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Vital Weekly 859

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BERNARD FALAISE – S’ENFOUIR (CD by Et Records) *
ALEXANDRE ST.ONGE – AILLEURS (CD by Et Records) *
CREMASTER & ANGHARAD DAVIES – PLUIE FINE (CD by Potlatch) *
TREHA SEKTORI – ENDESSIAH (CD by Cyclic Law) *
PIANO INTERRUPTED – TWO BY FOUR (CD by Days Of Being Wild) *
MUENNICH/ESPOSITO/JUPITTER-LARSEN – THE WRAITHS OF FLYING A (CD by Firework Edition Records) *
THE INFANT CYCLE – DROP-OUT CENTER (CD by Zhelezobeton) *
ULRICH TROYER – SOMATIC SOUNDTRACKS (CD by 4Bit Productions) *
BIOMECHANICA – BM01 (CD by Geometrik Records) *
MERZBOW/ACTUARY – FREAK HALLUCINATIONS (LP by Obfuscated Records)
THEME & JEAN-HERVE PERSON &ZSOLT SORES – POISON IS (NOT) THE WORD (LP by Lumberton Trading Company)
DIGITALIS – PENDULUM (LP by Everest Records)
SION ORGON – INTO THE DARK (7″ by Fourth Dimension Records)
GRZEGORZ BOJANEK – REMAINING SOUNDS (CDR by Dynamophone Records) *
AN MOKU – MONONOCLE (CDR by Eta Label) *
NAUTILUS DUO – TALES OF THE FLYING WHALE (CDR by Setola Di Maiale) *
TIZIANO MILANI – TOUCH (CDR by Setola Di Maiale) *
ADAM BECKLEY – BLANK SCREENS OF HOPE (cassette by Koppklys) *
STAR TURBINE – SPACE HABITAT (cassette by Koppklys) *
YDOTRYLL – DUST (cassette by Koppklys) *

Listen

tracklist for Vital Weekly 859:

0000 Tune
0014 Ulrich Troyer – Song For Heide
0320 Bernard Falaise – Nuire
0612 Grzegorz Bojanek – Remaining Motionless
0912 BioMechanica – BM01-05
1216 Adam Beckley – Avner
1516 Tiziano Milani – Dark, Dark My Light
1822 Muennich & Esposito & Jupitter-Larsen – The Wraiths Of Flying A
2125 Star Turbine – Life Forms
2432 Ypotryll – A Blue Mantle Under The Stars
2735 Threha Sektori – Desproarehn
3037 The Infant Cycle – Pool Skin
3335 Alexandre St.Onge
3632 An Moku – Stockwerk
3934 Cremaster & Angharad Davies – Bruine
4238 Piano Interrupted – Hedi
4543 Tune

BERNARD FALAISE – S’ENFOUIR (CD by Et Records)
ALEXANDRE ST.ONGE – AILLEURS (CD by Et Records)
Two new releases on one of Montreal’s finer homes of anything improvised (be it rock, modern classical, computer), one by someone we heard before and a new name. That one is Bernard Falaise, who plays electric guitar and is part of improvising ensembles such as Miriodor, Klaxon Gueule, les Projectionnistes, Diesel and others. As a composer he wrote pieces for Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM), Quartango and the Isis Quartet, as well as for film, theatre and choreography. I assume he plays the guitar here as well but also the piano, and uses some kind of way to process that playing. I assume, but am not sure, that this is the computer. It’s maybe more a gist than a certainty on y part. Twenty pieces, somewhere between under one minute and just under three minutes, with a total length of thirty-three minutes. An album of action, I should think, packed with ideas. On the website Falaise is quoted: “A suite of five pieces repeated four times. At each repetition, I scratched, twisted, dislocated, polluted, deboned, objected. A record about exhaustion, saturation and sinking. That’s how it is.” I don’t agree, necessarily. It’s not really exhausting to hear all of this music, but things do indeed appear and disappear rather quickly from time to time. As outlined five pieces, repeated four times (which you can see, more or less, by the equal lengths of respective songs), which have a fine sensible character to it. Part experimental, part improvised, a bit of musique concrete like, but perhaps due to its brief character also a bit ‘pop’ like in approach. Short, sketch like ideas, but nevertheless quite worked out into well formed compositions. An excellent CD, I thought, full of sparkling pieces, strange moves and with an exciting brief character per track. Certainly moving around various musical circles.
Less tracks – six – and a bit longer – thirty-five minutes – is the new release by Alexandre St-Onge, who is a well-known musician from Montreal, who has played with such bands as Et Sans, K.A.N.T.N.A.G.A.N.O., Klaxon Gueule, Pink Saliva, Mineminemine, Shalabi Effect and Undo and has already released seven solo CDs for labels as Oral, Alien8, Squint Fucker Press and Namskeio. His main instrument is the bass, sometimes acoustic, but on his new solo CD the electric one and also the computer. Here we deal with an interesting combination of improvisation and musique concrete. I assume – again and again – that he feeds the recordings of his bass playing through the computer, perhaps in real time, perhaps not, where it’s being transposed and pitched up and down the scale. That’s is nice, but I must admit that I though the CD was also a bit too much based on a single idea, which happened to take six almost identical forms. The improvised plucking of the bass, and the transposition of those sounds is something we know after a while, and one wonders if there is anything more that could be done. Probably there is, but it’s not happening here. That is a pity. No matter how brief the whole album is (well, a real LP length by old standards of course), the similarity in approaches works a bit against the album as a whole, whereas each track individually is actually quite nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.etrecords.net

CREMASTER & ANGHARAD DAVIES – PLUIE FINE (CD by Potlatch)
Here we have something cryptical. The cover here suggests that the music – three pieces in total – was ‘composed, recorded and assembled between september 2010 and july 2012 in Barcelona’ and the ‘violin parts recorded by Kostis Kilymis on 3rd march 2012 in Oxford’. Which made me understand that this is perhaps improvised music, but then recorded through mail exchange? Or maybe Davies added some of his violin playing to existing music of Cremaster, a duo of Alfredo Costa Monteiro (electro-acoustic devices, speakers, electric guitar) and Ferran Fages (feedback mixing board, electro-acoustic devices)? It’s all a bit unclear, I must say, but I do realize this is all perhaps also not really important. What counts, of course, is the music. As Cremaster, Fages and Monteiro have already produced a body of loud improvised music that sometimes borders closely to the world of noise. This new release is not different (sad to say?) and has these sustaining magnetic fields of sound of dynamic material – very high pitched at times, and very low at the same time, and Davies plays his violin along that. Most of the times it’s not easy to recognize his violin playing among whatever the hell Cremaster are doing and that’s a nice thing. It may not have been recorded in one and the same room, but it sure sounds like it, and that’s great. These three pieces, around fifteen minutes each, are quite intense affairs of sound. There is a lot happening in this music and it requires a fair amount of concentration on the listener’s part to fully enjoy this. Should you superficially listening, I can imagine that some of these extreme frequencies will be regarded as annoying. But once you are open for this, a whole world opens up. Excellent stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.potlatch.fr

TREHA SEKTORI – ENDESSIAH (CD by Cyclic Law)
Dehn Sora from France is behind Treha Sektori, and both seem like odd self-invented names. Sora is also a member of Sembler Deah and ‘a long time collaborator of the Church Of Ra, all of which I never heard and which made me think the musical world, even ‘my’ musical world, is so infinite bigger than I realize – well, that’s something I realize a lot actually. The band name translates as ‘the place where they fall’ (who are ‘they’ I mused), and the title as ‘to let go everything’. Apparently no keyboards were used, but only voices and string instruments, such as guitars, esraj, polynesian mandoline and banjo and, what the liner notes don’t mention, a lot of reverb and delay effects. With these it’s possible to expand the tinniest and thinnest sound into an unbelievable big, atmospheric sound. That’s what’s going on here and in every inch of this, music, band name, titles, packaging, I have the idea that I have been to this place before. Last week, last year, last decade or perhaps even as early as Martin Hannett started using his delay effects on the Joy Division drums – the cathedral sound of doom. It’s been a long road, but hardly a bumpy one: everyone does whatever fits the quite rigid template of this music. Dark atmospheric bangs on percussion, oooh and aaah in a microphone (unless my sanskrit is getting rusty) and strums on strings, all of this with a varying amount of reverb. Does this mean I don’t like this CD? No, actually I do, if I tend not to think in terms of ‘what’s new pussycat’, but rather sit back stare out of the window, contemplate the grey, early winter sky and think: ‘this is the perfect soundtrack for such weather conditions’. Will I play it again? Surely sometime this winter, but next year this may have faded from my memory and be replaced by some other dark ambient doodle. Which is the cycle of such things, I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cycliclaw.com

PIANO INTERRUPTED – TWO BY FOUR (CD by Days Of Being Wild)
Some people call me a cynic, but I am actually of a sceptic, I hope. Whenever I read my daily paper and see a glorifying review of something classical merging with a laptop  – the old meets the new – in an attempt to sell classic music to the ‘kids’ (mainly those in their late twenties, too old for the disco, too young for the couch, with money to spend, wanting to lounge with a cocktail and, ohwee, nice music), then I sigh – deeply – and turn the page, trying to forget all that subsidizing money spend well – not! Of course I am all wrong and there is a need for serious adult music, but the start of Piano Interrupted (a duo of Tom Hodge on piano and Franz Kirmann on laptop) was in fact something commercial, which fell through but Hodge and Kirmann decided to continue on their own turf. They did three EPs, now there is this full length album. Techno beats which are never intended to move your feet, and piano motifs, all of this derived from sampling the piano. A bit of sweet modern classical, a bit of techno, a bit of jazz (certainly in some of the piano parts) and I can see this duo flying high. However I am not joining them on their journey. This music left me pretty much cold. It wasn’t bad to hear, in fact for the full forty-five minutes entertaining, but I thought ‘so what’ after a while. Both are gifted musicians and it would do well in designer lounge bars, but I’m afraid that’s not my world at all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.daysofbeingwild.net

MUENNICH/ESPOSITO/JUPITTER-LARSEN – THE WRAITHS OF FLYING A (CD by Firework Edition Records)
Over the last few years I am more and more ‘exposed’ to the music of Michael Esposito, or should that be ‘the work of’? It’s work/music that has to do with the voices of the dead, the EVP, and he works with a variety of musicians. Here with GX Jupitter-Larsen (best known as The Haters) and Michael Muennich, the label boss Fragment Factory. Not always all three of them together, but in various combinations. You could try and figure out which these combinations are, but the print is rather fine here. The release is dedicated to Audrey Munson, an actrice of the silent era, who after the arrival of the talkies spent the rest of her life in Ogdenburg Psychiatric Institution. Maybe that’s where Esposito caught her voice – from beyond of course? For reasons unknown to myself, I expected something that was more noise based, but that’s not the case here. It’s, in fact, all rather subdued, quiet, with loops of found sound, hissing, ticking, with voice material dropping in and out of the mix in some of these pieces, such as the very nice title piece. It all seems devoid of real noise and that’s great, I think. It’s more like a radio play of highly obscured sounds, always looping around (perhaps one could hold that against the total release? Without being necessary), with all of these ghostly voices spooking around. Its however not really an unsettling release – these seem like friendly ghosts to me. An excellent release, like I think most of Esposito’s releases of late a very good. (FdW)
Address: http://web.comhem.se/elggren/fer/fer.html

THE INFANT CYCLE – DROP-OUT CENTER (CD by Zhelezobeton)
Jim DeJong from Canada celebrates twenty years of activities as The Infant Cycle, during which he released a whole bunch of CDRs, net releases, a bit of vinyl and one ‘real’ CD on Diohantine Discs (see Vital Weekly 695), and now his second on Russia’s Zhelezobeton, a home which sheltered also some previous releases by DeJong. All the pieces here are from April 2011 and further explore the sound world we know from DeJong over the past years. The cover explains the nature of sound sources, which makes a great read. On one side we have ‘vinyl playout groove’, ‘video record’, bird cage and shortwave, while on the other hand we have an electric guitar, electric mandolin, bass, poly 800 but also field recordings. Plenty to choose from, and he does put his options to good use. The varied options for sound creation lead to a varied sound, but with one constant factor: atmospherics play an important role in all of these pieces. He layers a whole bunch of sounds together and then carefully mixes these. But it not necessarily leads to mere drone music. In ‘Shiny Venus Part 2′ for instance he loops the strumming of a bass-guitar a few times and then other sounds (mandolin, bird cage, field recordings) drop in and out of the mix. When he uses the ‘playout’ grooves (which are those grooves at the end of a piece of vinyl), it becomes more rhythmical obviously but spiced up with electronics and sometimes remain short, these pieces act more like interludes, except for ‘Pipe’, which is considerable longer. These moody tunes are indeed much more than just drone pieces. It’s the sheer variation, the exploration of sounds to create these atmospheric tunes that make this perhaps the most mature record I heard from The Infant Cycle so far. Excellent stuff indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://zhb.radionoise.ru

ULRICH TROYER – SOMATIC SOUNDTRACKS (CD by 4Bit Productions)
The pieces on this CD where all composed by Ulrich Troyer in the period 2010-2012 for dance performances by choreographer Georg Blaschke. These pieces are all multi channel, but mixed to stereo for this CD (how nice would it be to have a surround sound version with the actual dance, I thought, but I realized I don’t have a surround sound set up). Eight pieces here of a rather static sound, per piece he explores only a few sound sources and that’s perhaps, yet these pieces sound quite different. In ‘Somatic Script’ it seems all about droney noise textures played through a broken speaker, and in ‘Embraceable You’ it’s all more about static magnetic wave fields. With the fourth piece, ‘Your Dancer’ something of a rhythm comes in, but it appears to be very slow and very deep, but its the first piece that is also a bit more musical, in conventional terms. Something alike that is ‘In Case Of Loss’, but the most musical piece is ‘Song For Heide’, in which he plays piano and rhythm, in a nice dub/reggae fashion, but then heavily stripped down, but with some effective rhythm machines. To be honest: I liked those more musical bits better than the more abstract bits and I know it’s usually the other way around. Maybe I am tired after a day of experimental music, but maybe it’s also because these experimental pieces are a bit too static for my taste and I am in need for some strong pop music? (FdW)
Address: http://www.4bitproductions.com

BIOMECHANICA – BM01 (CD by Geometrik Records)
MERZBOW/ACTUARY – FREAK HALLUCINATIONS (LP by Obfuscated Records)
Recently I had a discussion about musicians who produce a lot of work, and in that conversation also the name Francisco Lopez came up. A friend of mine admitted he gave up on Lopez some time ago, as he said there were too many similar works by him. You could, he argued, pick a few of the essential ones (‘La Selva’ and ‘Buildings [New York]‘ being two that are always mentioned), but it was perhaps not necessary to collect all of his releases. I don’t know: I am not really much of a collector but I can see his point. But I didn’t hear BioMechanica when we talked about this. Lopez is, besides a producer of many CDs, also someone who collaborates with others, as he does here. Just as with remixes, it’s always good to see something moving in a totally different area, and that’s something that happens here. Lopez teams up with Arturo Lanz, the only original member of Esplendor Geometrico and maybe an unlikely partner for Lopez. Lanz plays ‘germ rhythmic patterns’ while Lopez is responsible for ‘rhythmic pattern evolution, environmental recording mutations, composition, editing, mixing and mastering’. So Lanz recorded some of his trade mark rhythms, which we love for more than thirty years now, while in return Lopez adds his likewise trademark sound material. However this is not a question putting one and one together in the hope it’s going to be two, which usually doesn’t work. But that’s not what Lopez does here. He cuts his sounds short(er) too, and creates a mechanical rhythm out of that too. His field recordings here sound like they found their origins inside a factory – hissing and bleeping of motors, sustaining sounds from mechanical devices and such like. That gives the music perhaps a sense of old fashioned industrial music but that is maybe the whole idea behind this. It works wonderfully well, especially when Lanz creates those banging industrial rhythms, such as in ’01′ and ’05′, which sound almost like Einsturzende Neubauten. A great release, almost like pop music, which is a rare thing for Lopez. So, yes, I can imagine people asking themselves why they should buy every new Lopez (related) release, but this one is actually very good – an essential one even (the future must proof this). And seeing they took a ‘band’ name, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more to come.
Merzbow releases probably more than Lopez does, but maybe Merzbow has even more fans. In very recent times I saw a 3 CD set passing by, followed by a 10 LP set, a 10 CD set, a 18 LP set. That was all in the last month. I didn’t hear about this particular new album – ‘just’ a split LP in which Merzbow’s fame (?) helps us to know a five piece band from Los Angele, Actuary. Merzbow fills up his side with one piece of his current noise music. More acoustic noise again, but also with a fair amount of electronics to transform them. Feedback is again part of it, and the computer treatments are a bit less here, which I think is a good thing, since it belongs to my least favored Merzbow phase. It’s good, it’s solid (heavy, indeed) and it’s Merzbow as we know it. Essential? Not if you are looking for a few great Merzbow releases but of course fans know best: they want to have it all and this new one is a more than fine addition. But we here are always on the look out for new things, and thus we find then Actuary. As said, a five piece, with an unspecified amount of instruments. This at times sounds like it could have been played by one person – Merzbow is the living proof of a single noise creator – but Actuary are actually at their best when they sound like a real band. I gather they use improvisation as their tool, use synthesizers, radio, effects and voices and far, far away, there is the influence of this being a rock band. As far as I can judge from these mere twenty some minutes I thought this was all pretty decent. Let’s hope the ride on the waves of Merzbow brings them more fame of their own, and maybe one day we can enjoy a work that is entirely of their own making. (FdW)
Address: http://www.geometrikrecords.com
Address: http://www.obfuscatedrecords.com

THEME & JEAN-HERVE PERSON &ZSOLT SORES – POISON IS (NOT) THE WORD (LP by Lumberton Trading Company)
Years ago I was quite pleased by the first two releases of Theme, a trio around Richo Johnson, Stuart Carter and Zsolt Varga (although the latter came in later, I think), and was highly disappointed by their third release ‘Valetine (Lost) Forever’ (see Vital Weekly 697). It broke away radically from the first two, which in itself is not a bad thing, but I especially had a problem with their use of vocals, which sounded like David Tibet, and to which I am slightly allergic (but perhaps I am known to be without much feeling for such soulful singing). I saw a bit of Theme live after that, which wasn’t bad, but got blurred in a bed of noise based improvisation. Improvisation is something that plays a role on this new LP, which Theme recorded with Zsolt Sores, Hungary’s finer master of improvised music and Jean-Herve Peron, Faust member since the early days. He plays on the two pieces that are on the second side, while Sores plays on all three. It’s an interesting record, of which the title piece (without Peron) is a heavy improvised affair of stringed instruments (mainly violin I think), electronics and a voice that recites more than he sings, most likely the title of the piece. It’s all quite densely orchestrated, with lots and lots of small sounds happening on all levels. Voices are also on the second side, but to a lesser extend. ‘Baszd Meg Az Apad!’ starts out like the ’150 Murderous Passions’ with a combination of high end saxophones and feedback, which makes this into some excellent acoustic noise music. ‘Puszra Pyscho’ is along similar lines but toned down, more sparse, more wide and meandering about. It takes the idea of acoustic noise into some entirely field of sound. As said vocals are a bit more sparse on side B but not entirely gone, but here embedded more in the music. I must admit, the in-studio banter that also made it to the end of the record is something that I should think is not necessary. Otherwise: excellent record, although far removed from the first two Theme releases. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lumberton-trading.com

DIGITALIS – PENDULUM (LP by Everest Records)
Roger Stucki and Nicolas Kellner are, since 2002, Digitalis. This seven track LP (or is it still a 12″? I never know these things) is my first introduction to their music. The record starts out in a moody vein, with ‘Elektik’ and it’s only when ‘Morphosis’ start we get Digitalis in their true form: that of a duo who play some interesting techno based music. While I am hardly a connoisseur of the genre – when friends of mine talk about this kind of music, they usually loose themselves in definition of the countless sub genres of it all – I must admit I am an occasional lover of the genre. Not being known as ‘dance’ type myself, moving out of rhythm is more like me, I quite enjoyed these darker and slower tunes of digital electronic music. As said, I don’t know much about it, but somehow I don’t think this is all really dance floor filler material. It all seems a bit too sow to these ears, but it probably also means that this is all much more suitable for home entertainment – which is right up my street of course. You lounge away and your feet tap along the rhythm. Now that’s something of course which I can see quite clearly with this music. It’s that aspect which I like a lot. It’s intelligent yet entertaining, rhythmic but not too straight forwarded. Digital and yet warm and you never miss out on the analogue instruments, so loved in this scene. The last piece is a remix by Holger Flinsch, but if you get the download (card included here) there is four more remixes waiting (by Marco Repetto, Tastatur, Mathon and Digital Bonus Club) – so by then you have one and half LP altogether. Very nice indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.everestrecords.ch

SION ORGON – INTO THE DARK (7″ by Fourth Dimension Records)
The second release in the ‘Singles Club’, following Richard Youngs/Luke Fowler (see Vital Weekly 837), is by one Sion Orgon, who is somehow connected to Thighpaulsandra, Coil and thus it’s hardly a surprise we find Peter Christopherson present on both sides of this record, and Thighpaulsandra and Seb Goldfinch on one side. For me an introduction. A pleasant one, if not too brief, but that’s life with 7″s I guess. Sion Orgon plays electronic music, atmospheric and moody. I think the etching on the record is not correct, as there are no labels. In the title piece we find a bunch of moody, airy electronics and a strong vocal delivery as starting points, taking it into more noise bits and drums, effectively creating this is into a nice Coil-like piece. ‘Paper State’ on the other side is also atmospheric, but more ‘out there’ indeed in which a melancholic piano plays a big role, drifting and flowing about, with eerie electronics backing the whole thing up. It’s excellent modern pop classic – perhaps. Here time will tell. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fourth-dimension.net

GRZEGORZ BOJANEK – REMAINING SOUNDS (CDR by Dynamophone Records)
AN MOKU – MONONOCLE (CDR by Eta Label)
Besides running the Eta Label, Grzegorz Bojanek is also active as a musician with a strong love for field recordings, electro-acoustic sounds and computer treatments there of. The nine pieces on this album use all of this. Piano sounds, guitar, field recordings, reel-to-reel loops, and all of these single sound events are expanded into what we hear on this release. If I understand the liner notes on the cover right, he also recorded some of the pieces on a four track cassette recorder (also a great plus in my book). The overall mood here is set to ‘atmospheric’ and ‘dark’: this is pure, textbook glitch like music, warm, sustaining, crackling, with a fair amount of guitar sounds to remain a musical sense. Bojanek does a really fine job here, I must say. There is a great organic flow to the music, calm, tranquil, and also darker/more grey. Having said that, I must also say that as such I didn’t hear something that I haven’t heard before in this particular branch of music (think releases on 12K, if you have no clue what I am talking about), and that’s perhaps the downside of things here; it lacks originality. Should you not care for that (and be honest: why should you?), and should you be on the look-out for more music alike 12K, then this album won’t let you down, one bit.
On his Eta label Bojanek releases an album by Dominik Grenzler, also nows as An Moku. He is from Gydnia, and played bass in supporting act for Whitney Houston, Joe Cocker, Marla Glen and Daniel Denecke from 1998 to 2001 – if it’s true. Anmoku in Japanese means ‘tacit, unsaid, implicit’ and here to we have as a source acoustic instruments, synthesizer sounds, home-made noise makers and field recordings. Five pieces, of which four are somewhere between five and eight minutes and one is almost forty-five minutes. That piece uses sounds from a piece recorded for Belgium radio, but remixed, if I understood well. Various instruments, such as violin, piano, monochord, tuning fork, bells, organ and cello are played by others, although not always these sources are easy to be recognized. It seems to me, though these differences are perhaps marginal, that An Moku uses a bit more time stretching than Bojanek does, who seems to be using longer sound files as such. An Moku also has a more improvisational feel to it. It makes the album not that good, not as good as the Bojanek album, I think. His pieces seem to be more worked out, more structured and sound less shrill at times. But what goes for Bojanek’s album, also applies here: it’s not the most original of sounds and approaches we encounter here. It’s certainly not bad, not as good as Bojanek, and to a certain extend behind with a lot of others. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dynamophone.com
Address: http://www.etalabel.com

NAUTILUS DUO – TALES OF THE FLYING WHALE (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
TIZIANO MILANI – TOUCH (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
Just recently I re-read Jules Verne’s book ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea’, in which of course the Nautilus is the submarine ship. Today we have the Nautilus Duo, being Mirko Busatto on electric guitar and Paolo Calzavara, who is called [Pax~] at times on live electronics and hacked electronics. At the basis of their collaboration lies a piece ‘Short Sleeve’ by Mauro Montalbetti, which opens the release here. Sparse guitar notes are played, with a fair amount of reverb and a very high pitched electronic sound: the meeting of old Americana/blues and hypermodern (?) computer music. Not a marriage we haven’t seen before: Under The Snow, also from Italy, does more or less the same thing. Here it only works partly and not always. In some of these pieces there is an interesting tension to be noted in the interaction between these two, but in ‘Pluto’ the metallic guitar sound and the computer bleeps are in an uneasy unison. Likewise ‘Dancing And Singing’, in which Busatto plays jazzy guitar with too much reverb and delay – muddied to that effect. But in ‘L’Ombre Des Oiseaux Sur La Lune’ it works alright: tension of sparse notes being played, bird like sounds and improvised guitar parts. It can work but unfortunately it doesn’t always. Received with mixed feelings.
A friend of mine likes to harp on the fact that sometimes a lot of time is invested in creating music, buying instruments and such alike, but never in finishing off the music, i.e. the process of mastering is neglected. I am sure he wasn’t thinking of this particular release, but I can very well imagine this is one of them. The music seems very soft, but it’s not intended like that. Milani, of whom I never heard, is ‘an acoustic architect’, according to the cover, ‘who mixes together sound art, ambience and drone textures, impro, elecroacoustics and slight noise tendencies into long shifting, dreamy and varied long form sound paintings, what he calls acoustic architecture’. Himself he takes the credit for conductor, electronic, field recordings, digital manipulation, concrete, records, laptop, while others play such instruments as piano, objects, electronic percussions, rhythms, contrabass, acoustic guitar, tenor sax and violin. I should think that this is not recorded when all of these instruments, as the cover says: ‘Touch is a work builted [sic] with patient [sic] in post-production. It is the outcome of the union of thousand of very little musical fragments. Performed by musicians and then processed with PC’s softwares [sic]‘. It sounds great, I must say. It has that vaguely modern classical approach to it, with long sustaining sounds, glissandi and such like – improvised along some rules set out by a graphical score or so it seems, but also it has the crackles, hiss, sub-bass sound, surface searching of contact microphones of microsound. All of this in relatively long pieces – five in total, spanning some seventy minutes. One could say that’s perhaps a bit long and there is a certain lack of variation in here, so that perhaps three would have been equally alright to get this message across. But it should have definitely include the last piece, ‘Dark, Dark My Light’, with its nice drones, tinkling bells and full of tension approach. (FdW)
Address: http://www.setoladimaiale.net

ADAM BECKLEY – BLANK SCREENS OF HOPE (cassette by Koppklys)
STAR TURBINE – SPACE HABITAT (cassette by Koppklys)
YDOTRYLL – DUST (cassette by Koppklys)
The label website offers no information on these three new titles, but perhaps that will come in the future, as the older releases do have information. It makes life at the reviewing desk never easy, especially since the releases themselves also don’t spawn a lot of information either. First we have Adam Beckley, a man who loves grainy, atmospheric music. I have no idea what he uses, be it guitars, be it synth, or maybe field recordings, in his four pieces he adds a fair amount of effects to obscure matters, cloud them, hide them and part erase them and make a drone trip, a cosmic journey of half dream, half sleep music. Excellent stuff, if not a bit too long perhaps. And with two pieces with the word ‘Groningen’ in there, I wonder: if this guy Dutch?
The Star Turbine release was recorded in Copenhagen, so perhaps we can assume he (she, it, they) are from Denmark. The two pieces have an almost identical length – music to measure the tape, I should think – and here we have two pieces of likewise lo-fi ambient music, but now it’s build around concrete sounds and sound processing, rather then the sustaining characteristics of the guitar or the synth. Lots of echo is used to create those necessary dream/ambient effects on this music. Here too some things are a bit long but especially in ‘Lifeforms’ with its broken radio voices and obscure synth, it effectively enrolled a sort of demented cosmic music. Much more daring than what we usually would lump in as cosmic music, but it works quite well. Space is the place.
‘Recorded during a heat wave in Brooklyn, July 2012 with the blue sitar and the white harp’, if that is an indication of instruments used. Two pieces, again close in length, but shorter than on the previous release by Star Turbine. Here we have indeed string instruments being played with great care, slow development and what seems to me sparse use of effects. Only when in ‘A Blue Mantel Under The Stars’ the sitar is fed through a delay pedal such things become evident. But most of the rest of this piece as well as ‘Shining Kingdoms’ on the other side are nicely dark drone like musical enterprises. It fits this label – at least what I heard on these three releases – quite nicely. Seasonal music for short days and cold nights. (FdW)
Address: http://koppklys.blogspot.nl/

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Vital Weekly 859, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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