number 873
week 11


Vital Weekly, the webcast: we offering a weekly webcast, freely to download. This can be regarded as the audio-supplement to Vital Weekly. Presented as a radioprogramm with excerpts of just some of the CDs (no vinyl or MP3) reviewed. It will remain on the site for a limited period (most likely 2-4 weeks). Download the file to your MP3 player and enjoy!
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help Vital Weekly to survive:

ZBEEN - EIGEN (CD by Ripples Recordings) *
MARK LORENZ KYSELA - EINS+ (CD by Gruenrekorder) *
LOOPY DAY - PORT (2CD by Spacecontroller Records) *
IA - CELLA (CDR by Still*Sleep) *
VA AA LR - CRACKLE PART (CDR by Portaaaa) *
KEEP SHEILA ON ACID - EROTIC THEOLOGY (cassette by Auditory Field Theory)
SINUS BUDS/ANDY ORTMANN - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 6 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
LANGUAGE OF LIGHT/MATT REIS - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 10 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)

In the last three or so years there has been a steady flow of old and new music from Alain Neffe, many of which were reviewed in Vital Weekly. Neffe, once the 'boss' of Insane Music, at the very forefront of Belgium's electronic underground music and a vital source for great cassettes, was active in a plethora of groups, such as Pseudo Code, Bene Gesserit, Subject, or solo as I Scream. Oh yes, and Human Flesh of course. In Human Flesh Neffe applied the techniques of the network to gather new music: people would send in their voices, synths, percussion and it could end up in a composition by Human Flesh. Or sometimes people would drop by in Nivelles and record something in the studio of Neffe, a low ceiling basement filled with equipment (if I remember well from that afternoon in 1985 when I visited Alain and Nadine). Lots of the music was released on cassette, but also lots was given away to compilations. I do remember from that afternoon that I was thrilled to see all these obscure compilation cassettes and LPs with their music. It certainly gained them some status in the scene. Of course also because their music was always quite good. Pop like even at times, but always with a fine sense of experiment and always a combination of synthesizers, rhythm machines and voices. In those tapes only a few LPs have been released, one by Pseudo Code, one by Bene Gesserit and one by Human Flesh, and all three have been re-released on CD by EE Tapes, along with Plinkity Plonk, an avid promoter of Alain Neffe's music. Here we have the Human Flesh LP, along with eleven bonus tracks, all from compilation LPs from the same period, 1984-1990. A typical Human Flesh piece consists of the steady beat of the rhythm machine, some synth like drones played on a string organ, a saxophone, percussion or zither and a female voice reciting a text or singing. It's more common that the text is recited than sung, and more females than males, but Xavier S (also of Pseudo Code) has a recognizable voice, which makes the pieces sound like Pseudo Code rather than Human Flesh. Here the sound of Neffe's various projects blend together. Close to eighty minutes, with twenty-four pieces this might seem a heavy load, but Human Flesh is the sort of band/project that knows how to do more with a lot less. With their relatively easy set up, but with a lot of imagination, they created back then a lot of great music. Not every track is a winner, but each piece has it's own character and it ranges from introspective to jubilant, from cheery to sad. The only LP by Human Flesh was a great, but having it on CD, with all these great bonus tracks is even better. (FdW)
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

ZBEEN - EIGEN (CD by Ripples Recordings)
In Dutch, 'Eigen' means 'Own'. I am not sure if Ennio Mazzon and Gianluca Favaron, also known as Zbeen are aware of this. It's not too difficult to make a relationship between that title and the music itself: to what extend is this their 'own', ie how original is this? Providing of course they are aware of this Dutch meaning. Perhaps it's all about something entirely different? We have five tracks here and to call this 'original' is hardly true. It's not. But at the same time it's also a kind of music we don't hear a lot anymore. At their hands, Favaron and Mazzon use 'programming, electronics and signal processing'. This is laptop music. And it's laptop music of the kind we don't hear a lot anymore. That of real time processing, of transforming field recordings and pre recorded sounds, via  all sorts of real time sampling and real time plug ins in nervous hectic music. I quite enjoyed Zbeen's first release (see Vital Weekly 818) and was less taken by their second, and this new one is along the lines of the second one rather than the more dense first release, even when this is even less drone based as 'Stasis', their previous release. There is a great sense of chaos around this music and more than before I am reminded of the whole early years of laptop music, when this was all new and exciting, the times of bands like TV Pow, @C and Tu'M. Music that is made, so I assume, by jamming together, on end, and then editing together the best bits. As much improvised as it is composed. The nice thing indeed that's something that is gone now, as styles develop I guess and perhaps time is there for a small revival of this kind of cracks' n cuts music, laptop impro a go-go. Not blown away by this, but actually not too bad either. Enjoying while it lasted I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ripplesrecordings.webs.com/

Originally from the Ukraine, but since the early 90s in Vienna , Alexandr Vatagin waited until the early 2000s to start playing music, but since then his cello was heard as part of bands like Tupolev, Port-Royal and Quarz - some of these have made in in these virtual pages. His previous solo CD, 'Shards' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 662. Here he has eight new pieces, in which he plays cello, synth and laptop, but also receives lots of help from other people, such as Martin Siewert (guitar), David Schweighart (drums) (both of them plays also with him live when it comes to performing 'Serza'), but also Pawn/Hideki Umezawa, Fabian Pollack, Peter Holy, Lukas Scholler and Giulio Aldinucci on guitars, electronics or drums. Like 'Shards' this is rather a short record, although much longer than that, thirty one minutes in total. It's another excursion in delicacy here, with shimmering tones on synth and cello, the soft tinkling of acoustic guitars and carefully strum glockenspiel, a wee bit of processing thereof, the thump on a bass, drums reduced to just the cymbals, and all such like. It sometimes comes a bit close to noise (take the distortion towards the end of 'Different'), but even then it all stays pretty gentle and polite. There are elements of post rock easily noted here, but then Vienna-styled: open, improvised and with a laptop never far away. Excellent stuff overall again. (FdW)
Address: http://www.valeot.com

The only time, I think, I heard of Philippe Lamy before, was when he did a remix of Pleq (see Vital Weekly 767), but here he comes up with an album of field recordings made in his painting studio and 'some sounds "outside"' as it is said on the cover. Entirely different cake here. Unlike many of the Mystery Sea recordings, the connection with 'water' is not easily made here in the music (except for some dripping in 'Au Revoir', the final piece on this release)Ś. Perhaps this is because there is a lot of processing applied to the music? Maybe it's because it's all quite soft? The latter for sure: this is indeed all quite soft and no doubt there is a lot of processing here. It makes that the music of Lamy is not easy to decipher. It seems there is an amount of motorized sounds, such as in 'Depot' for instance, but most of the times it's just very hard to know what is going on. The abstract level is very high here, and it results in something that is not always highly original, but it sounds altogether pretty good and pretty intense. You have to stop doing whatever it is you're doing and listen with all your available senses to the music. You think Main here, or Kassel Jaeger, but then much softer, more pushed away and alienated, and that's mainly due to the soft spoken nature of the music. Maybe this harks back to the time when this sort of quietness was all new and great, but for me, I wouldn't have minded to have all of this a bit louder and more present. I like to play a CD straight away and not first having to fiddle around with my EQ to get the best out of it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mysterysea.net

MARK LORENZ KYSELA - EINS+ (CD by Gruenrekorder)
Gruenrekorder may be best known as a label to release lots of music that deals with any sort of field recording, they also release music that is well… just more music related. Improvised, electronic or modern classical, such as in the case of Mark Lorenz Kysela. He plays saxophones and clarinet, solo but also in combination with live electronics, 'analogue enhancements' and tapes. Here he plays six pieces, by composers such as Christoph Ogiermann, Thomas Stiegler, Martin SchŁttler, Michael Maierhof, Uwe Rasch and Alvin Lucier - actually the only name I recognized of this lot. In all six pieces we have some addition, tapes, sine waves or electronics. While I am not always an avid fan of modern compositions, this I must say sounds quite good. It might of course be the quality of the pieces, or perhaps the way Kysela plays them, or both of course, but it sounds pretty good. Kysela sometimes uses very close miking of his instruments, so we hear all the mechanisms of the instruments, breathing, fingers and such like, but never the complete picture is lost of the piece. Clarinet and saxophone remains what they are throughout these compositions. My favorite might be the composition by Christoph Ogiermann, with its strong dynamics and electro-acoustic approach. Maybe that returns all in other pieces, except for the Lucier piece. Here Kysela doesn't seem to add much to the versions we already know from 'In Memoriam Jon Higgins'. This is a pretty strong release that shouldn't just appeal to those who like modern classical music, but also if electro-acoustic or improvised music is more your alley. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de/

The ever so active Chihei Hatakeyama has penned an extensive discography together, since he started to release on Kranky in 2006, mainly for labels like Home Normal, Hibernate, Room40 and such like. Hatakeyama plays electric and acoustic guitars, vibraphone and piano. I am not entirely sure, but I could imagine that he plays much of this in a live setting, rather than taking it all to the computer and work on it further. Maybe I believe so, because there is an image on the press release of the man with a guitar in his bands on stage and there is mentioning of a live performance in Australia, and the surroundings of Cairns Beach being the inspiration for the title piece here - one of the two pieces in total. Maybe Hatakeyama is the sort of man to use his guitar to sing in an ambient manner, with lots of sound effects on hand and foot to stretch out this body with six strings and make it sound like a vast, immense (immerse?) ocean of sound. Maybe he is like Robert Fripp, playing his own intelligent mobile unit of guitar sounds? Whatever the case, none of that is really that interesting; it's as always the result that counts. Hatakeyama's music is very atmospheric, a bit dark, a bit melancholic, a bit aloof and throughout perhaps also not the most original in the crowded field of all those who play guitar in a drone fashion. Or, seen in a wider perspective, like so many others who play drone music. Like with IA, see elsewhere, it's perhaps more important to create something that you like very much and do it the best you can. In that sense, this new work by Chihei Hatakeyama works very well. It's well made and has great relaxing texture to it. Just the way we want it. Nothing new under the sun, but it shines nicely warm. (FdW)
Address: http://whereabouts-records.com

If I understood things correctly, then this fifty-five minute audio work is some sort of off-shoot of a ten minute sound/video installation of the same name. Budhaditya Chattopadhyay uses recordings from 'various underground construction sites' in Bangalore (India) in that piece, but also 'retrieved audio from old reel-to-reel tapes found at the city's flea market'. These sounds are now also extended to a fifty-five minute sound piece which is to be found on this CD. Apparently there is a lot of building going on in Bangalore, a new quite extended metro rail construction, which changes the city. Chattopadhyay seems to be taken a political standpoint: 'this disruption occurs in anticipation of idleness quite typical of Bangalore and similar to that of other Indian cities' - any big, modern city probably, I'd like to add, and maybe of the reasons I'd like to stay away from big, modern cities? I haven't been to India, so I am not sure if what I hear is indeed an 'accurate' sound picture of the city and wether the tapes really give an idea of the 'old' Bangalore. Or, actually, which is which here. It's now separated in time and space from the subject of Bangalore and may very well be regarded as a piece of music by itself. I must say I quite enjoyed this as a piece of music by itself.  It's a curious but interesting combination of industrial sounds, the actual construction sites, people talking, and blending all of that with some sort of strange drone like sounds, street sounds and more human activities. A fascinating journey if you will trough the life in a big city. Maybe Chattopadhyay uses a bit of sound processing, but it's not a lot (or so it seems to me). If you like say Justin Bennett's work, dealing with city sounds in a more conceptual way, then this is surely something to check out. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de/

Shame File Music releases a lot of CDRs, usually with not the best of packaging - not the most imaginative ones. For one reason or another this new release is pressed on a 'real' CD, perhaps because Clinton Green, the label boss, thinks its a special work. Many of the Shame File Music releases are actually quite alright, so they could think about pressing more of them on CD. On 24th September and 20th October 2011, Clinton Green brought his objects, percussion and turntable to the studio and met up with Andrew McIntosh who brought his objects, synth, pedal and tapes. Based on what I hear, and the lack of mentioning any editing, this is all improvised music. Highly separated in the speaker, with one appearing on the left speaker and the other on the right, they improvise some highly curious object based improvisations. There is no sense of composition, of building up, taking things down, or something like that. They play their music in one straight line, without too much interaction it seems. Come to think of it: maybe they didn't play this together, but each recorded his own take and then they got stuck together in a sort of John Cage randomized way? Maybe there we are couple of guidelines and that's it. Play this for so long and try not to make many variations? The sheer minimalism of this, is what appeals to me here. It's most definitely not easy listening music, but once you get into this, once you are fully open for this, it opens a great wealth of sound. Hands touch objects all around, with lots of small sounds coming forward, scratching, crackling, hissing and all of that amassed in an excellent way. It sounds at times like Kapotte Muziek, but with much more minimal approach and throughout with something audible going on. Great release. (FdW)
Address: http://shamefilemusic.com

LOOPY DAY - PORT (2CD by Spacecontroller Records)
Of course I am not really a reviewer, but also not really a man of marketing ploys. However, if I was a label boss I would probably advise against using Loopy Day as an artist name. Maybe it because it makes too clear what this music is about, and do people really want to hear loops as music? I would think not, but of course Jakob Brandt-Pedersen from Denmark, who is Loopy Day, would argue that it's not just loops. Quite rightly so, so why Loopy Day? On the backside it says 'guitar with looper & effects', which basically says enough about what it is. So far the whining. There are nine lengthy pieces on this double CD, nine minutes is the shortest and twenty-three the longest. According to the cover each piece is sub-divided in smaller pieces (why not index them? and let them run easily into each other). Like noted with the Chihei  Hatakeyama release, Loopy Day is another grandchild of Robert Fripp and his guitar playing/intelligent mobile unit. Armed with just a guitar, the loop device to loop around patterns/sequences/chord changes, improvising with more of those on top and adding some extra effects, it's 'easy' to be your one man orchestra. When in 'Ocean' Pedersen reaches for some proggy guitar doodling the Fripp connection becomes even more clear. However Loopy Day isn't all about just drone like ambient guitar music. Within a piece he can go from quiet to wild and back again. Going all out and loose control and then some introspective playing again. Like so many of the spacious/ambient/drone releases of this week (you guessed right: this is one of the last releases to this week's issue), this is something nice, something solid, great music to play while doing a long reading session on a grey sunday afternoon, and like all of the others, you never have the idea that you are listening to something utterly, earth shocking new and there isn't a single minute when you wish that to be different. (FdW)
Address: http://spacecontroller.dk

Here's a little luxury I afford myself whenever a new release by Idea Fire Company arrives. It's one of those bands that I have almost everything off (well, as we'll see, not all the tapes), and when something new arrives I go back to the old LPs (to start with, and if there is enough time, some of the CD/CDR/cassettes) of this great band and play all of those again. It's a luxury indeed, which I would like to do when say some new Tietchens arrives, but which of course never happens. Tietchens did too much music to digest at once. As you may have guessed both Tietchens and Idea Fire Company (both smokers but that a different story) are people I 'collect'. Probably not a lot more whom I 'collect' - although I have a lot of Organum. Playing all of these old records by Idea Fire Company allows me to write, at the end of hearing two full days of IFCO music, a review, in which I can take the old records in account (which, believe me or not, is not what I always do when I review). 'Postcards' is the latest IFCO record and continues where we left 'Music From The Impossible Salon', and it's also from the core of IFCO, Scott Foust and his wife Karla Borecky (how come I never say: IFCO is Karla Borecky and her husband Scott Foust?) and no other players. On the last record they played piano, trombone, synth, radio, voice and organ, whereas here it's the same but also harp on one piece. Each of the pieces only has a few sound sources, mostly one by each player, and at the most two by both. In that sense 'sparseness' returns here, but throughout I had the impression it's less 'acoustic' than it's predecessor, yet a far cry from the older work, which was more drone based, electronic and denser in approach. 'Postcards' was originally released as a highly limited cassette (which I don't have) and is like an imaginary travel. We visit such places as Vienna, Kronstadt, Tokyo, St. Helena, Oslo, Port Lligat and Fiume, and twice the airport, upon departure and arrival back home. Like said, this album continues the line of 'Music From The Impossible Salon' and sees in shorter pieces a fine combination of acoustic sounds and electronic music. Music which is hardly anything that we could label, like ambient, psychedelic or neo-classical, but has a distinct sound of it's own. Introspective music that doesn't force oneself upon the listener, but also isn't just some random drone music. Each piece stands by itself and sounds great. Well organized but with elements of improvisation. It's music that is made with joy, and one can hear that. Another excellent Idea Fire Company record. But you know I am biased when it comes to this band, right? (FdW)
Address: http://www.anti-naturals.org/swill/

It's been a while since we last heard from Nickolas Mohanna. Not that we heard a lot anyway, just his previous Low Point release (Vital Weekly 741) and 'Optics' on Slow Flow Records (Vital Weekly 761). In that previous release I thought to hear some more krautrock inspired sounds, and its something that he explores further on this new LP. In the opening piece 'Lands' he uses a lot of arpeggio's on his keyboards, or perhaps I should say 'modular analogue synthesis' because that's what he usually plays, along with guitar and electronics. But like I say, methods haven't changed, but the music moved a bit more towards the cosmic/krauty scene. 'Lands' maybe be bouncing in arpeggio's, but that doesn't count for the entire record. His guitar occasionally wails about, also in good kraut fashion, but there is no stomping, motorik drum around here. It all stays within the 'mood' music idea, which is something Mohanna is very good at. Clusters of synthesizer sounds, sustaining ad infinitum and then gentle as-hell-guitar as in 'Cascade' (of what I wondered. Not a cascade of sound. Think Gottsching here). In 'Down Yonder' his guitar is strummed rhythmically with a stick, while walls of distortion are woven around it, and perhaps it's not so krauty, but then more psychedelic. Mohanna delivers an excellent record, I think, with some great moody textured music, up-lifting bouncing synthesizers, while making his own version of krautrock, infused with bits of noise, bit of industrial music, of improvisation and god knows what else. Music to be played and be overwhelmed with, wether or not intoxicated with whatever you find necessary. A great ride, a fine trip. (FdW)
Address: http://www.low-point.com

IA - CELLA (CDR by Still*Sleep)
Behind IA is Alex Copeland. Something which I didn't know when I reviewed some of his previous work, such as his 'Peak Of Anchorite' release on Taalem (see Vital Weekly 839) or his work with Julien Demoulin (Vital Weekly 820). Here is a new work, released by Still*Sleep, a subdivision of Semperflorens, from Russia. According to the letter that came along, all music by IA os created by using voice and tape noise, but I assume all of this is highly processed with the aid of the computer, because none of this can be easily spotted here very easily. This is drone music, much alike that other Cella, erm, Celer. Stretched out sounds, being colored with the use of all sorts of effects, plug ins and what have you and morphed into three lengthy pieces, up to close to twenty-six minutes in the opening piece, 'The Promised Light' and two shorter ones. These pieces are alike in structure. The cigar form as someone once called it: a long fade in and then it stays like that until the end. Shaped like a cigar if you open the piece up in a computer program. Its all highly atmospheric, moody music that surely opens up ideas for relaxing, meditation and such like. It's not something that we haven't heard before. Celer is one obvious reference, but perhaps anything that dates back to Brian Eno and then on an ambient string back to the present day. IA doesn't have that much of his own voice, I think, but perhaps: who does these days? And: is it really necessary? Perhaps it's more important to create something that you like very much and do it the best you can. In that sense, this new work by IA works very well. It's well made and has great relaxing texture to it. Just the way we want it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ss.semperflorens.net

Definitely one of the stranger releases of late was a set of three 3" CDRs with a couple of seconds of music on each of them. Total length of all three pieces: thirty two seconds. You had to play them all together and loop them. I thought was great and presented in the weekly podcast my own 'mix' (see Vital Weekly 860). Here the trio of Vasca Alves, Adam Asnan and Louie Rice a more conventional release of three pieces on a regular CDR. Housed with some excellently printed cards in a plastic bag, one could think that these 100 CDRs could have as easily printed on a real CD. The press release speaks of 'improvised electronics, distress flares and fire extinguishers' as the sound sources for the music. Somehow I think much of what they do is produced in a live context and there is a conceptual edge to it. Maybe I am misguided by the distress flares and fire extinguishers thing, but it also reminded me of that great Dutch trio BMB con, who used electro acoustic music in a live performance context, in which they also used fire works, bowling balls and such things, amplifying surfaces with contact microphones to be sure of that crackling sound. That is something we have here too. And just like BMB con VA AA LR know how to create something that is also worth hearing on a CDR, severed from the context of the performance. In the three pieces they display a great love for all things unstable: near broken contact microphones, the crackling of the flares and the escaping of gas from the extinguishers are all played with great care and ear for detail. Their pieces sound like well rounded compositions, rather than 'just' improvised doodling over some unconnected sounds. This is put together with some great thought and fine sense of composition. Excellent! (FdW)
Address: http://www.portaaaa.com

Down south in The Netherlands (is of course never far away in a small country), in the small city of Heerlen, Mike Kramer used to put on concerts (but money has vanished, like anywhere else) and once a year a whole festival, for two or three days, inviting the best around. Many Dutch, Belgium and German musicians come to play, since Heerlen is conveniently located for all three countries. The line up reads like a who's who in experimental music land and every year he releases a CDR, a sampler, for that year, with unique pieces and they can still be had from him at the address below.
But Kramer is also a musician, and a long time ago he was a member of The Evolution Garden whose work was reviewed a lot in Vital Weekly when it came out, about a decade ago. A solo musician he doesn't release a lot, but here's a work (from 2011, but perhaps only recently available?) that deals with the mines that can be found in this particular part of the country where he lives. Kramer uses stones and metal to create his sounds, as these are the sounds he connects with the mines. These sounds he cut 'n pasted together, with the help of the computer to generate new forms of these sounds. It's hard to believe we deal with stones and metal here - well, metal, perhaps, but stones? But if Mike says it is, so be it. This is a great piece! An excellent collage of sounds, drone like, mysterious, but never staying too long in one place, but gracefully moving from one place to the next. Think Jos Smolders, think Roel Meelkop, think Marc Behrens, but here Kramer is easily as good as they are. If Kaon is looking for someone to work with their river sounds, then I'd say Mike Kramer is your man. He should definitely shop around with his music and see what else there is possible for his music. It certainly deserves to be heard by more people. (FdW)
Address: http://www.h-ear.org/look_listen.html

KEEP SHEILA ON ACID - EROTIC THEOLOGY (cassette by Auditory Field Theory)
There is no information about Keep Sheila On Acid on the label's website, but the label itself may give a hint what their releases are about: "Acoustic shadows reverberate and diffuse the waves as they gently crash up against the spectral composition. Psychoacoustics and audiology transform the path of propagation, modeling a fifth dimension that transcends space and time. Let the auditory energy modulate the perceiver, let this unique temporal state disengage the relationship between you and the environment". Whereas about the tape it's said: "In this, the second Keep Sheila On Acid offering, the project carves it's smokey vision returning to abandon all reason and illuminate the delicate undertones of a hidden aural frenzy. The collection of nine tracks embody an obscure devoid doctrine that explores the subconscious and leaves the listener lost in a harmonious auditory hallucination." So now you know as much as I do, except I heard the music. Which I actually quite enjoyed. Perhaps because I love ambient music, regardless if it's new or done before, but here we have also a nicer lower form of ambient. With smaller bit rate, a somewhat more grittier sound, the debris of hiss. Maybe I'm all wrong here, but it sounds like a great somewhat dirty ambient record. It sticks right between the ears and it's never smooth. Which of course is something I also like. In the old discussion: did I hear such like before or not, I am afraid I have to say yes. Keep Sheila On Acid doesn't sound worlds apart from a lot of the ambient music we know, especially when it reaches for the outer edges of industrial music cum noise (but never gets close to the word 'brutal'), but haven't said that, this is just the kind of stranger ambience I like very much. (FdW)
Address: http://www.auditoryfieldtheory.org/

SINUS BUDS/ANDY ORTMANN - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 6 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
LANGUAGE OF LIGHT/MATT REIS - STREAM OF UNCONSCIOUS VOL. 10 (cassette by Stand-Up Tragedy Records)
By now you ought to know what this series is all about (but of course I re-run it): Bryan Lewis Saunders 'stream of unconscious' series, where he sends out tapes of himself talking in his sleep to be put to music and a split release of two artists working on it. Volume 6 we missed out upon (see Vital Weekly 837 for volumes 7 and 8), Volume 9 has been delayed due to a copying error. I don't know all of these bands/musicians. Only Ortmann is household names here. Sinus Buds is a duo of John Aubuchon (lap steel guitar, pvc pipe, trombone, trumpet) and Brant Withers (clarinet, didgeridoo, harmonica, keyboard, lap steel guitar, trombone, violin, vuvuzela, chimes, wooden flute). Their side is called 'Michael Moore's Snuff Film', which I think is an excellent title (perhaps since I don't care that much for Moore's propaganda/populist/political movies). Sinus Buds seem to me a duo of improvised music, certainly judging what I hear here. They improvise along the tape of Saunders speaking in his sleep. The voice gets a prominent place in the mix, which makes it hard to judge the music, I think, but it seems a rather free play of sounds, with especially a big role for the trombones. It's nice, but a bit undemanding, a bit too careful? Or perhaps a bit too disjointed? Andy Ortmann hails from the world of noise but for quite a while now his noise progressed into something more interesting, something more musique concrete like. He takes the voice of Saunders and does that something that, feeds it through amplitude and ring modulation 'via EML 200 synthesizer' and adds 'other life recordings'. He sort of enhances Saunders sleep ramble and makes it into a new story. Here sound and voice become one, and makes a creepy 'story' of some sort. This piece is called 'Torso' and it's pretty intense. Sometimes it sounds like a horror movie soundtrack, but perhaps a digital version would show a bit more depth in these sounds.
On Volume 10 we find Language Of Light and Matt Reis. I never heard of both. Language Of Light is a duo of Frank Suchomel and R. Lofties, who plays guitars, bass, stylophone and bliptronic. Just as with Sinus Buds they add music to the voice, rather than using the voice as source material. But unlike Sinus Buds their music is not pushed away, but finds itself in a fine balance with the voice. They use more organization in their music and seem to have planned everything out, before going to record it. Less improvised and more composed, with nice electronic textures to it. Very good. What exactly Matt Reis does is very hard to determine: it seems that he doesn't do anything much some of the time, and then suddenly there is a bit of sound to be detected, of mostly an electronic nature. The cover doesn't indicate what this guy uses and the music - sparse as it is - doesn't tell us much either. Of the six sides here, the one I understood least. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bryanlewissaunders.org

Like Kakawaka two weeks ago, I did see Harshcore at the same Eurovision Noise Contest in 2008, but I don't remember much about it. They wore masks, the pictures tell me. Maybe it wasn't that noisy. Not everything they do it really noise based. Here we have a live recording from 2009 - I have no idea why it needed to be released now - of a concert Harshcore did in Graz, Austria. On the same night also Der Einzige played. Harshcore is a duo of Tommaso Clerico and Luca Sigurta, and there is a bunch of trumpet sounds, effects, electronics, theremin, rhythms, voices and objects among them. I think much of what they do find it's origins in improvisation around some sounds and effects. Like said, not really noise based and at its best, mainly due to the extended trumpet with echo sound, not too dissimilar to the old Throbbing Gristle sound (Heathen Earth era). There is a fine sense of drama in the sounds here, and towards the end also a bit of humor. Der Einzige is the solo project of Matteo Uggeri, who also uses trumpet, but also laptop, percussions, aerosol and screams. Here everything is a bit more monolithic in approach, single minded towards the full on noise. Many screams indeed, much more echo on the trumpet and perhaps as such a bit more alike the wave of power electronics that followed in Throbbing Gristle's footsteps, but with a some what cleaner sound. Less impressed with this approach however as it sounded into too single minded. (FdW)
Address: http://www.oldbicyclerecords.blogspot.com