts for the words "soul and R&B" in the press information. There are traces of what I would, in all my naivety, call pop music, with rhythm, sometimes even a 4/4/ beat, melody, but at the same time, it is all relatively sparsely orchestrated, with glitches and weird electronics. The latter would make the music very much 'our kind of thing', but there are these vocals, beats and melodic piano. I am sure there is a world of alternative pop music that embraces this stuff better than I do. That is not to say that I don't like this; I do, but I fail that I lack any knowledge to understand this release properly; hence, it may not be something for Vital Weekly. I don't know. (FdW)
––– Address: https://macrorec.bandcamp.com/



VATHRES - LITURGY OF LACUNA (CD by Thanatosis)

As much as it says Vathres, this is a work by Alex Zethson; he's in the group of performers by that name and composed the three pieces on this release. He also plays the Fender Rhodes, piano and the Prophet Rev2 on these pieces. The other instruments are a cello, electric bass, double bass, drums, percussion, bass clarinet, keyboards, trumpet, electronics, and synth bass. Some of these players appear on one or two pieces only. A glance learned that 'And The Ashes Birthed Them Into Air And Their Bodies Hurtled Towards The Fire Of The Sun' had the most players. Before I noticed this long title, I had already noted that the music sounded like Godspeed You, Black Emperor. Not in the way they build their massive crescendos, but rather just the massive rock approach, with multiple guitar parts. At one point, the music makes way for Zethson to shine on his keyboards, adding a jazzy vibe. The trumpet receives a fair bit of reverb here, suggesting more atmosphere as if we were in doubt. 'And The Sun Was Subsumed By The Lands Of Silk And Soil' is the shortest piece and of a more introverted nature, with a headlining role for the cello; piano and electronic create a fine foundation for the atmosphere of it all. Drums are absent but return in 'And The Screams Of The Now Extinct Machines, Rose Agina As Nothingness', which is a full-on post-rock blast again. Here, too, we find big dramatic music, grand gestures and expansive vistas. It's not bad, but also not entirely my cupper. As much as I once was a fan of this kind of music, I am also beyond that now and find the drama a bit too much. (FdW)
––– Address: https://vathres.bandcamp.com/



STEVEN STAPLETON & TONY WAKEFORD - REVENGE OF THE SELFISH SHELLFISH (LP by Nihilist Recordings)

This is a re-issue of a CD I remember from my days working in a record store. I don't remember this record for its musical content; I think I even played it at the time, given that Steven Stapleton is one of the creators, and I think I played every new Nurse With Wound record as they came in. I no longer know the reason for not playing this (or actively remembering it, which is a different thing). I know I was never that much interested in the music of Tony Wakeford; neo folk not being my thing. Maybe I assumed that this would also be the music on this release. The good news is that most of the time, it's not neo-folk. 'Lucifer Before Sunrise' and 'Our Lady Of The Wild Flowers' are exceptions. Otherwise, I see the music here more as a deconstruction collage of neo-folk music elements, torn up and stitched together in a way that sounds very much like a Steve Stapleton thing to do. Various hard cuts and reverb suggest a surreal atmosphere, spooky at times, while there is a bit of melodic piano playing and some acoustic guitar strumming and plucking. To hear more standard neo-folk songs in this collection of studio montages is something that I find quite enjoyable, much to my surprise, if I am honest. Times change, and I don't think I will stick on an entire neo-folk album any day soon. But it is part of a weird constellation of strange sounds and overlays, and, sometimes, it doesn't seem to 'work' very well, but I find that quite interesting. Most of the time, it does work well, but mainly in a surrealist fashion. It was much better than I anticipated; not for the first I got things wrong. (FdW)
––– Address: https://nihilistrecordings.bandcamp.com/



RUDOLF EB.ER - HEXENMILCH (LP by Rural isolation Project)

There isn't an awful lot of information on the cover of this record or Bandcamp that provides anything information. 'Hexenmilch' translates as 'witches milk', and the LP was composed, performed and edited by Rudolf Eb.er at Om Kult, Osaka, 2022. That's about the extent of it; "Blood Drawings and layout by Yoshiro Kikuchi". There is no information; not many of his previous releases have much. I am sure I wrote this before, but since first hearing music by Eb.er in the early 1990s, when he ran the Schimpfluch label, I have been fascinated by his work. I am sure I find less interesting aspects to that work, the performance/aktionist of it all, but I like to see these things differently. Because Eb.er releases an LP, the visual side of how the music was made is lost, detached from it. We only hear the sounds that may (!) have been part of those actions or perhaps are source material for further deconstruction. There are many voice sounds, groaning and such, but also, I think, animal sounds, organ sounds (I mean those things with a keyboard, but who knows, maybe also internal organs), fire and so on. Eb.er collages these together into very intense pieces of music. Plural, indeed, even when none of these pieces have titles, and Bandcamp merely lists 'Side 1' and 'Side 2'. Are there electronics used? Another question of which I have no answer. Maybe not. This record one should play with some considerable volume, I think, simply because it works better. This time, Eb.er doesn't use many hard-cut techniques and uses a 'creating density' approach, layering various sounds into shortish pieces of high intensity. I don't know if I used the horror soundtrack reference before, but some of this reminds me of that, not so much the music but the sound design, with animals devouring the victim as revenge for a life-long obsession with eating meat. Maybe I am biased about Eb.er, enjoying his work for so long already; this record is another fine product of excellent quality. (FdW)
––– Address: https://ruralisolationproject.bandcamp.com/



NUSIDM - THE LAST TEMPTATION OF THRILL (LP by Bruit Direct Disques)
MICHEL HENRITZI - FLOWERS OF ROMANCE (LP by Bruit Direct Disques)

The French word Bruit means noise, which we get, yet not the harsh noise you may expect from these pages and of an entirely different variety. First, there is Glen Schenau, from Australia, also known as Nusidm, whom I had not heard before. The "press text" is not something that explains a lot, but it mentions a lot of names that, maybe, provide some help: Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Sam Cooke, and Royal Trux (and possibly others that I fail to recognise as band names?). The inner cover is graced with a "font" that makes reading virtually impossible or a fine rainy day puzzle, but that also means I don't know anything about the instruments used. There are guitars, bass guitars, rhythm machines, loops and sounds, and singing. Post-punk, in the classic sense, is certainly a point of departure, and then the one that is a bit further away from conventional structures, song and instrument-wise. Still, after forty years of hearing strange music, there is also something conventional about this: singing, demented guitar playing, adding serious weirdness to the music, but also something remarkable 'normal', for want of a better word. There is chaos and disorder, and yet, at the same time, there is also organisation and thought here. Nothing happens without reason here. At least, that's my thinking. Towards the end, there's 'Arm Umemployed', a rather punky song that is now stretched out to over five minutes, very unpunk-like. Maybe all of this is once removed from our usual musical digest, and at the same time, it is also a reminder of formative days in weird music. Let's hope that for someone, this is the start of hearing strange music and the opening of the rabbit hole of lifelong great, different music. I thought this was an excellent record, a different kind of noise indeed.
    Michel Henritzi, we also heard last week, in a duet with Michael Morley, now he's on his own. Flowers Of Romance is the third LP by Public Image Ltd, or if you dig deeper, the first band of Sid Vicious, Keith Levene, and Viv Albertine. None of this is mentioned in the information, so it is of no importance, I guess (just me showing off), which says Henritzi's work with Tetuzi Akiyama, the Dustbreeders, Junko and the label boss of Keiji Haino. Here, too, we find a different noise connected to the world of improvised music. He plays lap steel, amplification and some sound effects on this record. All recorded live: side A at Zorba, in Paris (October 7, 2021) and the B-side at the Rota Flora (I think the venue is Rote Flora, but alas) in Hamburg (November 4, 2013). As always, the question begs, why these particular recordings, and in the case of the second side, why wait ten years? Other than that, for obvious reasons, Henritzi thinks these are great recordings that need to be heard, which is a good reason. This record has two sides, and I mean that in the musical sense. Noise is the operative word, but there are differences. The intense, controlled first side, densely layered, is still a relatively quieter piece than the over-the-top B side. I believe I used the word 'blues' in the context of his music, and that is still something I like to use. You wouldn't recognise any of this as blues, but there is some tormenting pain in playing a string instrument. On the B side (both sides have no specific title), Henritzi is stomping away, meaner and louder and reaches for some outer limits of noise music. It's not exactly a harsh noise wall, but it is distorted and less chaotic, but not without various bumps in the road. Great one, not for the faint-hearted. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.bandcamp.bruit-direct.org/



JAVIER HERNANDO - D​​MINA ESTEL​​CTRICA (LP by Geometrik/Munster Records)

Already active since 1979, Javier Hernando, off and on, has a new release, sometimes with a severe gap of no releases (between 1999 and 2015, for instance). His music usually finds a way to Vital Weekly, and I always enjoy what I hear. His music is, perhaps, precisely the kind of thing that defines Vital Weekly if I ever wanted to do that. With the influx of (free) improvised, free jazz and modern classical music, I sometimes think we drift off course, away from the ambient, industrial, noise, electronic and drone music, exactly the kind of thing that Javier Hernando does. His equipment is called synthesisers and sound alteration, and somehow, I think his synthesisers are good old-fashioned synthesisers and not a modular setup. I am unsure why I believe this; I have no evidence to back this thought up. Hernando's music is ominous, dark, at times pretty noisy and leaning towards the ambient side of things, the kind of stuff for which the term 'ambient industrial' was used. In the information, there are references to surrealism, which, I don't know, is fine but also unnecessary. I believe this is the kind of music that stands very well by itself, without too many references, and with the titles in Spanish, there is enough room for the listener to develop an idea about it all. For me, Hernando conjures post-apocalyptic vistas, the buzzing and whirring of faulty electricity lines and whatever else comes up in a dystopia. Hernando keeps his music short this round and to the point eight pieces, each around five minutes, so nothing here is too long. Within each piece, he uses a limited set of sounds, and each is an exploration of these sounds, but not an experiment for the sake of an experiment, each being a standalone composition from start to finish. This music has the idea of modern electronics (by which we mean electronic music of the 1950s and 1960s) but without being too academic - another essential thing that should define Vital Weekly. Great one, again. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.rotordiscos.com/sellos/geometrik/1/
––– Address: https://javierhernando.bandcamp.com



SORIAH & HANS JOACHIM ROEDELIUS & NORMAN WESTBERG - LUMINA (10" by Mobilization Recordings)

A long time ago, in Vital Weekly 603, FK reviewed a CD by Soriah, then from Portland, featuring his throat singing and other instruments. Today, I heard his music for the first time, and now it is in collaboration with two others, one per side. The A-side contain 'Alba Via', which is the Latin translation of the Tuvan saying meaning "white road") and is collaborating with Hans Joachim Roedelius, now in his 88th year and still a musical force, always open to working with new musicians. He recorded the pipe organ at the Berlin Philharmonic, which he sent to Soriah (preferred spelling is SoRIAH). I don't know if any processing was done to the Roedelius recordings. I couldn't tell. If entirely unprocessed, the pipe organ is played only at the very low end of the register and very few tones. It takes some time before Soriah's voice comes in, and I think there is also a flute-like sound. Even though I am not an expert on overtone singing, I believe the actual overtone singing happens later in this piece. The overall mood is tranquil, and while there is development throughout, it slowly grows with more sounds and, as with so many parts of ambient music, an all-too-quick ending.
    I had not heard of Norman Westberg before; my bad, I know, but I was never a fan of the Swans. That's where his main claim to fame is. Unlike Roedelius, whose work I listened to a lot and found a natural match for Soriah, I never heard any of his solo work. But Westberg delivers the goods. Apparently, all on guitar and, at least that's what I think, a lot of effects. Westberg creates a massive drone, slowly developing and changing, and Soriah's throat singing rolls majestically in and out of the mix. For some strange reason, there is a mid-track, fade out, and fade in, like there is a first and a second part, but there isn't much difference. Here, the development is also slow but stays within the number of sounds used. Unlike the other side, which seems to add sounds as the piece goes. Both pieces are about twelve minutes each, and that's not enough for me. Both could have been twenty and make up for a great LP, or both could have been thirty, and it would be an excellent CD; I prefer the latter because flipping a record also takes the listener out of the flow. It's fantastic music, albeit way too short. (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.mobilization.com/



PALINDROM & SHIP HER SON - SLEEP/EVERYTHING IS NOT SO BAD (7" by Steelwork Maschine)
MOINEAU/WESTWIND - HEJ SOKOLY/ZASVIT VSTALY KOZACHENKY (7" by Steelwork Maschine)

These 7" records deal with the Ukraine in favour of their struggle against the Russian invasion. All around by musicians I have not heard of before. Maybe it's because the musical content is too far from what Vital Weekly usually writes about. The first is a collaboration between two groups from Lviv, Ukraine, recorded right after the invasion. Palindrom is Stepan Burban, who will release his first LP next year and is part of a documentary about artists during the first weeks of the war; Ship Her Son is Anton Shiferson's "EBM/industrial project". 'Sleep' is A solid and heavy synth-based song, with lyrics (translation enclosed!) that are more a call to arms than double-voiced shouting. More EBM keyboards on ''Everything Is Not So Bad', along with a steady beat, and the vocals become almost rap-like. Very grim, but is it grim, looking at the title? There is much suffering in the world we have no idea of. It's a pity you will not understand these lyrics when you haven't mastered the language, perhaps losing some of the intention. Two gripping songs, indeed, and outside our usual territory.
    ''Hej Sokoly' (hey, falcons) is a Ukranian folk song with roots in Polish and is performed here by Moineau (or, rather, moineau), also known as Benjamin Sperling. In his version, the song still sounds relatively folky to my ears. What can I say? This is too far outside my musical world with its singing and guitar playing. I like the song, but maybe because I support the cause. On the other side, there is Kris G's project, Westwind. I understand that he and Sperking played concerts in Lviv and Kyiv, and for him, it was also the sixth humanitarian convoy, which I call a different kind of commitment, as opposed to doing a Bandcamp fundraiser. He covers a traditional Ukrainian Cossack song, with much drumming and heavy on the synthesizers. Musically, I could relate to most of the four songs, gripping and dramatic, even when not the kind of music I would play a lot. But I think (!) I understand some of it. All proceedings will go to the 95th Air Assault Bridge and the Memorial Of The International Legion Of Territorial Defence Of Ukraine. Great! (FdW)
––– Address: https://www.steelwork.fr/



SOMNAMBULANCE - WALLY'S ASHES (CDR, private)

The Wally mentioned in the title is Wally Hope, a well-known figure in the Britsh hippie movement, organising the Windsor Free Festival and Stonehenge Free Festival. In 1975, he was arrested after the police raided his place, searching for drugs. He was locked up in a psychiatric hospital, and [wiki] "He was eventually released showing symptoms of chronic dyskinesia caused by hospital medication. Wally died on 3 September 1975. A coroner's verdict of suicide included no reference to the Old Manor psychiatric hospital in Salisbury." Penny Rimbaud of Crass mentions Hope as a major inspiration for his band and doesn't believe the suicide story. Somnambulance contains members of The Mandala Synthesiser Orchestra, Rubber Bus, Here & Now, Imitation Electric Piano and Thought Bubble; five musicians with synthesisers, electronics, guitar, sampler and a percussion/cymbals player. I heard a bit from the bands mentioned by Rubber Bus, which is similar to Somnambulance, spacious electronic music covering fifty years of happiness. From the early seventies Tangerine Dream to the mid-1990s The Orb, but in the case of Somnambulance, it's even more spaced out. Percussion here is not used to play a rhythm but rather another instrument to create spacious sounds. There are no Orb-inspired dance beats, as the music stays more in the chill-out room vibe. I found the improvised aspect particularly interesting, as this is a straight-to-tape recording. I am sure there was some sort of game plan made before they started playing the music that evening in the summer of 2022, and during these fifty minutes, it all is very coherent. Maybe there was no such plan, so my appreciation is even more significant. There isn't a bum note, an odd thing happening; the flow is steady and constantly moving. Excellent music to smoke a big one, drink a cocktail or simply relax; just as great ambient does, music for (almost) every mood. This music is right up my alley, the perfect moment to relax at midday! (FdW)
––– Address: https://somnambulanceuk.bandcamp.com/



DAN OF EARTH - SPPY (3"CDR & comic book)

Reviewing comic books is, along with reviewing poetry, novels, videos, and art in general, not something I can easily do. As much as I love Tintin, that's about it concerning comic books, and then I still have no idea what I am talking about. I don't think I ever heard of Dan Of Earth. He is interested in Jung's theory of the Collective Unconscious, even "though I never really understood how that was supposed to work" - me neither. He combined this with the current love for all this IA (unlike me) and asked AI to draw a spy comic in the style of Antonio Prohias' Spy vs Spy comics, 'Spy vs Spy'. This became the comic book part of this release. "Stable Diffusion never read Mad magazine, as this is what it came up with", and I had to look up what Stable Diffusion is (" latent text-to-image diffusion model capable of generating photo-realistic images given any text input, cultivates autonomous freedom to produce incredible imagery"). I flipped through it, and it was an arty comic with unreadable words. More artwork than a comic, perhaps? As Dan Of Earth still had a bunch of 3-inch CDRs lying around, he composed some extra music, again using AI. Now, when it's interesting, he doesn't mention which AI site he used for this. I haven't investigated the use of AI in composing music. I am sure there are some exciting results to be booked here, and the five pieces here show that. With obscured voices and ditto electronics, I'd wonder what the question was. The result is a plunderphonic-inspired collage of found sounds stuck together, with some randomized non-control. Here, words don't seem to have any meaning, which works very well with the comic book. It begs the question (not to be answered within the context of a review): what is art, how is it created, when is it AI and when it's a good old-fashioned human inspiration? In this case, the AI delivered the bricks to create an art piece. Unless there are more layers beneath this that I didn't fully understand, I enjoyed the results all the same. (FdW)
––– Address: http://sdiy.org/colbecklabs/



AD HOC - CORPSE (cassette by Shame File Music)

Previously available in an edition of six home copies, Shame File Music does a proper re-issue of Ad Hoc's live cassette 'Corpse'. This is the second time this label has re-released some from this group. In Vital Weekly 1354, I discussed their 'Distance' cassette. Both of these cassettes were recorded and released in 1980. Ad Hoc was a trio of Chris Knowles, David Wadelton, and James Clayden, and on their first cassette, they used an EMS Synthi AKS suitcase synthesizer and cheap guitars. On this live recording, they use something else, and I am not sure what it is. Both sides (fifteen minutes each) contain a sort of mechanical process, loops of some kind, I think, maybe old reels or turntables and added are, perhaps, synthesizer or electronic effects. They played for fifteen minutes, switched off their amps and after a short interval, they started again, but now it sounded different. This shows on the recording here; the B-side is noisier than the A-side. The B-side is unmistakenly much more industrial music, with distortion sparking off the music. At the same time, the A-side ('Corpse One' and 'Corpse Two' are the somewhat uninspired titles) is more something along the lines of Boyd Rice, but moving away from the pure loops and repetitions by adding these additional layers of synth sounds. The music of Ad Hoc on 'Corpse' is very different than that on 'Distance'; their first cassette is a delightful excursion into the world of ambient music, with lots of piano sounds (even the piano isn't listed as an instrument), none of which you will find on this cassette. It's almost as if two totally different groups are by the same name. Discogs lists only these two cassettes, but after these two, I am inquisitive: are there more recordings, and how do these sound? I like both more because they are so different; the first I enjoyed in musical terms, and the second, as much as I love noise, more because it's daringly different. (FdW)
––– Address: https://shamefilemusic.bandcamp.com/



T.JERVELL - 2ND TWO (cassette by Moonside Tapes)
GOLGOTHA COMMUNICATIONS LTD. - EVIDENTIARY HEARING (cassette by Moonside Tapes)

Following 'Two Planks Of Wood' (Vital Weekly 1392), there is now '2nd Two', a cassette by T.Jervell (still no space required there. Still, I have no idea who T.Jervell is. It says on Bandcamp: "Explorations of wooden synths. Recordings are all based on free improvisations. Then edited, reassembled and composed according to my personal preferences". I'm not sure what these wooden synths look like, but I think T.Jervell means modular synthesisers. The titles may enlighten us further, 'Blue Boy, Two Planks of Wood, and a Toy Xylophone' or 'A Boy in Love with Lyra, and The Last Planks of Wood'; well, okay, not really, but some indication. The cassette is a little over fifteen minutes, and the element of improvisation is never far away. In keeping things to the point, T.Jervell (gender unknown, T. apparently stands for Trond), there is undoubtedly more urgency and immediateness to the music. It bursts and cracks, there is the occasional bang on a toy xylophone or something acoustic smashed to pieces, and the proceedings are over before you know it. T.Jervell likes to keep the listeners hungry for me and not bloated or consumed by too much music. This cassette continues where the previous one left us. It is a bit noisy, but not for the sake of noise, as there is also delicacy in the approach here.
    A new name is Golgotha Communications Ltd, also known as J. Karpinović, who recorded this material earlier this year in "the new Golgotha studio in Philadelphia city", so let's assume he's (or she) from America. "Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is completely intentional." of course, it looks good, but I have no idea which persons are supposed to resemble here. Like T.Jervell, the pieces are here and brief and to the point. Many of the fifteen tracks are around two minutes, some a bit long and even over six minutes. Loops play a significant role in the music, sampled from very diverse sources, and none are all too easily recognised. The result is a kind of ambient sort of plunderphonics; occasionally, there is a piece with some rhythm. I am not convinced that those pieces fit this album, but I might be wrong, and maybe it brings that bit of variation here. I find it hard to make up my mind here. Sometimes, it works well, and sometimes, I am slightly annoyed by their presence. It's a good thing that tracks are relatively short; as per the piece, there aren't a lot of sound sources used. The ambient industrial context of the music prevents you from going into total relaxation mode. Still, it makes it less musical to enjoy as pure ambient music, i.e. going for longer pieces of sustaining music. This means I am not wholly convinced or satisfied with this music. It has some interesting points of departure, which may be expanded in the future. (FdW)
––– Address: https://moonsidetapes.bandcamp.com/

















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