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MAURIZIO BIANCHI – APOKALYPSIS XXIII (CD by Nitkie) * *
TOMAS PHILLIPS & LUIGI TURRA – VIGNETTES AMPLIFIE (CD by Nitkie)
BARDOSENETICCUBE/LIEUTENANT CARAMEL – SILENCE SUBMARINE (CD by Studio Forum) *
BAD SECTOR – CHRONOLAND (CD by Loki Found) *
BLOOD BOX – FUNERAL IN AN EMPTY ROOM (CD by Loki Found) *
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS – FOUR THOUSAND HOLES (CD by Cold Blue Music) *
NIMH – KRUNGTHEP ARCHIVES (CD by Silentes) *
ENRICO CONIGLIO/UNDER THE SNOW – DIALOGUE ONE (CD by Silentes)
MAURIZIO BIANCHI & JAN-M. IVERSEN – REKVIEM MB-JMI (CD by Silentes) *
GIANLUCA BECUZZI – [IN]VISIBLE FIELDS (2CD by Silentes) *
OPIUM/SOSTRAH TINNITUS – STAIN (CD by Silentes) *
JEREMIE MATHES – GJOLL (CD by Basses Frequences) *
HOOR-PAAR-KRAAT  – THE EUREKA TAPES (THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS) (2CD by Basses Frequences) *
M. OSTERMEIER – THE RULES OF ANOTHER SMALL WORLD (CD by Tench) *
THOMAS ANKERSMIT & VALERIO TRICOLI – FORMA II (CD by Pan) *
LASSE MARHAUG & MARK WASTELL – KISS OF ACID STORY (CD by Monotype Records) *
NOVI_SAD – INHUMANE HUMANS (CD by Sub Rosa) *
RETINA.IT – RANDOMICON (CD by FlatMate)
LOD – NEUROPASTA (CD by Klitekture)
KRATER – HARMONIC TREMOR (CD by Klitekture)
MACHINEFABRIEK – VLOED (CD by Cold Spring)
MATHON – TERRESTRE (LP/DVD by Everest Records)
NO HERMANOS CARRASCO – MIMESIS INTEMPERIE (CDR by L’innomable) *
UR/HARSHCORE – A PLEASURE TRIP PART 1 (CDR by Sincope)
RONNY WAERNES -TENDENTIOUS D (CDR by Go to Gate Records)
SMALL THINGS ON SUNDAYS – MASS/FLUX (CDR by Striate Cortex) *
SPACES BETWEEN (CDR by Striate Cortex) *
PETALS – MASKED OUT (3″CDR by Striate Cortex) *
MARINOS KOUTSOMICHALIS – 3 STUDIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RECORDINGS, VCS3 AND STUDIO RESPONSE (CDR by by Uzusounds) *
Z’EV – LIVE IN ATHENS (CDR by by Agxivatein) *
FRANCISCO LOPEZ – FANGO DE EURIPTERIDOS (3″CDR by Agxivatein) *
APROX. – BAD MUSIC EP (3″CDR by Some Place Else)
CONRAD SCHNITZLER & WOLFGANG SEIDEL – CONSEQUENZ 0108 (cassette by Mirror Tapes)
THE NEW BLOCKADERS – LIVE AT MORDEN TOWER (cassette by Mirror Tapes)

[stream]http://www.vitalweekly.net/777.mp3[/stream]

tracklist for Vital Weekly 777:

0000 Tune
0014 M. Ostermeier – Micro Forest Updraft
0259 Bad Sector – Hands
0607 Spaces Between – Stretched Beyond Their Limits
0904 John Luther Adams – Four Thousand Holes
1207 Tomas Phillips & Luigi Turra – Vignette II
1509 Maurizio Bianchi
1813 Valerio Tricoli & Thomas Ankersmit – Brent Mini
2121 Z’EV – Live In Athens
2428 Franciso Lopez – Fango de Euripteridos
2735 Jeremie Mathes – Gunntra
3042 Marinos Koutsomichalis
3351 Hoor-Paar-Kraat – Departure Of The Icicle Man
3657 Small Things On Sundays – Floating In Space
4000 Bardoseneticcube & Lieutenant Caramel – Level 7
4252 Blood Box – Armies Of The Midnight Sun
4558 Nimh – K.A. 05
4900 Maurizio Bianchi & Jan-M Iversen – Rekviem MB-JMI
5207 Gianluca Becuzzi – Radio Trans It
5513 Mark Wastell & Lasse Marhaug
5817 Opium/Sostrah Tinnitus – Stain III: South Central Aeolic
6123 No Hermanos Carrasco
6428 Novi_sad – Sberenica
6734 Petals – Masked Out
7050 Tune

MAURIZIO BIANCHI – APOKALYPSIS XXIII (CD by Nitkie)
TOMAS PHILLIPS & LUIGI TURRA – VIGNETTES AMPLIFIE (CD by Nitkie)
BARDOSENETICCUBE/LIEUTENANT CARAMEL – SILENCE SUBMARINE (CD by Studio Forum)
All three of these releases come from the home of Monochrome Vision, one of Russia’s finer homes for electronic and experimental music. Nitkie is a new sub-division that breaks with the black/white covers of the mothership, but has musicians that can also be found over there. The difference might be that some of this is actually new music, whereas the main label also deals with ‘old’ music, re-issues etc. Maurizio Bianchi hardly needs an introduction I should think. The old master of industrial music is back after a hiatus – although recently I heard rumors of him going back in hibernation – but ‘Apokalypsis XXIII’ seems to be a new work.  Four quotes from the book of Apocalypse is all the cover reveals for this. Bianchi is apparently still a devoted man, but this time the apocalypse doesn’t get a loud soundtrack, like it would have sounded thirty years ago, but a rather gentle work. Four long parts – a trademark for Bianchi is that he doesn’t always knows when to stop a piece of music, which might be his true power, but sometimes also his weakest side – of noncommittal synthesizer playing. Using loops of synthesizers, along with real-time playing, the apocalypse is depicted here as a chaotic but mild place, although I doubt its a pleasant place to stay around. The music is however quite nice, even for firm non-believers as I like to think of myself. A powerful work by Bianchi, even when the power is the actual mildness of the music, although not as new agey as his earlier come-back albums.
New age might also be the word that one could apply to an album that involves shakuhachi and prayer bowls, as on the disc by Tomas Phillips and Luigi Turra. They are both also credited for the use of laptop. And obviously this is not a work of new age. The music is simply not ‘easy’ enough, but it surely hints at a more zen-like experience of listening. Things are stretched out, quiet and peaceful. There are some highly obscured sounds from the world of electro-acoustics, long sustaining sounds on the bowl and the flute, the more than obvious crackles, which seem to belong to this micro-world. A release that could have as easily fitted on Line, I would think. Three pieces, all around eleven to fourteen minutes, which all need their time to peacefully and calmly enroll their story. A fine work of microsound, that not necessarily is anything new, but quite well crafted.
Last week we reviewed in these pages a CD by Igor Potsukaylo, who is otherwise known as Bardoseneticcube. His works can be easily classified as drone music, so its quite a surprise to find a CD of him together with Philippe Blanchard, otherwise known as Lieutenant Caramel. Perhaps not the most active composer in the field of musique concrete, but with a distinct style of his own. Long sustaining sounds versus cut-up: how does that work out? Actually quite nice. I had my doubts about it, despite liking what both do in their own field, but these nine compositions tie both ends together in a nice way. Its hard to say who does what here, which I guess is a compliment. There are lots of electro-acoustic sounds, from either field recordings as well as objects, which are chopped up, but also looped around to retain that sustaining drone like character. I must admit that my attention faded a bit after a while. I thought that seventy-two minutes of this kind of demanding musique concrete was all a bit too much to take in at once. The whole second piece, track nine on the CD, lasting twenty-four minutes is were I dropped out. Otherwise, in smaller doses, a great CD. (FdW)
Address: http://www.nitkie.ru

BAD SECTOR – CHRONOLAND (CD by Loki Found)
BLOOD BOX – FUNERAL IN AN EMPTY ROOM (CD by Loki Found)
Its very well possible to have a couple of years of silence from a band, and then suddenly two new releases in two weeks. Last week I heard Bad Sector’s ‘Raw Data’, this week it’s ‘Chronoland’, a full CD release on Loki Found. Its not an in-between work like ‘Raw Data’ may came across, but a full work that explores the musical side of Massimo Magrini. Like last week, I think Magrini’s music is interesting combination of various interests: dark ambient, computerized manipulations, field recordings, cosmic music and soundtrack like music. Among vast clouds of ambient hum, small melodies are incorporated, bursts of electric sparkles, and voices that seem to be coming from intercepted radio transmissions, as well as Magrini’s own voice. This may count for what I call the ‘dark gothic’ element, and its the one thing that I don’t necessarily like about his music. Luckily it doesn’t play an all important role. The main focus, however, is on dark ambience. Science fiction like music, due to the elements of cosmic music. Hard to say wether this a story of friendly aliens, or killer bugs from Klendathu attacking the federation. It all makes up an intense CD of great music, which is quite varied, and makes up its own film.
A long, long time ago, Vital Weekly ran a review of ‘A World Of Hurt’ by Blood Box. That was in Vital Weekly 137. Seven years later, another Blood Box CD was released, but not reviewed, and again, seven years later the third CD arrives, ‘Funeral In An Empty Room’. Behind Blood Box is Michael J.V. Hensley, member of Yen Pox (do they still exist, I wondered) and we take a trip out into the lands of true dark ambient music. No radio transmissions, cosmic doodling, field recordings and such like, but massive blocks of wailing synthesizers and lots of sound effects. Dark, haunting and haunted music with some great dynamics. It sometimes moves on top of the hills and then moves gently down towards the edge of a black hole, but it never falls in it: the music remains audible throughout. It moves up and down, like massive sea waves washing ashore, with great elegant majestic power. If you dig the releases on Malignant, then this dark journey will surely be something you like as well. Nothing new under the dark sky, but done with the absolute fine ear for a great production. (FdW)
Address: http://www.loki-found.de

JOHN LUTHER ADAMS – FOUR THOUSAND HOLES (CD by Cold Blue Music)
Ah what’s got Adams to do with ‘Four Thousand Holes in Blackburn Lancashire’, I wondered. A day in the life of Adams? A fab four tribute? Oops, there is indeed a quote from one my most beloved Beatles songs on the cover. It says also that Adams ‘limits himself to the most basic elements of Western music – major and minor triads and four-bar phrases – sculpting these sound objects into lush harmonies and rhythmically complex fields of sound’. Adams is a classical composer from the school of gentle minimalists, as I like to call those who work with the Cold Blue Music label. Two pieces are to be found here. One is for piano, vibraphone and orchestra bells, while Adams himself provides the ‘electronic aura’ and the second is for chimes, vibraphone, orchestra bells, bowed vibraphone and bowed crotales. I am not to well informed how it works with major and minor triads or four bar phrases, but the music has a great elegant quality. It sounds like two pieces for a small ensemble, but there seems also be some kind of electronic processing going on – perhaps the ‘electronic aura’ put in the exactly the right amount to make this wander of beyond pieces for a small ensemble, and instead creates wonderful sweet minimalist music. Slowly moving, with real instruments bouncing off and on with the electronics, merging fully together into an unified wholeness. Two excellent pieces of wonderful music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.coldbluemusic.com

NIMH – KRUNGTHEP ARCHIVES (CD by Silentes)
ENRICO CONIGLIO/UNDER THE SNOW – DIALOGUE ONE (CD by Silentes)
MAURIZIO BIANCHI & JAN-M. IVERSEN – REKVIEM MB-JMI (CD by Silentes)
GIANLUCA BECUZZI – [IN]VISIBLE FIELDS (2CD by Silentes)
OPIUM/SOSTRAH TINNITUS – STAIN (CD by Silentes)
Despite the disclaimer that one should not send more than three releases at once, I don’t think I ever got anything less than four at a time from Italy’s finest factory of ambient music. So this is a factory made review. I heard them all, and I certainly want to disrespect the music, but seeing the amount of reviews we produce every week, its simply impossible to hear all of this two or three times. Since, if I would, it would mean two entire days on one parcel, one label, and what about the rest that arrives? Or alternatively: pick the best two (and await mails asking when the rest is being reviewed)? Here we go.
Nimh is Giuseppe Verticchio. Oh, maybe its an idea if Silentes took a break from releasing so many CDs and cassettes and updated their website with some relevant information on their artists and releases (last updates seem from 2009, which about 30 releases ago). So Verticchio has his own website which tells us he works as Nimh, working from his own home in Thailand, and has played with Maurizio Bianchi and Mauthausen Orchestra. Yet his own work is not so much about noise, but not entirely truly ambient either. It dwells heavily on the use of field recordings, made in Thailand obviously. There are loops of percussive sound, fed through a bunch of effects (making it less of an obvious rhythm), mild distortion and a hint at cosmic music (such as in ‘K.A. 03’, not the most inspiring title I admit) and in the final piece a bit of ethnic stringed instruments. I guess its all ok, but especially the three middle tracks all a bit long for what it is. Especially in the fourth part not much happening. There is more to it than this this.
Enrico Coniglio is a recent busy man when it comes to releases reviewed in Vital Weekly. His split CD with Under The Snow is, how appropriate, ‘inspired by cold and frost’. Now I am very glad winter time is over and spring has arrived, and I was mistaken with ‘Long Distance’; is this really Coniglio? On a low rumble noise base? Luckily in the other three pieces he is more on par with his usual ambient atmospherics of electronics, guitars and effects. ‘Kingdom Of Her’ is the nicest out of four, moving from mighty cliched synths to radio active fall out crackles. Under The Snow, a duo of guitar and computers, of Stefano Gentile and Gianluca Favaron, have one piece that lasts twenty-seven minutes, even when they move through stages inside the piece. More nicely processed guitars, which seem to have disappeared in the battle of zeroes and ones inside the computer. Nice enough I guess.
More Maurizio Bianchi, who gets here credit for ‘elegiac electronics and mournful waves’ who teams up with Jan-M Iversen (‘sound behavior and bewailed electronics’). The title may not imply many good things I think. Well, maybe it does. Is it a requiem for themselves or someone else? Hard to say. It opens up in Itunes as ‘New Testament Church Seminar-Session 1 (Part 1 of 2)’, no doubt somebody will love that. Its a thirty seven minute work of mournful tunes indeed. A church organ like sound that arises over the course of more then minutes from  the sound of a river – the styx no doubt – and some more processed sounds – no doubt from the organ like sounds. The end here is like the beginning. Thirty seven minutes pure ambient bliss with a touch of experimentalism. One of the best works from either of them in recent years.
Gianluca Becuzzi was formerly known as Kinetix, firmly rooted in the world of laptop music. That didn’t change, I guess, when choosing his real name to work under. The works on this double CD is ‘a collection of tracks created in order to non-compositional works: sound and video installations, theatre, performances, live set’. It starts with a theatre piece of real time treated trumpet sounds and deals with ‘The Pit And The Pendulum’ by Edgar Allen Poe (great story), but is unfortunately a bit of chaotic, messy piece. ‘The Cage’ is a piece for a small cage which Becuzzi played along with pre-recorded sounds of birds. Short and therefore alright – one shouldn’t stretch this sort of thing. ‘Radio Trans It’ has voices (among others from Achim Wollscheid) and works very nicely in a sort of radiophonic way. ‘Water Memories’ is another short, installation piece of water sounds, and ‘Breaths’ the soundtrack for a series of video portraits by Francesco Arena, but its hard to see the relation between people breathing behind a sheet of plexiglass with much of this piece. The second CD contains one piece, which is an improvised electro-acoustic set, with fixed set of field recordings and real time sound processing. Both treated and untreated they are layered on top of each other and is perhaps closest to his older work as Kinetix. A firm piece of laptop music, with all the usual suspects hanging around: crackles, sine waves, deep bass sounds and such like. As a release by itself it would perhaps not stand out, but as part of the bigger package here: sure, why not?
Did I ever hear of Sostrah Tinnitus or Opium? Maybe I did. Opium have had releases on Databloem before. Although the cover is quite sparse, I believe this is a work of a collaborative nature. Four pieces that span about fifty minutes. What can say about this, other then utter the mantra: ambient! atmospheric! deep! and such like? Lots of highly processed sounds – of whatever origin – that are moulded together in just exactly what one expects: deep ambient music. I must admit I thought it was not bad, but perhaps all a bit too easy. Or maybe I am tired? Maybe its hard to see the drops in the mighty sea we call ambient music. Maybe I am loosing it? I do believe this is fine album, but I sense its also quickly made. (FdW)
Address: http://www.silentes.net/

JEREMIE MATHES – GJOLL (CD by Basses Frequences)
HOOR-PAAR-KRAAT  – THE EUREKA TAPES (THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS) (2CD by Basses Frequences)
Mystery Sea have the honor of introducing Jeremie Mathes to the world (see Vital Weekly 762), Basses Frequences the honor of doing his first real CD. ‘Gj–ll’ in the old Norsk mythology means ‘resounding’ and is the name of the eleven rivers associated with the Elivagar. Mathes created five works using ‘metal doors resonance, cymbals, banjo, broken lute with worn out violin bow, sea shells, various percussions, found objects, combined with field recordings’, which is certainly a longer list than I would have made up if I had to invent what I had been hearing. Field recordings for sure, water sounds mainly, but my best guess would have been a bunch of synthesizers, sound effects and percussion. That perhaps gives you a clue where we can find this music, that of ambient/drone/atmospherics. Mathes has a background in the more academic parts of electronic music, which is something I think is shown in his music. The way sounds are treated is one that gives it away, but unlike his academic peers, Mathes uses the long stretched out sounds to space out his sounds rather than make those quick glissandi that his peers would make. It makes his work a bit of an odd-ball in the world of academic composed electronic, but it fits well with the underground drones usually inhabited by Vital Weekly. A fine work that differs only marginally from the same underground, but certainly has a lot of beauty and infinite depth.
Anthony Mangicapra is the main man of Hoor-Paar-Kraat, and I never heard f him, but apparently lots of other people do, since his double CD contains various works that have been previously released on such  – again for me unknown – labels as Small Doses, Peasant Magik, Goat Eater Arts and Acid Casualty Productions, as CDRs and cassettes. All of this and more was recorded when he lived in Eureka, California. The cover lists a bunch of other people, but nothing towards instruments used. Basses Frequences hints at references as Nurse With Wound and irr.app.(ext.) – the more surreal end of the musical spectrum. There is a lot of bowing going on here. On guitars, sheets of metal, violin and perhaps elements of percussion. One hundred and fifty minutes of stretched out, vaguely ritualistic playing. The opening piece, ‘Pearls’ sets the tone: ringing, even towards feedback of a tibetan bowl or two, microphones wide open, sighing. The pieces are long, although twenty in total, but each seem to have the ritualistic kind of playing of a few instruments, looping around in effects, a bit of tape-treatments and a bit of field recordings (or perhaps a case of recording outdoors). Throughout it was alright, but not great. It deemed me all a bit long for what it had to offer – inside individual tracks and as a double CD by itself. But Hoor-Paar-Kraat show themselves skilled students of Nurse and (ext.), applying similar methods of studio treatments and free improvisation, even the inspired in the drawings. Maybe all a bit cliched in the surreal world, where all things surreal are apparently more alike than highly individual. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bassesfrequences.org

M. OSTERMEIER – THE RULES OF ANOTHER SMALL WORLD (CD by Tench)
Quite hot on the heels of ‘Chance Reconstruction’ (see Vital Weekly 742), here is another album from Maryland based composer M. Ostermeier. With a title like that its not easy to avoid thinking of ‘another green world’ by Mister Eno, and even when the music of that album has not much to with Ostermeier, some of the other work of Eno certainly has. He plays short pieces, eleven in just thirty-seven minutes, using traditional instruments as guitar, piano (electric and acoustic), adds a bit of field recordings and a bit of electronics to create a finely woven pattern of highly melodic music. Its the kind of music that comes from the world of minimal music, computer based music, but at the same time is sweet and optimistic. Dark is not the keyword for once. I especially like the pop-like format of the songs (which word I rather use than ‘pieces’) which keeps things in a proper perspective. Ostermeier doesn’t loose out on lengthy doodling on similar ideas, but instead opens up a world of his own of a simple, naive and beautiful emptiness. Partly modern classical, reminding the listener of Nils Frahm and some of Machinefabriek’s work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tenchrec.com

THOMAS ANKERSMIT & VALERIO TRICOLI – FORMA II (CD by Pan)
Two exiles based in Berlin. From Italy Valerio Tricolo and from the Netherlands Thomas Ankersmit. Tricolo we know best from his work with 3/4Hadbeeneliminated and Ankersmit toured extensively with Phill Niblock. Over the course of two years they worked on this album using a Serge Analogue Modular Synthesizer, alto saxophone, guitar pickups, holosonic speakers, revox tape recorder, walkman and computer. This is what we call electro-acoustic music in optima Forma. Things buzz and crack like there is no end, in a vivid montage style at various point, or pleasantly sustaining in ‘Plague #7’. Great sonic depth is to be discovered here, due to the fine combination of analogue and digital processing techniques. When the final piece arrives, ‘Takht-e Tavus’ we arrive in a different land: layered saxophone sounds reminds the listener of Niblock like majestic drones. It sounds like a total odd ball when you first heard the musique concrete montage of the first four tracks, but it provides also with something that is indeed entirely different, showing what else these two men are capable of. An excellent release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.pan-act.com

LASSE MARHAUG & MARK WASTELL – KISS OF ACID STORY (CD by Monotype Records)
This may seem a highly unlikely pairing. Mark Wastell, know for playing the tam-tam and Lasse Marhaug, uncrowned king of norske noise. How on earth do they play together. They didn’t. Wastell once hired a tam tam, a 36inch Paiste, for a concert in Paris, but didn’t make it and instead thought to make the best out of the hired instrument and recorded sound material. That was passed onto Lasse Marhaug, who used his computer and electronics to create a forty some minute work out of it. Its not quite what I expected and perhaps that’s the best thing about it. I expected a wall of noise generated from tam tam looping around in distortion, but its not. Not at all. Marhaug uses large chunks of raw sound material in two main parts of his piece, and just very gradually takes over with an excellent set of electronic sounds, dark, atmospheric, but which make effective use of the entire spectrum, also the high end part of it, and the tam tam is removed from the scene. Well, that, or processed to such an extent that no longer recognize them as a tam tam. This is certainly the case after the twenty minute break. Dark, haunting atmospheric music. No noise was harmed in this release. Excellent collaboration. (FdW)
Address: http://www.monotyperecords.com

NOVI_SAD – INHUMANE HUMANS (CD by Sub Rosa)
Sub Rosa has a new series called Framework, “A brand new mix-up of unusual conceptions of sound material by young unknown composers, well known not-so-young composers and old but clever composers.” I guess Novi_sad (Thanasis Kaproulias) is young and known, via his releases on Staalplaat and Touch. Two pieces here, ‘Sbrenenica’ and ‘Aircraft Noises’. The latter is build from noises from aircrafts – duh – and was a piece for multi-speaker systems. Quite a loud piece of machine noises and in flight talking on a level that you just can’t hear them, gives the impression that you are inside the motor of an airplane. I guess its alright, but perhaps also a bit too simply in approach. Of more interest is the piece ‘Sbrenenica’ which deals with field recordings from ancient Olympia, morse signals, barn doors and a female voice speaking about being raped during the war in Bosnia. That voice doesn’t seem to have a big role and its hard to decipher. But the collage/montage approach of all those sound sources, along with a five minute noise height (from fifteen to twenty minutes) make this a highly dramatic piece of music. The noise bit is essential I guess, but not well spend on me. The whole is quite nice, but not the best I heard from Novi_sad. The two pieces are nice at its best, but both a bit long for what it is and surely could have been shorter and more effective, making room for an additional piece with perhaps less noise but equally dramatic. (FdW)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

RETINA.IT – RANDOMICON (CD by FlatMate)
Flat Music is a new label with focus on experimental electronic music of a wider pallet. Present album is only the second launch from the label. The packing is very stylish with every single release from the label having a unique expression. This present album is a minimalist white digipack only released in a limited number of 500 copies. Retina.it is an Italian project consisting of the two artists Lino Monaco and Nicola Buono. Consisting of eleven tracks, the album Randomicon takes its starting point in experimental sessions with modular synth equipments. The result finds itself somewhere between minimalist electro, clicks’n’cuts and textures of noise drones. There is a nice balance between abstract and semi-demanding textures and catchy rhythm textures. Favorite moments of the album is the minimalist track “Particelle ultraleggere” built on clicking beat pulses and the very cool rhythm-based track “Moto armonico” built on long synth drones reminiscent of early Pan(a)Sonic. Great album from a label worth keeping an eye on. (NM)
Address: http://www.flatmatemusic.com

LOD – NEUROPASTA (CD by Klitekture)
KRATER – HARMONIC TREMOR (CD by Klitekture)
Klitekture is an interesting Spanish label based in Las Palmas. Present two albums are the 14th and 15th release of the release catalogue of the label. 14th album from the label is a remix project. Debut album from Spanish composer Krater titled “Harmonic termor” was highly praised for its combination of sound and image into a unique audio-visual work. Eight artists have had the freedom to manipulate and re-process the sounds of the original album and the result is this present album titled “Harmonic tremor remixes”. Stylishly the album varies a lot from the loop-based ambient-remix of “Oceanic crust” executed by GAF to the abstract cut-up version by Fehlfaktor. Generally the album is a quite demanding experience that will satisfy listeners of abstract electronic and sound art. Frank Bretschneider glitchy and subtle noisy track of slow moving beat structures works excellent and ends this interesting remix-project in a very nice manner.
15th launch from the label comes from the artist Luis Ortiz operating under the project name LOD. Present album titled”Neuropasta” balances between digital sound textures and electro-acoustic samples of instruments such as piano and various string instruments. It is an album that is hard to categorize because of the rather complex textures of different expressions. One moment the album approaches the more postrock-based expressions reminiscent of early Mogwai, the next we move into more ambient-based spheres with touches of idm-textures. Never the less this is a superb album with a fine line from beginning to end. Many intense moments around, though one of my favorite ones, occurs with the beautiful track “Articulated dolls” built on spoken words from a female moving on top of warm ambient-tones and syncopted rhythmic structures. Also the warm and atmospheric piece titled “Interchangeable” sticks to you after the end. Excellent album. (NM)
Address: http://www.klitekture.com

MACHINEFABRIEK – VLOED (CD by Cold Spring)
Some time ago I had the pleasure of reviewing an album by Dutch sound artist Rutger Zuydervelt alias Machinefabriek. It was the album titled “Daas” that combined elements of ambient, modern classical, drone, noise and field recordings. Next album from Machinefabriek also released on Cold Spring is titled “Vloed” (Dutch word for “River”) is a collection of slightly edited live performances from the period 2006-2008 recorded in the Dutch cities Den Haag and Amsterdam. The album consists of three live pieces and one bonus track titled
“Vrijhaven” that was until now only available as a download-version. The album opens with the piece “Allengskens” recorded live in June 2006; a nice and atmospheric ambient track running 18 minutes. The track is repetitive, consisting of drones primarily based on guitars and pedals. Another important part of the piece is the electronic spheres creating some dreamy overall textures. Next piece titled “Drijfzand” running 13 minutes opens slowly with minimal high frequency sound drones that slowly builds up to halfway through the track where processed choir-samples penetrates and moves along in loop-based manners before it slowly fades out with high-pitched noises ending the track. “Vrijhaven” is a more cynic and cold track build on guitar-drones that whines and waves adding a great hypnotic experience throughout the 21 minutes runtime. Final piece is the titled track “Vloed” recorded live back in October 2007 at Bimhuis in Amsterdam. Another beautiful ambient-based piece built on guitar timbres waving and lulling the listener into deep trance for 22 minutes until it slowly fades away. Astonishing album from one of Holland’s most interesting contemporary ambient artists. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

MATHON – TERRESTRE (LP/DVD by Everest Records)
These days its common to get a free download code with a piece of vinyl, but Everest had a better idea: give the listener a DVD with mp3s of the LP, along with all the tracks remixed by friends and a bunch of videos. The total entertainment package. Mathon is a trio of Pete Leuenberger, Roger Stucki and Thomas Augustiny and each of the six track they have an additional player. ‘Earth’ is the main theme of their fourth album (I don’t think heard their music before), recorded on a mobile studio in the Swiss mountains. There are no instruments mentioned for the players of Mathon, just for the guests. They add piano, violin, voice, and electronics. In a piece like ‘Sublim’, the piano plays an all important role, along with percussion sounds, field recordings and perhaps some synthesizer; I assume that’s what the band does. Together they create some atmospheric, (electro-) acoustic music. Its the guiding theme for the record: acoustic instruments by guestplayers are embedded in a warm bath of improvised electronics and percussion. Sometimes, such as in ‘Curse’, the album leaps into jazz, which wasn’t my cup of tea. Sometimes its a bit too slick also, but not bad at all. Various tracks get remixes, by i8u, Steinbruchel, Kenneth Kirschner, Digitalis, Tobias Reber, Matu and Elektrohandel. Sometimes it stays close to the original, like i8u and Elektrohandel (although they remove the jazz reference in ‘Curse’), but the best are those who go out all the way, such as Steinbruchel’s crackling, the reducing approaches of Kirschner, the full out rhythms of Digitalis and Matu and cut ups by Reber. Actually the remixes did more for this electronic head than the originals. (FdW)
Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch

NO HERMANOS CARRASCO – MIMESIS INTEMPERIE (CDR by L’innomable)
From Santiago de Chile a duo called No Hermanos
Carrasco, finding their way onto a label from Slovenia – global village indeed. One Eden Carrasco on ‘sax, hoses, bell, idea and production’ and one Nicolas Carrasco on ‘violin, objects, production, mix’. Like the band name implies they are not brothers. I see no credit for field recordings, but the fun-fair ground sounds are well present in ‘1’, on top of which the improvisations take place. Its a curious mixture of sounds, very much on balance with each other, which makes it hard to figure out what exactly makes up the field recording and to what extend we hear some playing of instruments, since the sounds they produce might sound like those of the fun-fair, which is actually quite nice. Sometimes it moves up a bit and they sound a bit more distinctly  Something similar happens in ‘2’ but here the sounds of the funfair are replaced by birds in cage (I assume, judging by the rather static position they seem to be in). Again the two main instruments are part of the whole, which made me wonder (more here than with the first piece actually), if both pieces weren’t recorded live as such in these environments? That could very well be the case. Both pieces last around thirty minutes, which I think is a bit long for what it is in the end, although the idea of playing along with the environment, and two quite different ones is actually very nice. Even when a bit long. (FdW)
Address: http://linnomable.wordpress.com

UR/HARSHCORE – A PLEASURE TRIP PART 1 (CDR by Sincope)
Sincope is a small label based in Italy. The first three releases are cassettes and the last four are CDR’s. The CDR itself is painted by aerosol, to give it a personal touch. UR consists of Federico Esposito, Mauro Sciaccaluga and Andrea Ferraris and started in 2005. They experiment with contact microphones, samples, violin, electric bass, cymbals and a so called schizophrenic devotion. Harshcore is a duo and consists of Luca Sigurta and Tommase Clerico. Most of their releases they collaborate with other groups or individuals. The six tracks at this album are recorded in Genova in 2007. The two groups recorded four years ago in Genova ? Italy. The first track starts in silence and slowly some drony tones are coming up and harsh sounds disturb little by little the quietness and ends with lots of feedback. The second song has the same structure, starts with a rhythm as if someone is walking with very strong shoes and a fine ongoing melody supports this beat. A crackling noise takes over the noise and other electronics create a surreal soundscape. And this musical recipe has been used in all other compositions. Of course five musicians who are into experimental and harsh noise can create a huge wall of sound which is blasting your ears out of your body. But this five musicians choose for subtlety and carefully listen to each other to make a fine balanced noise with several layers of recognizable and I do not know what kinds of sounds. And I agree, this album is a pleasurable trip in Italian experimental noises. (JKH)
Address: http://sincoperec.altervista.org/

RONNY WAERNES -TENDENTIOUS D (CDR by Go to Gate Records)
Silence, just silence… A small tone appears and floats away into another. Softly and gentle growing to a painfull earblasting bleep which fades away into ambient drones where feed-back is waiting to attack. Ronny Waernes from Bod¯, in the nothern parts of Norway, created the album Tendentious D in the month Februar 2011 and it is his contribution tot the RPM challenge 2011 to create and record a complete album during this month. Eight tracks fill this album with ambient alike noises and drones, composed with contact mics, effect pedals, mixer, and a laptop. No other instruments were used and this suprises me a lot, cause sometimes it sounds like a string synhesizer or an organ. “Dr¯mmebaerget” is a track with sounds like electronic waterdrops which are falling. Other tracks are really noisy or filled with high pitched feed-backtones, like the track “Don’t Listen.” Ronny Waernes released since 2006 his industrial and noise music and moves from minimalistic ambient soundscapes to metal percussions and more. This album shows his diversity in styles and his aim to create intense music and for me it is a nice acquaintance. Highly recommended album… (JKH)
Address: http://www.gotogaterecords.com

SMALL THINGS ON SUNDAYS – MASS/FLUX (CDR by Striate Cortex)
SPACES BETWEEN (CDR by Striate Cortex)
PETALS – MASKED OUT (3″CDR by Striate Cortex)
Henrik Bagner and Claus Poulsen, together being Small Things On Sundays, found on the internet sounds from the LHC, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. I assume they no longer use the treated vinyl which was apparent on their earlier work, but I am not sure if they exclusively use the LHC sounds, or that they perhaps added some of their own sound material, these days also including radio, guitar, viola and objects. They created five long pieces with this sound material that are best described as ambient industrial. Mood music. Atmospheric delights. Quite refined as such, which makes ‘Mass/Flux’ a step forward for this duo. Things sound more worked out here, more composed, less improvised. Still not entirely flawless, and sometimes a bit too long and spaced out, there is still room for improvement for these guys, but it seems the more they play the better it gets.
Mike Orr is from Bristol and calls himself Spaces Between. He refers to pieces as ‘songs’, which I always like. His songs are made with guitars and computers, but mainly guitars I should think. The computers are used to provide rhythms rather than a variety of processes, although not in every track. Guitars are layered together, and either play a variety of tunes or more sound-scape like sound matter.  Its more pop than experiment I should think. Moody and textured for sure, but also a lot more poppy, mainly due to the average length of the pieces, which is around three to five minutes. His guitar still sounds like a guitar and not like a mighty drone music or the starting point for some computer doodling. At times horrible out of date, as in ‘1664’, but then also as a lovely small technoid android piece in ‘Piano Doubt’. Spaces Between bounces all over the place, which is a nice display of what Orr can do with his guitar, but perhaps this variety is a bit in the way of a more coherent album. I guess those are considerations to be made next time. This is a most promising start.
Kevin Sanders is Petals and on February 6th of this year he recorded ‘Masked Out’, live (at home?) in Huddersfield. He credits his instruments as ‘Reed Organs, Strings (ukulele, violin and tapes)’, which leads to a piece that last twenty minutes and fourteen seconds of drone noise. Or noise drones. Either way, but its hard to define anything as a reed organ (or more), strings, ukulele, violin and tapes are fed through a bunch of distortion pedals to create n-o-i-s-e. To what purpose exactly, you may wonder? Well, maybe you don’t care and maybe you like noise, but I wasn’t in the least bit impressed by all of this. I heard better noise with more imagination. That’s it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.striatecortex.co.uk

MARINOS KOUTSOMICHALIS – 3 STUDIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RECORDINGS, VCS3 AND STUDIO RESPONSE (CDR by by Uzusounds)
Z’EV – LIVE IN ATHENS (CDR by by Agxivatein)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ – FANGO DE EURIPTERIDOS (3″CDR by Agxivatein)
So far Greek composer Marinos Koutsomichalis produced a small number of works, which either blew me away, or didn’t do much. That makes that I eagerly anticipate any new work from him, if only to check if its great or not. This new work has a self-explanatory title, this is what you get: three pieces of music, which use field recordings, sounds from a vintage VCS3 synthesizer which are picked up in a studio piece by some excellent microphones. Much of what Koutsomichalis does falls in the world of drones, ambient, minimalism and conceptualism. That goes for much of this also. The three pieces are quite low in volume on the CDR, but if you put the volume up quite a bit your speakers will produce a rattling sound of their own, due to the low end bass sound. This is perhaps the first time when my opinion on his work isn’t the radical ‘great beauty’ or ‘why on earth’, but a more leveled one: yes, its alright, great even, but not the absolute greatness of some of his other works. Its perhaps has to do with the fact that I heard such music before, of equally greatness, so its maybe more of the same? Nice nevertheless.
On Koutsomichalis’ label Agixvatein we have two releases from classic players of the world of electronics, industrial music and experimentalism. Z’EV was captured live on October 8th 2010 in Athens. These days when Z’EV plays with other people he uses electronic drums, but when he plays solo he still goes back to his acoustic percussion of metal sheets, plates and such like. That’s what he does here. There is very little difference between this recording and say something you may have heard thirty or so years ago, but then perhaps you didn’t, and this CDR is a rarity. These days we don’t get that many live solo recordings from Z’EV. One thing that bothered me a bit is that with today’s technology it would have been nice to capture his playing with a bunch of good microphones and get a really fine detailed mix out of that. That is sadly not the case with this recording. It seems to be recorded with just one set of stereo microphones, a bit far away in the space. That is a pity since it doesn’t reveal much of the overtones that are usually present in the work of Z’EV. Now it sounds like half the picture. Still a good to hear, certainly if you ever witnessed what Z’EV does in concert.
Francisco Lopez may have an extensive discography of CD releases, but obviously he has been around for ages, so lesser known are his cassette releases. I am not sure why some or all haven’t found their way as re-issues on CD/CDR, but perhaps there is a good reason for it. The ‘Mud Of Eurypterids’, as this 3″ is roughly translated, was recorded in 1990 and released on cassette in an edition of 50 by Hyades Arts. This new version has been re-edited and digitally remastered. Its of course for die-hard Lopez followers, like me, interesting to hear if the old work, in as far as we haven’t heard it before (like in my case with this one) bears perhaps traces of his later work. To some extend it does, but there are differences. One of the main differences is that the old work is less subtle in approach, being audible throughout the entire piece. I do believe there are field recordings at work here, maybe recorded in a factory or in abandoned factory site. Loops are created from the material and played around with the addition of more reverb (I am not sure of that actually). Together it makes up a piece of music that is actually quite industrial in approach, but without overtly leaning towards noise tendencies. Quite an interesting and fine release to hear, and hopefully the first of more re-issues of his older work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.uzusounds.com
Address: http://www.agxivatein.com

APROX. – BAD MUSIC EP (3″CDR by Some Place Else)
“Come on you fucking fag” and the beats and harsh noises starts as a fucked up DJ who is turning several albums simultaneously. The first track called ” Elbow Knock” of the Bad Music EP of the Finnish APROX. starts as a smash in the face. Six tracks fill this 3″CDR and techno, distorted hip-hop, alternative guitarmusic and industrial noises. APROX. is the alternative pop project of producer  MR:HC (aka Human Chocolate). The project started in 2002. Some other tracks and remixes have been released at several compilations and APROX. played at several clubs, venues and festivals in Finland and other Baltic countries. The construction of the CD is well-chosen and the songs are composed during 2004 – 2008. The songs blend seamlessly into one another and take the listener into different worlds. The music is really creative and several elements of different kinds of popular music styles melt together in an electronical world. The title of the CD is meant as a provocation, cause the music is not bad at all and I hope in future we will hear more music of this Finnish musical disturber. (JKH)
Address: http://www.someplaceelse.net

CONRAD SCHNITZLER & WOLFGANG SEIDEL – CONSEQUENZ 0108 (cassette by Mirror Tapes)
THE NEW BLOCKADERS – LIVE AT MORDEN TOWER (cassette by Mirror Tapes)
Tempelhof Airport in Berlin is closed as an airport but friends tell me you can do nice walks there. Or drag in your equipment and record music, like long term friends Conrad Schnitzler and Wolfgang Seidel did. They have been working off and on together since 1980 on music. Here we have a recording made in an empty room at Tempelhof Airport from last year of their improvised keyboard playing. Now I am not entirely sure how these matters are divided among these players, but it seems to me that Schnitzler is the one responsible for the more clinical electronic sounds, the oscillations and non keyboard use of electronics, while Seidel may seem to add more sample based sounds. All out improvisation on all things with keys. Sometimes they wander off into a territory where not much interesting is happening and then it leaps back with some urgent need and strong movements. If it was me, I would have opted for a more rigorous edit of this material, but I guess in the world of Schnitzler that is a no-go. A perfect option for a cassette release therefore.
The other release has already travelled a lot. It was first released privately by The New Blockaders, then came as bootleg LP on RRRecords which were edited. Later on reworkings where released on CDR by Siren and finally found their way on the 4CD ‘Gesamtnichtswerk’ in 2003. In 2000 Colin Potter remastered the 1983 private release which is the one now released by Mirror Tapes. A truly legendary concert – actually two, one from July 1983 and one from October 1983 (their second and third concert actually). I never know what the New Blockaders are using to create their early sound – rusty bicycles was always my best guess. But perhaps any type of metallic sheets will do, fed through rough amplification, bursting with uncontrolled energy. A very raw and lo-fi work of noise music, and for me The New Blockaders at their best, along with their great debut LP ‘Changez Les Blockeurs’ and the various collaborations with Organum – the ‘Pulp’ 7″ being an even more particular favorite. This is excellent anti-music, or perhaps anti-anti music – I never figured out how that worked with The New Blockaders. The a-side is performed by the brothers Rupenus and on the b-side performance they receive help from Sir Ashleigh Grove, making the a-side a bit more sparse and the b-side a bit more dense, and seems to have an additional layer of sound, which might be electronics or a synthesizer. An excellent historic document of one of the finer moments in the history of noise. (FdW)
Address: http://mirrortapes.blogspot.com/

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Categories: Releases