number 910
week 50


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:

INERT/E (CD by Sleaze Art) *
KK NULL - EDGING (CD by Nux Organisation) *
KK NULL - MATERIAL OF DARKNESS (CD by Noisoke Records) *
KK NULL - VULCANOID (CDR by Love Earth Music) *
LAGOWSKI - REDESINE+ (CD by Zoharum) *
RISING FROM THE RED SAND (5LP compilation by Vinyl On Demand)
ASHTORETH - ITOBIA (LP by Pelicana Venue)
KRYNGE - SPD KID SPD RCR (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
J.C. COMBS - GAZING (CDR by Spectropol) *
POST MORTEM - VOICE OF HOLLAND (cassette by Red Venice Records)
STEFANO DE PONTI - LIKE LAMPS ON BY DAY (tape and CDR by Old Bicycle Records and Under My Bed)
SETH CLUETT - WOUND OF THIS DEEP BLUE (cassette by Notice Recordings)
TALK WEST - CANYON LIP (cassette by Notice Recordings)
(Cassette by Brise-Cul Records)
DIABLO/WAPSTAN SPLIT ORGONE  (Cassette by Brise-Cul Records)

INERT/E (CD by Sleaze Art)
Much of the press text is in French, sadly. I must not say something about, I must not. It's a waste of paper. Behind Inert/e we find Lars Akerlund on electronics and Kasper T. Toeplitz on electronics and bass. They both work, in solo mode, inside the world of musique concrete, live electronics, modern music. They have both worked with Dror Feiler and Zbigniew Karkowski and both are not shy to present a bit of loud music. That's how the CD starts, with a bit of very loud noise, but it turns out this is not how it goes down here. Two pieces of over thirty-one minutes takes the listener to various moods and textures, in which noise actually plays a minor role. Much of this is upon the threshold of hearing, especially in 'To Describe The Overwhelming Life Of A Tropical Forest Just In Terms Of Inert Biochemistry And DNA Didn't Seem To Give A Very Full Picture Of The World' (what's in a title, right?), with large movements of merely a sound or two at -25db or something like that. But in both pieces there is great care for the composition. It's not, as with sometimes happens with this kind of music, a bundle of sounds stuck together, but great care has been used in the overall composition, making this a true delight to hear, with great build ups and drop downs, moving from one section to the next. Field recordings, real time processing, radio waves (perhaps) and the deep rumble of the bass dropping in every now and then, make this an excellent release. Very much the product of great creative minds in the world of musique concrete! (FdW)
Address: http://www.sleazeart.com

Recently I played pretty much all of Alvin Lucier's work I have on CD, which is quite a lot. I loved it, which was perhaps a bit of surprise. Why you may wonder, as I had the CDs already? Partly because somewhere in the back of my head, you know the work of Lucier is highly conceptual, where the idea might sometimes more important then what it sounds like, so you don't easily return to such as CD. I was wrong, totally wrong. I loved almost all of them. When I got this I thought it was the Australian group Decibel performing the work of the same name by Lucier, but it's not. Here we have four pieces, three of which weren't released before. Decibel is a group of musicians from Australia who perform with acoustic instruments along with electronics, set out to perform scores. The scores by Lucier are usually a set of instructions, which work very well for a group like this. in 'Carbon Copies' for instance, the performers are asked to do a unedited recording of the environment, which we hear and then the instrumentalist plays an imitation of that recording along with it, then one where only the imitator hears the recording and finally the instrumentalist plays it as he remembers the recording. That sort of thing. But perhaps this is the sort of piece that doesn't sound like a 'typical' Lucier piece, with its long, sustaining sounds. This is more a piece of improvised music, which it effectively is. The other pieces are more like that, the four players playing an organ in 'Hands' for instance, or 'Shelter' in which sounds from outside a performance are translated through a wall, which leads to some far away results. The most musical piece here is 'Ever Present', for flute, saxophone and piano and slow sweep pure wave oscillator, moving with majestically slow tones on the instruments. These four pieces provide the listener with a fine insight in the work of Lucier and the scope of it. From very musical to very conceptual but always very enjoyable. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pogus.com

There is no information on this package, as always with nice drawings by Hoffman. Just that the title is 'Vile Cretin', by Miguel A. Garcia and Nick Hoffmann, released by Intonema (catalogue int 010). Nothing else really - the rest is on the CD itself, which is a bit uneasy if you writing a review - but even that is not a lot. But then both have been present in Vital Weekly on a lot of other occasions and with lots of other releases, so we know both use electronics, field recordings, acoustic objects and laptops to generate music that is most of the time experimental, improvised, partly quite noise based, and sometimes very quiet. It's the kind of music I like indeed. Four pieces here of some of their work together. Lots of scratches, hisses, heavily processed field recordings, small drones, heavy short bursts of noise, and nothing in a pure linear manner. Things can suddenly drop into silence, burst out in heavy noise, or change over into something completely different. That makes this is into a fine release, which unfolds more and more every time you hear this. What more is there to say? It's not something very much out of their ordinary, which is perhaps something that may disappoint you. Otherwise: top release! (FdW)
Address: http://www.intonema.org/

Bathalha means “battle” in Portuguese and is a collaboration between Nuno Moita from Portugal and Matteo Ugerri from Italy. Both musicians work in the electronic experimental field of music. Nuno Moita is besides musician also owner of some labels and organizes the Sonic Scope festival and the audio-visual festival Mascavado. Matteo Uggeri is most known as member of Sparkle in Grey but plays also in several other musical projects. The album is based of recordings of turntable crackles and soundscapes of Moita. Uggeri mixed these sounds with field-recordings of animals and machines. The idea of the album is the battle between the forces of nature and machines, between the analog and digital world, between noise and sweetness. The five compositions have been recorded in 2006 and 2007 and is released six years later. The cover of the album is hand stamped and hand painted, which gives the release a personal touch. The idea of the album is not a new one, but in this case it has worked out well. The abstract electronic sounds fit well with the clear barking of a dog, fireworks cracks, running water and all kind of other sounds. The album starts with the track “Annoying Animals” and is full of cracks, some minimal electronic sounds and the sound of a mosquito. Musical it is a mix of some relaxing tones and tones which gives you awareness. The following “Aggressive Waters” is indeed very aggressive and starts with falling water and other noises and flows into some electronic repeating beats and a hanging needle in a record. “The battle is won” starts with sounds of a street-party with some fire-work cracks and flows into an annoying sounds like edited the sound of crickets and cocks and ends into abstract electronics. The last track “Machines help us” is a nice mix of field-recordings of machines and ongoing pulsing tones and white noises. I do not know if there is a battle between the different world as the musicians claim. When I listen to this album I do hear more a collaboration and harmony between the different worlds. Anyhow… the result is a nice experiment in which two musicians with different backgrounds create a solid album. (JKH)
Address: http://oldbicyclerecords.blogspot.it/

KK NULL - EDGING (CD by Nux Organisation)
KK NULL - VULCANOID (CDR by Love Earth Music)
At the end of the year KK Null sends out this parcel with his three solo releases from this year, so perhaps some of these are a bit older. Null is best known to some who know more about rock music than I do as the composer, guitarist and singer of Zeni Geva, but I know him best as a noise maker, solo, but also working with Merzbow, Z'EV, Chris Watson, Matmos, John Rose. Somewhere in the 90s he started to concentrate on using electronics, which is the thing he is using these days, almost exclusively. He plays live but also works on commissions for dance and theatre. Sometimes his music seems very much composed and sometimes it seems more improvised. As he will proof himself. Let's start with the commissioned work here. 'Edging' was recorded for dancers Guillaume Marie and Igor Dobricic, and maybe it's due to the nature of the work but this - spoiler ahead - is the most worked out of the three releases. Maybe because it's for dancers, and let's assume this work has to be played a couple of times in a fixed state for the dancers. It's here where we find Null in his most refined moments. This can be loud as hell, but also for extended amounts of time be very quiet and spacious. Sometimes it seems nothing is happening and then it rolls by like a thunderous storm. This has little to with straight forward noise, even the type we know Null for, but carefully balance on what seems near silence and sheer hellish noise. A fine mixture of musique concrete sounds, live electronics and refined composing such diverse elements. I am not a great lover of modern dance per se, but surely this soundtrack stands by itself easily.
Then, a release just by itself of two pieces of around twenty three minutes. Here we find Null in a more composing mood, moving away from the more obvious noise works he does, and into the field he's been in for quite some time. There is fine sense of rhythm here, but also steady sustaining blocks of drone sounds, which work either quite loud and oppressive or neatly low humming like a ventilator. Like with his most of his works, here it's hard to say how this was composed/conceived, but unlike - spoiler ahead - 'Volcanoid' the subdued nature of these works made me think this was the more composed work of the two. More constructed, working around with rhythm sounds a bit more, even a processed piano can be spotted in the second part, which was the favorite of the two here. But perhaps also less composed than 'Edging' I think and making a balance between the composed and improvised works of KK Null. Con furioso, but with great care.
And finally on CDR with two long(er) pieces, composed in 2012 and 2013. Longer pieces here, clocking in at nearly one hour. I am not too sure how this material was conceived. It's quite loud, but not in a sort of flat, long haul of feedback. Null feeds his electronics into each other, relying heavily on kaos-pads and that seems to be it. Whatever he feeds into these, seems hardly on any importance. Field recordings, pre-recorded electronic sounds or simply machines feedbacking into each other. I think some of this was composed in one go, but then, some of this material seems very much collaged together, culled from various sessions. Sometimes with rapid editing, sometimes with extended cross fades. The latter more in the second part of 'Vulcanoid' and the first in the first part. It all reminds me very much of the world of cassettes - these steady streams of hot volcanic sounds that roll about. The most retro release of the lot. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kknull.com
Address: http://noisoke.blogspot.tk
Address: http://loveearthmusic.com

Just today I mentioned the name Henk Zweering to someone and now there is a CD which is dedicated to him and one Silikon Answer. Zweering is not a musician but a fan, and as such I knew him from my days of (in-)voluntary work at a record shop. He knew the lot about music, and yes, I remember him as a fan of Lagowski. Here, Andrew lagowski returns to using his own name, for the first time since 2006. He's been working with his old moniker S.E.T.I. and remastering works from that band, as well as Nagamatzu for re-issue. As Lagowski he plays music with a lot of rhythm, but are we to say dance music? I am afraid my knowledge as such is quite limited. I hardly dance (although not entirely don't dance, when pushed in the right way), but somehow the darker moods brought to table, erm dance floor, by Andrew Lagowski don't seem to me very dance floor like material. That is not say this isn't fine music, far from it. This is the kind of home dance music which brings about a fine uplifting spirit - good music to do the dishes, vacuum cleaning or any such activity which requires some energetic input. These eighty minutes with thirteen tracks is such a soundtrack for homework. None of these leap out especially, but on the other hand none of this is weak track anyway. I must say I am not too familiar with all of Lagowski 'dance' output, so it's not easy to add 'great return to form' or 'the old days where so much better', but I think this is a great release anyway.
On vinyl, in a fine fold out cover, we find Hati's Rafal Iwanski's solo project X-Navi:et. Both this and his Hati project are quite active when it comes to releasing music, so you could wonder: do they ever sleep? The main concept behind the six pieces on his new LP is the 'city', but not in a very strict sense I would think. This is not twice 20 minutes of city sounds, or something like that set to music, but pieces that depict the sounds of city through musical means. He uses analog filter machine, analog synthesizer, sampling pad, loop system, hulusi, bells, rattles, metal objects, field and found recordings and effects. Me think that a lot of the acoustic sources here have been sampled and treated extensively before finding their place inside a composition. Take for instance 'Tinnitus Auris': the tinkling of bells are the sounds that a lorry makes when trying to park. Next to that we hear a conveyer belt like sound - the other cars on the same street. Below that is a fiery drone - ventilation shafts on the side walk. That's what I heard. In the other pieces there is a similar liveliness, which we find a big cities - not in the street where I live, and not many cars or people pass on an ordinary working day. But of course all of this is easily said, when you look at the title(s), the picture, the text and such like and make these connections with a big city. I wonder what someone would imagine playing this music as it is, without knowing these references; it might not be the city. But who cares about that? We know what it is about and it's the gesamtkunstwerk that counts. This is a beautiful record of some fine, dark ambient music, with a nice industrial touch to it, very occasionally. Great release! (FdW)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

Some time ago, I discussed the re-release of the cassette Hotondo Kiri Torenai by The Hafler Trio on vinyl with Frank Maier of Vinyl on Demand. This cassette-only release (originally released in 1985 in an edition of 100 copies on AQM in Japan) has always been very close to my heart. Frank was very positive about the idea and contacted Andrew McKenzie, but unfortunately the long-anticipated Hotondo-vinyl edition hasn’t happened. Yet. Instead, Frank was given a truck load of cassettes, DAT’s and reels with archive recordings by The Hafler Trio to wade through and select material from. In the end, Frank sent a selection of his favorites to Andrew who made the final selection for this very handsome 4 LP set. The white box, embossed with the H3O logo, gives us no less than four hours of Hafler Trio music categorized in four albums: The Hafler Trio Play The Hafler Trio Play The Hafler Trio By The Hafler Trio, I Love Children But I Couldn't Eat A Whole One, Regicide, Fratricide And Feneration For Dummies and The Generosity Of The Body With Explicit Diagrams. This usual Hafler Trio crypticery is all we have to go on: the box contains no background information or any clues to the origin of the music. Let’s talk music then. The Generosity Of The Body With Explicit Diagrams features circular noisy and gurgling drones on one side and a single airy sound ambient piece on the second side. Even though the album lists various titles per side, suggesting various “tracks” (like the other albums), both sides feel like one coherent piece of music. Regicide, Fratricide And Feneration For Dummies features a clearer high pitched sound with what could be treated field recordings drifting in and out of the mix. The second side has a denser layer of sound, with lots of things happening underneath, it gradually builds up and then dies out. The End. That may sound a bit cynical, but that’s what it is. If you like the Hafler Trio’s later ambient sound, you will love this. To me, it’s a great listen, but also somehow too obvious; almost like easy listening for the industrious. I Love Children But I Couldn't Eat A Whole One comes as a personal relief: here are treated with variation and even hints of the earlier The Hafler Trio sound of, say, A Thirsty Fish (my personal favorite) low down in the mix. There’s percussion and sounds that, well, sound like they’ve been treated in a spin dryer. With these circular motions and lots of stereo effect, this is great stuff. Hooray!  The real mystery in this box is The Hafler Trio Play The Hafler Trio Play The Hafler Trio By The Hafler Trio. Actually, The Hafler Trio Play The Hafler Trio (Play The Hafler Trio) – are you still with me? - was a very limited cassette only release from 1991.Some of the titles of that album are identical to the ones on the VOD LP. I cannot compare the music, as I don’t have the original cassette. But hey, mysteries and confusion are what The Hafler Trio are about. As it is, The Hafler Trio Play The Hafler Trio Play The Hafler Trio By The Hafler Trio, is my favorite from this box. Here we listen to Andrew McKenzie in full flight with minimal resources, playful, demanding yet extremely enjoyable - brilliant. So there you have it: four hours of The Hafler Trio salvaged from the archive. All in a great box with no information whatsoever. But hey, music was designed to listen to and not to read. (FK)
Address: http://www.vinyl-on-demand.com/

RISING FROM THE RED SAND (5LP compilation by Vinyl On Demand)
Box sets released by Vinyl On Demand are like time machines. They always deal with the past and most likely somewhere in the electronic/experimental/post punk scene. Like I told the owner of VoD, I might not be the right person to review 'Rising From The Red Sand', a 5LP compilation which was released in the early 80s as a 5 cassette set by Third Mind Records. The main reason is that I also penned the insert liner notes - the only one present in the box - based on my 'knowledge' of the scene. Would I not like the music, I wouldn't have written these liner notes. Hence: why would my review be different? I could be lazy and just re-print those liner notes here, or a summary thereof, but I rather do something else and that is to amplify an aspect of this LP set and put in a context of reviewing. If you pay close attention to Vital Weekly you would know I hate, these days, to review compilations. They are a drag. Full stop please. If a label wants to put attention to whatever it is doing, it put a compilation on soundcloud, bandcamp or whatever and gather interest from there. Why put it on a CD/LP/cassette and beg for a review? The more I think about that, the more I don't like reviewing them. Hey, but 'Rising From The Red Sand' is a compilation! I know, and this time machine allows me to say something about compilations in the early 80s. Back then compilations where the life line to new music. There was no internet (for the common people) and you could read about the most obscure releases in the likewise most obscure magazines, but you had no clue what it would sound like. A compilation provided you with such insight. Some bands build an entire career of their omni-presence on compilations. The Legendary Pink Dots for instance were always so strange with their psychedelic music, they always stood out of the rest and now, 33 years later are still an active underground force to be reckoned with. You would seek out compilations which had your favorites on it, so if the others, the unknown bands would suck, you'd still have some music by people you knew and liked. And then some of those compilations were on a constant repeat because they simply seemed to contain great music throughout and they have become a classic release. You may have guessed: I think 'Rising From The Red Sand' is such a classic compilation, containing all the 'right' bands, with great pieces, and after close to thirty may have lost some bands but it has lost nothing of the great music compilation that depicts the industrial music - for the lack for a better term - from the period 1982-1984 best. Simply: the most complete overview of the best bands of that time. But read the liner notes for the complete picture. If history and nostalgia is your thing, this is the box to get. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vinyl-on-demand.com/

ASHTORETH - ITOBIA (LP by Pelicana Venue)
Ashtoreth is a musical project of the Belgian musician Peter Verwimp. He played in several projects and bands like Station Grey, Maya, Code Ishan and Sombra DeBestia. The aim of the project Ashtoreth is to create a musical journey and to explore sonic landscape. He is doing this at a shamanistic way, he is channeling between different atmospheres and moods and improvises on the atmosphere at that specific moment. Pelican Avenue organized in March 2011 a performance in Paris. Pelican Avenue is a fashion label and wants to redefine fashion in it's ideals, contents, norms and expectations. The fashion of the performance was based on the music of Ashtoreth. The performance of 19 minutes is released at a one side LP and released by the fashion label. The music is like the description how Peter Verwimp wants to create his music. The music starts slowly with some dark tones and the guitar strings are searching for more space. Tones are coming up and fading away. Slowly a structure has been built and slowed down. Elements of noise, folk, post-rock and drones are involved. The end of the show is accumulation of sound and comes like a shock. The collaboration between these two disciplines of art is interesting. It is really a cross-over of arts, because the fashion-label releases the record and not the musician himself. (JKH)
Address: http://www.pelicanavenue.com/ashtoreth

The name Costas Drygianakis didn't immediately rang bells here, but I learned that he worked as Optical Music in the 80s, which was more a project than a real band. In 1999 he released two 'radical' solo electro acoustic works and later on worked with the cellist Nikos Veliotis. Since there have been a few more releases, such as 'Diadromi' (see Vital Weekly 838). Now he has a privately release, with four long tracks, which are inside the world of electro-acoustic music, but which seem to deal extensively with 'stolen', 'found' or otherwise acquired recordings. There is a complete list on the insert of the record. Maybe some of this stuff was handed to him by his friends - for instance: Nikos Veliotis, Stylianos Tziritas, Tasos Stamou, Stathis Theocharakis, Lilly Varaklioti and Dimitris Aitopoulos - or maybe some that he taped himself. It all happens in the organization of these sounds, the composition as such, and that's a great one. His sound sources are field recordings, acoustic instruments, electronic sounds and voices. It's all put together with great care and patience, and it seems to be in a constant movement. Maybe not unlike a radio play, but more abstract and a bit more alien. It's not easy to say what it is, rock deconstructions, ambient music, electro-acoustic music, musique concrete, but for all I know this is an excellent record. Heavily textured and layered, with finely shifting moods - dark, light, shady, open - this is a wonderful record. Quite a daring move to release this yourself, I thought, but then, also with great confidence and trust in what he made. (FdW)
Address: http://www.moremars.org/costis-drygianakis-lp.html

"Industrial music for industrial people" was of course the slogan by Throbbing Gristle, and as such perhaps the only industrial band in the world. In a post-industrial world. But them too, willingly or not, drew inspiration from Russolo's 'Art Of Noise' manifest from 1913, in which was said we need music from machines, the sounds of the city. Using real machine sounds in music has been done a few times, and as such perhaps Vivenza from France was closest to Russolo - true fan of the futurists if I recall well - but never actually used machine sounds himself. A story which I probably recount every time I review something by Blake Edward's Vertonen project. Just recently - Vital Weekly 907 - we reviewed one of Vertonen's recent excursions in machineland (say otherwise from his interests in drone, musique concrete and noise), and already hinted at this 12". Following the various releases Vertonen did on the subject of machines, CDRs and cassettes, I think this is best work so far. On the LP they pieces are shorter than on his CDRs and cassette releases and perhaps more to the point as a result of that. Vertonen taped his field recordings at industrial sites and puts them together as collages of various machine sounds. It sounds like Vivenza - perhaps - but then with the real deal. I am also reminded of Matt Heckert or Barry Schwartz - that whole machine art scene that I saw a lot of in the late 80s/early 90s when it was hip. But here Vertonen is the lone gun with his recordings of machines. Like with all good industrial music, the suggestion here is to play this as loud as possible, and feel those vibrations in your body. The only best next thing is working on the conveyer belt your self. Side one ends with a piece of ventilator hum, which brings the industrial site in the ambient home. An excellent and beautiful picture disc. Plus on the bonus CDR we have a sixty minute ambient machine hum - 'computer server ventilation systems, HVAC, turntable motor, bart, diesel hammer and generators - blended together and making a more than excellent minimal sound tapestry. Loud but ambient, and always on the move it seems, building up and up and then, beyond the thirty minute break slowly taking matters down and down. A great symphony of machines indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cipsite.net http://ratskin.org

KRYNGE - SPD KID SPD RCR (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
Following two previous releases by Krynge, (see Vital Weekly 823 and 840) here's another one. Krynge, let's repeat, is a project of Zan Hoffman along with some of his friends. It was alive in the late 80s. On 'Spd Kid Spd Rcr' these friends are Agog, Minoy and Swinebolt 45. Like before this is a short(ish) release, one piece, thirty minutes only. Attenuation Circuit wants to do a whole series, which I can understand, but why not lump 'm all together on a lot less discs? I was wondering about that before. I have no idea Hoffman composed this music back then, but it has a rather random approach, the whole thirty minutes. Some of this deals with loops, but for all I know there is some turntable abuse in here also. I must say I am still not blown away by Krynge but out of three this was the one I enjoyed most. The loops, magnetic or vinylic, were actually quite alright, and chopped down to distinctive parts of their own, in which several sounds keep returning - voices in high warp speed for instance - but as said, quite enjoyable. I have no idea how big the Krynge archive is, but take my advise: put out longer CDRs and preferable with the best bits only.
I already reviewed something from Star Turbine, the cassette 'Space Habitat', back in Vital Weekly 859, but had no clue who this was. Now, with this new releases (despite various in between), I learned this is with the omnipresent Sindre Bjerga - does he ever not record or tour, I wonder - teaming up with Claus Poulsen, one half of Small Things On Sundays. This new release contains two live recordings from April 2012 when Star Turbine toured in Germany. I have no idea how the previous release I heard was made, but I assume their method has not changed yet, but the outcome has. Their previous release had something spacious about it, 'demented cosmic music' I called it, but this new release is indeed a bit different. It seems to be more evolving around acoustic sounds, picked up by contact microphones and getting minor electronic treatment. Topped off with a bit of radio sounds. It's quite long but not as spacious. This works rather good as a set of improvised electro-acoustic music and perhaps less as a piece of cosmic music, despite the title, I was thinking, perhaps regrettable. To be honest, I think I liked last year's cassette a bit better than this one, but still this was alright.
More live music we find on 'Disturbed Communication' by Knark Esion, which seems to be an one-off  gathering, in concert, by Elektrojudas, Sustained Development, Kim Jong-Un and Exedo. Captured at 'Some Curious Event' on September 16th 2012, and we are left to wonder what was curious. Maybe it the name of the event, or maybe it was just curious in hindsight, if you were present. This is one of those things of which I am not sure why they should be released. It's twenty-five minutes of some structureless noise doodle with rhythm, courtesy of Electrojudas no doubt and the others, perhaps, messing around this disjointed rhythm. This is, if evidence was needed of such curious events, better off on a free download somewhere, but I see no point in putting this on a CDR. Not everything is in need for a release, I'd say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

J.C. COMBS - GAZING (CDR by Spectropol)
To start with the shortest of this trio of releases on Spectropol, all by artists I never heard (I think! I should be careful), is the ten minute release by one J.C. Combs. Three pieces he plays here of processed piano pieces. Combs, a Seattle based composer and improviser, says that each of the 'three pieces [is] serving as a sonic reverie between worlds'. I have no idea how these pieces are processed - computer most likely, but who knows, maybe in some analogue way - but the piano is still to be recognized as such. The overall processing is quite low, but it adds a fine alienation to the music, drifting beyond the regular piano music. In 'Apparition', the longest of the three, Combs plays arpeggio's that stop as strangely as they started. I think this was all very nice indeed, reminding me of some of Akira Rabelais' music. But why ten minutes only? Why not thirty? Forty? I wouldn't have minded this to be going on for some more.
A bit longer, but still not that long is the release by Andew Young deals also with processed nature of sound, in this case field recordings from Los Angeles. Whereas in the case of Combs music we hear the piano, the field recordings here are not to be recognized at all. Young uses computer synthesis, of the granular variety and create five excellent pieces with them. They are drone like, minimal, but not static, or without any movement. Like said, any form of field recordings are not easily to be detected in these pieces, as they sound much more electronic than like a field recording.  The release opens with 'Away' and closes with 'Away 2', which are short and musical, piano processed sounds, or maybe just recorded with a lot of hiss. They open and close this odd trip to the streets (?) of Los Angeles. It's not something you haven't heard before, but nevertheless quite enjoyable.
More processed acoustic instruments we find on the release by Joel Taylor. I am not sure which instruments he uses in his work, but they surely include percussion instruments and some kind of stringed instrument - zither perhaps? - and sometimes a flute. Percussion seems to be part of this all along. It's hard to say, just as with the Combs release, what kind of techniques were applied in here to generate this music. Lots of the instruments are easily recognized in here, although I am not sure if this is a vibraphone, marimba or something of a more exotic nature, or a toy xylophone being heavily transposed. Whereas Taylor keeps his work firmly locked in the abstract world, we find Taylor in a very music world. It has a vaguely tropical atmosphere, late night on a porch in Indonesia - but perhaps that's just because I am informed that Taylor has experience with the Javanese Gamelan and the Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet theater), so perhaps the anklung might be another choose for instrument. It's altogether a fine, mysterious and musical release. (FdW)
Address: http://spectropol.com

It has been quiet for some time with this oddly named band The Truth About Frank, who had a couple of releases before (see Vital Weekly 670, 674, 727 and 788), which were all heavily based in the world of loops, but over the course of time became better and better. The duo from Leeds have three pieces here on their latest release, of which 'About Frank' was commissioned by and composed for the Crow Versus Crow radio programme and 'SmoKing' for a short film (a must see said the former smoker in me). In a piece of music by The Truth About Frank it all revolves about the plundering of sounds; from records, CDs, TV, internet and films. These are fed through some electronics, maybe a bit of additional synthesizers and that's it. None of these samples are easily to be recognized as something of a particular release, film, or such like, but at the same time it doesn't have a certain level of abstraction. It remains loops of voices, animals, music and such like. 'About Frank' is quite long, and moves through various stages over the course of these twenty-two minutes, and overall as a composition is not very strong. More like a bunch of sounds attached to each other, but if this would be a film, I could imagine this to be funny. 'Organism Dying In Transit' is a piece that is shorter, but still nine minutes. More abstract and quite subdued this is quite a nice piece through, while 'SmoKing' is very short, and perhaps too short to form a proper opinion about it. Like with the previous releases of this duo, I can say it's not great, but highly enjoyable anyway. Not something I would be easily play again, I should think, but I would certainly welcome another release by them. (FdW)
Address: <thetruthaboutfranknews@yahoo.co.uk>

POST MORTEM - VOICE OF HOLLAND (cassette by Red Venice Records)
Jan Kees Helms has been playing music since the 80s under various guises. In the early years as Post Mortem, then a couple of years doing performances with McDonalds waste and these days he strums the guitar in StringStrang. From both Post Mortem and StringStrang there are new releases. On his self released 'Five', he presents four pieces from November 2012 to January 2013, three of which are twelve minutes and one is nine minutes. In a typical StringStrang piece Helms loops a few rounds of strumming and then adds on top more layers of sound, in real time, either by more strumming or by playing an(e-)bow. The result can be mild, as on the previous release 'Four' was the case, but in these four pieces it seems Helms is in a less moody place. '03' is a bit mellow, but the distortion never seems far away, even here. Only in '04' it seems absent. '01' and '02' are quite fiery, dark beasts of guitar drones. The influence of Dirk Serries is present in all four pieces, but in the first two pieces, it's more the early days of Fears Falls Burning and in the closing piece the more current version. I liked 'Four' for it's mellowness, so 'Five' is perhaps a bit of set back. It's good, no doubt, but not as good as the previous release. But definitely worth checking out, if you want an impression of what StringStrang is all about.
Post Mortem is also revived and has a new cassette out under the banner of 'Noise Of Holland'… you know 'Voice Of Holland', another 'fine' product for export of TV bullshit talent hunting… but then wacked out into noise. I hope. Post Mortem was originally Jan Kees' solo project from 1987 to 1992, and revived in 2012 - maybe as a nod to all those bands reviving? Probably not. The noise that Post Mortem produces is never really loud, but highly minimal. Helms picks up sounds from bicycle rides, trains and cars with his dictaphone and feeds them through his effects - no doubt the same as he uses for his StringStrang project - and it results in a thick, a bit undefined mass of ongoing noise. That's the 'Noise Of Holland' piece, recorded at an event of the same name, earlier this year in Tilburg. There is not a lot of difference with the two lengthy cuts on the other side in which Helms uses tapes he recorded in 80s/90s with Post Mortem, and which are treated in a similar way as the music on the a-side. In all it's lo-fi approach I thought this was quite a nice release. A bit too long obviously, but I guess such as the things with noise of this kind. Always a bit too long and not too critical. I suspect this is what the fans want. (FdW)
Address: http://stringstrang.tumblr.com
Address: http://redvenicerecords.bandcamp.com/album/noise-of-holland

STEFANO DE PONTI - LIKE LAMPS ON BY DAY (tape and CDR by Old Bicycle Records and Under My Bed)
Stefano de Ponti is an Italian musician and works since 2001 with several theatre companies, musicians and publishers. Between 2011 and 2013 he recorded about 10 hours music and he selected just 25 minutes and he compiled the tape Like Lamps on by Day. The tape has four different covers and is packed in a  hand stamped bag of cotton.The tape starts as a classical cello piece and move from a film scene (because of a sample from Claude Letouche's movie "Un homme et une femme" to an abstract repeating sound. Blindman's Bluff is a nice combination of cello and electronics and the atmosphere becomes more frightening. It is a like a shorten version of a Godspeed You Black Emperor track. The last track on side A is a track in which the musician is looking for the right tone and atmosphere. Some guitar licks, a playing accordion and undefinable sounds in the background create a song which refers to a houseroom rehearsal.  Side B starts with a beautiful drony dark ambient track called Drawn by Sea. The treat of the sea, the melancholic mood of having some lost and the endlessness is well played in this too short track. This mood can continue much longer, so the listener can be drawn by music. Much opener is the following track with open and high sounds and also the other track continues in this mood. The tape ends with a relaxed acoustic guitar track in combination with flute, drums and some field-recordings. I am impressed by the intensity of the music and the compilation of the tape who touches different musical and emotional moods. (JKH)
Address: http://www.undermybed.org

SETH CLUETT - WOUND OF THIS DEEP BLUE (cassette by Notice Recordings)
TALK WEST - CANYON LIP (cassette by Notice Recordings)
A name that appears not a lot in Vital Weekly is Seth Cluett; maybe he doesn't release that much, or it doesn't always reach us. His music was released on Line before (see Vital Weekly 774), which might give an indication of where to place him in the musical spectrum. On this cassette he presents seven recordings from seven concerts, all recorded on a dictaphone, and he mixes them together. He calls this 'superimposing', which means a pretty much straight forward layering of those seven tapes, without any further processing or editing. There are no instruments mentioned here, but it might very well feedback, hum, and/or some instrument, like a wind instrument or such like. The odd thing is of course that I never had the idea of listening to seven recordings at the same time, but rather to one, highly minimal piece of music. It made me wonder what a single recording would sound like. This is a fascinating piece of music. It's very subtle, yet very rich in sound. Mysterious and somewhat dark, but a true delight to hear.
Behind Talk West we find Dylan Aycock, who runs Scissor Trail Records in Tulsa. He plays pedal steel guitar, synthesizer, sampled field recordings and drums, in these two, side-long pieces of music. This is much more 'musical' release, in a more traditional sense of the word. Everything, or so it seems, is fed through loop pedals and played with additional layers in real time, especially of course from the lap steel guitar. I think I liked the piece on the first side best, 'Finally, That River Twists', with its rambling loop of wood percussion and meandering lap steel. 'With No Regrets' on the other side was a bit messier in sound approach. Here it seemed all a bit muddy, especially in the lower region of the sound spectrum. Maybe it's the recording, or maybe it's the medium used to reproduce the music on, but I think there was room for improvement over there. But throughout this was nice moody music, slow and peaceful, wide open and spacious. Me personally was fascinated by Cluett but Talk West as an afterthought was quite alright. (FdW)
Address: http://noticerecordings.com

(Cassette by Brise-Cul Records)
DIABLO/WAPSTAN SPLIT ORGONE  (Cassette by Brise-Cul Records)
The three cassettes I received from Brise-Cul need to be reviewed together not of any thought whatsoever but out of an empirical necessity. Cassette tape and the plastic cases being notoriously subject to the second law of thermodynamics, and that Brise-Cul do not label the ‘actual’ cassettes its only by some archeological assumption of repatriation of tape with box that identification can or cannot take place. This is kind of interesting, how can you review the unknown the uncertain (well Livingstone and Heisenberg) or un-decidable… (Derrida).  Here then harsh noise feedback and wah wah, ending in some actual music – a Christmas song, and a more austere second side of feedback again ending in some actual recordings. If the non-identification of HN was in any doubt, then here is yet more proof against the waves of musos colonizing planet noise. As if one could mistake a unmarked cassette of Dido for Mahler after less than a second. A kind of buzz in when your sure rapid fire question round whose subject is HN or better HNW would be a farce…. But sadly once again the promoter / artist wrap themselves in faux ignorance.  It wouldn’t take an Einstein to write a label…. So ‘super fast harsh hyperactive cut-up noise without pompous seriousness’ is serious for the very reason that its un-reasonable. Rationally to get things right there are 6 possible reviews ABC ACB BA CBCA CAB and CBA, so not unknowable, or un decidable. TKFSA are supposedly next
with electronics of the north, though from the mid west? Minimal electronics, as if amplified nothing and so picking up background noise and circuit artifacts, which has some echoy rattlesnake overlays, micro sound sort of thing…of which like the sound there is very little to say… other than the other side of the cassette has much more activity of the same kind of things – with more mucking with the stereo fields and clicks and glitches which though could be the product of short wave transmission are probably not- even the distant unrecognizable speech… And the final tape, (– a ‘split’ ‘that will please every Wilhelm Reich noise fans…’ – are there any…? What of pompous seriousness’ now?  (a nice title for a release…))which checking is the split, has much the same soundscape as the previous, however here there is no continuous white noise and so the piece is far more noticeably ‘constructed’…. though the ‘other side’ of this split – which isn’t identifiable after some initial micro electro twiddlings settles into a HNW for awhile – then after short HN interludes and found speech continues… as if to underline the difficulty of identification by attempting to try or fail identifies it as a musical- after all movement. A correlationist ontology  not that this is a criticism, it is for environmentalists to demonstrate the evils of appropriation, signification, privilege and exploitation. Or the Saatchis. (jliat)
Address: http://kvlt667.com/