number 808
week 48


Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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OVAL – OVALDNA (CD by Shitkatapult)
ZA!  – MEGAFLOW (CD by Acuarela)
POLLEN TRIO - ROLL SLOW (CD by Hello Square Recordings) *
ANN ROSEN - THIMBLE NOISE (CD by Firework Edition Records) *
SIX HEADS - CARDBOARD ORACLE (LP by Wintage Records & Tapes)
XOME/JOLTHROWER GOLD FIVE  (cassette by Ratskin Records)
DE/MUTE - BISHAN (3"CDR by Bastets Kitten) *
…PLAYS BAD SECTOR (3"CDR compilation by Bastets Kitten)

OVAL – OVALDNA (CD by Shitkatapult)
Limping on one leg, the new Oval CD arrived on our doorstep. OvalDNA is, as the title somewhat suggests, an archive release with some new tracks added for good measure. But not a regular one, as Shitkatapult (awful name for a label incidentally) have included some nice artwork and (drum roll) a bonus CD featuring no less than 2000 sound files (AIFF format) from various stages of Oval’s long career. And what’s more; they’re without any restriction for use! A huge sound bank to dive into. An “open source manifesto”. How much we would have wanted to review that as well. But alas, Shitkatapult have only sent us the audio CD without any sign of the bonus CD or, in fact, the artwork. This makes life a bit more difficult for us at Vital; no track listing, no background information, no nothing. What DO we have then? 25 tracks from the Oval archive, running at a total length of 65+ minutes. Most of these appear to be rare tracks and 12 are, according to the press blurb, previously unreleased. If you know your Oval and its main man Markus Popp (the André Popp of glitch), you will know what to expect. His, almost trademark, sound, is instantly recognizable. In that sense, Popp has certainly made his valuable contribution to music. As to his development; the new pieces sound as recognizable as the older ones. You decide whether that is positive or negative. The press blurb proudly mentions Popp having “reinvented” himself on “O” (his previous release) and having changed methods/concepts, but to my ears nothing much has changed, not even in the pieces I suspect are the new recordings. You can’t really blame Popp though – he’s found his niche. OvalDNA features pieces where you can hear the origin of the sounds (i.e. instruments) and those where there are only unidentifiable glitches. There are aggressive sounds, there are soothing sounds. It’s a bit of everything in the true sense of an archive CD. The sound quality is as perfect as you’d expect of Popp. Personally speaking, I have always had a weak spot for Oval ever since they made one of my all time favorite albums 94Diskont, so this CD sounds fine to me. Add to this the promised bonus CD and you’ll have a perfect combination. You can create your own Oval and Popp can retire. Popp has to wait till January 2012 though, which is when the CD becomes officially available. (FK)
Address: http://www.shitkatapult.com

According to the website, Xambuca is "not limited to any particular style or category of music" and is principally the project of Chandra Shukla, along with the help of other people, like Jason Scott Furr, RK Faulhaber, Lux Vibratus (Chrome), Elisa Faires, Larry Thrasher, Todd Mellors (Saifir), M.S. Waldron (irr. app. ext.). Its indeed a varied bunch of music on this CD; at one point I was even thinking 'which compilation did I put on?', 'oh no, it was that Xambuca' CD - right'. Throughout this music moves in darker circles, of the more atmospheric depths of music made with synthesizers. But then occasionally a rhythm pops up and here we find Xambuca still lurking in darker corners, with a menacing, sine wave like synth, but the beat marches on like a fine Pan Sonic twin piece. There is no list of instruments on the cover, nor a who's doing what here from the above mentioned list of names, but surely there have been various people involved - it almost has to be. I was thinking about some of the dark stuff that we know from a label like Cold Meat Industry at times, a touch of darkness (to avoid that dreaded word 'gothic' - oops I said it), when there is a slight distorted guitar in some of these tracks. Maybe throughout its a bit too dark for my taste, or maybe too gothic in some ways, I surely like the fact that this is all so highly varied, a criss-cross of the various shades of dark and darker. Quite nice, a bit long perhaps. (FdW==)
Address: http://www.erototox.com

ZA!  – MEGAFLOW (CD by Acuarela)
I want to be short about this one. Za! is a duo from Barcelona: Spazzfrica Ehd and Papa du Pau. With ‘Megaflow’ they deliver their third effort. Their music is about mixing rock, freejazz, worldmusic, krautrock, mathrock, etc. But if you mix without much vision, what you get is a tasteless soup. That is the case here if you ask me. Both musicians play a diversity instruments (guitar, trumpet, kalimba, percussion, voice, drums, keyboards, drum machine, clarinet). By multi-tracking and sampling they built their music, covering the sound works finally with guitars and drumbeats.  They are successful in making a bunch of varied pieces. Not a dull moment in this respect. This multilayer unit for sure spread out much energy and enthusiasm. But this can not cover up the lack of musical originality. (DM)
Address: http://www.acuareladiscos.com
Makan is a young violinist and composer from California. His compositions have been performed by reputed ensembles like the Kronos Quartet and Ensemble Modern. In 2008 his first CD ‘In Sound’ was released by Tzadik and received good reviews. This new CD presents the premiere recordings of four  powerful works by this promising composer: ‘2’, ‘Zones d’accord’, ‘Target’ and  ‘Resonance Alloy’. In most of these works Makan seeks to maximize possibilities from his minimalistic approach. And he does this with success. The CD opens with ‘2’ (1998), performed by the Either/Or duo of Jennifer Choi (violin) and David Shively (percussion). It is music that immediately grabs you. Violin and percussion operate often almost unisono or along parallel lines.  Especially the speedy sections are intriguing. What I also like about this as well as the other compositions, is that we hear a limited set of instruments, but a whole spectrum of details in the sound constructions. The next piece ‘Zones d’accord’ (2002) is  a piece for dance with French choreographer Françoise Murcia. Performed with verve by Alex Waterman (cello). His playing is breathtaking , virtuoso and with a strong emotional appeal.  Using extended techniques, but at all moments it is a cello we hear. The title piece ‘Target’(2003-4) is a setting of a text assembled from poems by Jena Osman and phrases taken from leaflets dropped over Afghanistan in the wake of Sept. 11. It is divided into 5 sections. It is written for voice, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion, violin, and cello. Here performed by Laurie Rubin and the California E.A.R.Unit. The ’songs’ have often sliding, meandering and moaning movements by voice and instruments. With the exception of ‘Leaflet II’ that is dominated by a hammering beat. Again a beautiful performance, especially the singing by Rubin. The CD closes with ‘Resonance Alloy’ (2007), performed by percussionist David Shively in an amazing tour de force of this 29 minute work. This piece is about exploring continuously shifting timbres produced by vibrating metals. It is about maximizing sound coming from a limited use of percussion.  It directs our attention to a detailed level of the sounds coming from the vibrating metal, opening a rich and massive sound world, similar to the opening piece. Again an impressive piece. I guess everything is on its place on this cd. A great release. Makan is a composer with a clear and precise handwriting of captivating and engaging music. (DM)
Address: http://www.starkland.com

POLLEN TRIO - ROLL SLOW (CD by Hello Square Recordings)
In Vital Weekly 790 we reviewed a short CDR release by Pollen Trio (Austin Buckett (piano, rhodes), Miroslav Buskovsky (percussion, trumpet) and Evan Dorrian (drums, percussion), which was a teaser for the upcoming album, which just arrived. Perhaps due to the nature of improvised music, its odd that 'Peaks', from that teaser release is not on this release. Maybe developments happen at such a speed its hard to keep up. Nine new pieces here of their avant-garde jazz inspired improvisations. Buskovsky left his anklung at home but adds here trumpet, which may, at times, add an even more jazzy feel to these pieces. The mood of playing is very relaxed here, but also very free; or I might rather re-phrase that: the mood of playing is very free, but also very relaxed. Although all acoustic, this release has a very nice low end to it, which may seem from an electronic background, but no doubt is just the warmth of microphones picking up all the right frequencies of this. A well thought release of carefully constructed freedom. Not easily to digest - despite the mellow moods, but a most rewarding release. The new jazzo's from downunder. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hellosquarerecordings.com

 If I understand well, who knows I does, Maurizio Bianchi gave up doing music and whatever is released now is just 'late'. Or not? Here we have a work - seventy minutes, one track - that has Bianchi on 'calutronic radio-sources', Land Use on 'neurotronics, manipulations' and Pharmakustik on 'atomic recombinations, photosynthesis' and the cover has, again, one of those difficult texts: "Sources of organic matter cause severe arsenic pollution. The palaeohydrological controls on contamination form the essential geochemical response within the acoustic document of Spulfeld. The geochemistry of streams received in the name of electroacoustic and concrete exploration strategy locates the source of contamination and the spread of fluid pollutants. In the case of defining environmental problems Spulfeld reveals the formational anomalies and geostatistical investigation of inorganic and organic particles". I am not sure to which Spulfeld it refers: 18546 Sassnitz or 25557 Oldenbüttel, both in Northern Germany, or just the area of 'dredged material disposal site', anywhere. Now this is the true world of ambient and industrial. Ambient since its all stretched out, as one piece of continuous electronics and industrial since its aim is not to please the listener, but to play music that perhaps depicting that wasteland, that post nuclear landscape, that bleak affair of dumping waste. The perfect soundtrack to a film depicting precisely that: dumping waste, endless lines of trucks with canisters with nuclear waste, of course in black and white. Lots of reverb, lots of synthesized sounds, but also with what seems to me a curious form electro-acoustic music. Not pleasant music but surely all elementary stuff. Not for the weak of heart and or to be played with candlelight. (FdW)
Address: http://www.menstrualrecordings.org

These days Ukranian label Kvitnu seems more active than before. Completely against the delusion of every day they believe in releasing CDs, and what's more: from people that aren't that well known. Here we have Plaster, a duo from Rome, one Gianclaudio Hashem Moniri and Giuseppe Carlini. Music with a beat and with a bite, blurring that area that is both ambient, rhythmic, sharp and focussed. Like with so many releases these days here too we find the influence of Pan(a)sonic, from their early days, with highly minimal beats and at times sine wave like sounds. Yet Plaster also adds more mellow synth like sounds to the material, which sets them aside a bit more than the others in this field, such as the recent release by Sturqen on the same label, or Xambuca, reviewed elsewhere. Also Plaster is a bit more selective in releasing music, selecting only their best pieces. Eight in total, and a varied bunch it is. 'Structures has a great ambient build up, in which the beat only arrives late, whereas 'Component' is steady from the word 'go' and 'Iperstatic' has no beat at all, just a collision of ambience and nasty synth waves. A dark release, depicted in various shades of grey. Essential music - Plaster certainly a world that dwells on past influences but melted them into something of their own. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kvitnu.com

Another CD by Dan Jospeh, following his previous release on Mutable Music was 'Archaea' (see Vital Weekly 537), which I really liked a lot, since it reminded me of the music of Steve Reich, especially his early seventies ensemble pieces, such as 'Octet'. Here we have three new pieces by Dan Joseph, played by his own ensemble. Joseph started out with punk bands, played ambient industrial and then took up lessons in compositions with Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, Mel Powell and Terry Riley. His . The main piece is the title piece, in which the hammered dulcimer, played by Joseph himself, plays an all important role, helped by the endless repeating tones of the violin, harpischord, flute and percussion. A piece that hammers away, despite the sad circumstances (its dedicated to Suzanne Fiol, founder of the Issue Project Room, who died in October 2009. Pulsating music that is not unlike Reich, Riley but also a band like The Lost Jockey or Dark Day. There are two more pieces here, the more introspective 'Wind Patterns', which has more ethnic feel to it and also, perhaps strangely, a somewhat mediaeval attitude, thanks to the dulcimer. In the final piece we have just the dulcimer and the voice of Thomas Bruckner who sings from Lou Harrison's 1971 poetic book 'Lou Harrison's Music Primer'. This piece didn't do much for me I must admit. Its not bad, but I perhaps just don't like that kind of singing very much. But that title piece, taking up half the CD is an absolute great work if you like minimal music in the true classical sense. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mutablemusic.com

Like Pogus, I associated the name Nate Wooley with improvisation and jazz, but this new work shows he has more tricks up his sleeve. 'The Almond' started out as a small piece for voice and trumpet for Compost And Height, but grew into a much larger piece, lasting now over seventy minutes. Its a work in which we hardly recognize the trumpet as such. Wooley combines a series of recordings of three to ten different pitches on the trumpet recorded in 'different mutes, tunings, with different microphones and in different rooms'. A beautiful piece of drone music is born from this. Think just about any work by Phill Niblock and you are close to the work of Wooley, especially the earlier stuff of 'Niblock For Celli' and 'A Third Trombone'. We don't hear Wooley breathing, just all those pure tones from all those trumpet sounds, which makes a beautiful piece that somewhere around the forty minute point gets nasty and loud - like a menacing mass of drone sounds, which returns for the grand finale. Here we may recognize also a bit of voice material - treated a like choir almost. This is an excellent piece of music, that would not have been out of place on Experimental Intermedia. Very orchestral music, derived from a single instrument. Excellent work this one. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pogus.com

Earlier this year I reviewed 'Deleted Scenes' by Pirx (see Vital Weekly 680), a duo of  Frau W, who handles the laptop, modules, flutes, mbira and more idiophones and Maciej Sledziecki on guitar and idiophones. Now, hot on the heels of that debut CD, there is a new one, again on their on Satelita label. Their expanded set up does them no harm. Pirx works from the world of improvisation but likes to expand to a more broadened sound - say what we could loosely call popmusic. 'Unkraut' is almost like a straight forward rock songs with the ongoing strumming of the guitar, ornamented by the use of voices (?), flutes and percussion - all of which are played somewhat loosely. Sometimes they just play improvised music, even set to a rhythmical tone, such as in 'Hoquetus', but then stays on the improvised side. Although these seven pieces make a decisive step forward, in that its all a varied album of music, loud, contemplative, poppy, jazzy, I must also say that I am still not entirely convinced by them. I assume they had a great time doing this music and some pieces are nice, such as the aforementioned 'Unkraut' or the closing piece 'Staub', but its still not the best of albums. (FdW)
Address: http://www.satelite.de

As soon as you start making references to Kate Bush I am interested - just one of those old and all time favorites. Laura J Martin's vocal style is reminiscent of Bjork, Bonnie Dobson and Kate Bush, and she is also influenced by Serge Gainsbourg, Wu Tang Clan, David Bowie and Herbie Mann. Odd altogether, but it makes a great CD of sixteen tracks in about three quarters of an hour of great pop music. The music is made with such simple means as flute, mandolin, xylophone, looped vocals and a bunch of people adding bass, cello, banjo, and drums. This is some very nice folk/pop music. Perhaps not as dreamy ms Bush's music, but at times rather joyful and uplifting about this, even in its more serious moods, such as in the title piece. Following Hannah Peel's music on Static Caravan, this is another great discovery. Less folky than Peel, more pop-based, but definetely something that has a raw, dark edge, even a touch of pyschedelica to it. Like always Static Caravan brings light and joy to the world of Vital Weekly, and this is just one hell of a great CD. It entirely makes up a grey day.
I could head, as I write this, to Utrecht and catch Dan Haywood's New Hawks playing at Le Guess Who festival, but then I don't like to travel that much. Its a nine piece that call themselves a country band, which might actually be true, but then perhaps a country band on LSD, as there is certainly traces of psychedelic to be found in here. Fiddles are used, bongos, guitars, organs, drums and of course Dan Haywood's vocals. I am not sure what to think of this. Its a genuinely strange record and while I am not really the most avid fan of country music, this certainly has a strange captivating quality, especially the b-side 'Superquarry', but I am not really sure what to make of this. In the end it might be a bit too normal for me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staticcaravan.org

Its that time of the season again, and here is the first evidence there of. Christmas is lurking around he corner - never a great season (no newspaper, no e-mail, no mail etc.) but there is something good, which is music. Martin Bramah, erstwhile of The Fall and The Blue orchids, delivered an excellent debut album with his new band Factory Star in 'Enter Castle Perilous' (see Vital Weekly 776) has here a 7"/CD/download (depending where you want to buy it) with The Granite Shore on the flip. Factory Star delivers with 'Lucybel', a great rocking song with an urgent character. There are two more short songs in similar vein, less organ based as the album, but its still there. Madness driven music, christmas or otherwise. The Granite Shore cover a song by Factory Star on the other side, stripped down to acoustic guitar, a sad voice, slow drums, organ - and makes a perfect lullaby for those suffering insomnia. Like me, at times. Great 7". Let's have that season! (FdW)
Address: http://www.occultation.co.uk

ANN ROSEN - THIMBLE NOISE (CD by Firework Edition Records)
Press texts by Firework Edition are usually a bit cryptic and this one is not much different. We learn that Ann Rosen is a founding member of Syntjuntan with Lise-Lotte Norelius and Ida Lunden, also she is part of Knypple, Ris & Ros and the Schhh duo. In her own work 'people, meetings, processes, collaborations, spatiality and sound' are all important and that she combines electronics with choirs and chamber music ensembles. So far nothing weird. But then it also says: 'the plan was to compose zo-2 variations for the open second movement in zonula occludens a project were i explore different listening situations in the process they grew into pieces in their own right and could preferably be listened to in headphones zonula occulends or tight junctions are the closely associated areas of two cells whose membranes join together forming a virtually impermeable barrier… the connection that holds different pieces together is the noise' (same interpunction as the on sheet). Now I'm not sure what that all means, but the seven pieces here are quite nice. Quite noise oriented of vast blocks of sounds, which are indeed close together. White noise, static hiss? My guess is as good as yours. But the work has something captivating: Rosen actually composes with this material, so it doesn't remain just static, but sometimes seems to fall apart into the smallest particles and then slowly build up again. Fascinating stuff. Electro-acoustic? Computer music? Analogue electronics? Its all impossible to say. But captivating it is. A CD that has interesting noise, composed noise and as such is great learning material for all those who think that a wall of noise is even remotely interesting. Learn from this!
The backside of the release by Kent Tankred (one half of The Sons Of God) is unreadable and the press text has a quote by Hsu Tun-Li, whom I don't know who he is. Some sort of zen thing I think. The work is just one piece of music, which lasts for an hour. A meditative piece of music (hence me thinking of zen, I guess), of oscillators humming in low and mid range, slowly evolving - very minimal indeed. Sometimes the low end gets more to the foreground, and sometimes the mid-range. It all sounds like an installation piece, although there is no evidence (this release is not yet listed on the website) for that. Quite a beautiful work, I must say. Its a bit raw on the edges, which is something I like (never the real smooth thing) - but contemplative enough to be meditative. Play soft I guess and beauty will unfold like a warm carpet in your living room. Play loud? I am not sure what the consequences would be. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fireworkeditionrecords.com

A strong marketing campaign is not what expect when I hear the name Eric Lunde, but as I recently noted his return is now complete, with releases coming through other labels. This new one deals with muzak recorded in the shopping mall of of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he was to transport a metal desk, so there is also some car noise used here. Lunde's working methods are known, I hope, by now: recording sounds, playing them in a room, record that with cheap microphones and adding voice like material. Its easy to say that Lunde makes noise and that is probably true. Its at the same also very well possible to call this sound poetry. Voice plays an important role in this work - it is added at some stage in the process and has a likewise deteriorated feel: its not supposed to be understood properly. Now, in general, I don't like noise very much, but with Lunde I find this always in capable hands, even, and that's perhaps the downside a bit, it always sounds alike. That might be the traphole in which Lunde may fall: by being asked by many labels to record new work there might not be room for innovation in music (which is obviously something I like very much). There are, at times, traces of rhythm in here, very minimal and raw, and that's certainly a line to inquire more, I should think. So far, this is a great work, but then so were most of the others (so far). Excellent stuff - time for a next step.
Blake Edwards, also known as Vertonen, and the man behind the Cripplsed Intellect Productions label, has his own marketing strategy, that of the continuou feeding of the market. Only a few weeks ago Vital Weekly 805, I reviewed his tribute to Vivenza (to which he pointed out that those works are already re-issued on CD) and here is a new work, recorded in August and September of this year. Not only a man of many talents, Vertonen's music is also of many faces. He started out in some more noise oriented field, then did a bunch of interesting drone like works, to return to harsh noise and that recent work of machine sounds. 'Deteriorated Broadcast' is a sort of sister work for 'Le Coeur Mecanique' taking the same machine sounds but then just the softer ones, like cooling fans, ventilation duct hum and generators, all heavily treated and slowing dying out, over the course of fifty minutes. This is one of the Vertonen variations I love (just as his machine works, but I was never to fond of his noise works): a highly moody piece of electronic treatments of radio sounds that has a slow build up, and decrescendo, almost like erasing the tape when you are listening to it. This happens twice on this on this work, and it makes throughout a great disc. One of the best I heard from him in some time, even that 'Le Coeur Mecanique' included. Highly delicate music. (FdW)
Address: http://cipsite.net

SIX HEADS - CARDBOARD ORACLE (LP by Wintage Records & Tapes)
An odd one, this. First of all, who plays this? 'The Clicking Of Mandibles Band also known as Six Heads', it says on the insert, but below it says 'audio material copr. Six Heads', so Six Heads it is. If I understand the material here was recorded live and then edited together in the studio. Six Heads call it as their mission 'exploration of audio surrealism via improvisation, sound collage, experimental instruments and approaches' and to that end, this six headed band list a whole bunch of instruments (check out www.recordism.com for more information, as the quote would be too long) and objects which they explore through jam sessions. It seems to me that Six Heads set out to play sounds/tunes (or whatever you call it) that create moods, druggy moods no doubt. With the right amount of smokes I assume this is highly enjoyable. But say, on a friday afternoon, sipping coffee, watching the low sun outside, this is all a bit too loosely organized. Once set in motion, the six band members play their tune on end (well, fifteen and sixteen minutes that is) in a rotating mood, repeating and repeating with minor fluctuations in the sound. Not bad indeed, but as said, the circumstances have to be right - and I don't mean venus in conjunction with the sun, but I imagine a low ceiling club, filled with smoke and beer, and stairs, and Six Heads cramped together on stage playing this free mode mood improvisations. In a way, if you like No Neck Blues Band, or perhaps some such from the US cassette world, then Six Heads might be your next investigation. (FdW)
Address: <wintagerecords@gmail.com>

Nijmegen might not be the biggest city in the world, but it has a lively music scene, with also various labels working inside what I can easily call 'techno' music, like Lomechanik and Shipwrec Records. From that label, who released ten records in less than a year or so, comes a 12" by Steindor Kristinsson, who was once a member of Einoma, an IDM act from Iceland. His solo work is a bit different, and perhaps not easy to describe. The title piece has indeed some kind of weird, mechanical flute like sounds, set against a hard driven technoid beat. Its mechanical indeed, but at the same time its also quite warm and likewise unsettling. On the flip we find 'Madame Claude' which has a sort of oriental beat, which sampled ethnic wind instruments and voices from the market place. A dark, brooding piece of music, which continues in the second piece of on this record, which is entirely absent of any beats and has a great icy ambient feel to it. Flying low over the surface of Iceland, we see vast amount of glaciers, rocks and no trees. Empty and spacious music. A record that is perhaps for the dance floor, but certainly is a great home for home listening. Apparently a CD is the making, so I can't wait for that. (FdW)
Address: http://www.shipwrec.org/

The second installment, celebrating twenty years of Dead Voices On Air, in which Mark Spybey invites friends to record pieces together. Here we have Edward Ka-spel of The Legendary Pink Dots. They receive help from Oscar Ruiz Fernandez (guitar, bass) and Carolyn Gannell (cello) on either side of the record. Ka-spel is present with vocals and text, and Spybey plays piano on one side and drums and farfisa on the other. That piano side is a very moody, almost spooky piece. Ka-spel whispers very softly and the music is all sparse. The other side is an entirely different piece of music, almost krautrock like, with multiple layers of organ sounds blearing away and Ka-spel's voice more upfront. This too has a spooky nature, and overall this a great 7". (FdW)
Address: http://touretterecords.com/

Something seems missing here, as the press text mentions a DVD release as well - or maybe they do only promotion for the music (on CDR)? The only time I remember hearing music by Deane Hughes, also known as Akumu, was his split with Andrew Duke on Cohort Records (see Vital Weekly 538). The starting point for 'Between Worlds' was Hughes wondering what music would be playing in his final moment, before leaving this life (yes, that is not really a common thought I think) -  music on the edge of existence and non-existence. Like with that previous release Akumu plays ambient music with a more digital edge to it. Highly atmospheric, using digital synthesis, but also field recordings and radio broadcasts, guitars and contact microphones, this is all highly ambient, atmospheric and a bit glitchy/crackling. Faint traces of rhythm, neatly adding a heartbeat to some of these pieces (or perhaps that last heartbeat?) - its all pretty dark, but not without any hope or despair. Music that stands in a long tradition - many of which have been discussed in these pages before and that's perhaps the downside of this release. Its done with great care, excellently produced, but at the same time also not the most innovative releases in this particular niche. Maybe Akumu should try to carve out a niche of his own? (FdW)
Address: http://www.musicbyakumu.com

Even if a review was not a re-view, a re-evaluation rather than an evaluation, a mere doubling commentary would be difficult in the best of circumstances. That is a translation of sound into words may well be possible, but I can not think of either anyway this would be achievable – or
if anyone would be able to decide on its success, and supposing such an achievement was possible then only a doubling commentary would have been given. Why this presents itself as a problematic is that nothing could be achieved, no re-evaluation, and so in its genesis it wouldn’t commence in
the first place! Extensive use of electronic loop and stereo splits, some electronics and non – guitar? Cello? Piano- over which “Bjork” type voice with train station echo- the backing sounds loop and pulse musically in layered textures and loopy techno sounds. Kind of “dream sequence” or “LSD”
sequence Hollywood sound track meets Autechre, though the obviously random cascades of notes and bleepy loops lack the edge of Autechre…. The dreamy voice continues throughout each track- with the bleeping looping backing sounds. Its more avant pop, certainly not noise in its more obvious meanings – I suspect might go down well in The Wire and from her promo sheet
is obviously well thought of as an international player / collaborator. Despite my very poor description, some might say hostile, unsympathetic, crass, botched picture, this music is of merit and no doubt – as I’ve been told my others its capable of transforming and transfixing the careful
listener from this “mess that is reality” to “such a beautiful and ideal alternative” – an act of transcendence which my prose is incapable off – therefore not even capable of a view, of a translation or sufficient description yet alone a re-evaluation, such music is beyond my abilities,
literal, intellectual, transcendental. And now any reader needs to translate, re-view, evaluate this? (jliat)
Address: http://www.metalux.cc

XOME/JOLTHROWER GOLD FIVE  (cassette by Ratskin Records)
The cassette begins with rhythmic noise, synthesizer? Feedback effects, slow pulses, throbs and feedback manipulated  through various frequencies into a live? Crescendoing torrent of sound, whereas the other side has similar if not quite the beginning pulse structure and more of a constant
malfunctioning feedback which drifts in and out of pulses and crescendos. The recording sounds fairly monophonic as if a live recording of a performance, and a ridiculously short length…incomprehensible.. Crank Sturgeon layers speech and  electronics in almost jazz like scenarios,
P.C.R.V. random electronics from a cheap oscillator random arpeggiation  and crackling noise of a short wave, again in its restless improvisations strangely jazzy,  Styrofoam Sanchez seems to be fumbling with a double Bass and some balloons, and getting upset and growling expletives, animalistic into increasing reverberation, its only with The Haters track we get somewhere which is nowhere, the best description I can give is it sounds like a closely miked industrial air extraction fan, the kind you get at the rear of office buildings and shopping malls, where the bins overflowing with refuse, organic, cigarette butts and where revelers have pissed and vomited. That or it could equally be the generation room of an electricity plant, spotlessly clean overwhelmingly hot and noisy, or the engine room of a cruise ship, war ship, oil tanker,  quite beautiful non-aesthetic – harsh noise wall – there might be some signal buried in the wall, noise of meaningful activity but its lost- very lost, its title “Five minute five second glitch” which I’m philosophically un-sympathetic to - the idea of a glitch- which presupposes some order – it might be the creation of power or equally the exhaust of its excretions – an Alpha or Omega – again operating creatively despite the logocentrism of stasis- the divine shit which is the multiverse makes its concept just a little too theocentric for me. (jliat)
Address: http://www.ratskin.org/index2.html

DE/MUTE - BISHAN (3"CDR by Bastets Kitten)
…PLAYS BAD SECTOR (3"CDR compilation by Bastets Kitten)
Two releases on Bastet's Kitten, the recently founded sub-division of the Vuz Records empire. The correct spelling is dE/mutE, a dark ambient project from Germany. His 'Bishan' is a portrait of a city, although I am not sure which city that would be. If I understand well he used field recordings from Singapore, but maybe also from other cities. There is the use of birds singing, water dripping from trees and brooks and traffic sounds. All of this is used alongside with electronic treatments of that stuff. The music starts out with these field recordings - although traffic we don't hear as such - and then slowly the dark ambience takes over. A metallic interruption takes place somewhere, which also gets a similar treatment. Quite a fine work for all those who like Lustmord - there is an extensive use of reverb here - and perhaps as such not the most original work, but it stands in a strong tradition and can easily meet with some of the best in this field.
dE/MutE can also be found on a short remix album (maybe remix single). Now if you have been paying attention, you know I am not too found of remix albums 9or compilations for that matter), but in this case it was made with a specific goal in mind: to have some extra merchandise on the tour that Italy's Bad Sector did in Germany, very recently. My relationship with Bad Sector is one of love and hate, I guess. Sometimes I think there are part of the bigger world of all things dark and gothic, but strangely enough the music is sometimes attracting to me: weird computer manipulations. From a set of samples four bands remixed Bad Sector. Freiband employs more computer manipulations in three variations - strict stereo, almost like from a multi-channel piece. Bastet's darling If, Bwana has a more moody piece at hand, almost like an ambient piece of music.  Hypnoskull as 33Mhz goes in an entirely different direction: very noise like, based around some rhythmic samples, and we recognize some of the uses used by Freiband. All of this culminating in the piece by dE/MutE, who combines the three precious interests (sixties electronics, ambient, noise) into a swirling piece of mood material. Short but great! (FdW)
Address: http://vuzrecords.de/