number 912
week 52


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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VIV CORRINGHAM – WALKING (CD by Innova Recordings)
WNDFRM - C60/TMKUTEKT (CD by Home Normal) *
TROUM - MARE MORPHOSIS (CD by Transgredient Records) *
MERZBOW MEETS M.B. (LP/7" by Menstrual Recordings)
KLOOT PER W - SEX WARS EP (7" by EE Tapes)
SASHASH ULZ – CHTENIE (CDR by Fourth Dimension Records)
TOM CREAN – WIRED LOVE (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
TOM FAZZINI - ONE SHAPELES DAY (CDR by Loophamystery Records) *
LIVE AT LAB. 30 (double CDR by Attenuation Circuit)

Sometimes there just are a lots and lots of questions. In this three CD box set there are indeed a few or more. Here we have an Italian rock group, who claims this is not a triple album, but three separate albums, which happen to look a like. "They are sold together, because (at our opinion) they are part of a same vision", and maybe there is more explanation in the lavishly designed book that is part of the box, but all of the text is in Italian. Maybe the target audience is indeed Italian, but by going for a review in English, there might be a search for a wider audience. So maybe it's a good idea to do an English/bi-lingual booklet next time. But for the reviewer a whole bunch of extra paper is enclosed in the parcel, with lots of explanations. Anyway, quite a bit of money has been thrown into this (I could make more references to the subject of money and the name of the label, but I won't). Deadburger Factory is an avant-rock band from Italy, who won the 'most important Italian rock contest' with a set of core members (Vittorio Nistri on electronica, keyboards), Alessandro Casini (guitar), Simone Tilli (vocals) and Carlo Sciannameo (bass) but also others contributing. On the first CD in the box there is for instance quite a big role for the trumpet. The band warns me that I may not like all of this, especially the CD which carries the same title as the box. This is indeed the one which has the most song like material it seems, but here too the starting point is the jam session, like much of their other work in this box. All of the recordings were spliced together, cut-up, re-arranged in the best Teo Macero on 'Bitches Brew': if you know what it is about, then you may hear it, otherwise it might be lost on you. Here Deadburger Factory is in their most orchestral doing and no doubt refer easiest to the whole 70s underground rock music, Henry Cow, Zappa and such like. The first album, 'Puro Nylon (100%)', is more like a meeting between rock instruments and the electronic sounds, and sometimes sounds like quite electronic, maybe even dance like, or jazzy when that trumpet comes in. The band thinks that I might most like the second album in the box, which has four solo tracks by Vittorio Nistri, the band's keyboard player and four by Alessandro Casini, the band's guitarist. Nistri created four pieces using a microwave, using various foods inside, but also using his fingers to 'play' the machine. All of this was used to explore further using a computer. The guitar was played for at least 60% with vibrating objects. This is surely indeed the most 'experimental' recordings on these three albums, and especially the microwave pieces are quite noisy. The guitar experiments are still owing to the world of rock machismo, and not really my thing. I must say I quite enjoyed this package. Not every bit of course, but throughout it was most enjoyable. Quite diverse, very much to the point and never an overtly long self-indulgence. The three CDs are quite short and to the point. Still I wonder why they were released together, however. Odd, but nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.goodfellas.it

I do not often come across brass bands, and I think this is not a common format in jazz nowadays. But as the UK has a rich tradition in brass bands, it should not wonder that this tradition continues. In a way this is the case with Brass Mask. This UK collective was formed early 2012 by Tom Challenger, core member of the ‘Loop Collective’, who leads other ensembles as well and played with Django Bates in the past. Brass Mask is a very young unit of seven horns and percussion: George Crowley (sax, clarinet), Dan Nicholls (bass clarinet, saxophone), Rory Simmons (trumpet), Alex Bonney (trumpet), Nathaniel Cross (trombone), Theon Cross (tuba), John Blease (drums, percussion) and Tom Challenger (sax, clarinet). They take their inspiration from New Orleans and Africa, that’s for sure. Party music, but not in a straightforward, uncomplicated way. This is prevented by the players who add other elements and influences, and above all the compositions by Challenger that show an influence by Threadgill. I suppose this is not a kind of music that strongly appeals tot Vital Weekly readers. But if you are in for something different, this may be something for you. (DM)
Address: http://www.babellabel.com
VIV CORRINGHAM – WALKING (CD by Innova Recordings)
Corringham is a British vocalist, composer and sound artist, based in the US where she studied with Pauline Oliveros. She is active since the early 80s. Her works include installations, concerts, records and ........ soundwalks. "She is interested in exploring people´s special relationship with familiar places and how that links to an interior landscape". This new work released by Innova is an example of this. For this project she walked with very different local inhabitants in many different places. Their dialogues are recorded and used for this soundwork. Apart from the content of the words spoken by her companions, it the intonation of their speaking that do it, in these sound paintings that are completed by environmental sounds and improvised non-verbal singing by Corringham. The singing comes about as follows. After the walk with the companion, Corringham makes the same walk on her own, trying “to make the memory of shared time and experience audible through singing.” This makes up fascinating evocations and impressions of how people find themselves in their environment. All seven pieces on this album are part of the ongoing project ‘Shadow-walks’ she started in 2009. Recordings were made in Porto, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, Hong Kong and London. The singing by Corringham often reminds me of traditional singing, taken from very different cultures over the planet. Of course the final process was one of mixing the different ingredients into pieces that all move somewhere between music and audioplay, resulting in charming sketches. (DM)
Address: http://www.innova.mu

WNDFRM - C60/TMKUTEKT (CD by Home Normal)
Two new releases from the Japanese Home Normal label, run by UK's Ian Hawgood. Tim Westcott is the man who calls himself wndfrm, and sometimes is known as Cloudburst. Hawgood and Westcott used to run a label together, called Resting Bell, and who has done some digital releases and music for documentaries. Two long pieces on his 'C60/Tmkutekt'. The first piece uses sounds from "the "Biosphere Museum of the Environment", which at the time of recording was located in the geodesic dome in Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal", while the other piece was inspired by Montreal's Mutek festival. 'c60' opens very quiet and not very outspoken, but over the course of thirty-seven minutes it very slowly opens up, gets louder and moves way above the threshold of hearing. Perhaps I was afraid it would stay there too much, as the first fifteen minutes are quite soft. I assume this all has to do with recording an empty space (or perhaps less quiet, as we hear a children's voice at twenty-two minutes and other human activity), treating it with computer software and mix all those processed versions together into a piece. Towards the thirty minute break it is loud and majestically droning in your own environment and then quickly concludes. 'Tmkutekt' is always present in the entire twenty minutes it lasts but seems to be following a similar routine of a multitude of processed sound sources, including people talking, cars passing and such like, into quite a dense soundscape. Dense but also moving a bit too much over the place and that doesn't do the piece right. I think I was more than perfectly happy with just 'c60' on a disc as that had enough to ponder over, but I can see the necessity of a bonus. Nice work throughout.
No trio, except in name, is Ithaca Trio, which is Oliver Thurly from Leeds, who gets credit for 'piano and reel-to-reel' (so a trio after all, I thought: Hurley, piano and reel), with two pieces here, of around thirty minutes. It's perhaps that I saw Wouter van Veldhoven in action a couple of days ago, that I understand (think to understand) what is going on here. Like Van Veldhoven, Thurley works with various machines and loops, but unlike Van Veldhoven, not with varying speed on these machines; it seems to me that it's the same speed throughout, but there is an extended use of worn down sound, tape-hiss and other analogue degrading techniques around here. Here's the beautiful sight of sound in decay. A bit like those picture series you see on the internet: 33 beautifully desolated places; Thurley's music has something similar touch it: the beauty of decay. In the opening piece 'Lepidoptera, pt. ii' the piano is as such easy to recognize. Highly atmospheric, on an entirely different planet, but it's 'Just Skin' which moves the piano slowly away from this solar system and onto the unexplored space itself. Here the piano is a vague shadow of what it once was. Excellent mood enhancing music once again. Great stuff. If you like your Nils Frahm as recorded on a tape without many magnetic particles left. (FdW)
Address: http://www.homenormal.com

Still to figure out - maybe something for next year: what is it about Argentinian musicians and Japan? More than any other country, it seems, the Japanese have a love for Argentinian music, and I don't mean the tango. I must admit I never heard of Ulises Conti, but he has had a whole bunch of releases so far and this release on Flau is a sort of retrospective from the last ten years. A best of, perhaps, or the most representative pieces? I don't know. Conti is foremost a composer, who also plays piano, guitar and mandolin, but who also has a whole bunch of musicians to help him out. His music stands by itself, but he also composes for film, installations, dance, theatre and such like. In the first few pieces here, the piano is the leading instrument, and in all it's beautiful, solitude state reminds the listener of Erik Satie or Claude Debussy. Melancholic, atmospheric. It sets the tone for the rest of the release, I should think. Conti's music is highly atmospheric and introspective, whatever instruments are used. Guitar, violin, lap steel, horn and a bit of electronic enhancing of these sparse notes. A bit of reverb here, a delay there, some additional coloring of the sound, but throughout it's all quite natural. Modern classical perhaps, and modern classical perhaps of the more mellow kind. No difficult, abstract music, but gentle sounding music, which means no harm. Very refined. Like a fine aged wine, a handmade cigar or good cheese - all of which go very well with this. I haven't tried yet, but with christmas around the corner, I know I will. (FdW)
Address: http://www.flau.jp

Music of an improvised nature here, with Jonas Kocher on accordion and Michel Doneda on soprano saxophone and radios. Following 'Action Mecanique' (see Vital Weekly 793), this is the second work I hear from them. The music was recorded over a two day period on April 4 and 5, 2013 in a hotel of the same name as the title, in Cerbere, France, which is the last village before the spanish border. The hotel is empty and the two of them explored the various rooms to capture their music. Five pieces here, and one should think they were recorded in five different rooms, but perhaps I'm wrong. The titles may indicate at such. In 'Patio', the final piece, they actively use the room, by moving about and shuffling their feet on the floor to generate some extra sound material, but also by playing longer sustained notes and overtones, they create a very intense atmosphere. In the other pieces they are a bit more silent, a bit more subdued if you will, and one hears the 'rumble' of the space - the nothingness being made audible. Sometimes very quiet for quite some time, which makes this a very intense music release. Not something, I would think, one easily puts on as music in the background to create a nice atmosphere. Here we have one of those things which requires your full 100% attention; otherwise it will be lost, I think. But once you opened up, and pay full attention to this, then a very refined sound world unfolds itself. (FdW)
Address: http://www.flexionrecords.net

TROUM - MARE MORPHOSIS (CD by Transgredient Records)
With 'Mare Morphosis' Troum completes a trilogy of records, with started with 'Mare Idiophonika' (see Vital Weekly 754), followed by 'Grote Mendrenke', which wasn't reviewed here and altogether form the 'Power Romantic' trilogy. Troum, the duo of Baraka[H] and Glit(s)ch, informs us that this work is partly based on reworked recordings of J.S. Bach which was released on a 7", and also not reviewed. Having said, I think I heard a lot of Troum releases, and I must say: this one is surely a most odd release. Troum refer to it as their most symphonic work to date, and that is very much true. Usually, at least in my perception, Troum works with guitar, bass, accordion, voices, and lots and lots of sound effects. On this new work these instrumenst - and more - are listed on the cover but it seems that a lot of this is made with the treatments - computer-wise - of classical music. Lots of sustaining, drone like sounds from stretched out violins and wind instruments, and on various spots a powerful rhythm holding it all together. A clear, banging rhythm. That seems to me an entirely new element in their music. The drones is something we knew and loved, the drums and the somewhat symphonic samples are new. I quite enjoyed the drum parts actually as brought an entirely new element to their music. I am not fully convinced however by those sections which contain quite a bit of those sampled orchestral. Sometimes I think it's corny, but when I was playing this using headphones I found that I was enjoying exactly that corny sound. I can imagine a few eyebrows will be raised among the truly devoted Troum fans over this, and that's something that I love. I love it when bands which are fixed to a genre, break out of that and add something new to their music; Troum does that here with a changing degree of success - for now. This is one of those changing moments in a band's history, I think, and time will tell us more. Can't wait for their next album to see what direction it will be. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

The location mentioned in the title, 52 degrees 46' North and 13 desgrees 29' East is where you find the Ethnologisches Museum Dahlem, where they keep 16000 wax cylinders, recorded a century ago. The German emperor at the time wanted every trading and scientific mission to carry a machine to do recordings and send them to Berlin. A true source of early field recordings, so perhaps it's not strange that these ended up in the hands the people at Gruenrekorder. Or rather, the musical duo of Merzouga, Eva Pöpplein (composition, electronics) and Janko Hanushevsky (composition and prepared electric bass). They used the recordings of the cylinders in a concert and that's what has been documented on this CD. I must admit I quite enjoyed the idea of a whole bunch of wax cylinders at one's disposal to use them. I could easily imagine a whole narrative being created from this, a trip around the world in 80 minutes, crossing Africa in 40, but here we seem to be dealing with a bunch of recordings and on top of that there is the improvised music of Merzouga, carefully and not always demanding, but you could wonder about this. Why are things as they are? I somehow fail to see a relation between these wax cylinder recordings and the music produced by Merzouga, unless of course there is some dialogue going on between the two of them. But it's a dialogue that didn't reach me. I don't think this is a 'bad' release, but somehow I fail to see the relevance of this.
The other release by Gruenrekorder is an odd ball. It's a small booklet, roughly CD sized and it contains a list of recordings made by Christoph Korn and Gruenrekorder boss Lasse-Marc Riek and a list when these recordings were erased. Yes, exactly, I was thinking the same thing. "The sound of selected locations or specific sound phenomena have been recorded using a digital audio recording device. Later on these recordings were deleted. This process of finding a location, recording and deleting is then captured textually. The result is an audio-event noted and transformed into script. The choice of the locations is purely subjective and does not follow any systematic interest." Apparently this is number two in a series, collection 3 "is planned to be released in autumn 2015". Yes, I failed to see the relevance here too. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

Two slabs of vinyl with Luke Fowler. He's perhaps best known for his groups Lied Music and Rude Pravo and his Shadazz label, but also for the films he has made about Xentos Jones (of The Homosexuals), R.D. Laing and Cornelius Cardew. In 2010 he bought himself a Serge analogue synthesizer, one of the handmade modular synthesizers and started playing around with it, and over the years he has generated 'hundreds of hours of experiments' and in 2012 handed over a hard drive filled with these recordings to Richard Youngs, who set himself to editing this and adding a few synths himself. Not just the Serge, there is also "obsolete digital synths, drum computers and home made 'organic oscillators'" as the label informs us. Whatever was found on those hard drives is cut down to two side long pieces here. Smaller sections are cross faded into each other. Bubbling synth stuff, a bit of rhythm, something vaguely 'electro-acoustic' and makes a fine, endless stream of sound, with head nor tail. Minimalist for sure, and sometimes maybe reminding of a private pressing of early electronic music, the only thing that it perhaps isn't, is cosmic music. You don't easily drift away to this music, I think. It's rather haphazard, but it's fine charm here.
Fowler is also a member of Lurists, a trio of himself, Richard Youngs and Steven Warwick, of whom I never heard. This is much along the lines of the Fowler solo LP, but more composed/held together within the frame of improvised electronics. The rhythm machine ticks time away, and the three of them play organs, synth and other keyboards, freely improvising with all the knobs on offer. A bit like Fowler did, but it's all more together, thanks to that rhythm machine. It has a very 70s feel about it, no doubt also thanks to the cover of this record, with musicians in a psychedelic mood jamming around. Nice for sure, but great? I don't know.
It's not too difficult to see both of these records 'together', partly because it's made by almost the same musicians, playing, composing, editing one way or another, with minor differences between the two of them. I enjoyed both of them for what they are. The loosely played electronics of Fowler, the togetherness free form jam of Lurists, but also in both cases I wondered: had this not been Fowler and Youngs, but the two misters nobody and somebody, would it also have been graced upon a LP release? I very much doubt that. Maybe the playfulness would then be frowned upon. It brings to have a reputation, I'd say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dekorder.com

MERZBOW MEETS M.B. (LP/7" by Menstrual Recordings)
Masami Akita from Japan and Maurizio Bianchi from Italy are both active inside experimental music since roughly the same time, the late 70s. They both came from the world of cassettes and have a legendary status by now. Merzbow is probably the more well-known musician, due to the fact that he plays many concerts all over the world, and both have a ton of releases under their belt. The difference is, perhaps, that Bianchi has moved more over the musical spectrum and Akita is more a man of strict noise. There has been a split release by them on the same label earlier this, but as far as I recall not a joint release. Here we have a LP of collaborative music with a bonus 7" of solo pieces. It seems to me Merzbow is taking the lead here, as this is all more in his territory than in that of Bianchi. You can figure out what Bianchi does here, as sometimes his chilly electronics leap out of the noisy hot bed that Merzbow created. When this is less apparent, it seems like a fine Merzbow record, and not like a Merzbow plus someone else record. That perhaps is the odd thing about this record, but says nothing about the quality. If we turn to the 7", then we'll see that Bianchi can be noisy too. His solo piece is quite loud, like a power drone stuck in a high voltage charger. Organic? Organ-like! This is a fine reminder of the old M.B. from the early 80s when this sort of violence was common ground for M.B. and he was the unquestioned master of the genre. For his solo piece, Merzbow also goes back to his earlier days and comes up with something that reminded me of his days, circa S.C.U.M.: various unrelated tapes and electronic sounds are stuck together and make up a fine musique concrete tres brut. Heavily cut up and chopped up into a fine pieces, grinded together. Excellent noise music throughout. (FdW)
Address: http://menstrualrecordings.org/

KLOOT PER W - SEX WARS EP (7" by EE Tapes)
Years and years I was very proud having released a cassette by Asmus Tietchens. I told everyone, but bumped into a potential customer who said: I think Asmus Tietchens is a stupid name, so I never listened to his music. I was baffled. But to be honest, when I first saw the name Kloot Per W in Vinyl magazine - leading magazine for alternative music in the lowlands - I thought it was a stupid name. So it took me to a few years ago when I first heard his music, the excellent 'Sex Wars' cassette, thanks to the blogosphere. Best would have been a LP re-issue of that tape, but alas, a 7" with four pieces will also do. It comes with extended liner notes on the songs and the musical history, self-penned by Kloot Per W. How he played with bands in the seventies and started to record his own music using a Sound On Sound tape recorder. Kloot Per W uses synthesizer, drum machine, bass, guitars and vocals and plays… pop music? Sure as hell it is. Kloot Per W plays some catchy tunes and his background in blues and hard rock pays out. In the title piece, he has a few guitar licks under his belt and make up a fine instrumental piece of music. His other pieces are with lyrics, about women and why men treat them like shit, a piece on music and another version of 'Sex Wars', but with vocals. Everything here in these four songs breathe 'fun', 'pop' and a great enthusiasm for making pop that sounds not like the crap you hear on the radio, but has a fine unique character of it's own. I was reminded of Andre de Saint-Obin, but that might be no name that's familiar either. Great move by EE Tapes by putting this out on 7". It proofs that Belgium has a few great labels caring about the great artists from the past, like Kloot Per W. Let's have some more! (FdW)
Address: http://www.eetapes.be

SASHASH ULZ – CHTENIE (CDR by Fourth Dimension Records)
And here we go... improvisations on organ, bass and guitar. Twelve pieces of fresh music with influences of blues, jazz, folk and minimal music. The sound of the organ will take you back to the sixties and seventies and the combination with field-recordings create a psychedelic atmosphere. Sashash Ulz lives and works in Karelia – Russia and invites the listener to his intimate music. He is an very active musician and last year he released 10 tapes and digital releases at several labels. This album is released by the Polish label Fourth Dimension Records, which releases music since 1983. The recordings are pure and as if you are in his own living-room. He uses not a lot of layers in his music, mostly only organ or guitar and sometimes other sounds are added.The album “Chtenie” consists tracks with titles as “Y”, “Y,” and “,,,” I really don’t know what this will mean, but the titles fit well to the music. The compositions are coming up and will pass away, they will catch you or suit well as a sweet background. The melodies are recognizable, but do not refer to a special song or composition. It is just music for a sunny day, sitting around and doing something or doing something casual. Great fun! (JKH)
Address: http://fourth-dimension.net

TOM CREAN – WIRED LOVE (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
Pure music on guitar and banjo. Just the strings, sometimes a little distorted, and that is what it is. “Wired Love” is an album of composer and guitarist Tom Crean from Northampton, Massachusetts in the USA. He plays in a wide range of musical styles, like rock, avant garde, jazz and classical music. His wide interest and experience in these styles can be heard in this album. The album is released by Kendra Steiner Editions. The label started in 2006 in publishing poetry and since 2010 they also release music. The album starts with a classical based pieces of music played on electric guitar, which flows from a calm piece to more virtuoso moments. The banjo pieces have a traditional atmosphere combined with improvisation or are influenced by blues music. The track “Improvisations Based Upon Sounds That May or May Not Occur In A Foot Locker Commercial Part I” is a beautiful abstract piece with a moody atmosphere. It’s like a slow improvisation of a drunken blues guitarist. “Improvisations Based Upon Sounds That May or May Not Occur In A Foot Locker Commercial Part II” is more dark and supported by a soft noisy layer, like a distorted radio or an unplugged guitar. An impressive apotheosis of a variable album. (JKH)
Address: http://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com

TOM FAZZINI - ONE SHAPELES DAY (CDR by Loophamystery Records)
More music by Tom Fazzini and, as requested, the two songs from his 7" are included here. Fazzini already produced an album in 1984 for A-Mission Records, was a member of Small Good Thing, released on Locust Music and is now back on track with his own label, Loophamystery Records. His previous releases can be found in Vital Weekly 810, 812 and 849. Fazzini still plays a whole bunch of instruments, such as voice, guitars, casio, bells, bass, chimes, wahl zoo shaver, effects, wood blocks, tin whistle, cymbal, Wurlitzer and sundries. If that's not enough there is a whole bunch of players for violin, bagpipes, snare, brushes, narration, recorders, bugle, stat bass, mouth trumpet, but also credit for '1966 source reel', 'tap dancing' 'ear, consultation' (expertly handled by Andrew Hulme of O Yuki Conjugate and A Small Good Thing). It's not easy to classify the music of Fazzini, but if anything, I think I follow up on Fazzini's own claim that this is folk music. Folk music of a perhaps an alien kind, with lots of more instruments and lots of more experiment and even more space between the various notes. Quite emotional music indeed, and unlike 'Arms In Semaphore' (see Vital Weekly 812), this seems less straight forward and perhaps less pop-minded, but at times more experimental, or perhaps 'more soundtrack like' is a better phrasing. That is perhaps due to the spoken word quite a bit, which makes the whole thing anyway more 'narrative' inside a musical environment. Moody, atmospheric, a bit like the grey season of the year. An excellent release! (FdW)
Address: <tomjfazzini@gmail.com>

LIVE AT LAB. 30 (double CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
Much of what Germany's Attenuation Circuit does is promoting experimental and electronic music, through their releases but also organizing evenings, which lead to new releases. On these evenings their artists perform solo sets, but usually end altogether on stage and playing together. On October 25 2012 this was the case at Junges Theater in Augsburg, where we had Niku Senpuki, Emerge, Elektrojudas, Martyn Schmidt and Don Vomp. This night was a bit different, as it seemed they only consisted of changing duos and ending in a massive together jam. I must admit that not all of these collaborative effort work equally well. The two involving Elektrojudas, with Martyn Schmidt and Niku Senpuki, revolve too much about the idea 'let's make some noise', but the one by Senpuki and Emerge is quite nice with it's more ambient guitar processing. Schmidt and Emerge ditto. One has the idea that both of these artists listen to each other, add when needed, be silent when needed, and that there is a presence of audience who want to hear something interesting. When they all meet up at the end, it's a mixture of all these interests: a bit of noise, quite a bit of ambient, and a bit of rhythm which we didn't hear much in the other pieces. But it seems that the biggest problem in such a big gathering is to listen and interact: the whole thing is like sand and everybody is throwing in a bit, without considering what the others are doing. But nevertheless I quite enjoyed about half of the total package. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

A trio from Ireland here with Stuart Geelon (of Luxury Mollusc, Drainland), Aonghus McEvoy (Woven Skull, Drainland) and Gavin Prior (United Bible Studies, Toymonger) and as their band name might indicate, this is an all vocal improvisation group. No 'cruddy instruments or electronics, only saliva, gasps, wheezes and aural detritus', but captured on a dictaphone, so we have that low fidelity guarantee, plus I understand this material is the result of various sessions layered and collaged together. That I must admit wasn't clear from the music itself. Here we have a very rough form of improvised music, but not something that is merely thrown together. Part of this deal is the sound of mouth stuff, but something that has been thought and planned, certainly when it came to editing the recordings together. Their moaning, humming, breathing, shouting is a true delight to hear, I was thinking. A fascinating thing. If you miss out on Jaap Blonk's voice improvisations then this barber shop trio could raise your eyebrow. Very nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.desertedvillage.com/

As per usual, new releases by Taalem are on 3" CDR and are released in groups of three. I started with the new names. Tone Color, for instance, from Manchester, who plays guitar, synths and field recordings, all processed through max/msp. Tone Color had releases on Audio Gourmet, Assembly Field and Futuresequence, but it's a new name for me (actually: these labels too). This is his first physical release. The interesting thing is that usually releases on Taalem have one long piece, two longish or three at the most, but Tone Color has six shorter pieces of ambient music. Finely woven, endlessly sustaining, cosmic chanting music. The original instruments are to be recognized indeed, and add a vague touch of melody to the otherwise warm yet glacial mass of sound. Not something you haven't heard before, but quite nice indeed.
Also Babylone Chaos is a new name, but behind it is Julien Cornu-Kuoch, of whom Taalem released a couple of years ago 'Reactions Mecaniques' under the name Botchan Korisen - which is something I can't find no evidence off in back-issues - but now sees a change of modus operandi. The sampler seems is dusted and microphones stuck in the attic, basement or outside and sampled together into a dense piece of sample mania. Cornu-Kuoch is working these days with Japanese artists Contagious Orgasm, which is something that also shows in his solo music. There is an ambient quality about this too, but it's very much unlike say Tone Color. Where's Tone Color is light, airy, and up in the sky, Babylone Chaos is dark, brooding and mysterious. More the soundtrack of a fine horror movie about zombies and life after a nuclear holocaust, ending with a fine industrial grinding of said (sad?) zombies. Very dark and very moody indeed. Quite unlike for Taalem, I was thinking.
Of Enrico Coniglio I heard before, through his releases on Silentes, Psychonavigation, Glacial Movement and his collaboration with people like Oophoi and Giovanni Iami. Here he works with Fabio Perletta, known from his own Farmacia901 label, and his work with Richard Chartier, Yann Novak, Lawrence English, Simon Whetham and Fabio Orsi. Together they use guitar, field recordings, sampler, laptop, loops and acoustic guitar. These two men connect more to the music of Tone Color, or perhaps with the whole genre of ambient music in general, or perhaps better: the kind of ambient music Vital Weekly deals with a lot. Dark, sustaining, working with overtones generated from a simple and single sound source and then slowly expanding into this whole universe of sounds, but never really tacky, in a new age sense. In 'A White Place' a nasty high end sort of sine wave peeps around the corner which makes this most certainly stranger than any new age record would ever do. On this grey and sombre December morning, this is the best kind of music one can hope for. A bit desolate, a bit grey, but also nicely warm enough, and, to be honest also, not the kind of thing I haven't heard before. But who cares about that? (FdW)
Address: http://www.taalem.com

This might not be something that is out there in the shops, but then: what is these days? Are there still record shops? I see it, however, listed on discogs. It might also be a seasonal greetings card, as it wishes us happy new year 2014 - the cover, not the music. The title indicates at something that has to do with field recordings - but which music by Artificial Memory Trace doesn't? - and something to be found near pools: frog sounds. As ever (?) Artificial Memory Trace leaves us in the dark when it comes to his techniques. Is it a pure and unedited field recording? Hard to believe, but of course: why not? But my guess would be that Slavek Kwi adopt some sort of computer processing to his work and layers all sorts of recordings together, which are closely connected, applies some magical digital dust over them and presents them as a finished result. In this particular case the frog recordings are clearly the starting point, in the first eight or so minutes, even when heavily layered, and after that expanded and treated more and it sounds like frogs, ponds, water dripping and make up a somewhat chilly sound scape. Sound effects have fully taken over by the end of the piece. An excellent piece altogether! A great way to end the year and start a new one. (FdW)
Address: https://archive.org/details/tentacles-of-perception