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Vital Weekly 868

ANDREA BORGHI

RASZ & KUCZ & KWIATKOWSKI (CD by Requiem Records) *
HATI – ENTER THE DRAGON (CD by Requiem Records) *
LEGENDARNE ZABKI (CD by Requiem Records/Archive Series)
WAT001WAT002WAT003WAT004WAT005WAT006 N52 39.0278 E19 2 240917 (CD by ANNA PILEWICZ/RAFAL IWANSKI – AQUALUNA (CD+DVD by Zoharum) *
MONOPIUM – THE GOAT AND THE DEAD HORSES’ CIRCUS (CD by Zoharum) *
DICE FACTORY – DICE FACTORY (CD by Babel)
WET INK ENSEMBLE – RELAY (CD by Carrier)
TAKAYUKI KATO & YASUHIRO YOSHIGAKI & KUMIKO TAKARA – TU GU MU (DVD by StudioBa-Lu-Lu-Ba-Lu)
FRANZ GRAF/SIGTRYGGUR BERG SIGMARSSON (2CD + DVD by Bawag Contemporary)
DIRK SERRIES – MICROPHONICS XXI-XXV (CD/double10″ by Tonefloat)
THE BOATS – OUR SMALL IDEAS (CD by Flau) *
MASAYOSHI FUJITA – STORIES (CD by Flau) *
LIZ CHRISTINE – SWEET MELLOW CAT (CD by Flau) *
AARON DILLOWAY & KEVIN DRUMM – I DRINK YOUR SKIN (CD by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY – CONCEALED (cassette by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY – POST LIVE CODA LUGA (cassette by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY – AFTER THE SHOWERS (cassette by Hanson Records)
VINCENT LABEUF – THE POETICS OF VACUUM (CD by Obs) *
ANDREA BORGHI – VETRALE (CDR by Obs) *
GOOD LUCK MR. GORSKY (LP by Granny Records)
THE SWIFTER (LP by The Wormhole)
HUMAN COMBUSTION ENGINE IV – GAMES WITHOUT (CDR by Ilse) *
COMBUSTIONE & LIBERAZIONE – FOOD CHAIN (CDR by Orgonomy) *
CHVAD SB – GUT (CDR by Facility Records)
HAWN – SPREE (CDR by Hawn)
PRELIMINARY SATURATION – 20 DEC 1979 (CDR by Vatican Analog) *
KOMMISSAR HJULER UND FRAU (HOLLE) (DVDR by Shmf)
KOMMISSAR HJULER UND FRAU – SOFA NR. 2 (DVDR by Shmf)
KOMMISSAR HJULER – MUTTER AB7 (CDR by Shmf)
JAAN PATTERSON – DIE ANTIZIPATION DES GENERALIZED OTHER (CDR by Shmf)
4K V F1 – EP (Businesscard by Drekka)
DREKKA G HELGI MORTAL KOMBAT – DGHMK EP (3″ by Drekka)
NOISH – BLACK NATURE (cassette by Hum Rec)
SVARTVIT – AUTO-DA-FÉ (cassette by Svartvit)

 

listen

 

tracklist for Vital Weekly 868:

0000 Tune
0014 Liz Christine – Para El Placer
0300 The Boats – I Had Forgotten How to Lock Over the Sides
0546 Masayoshi Fujita – Swan and Morning Dews
0853 Rasz & Kucz & Kwiatkowski – Moto 1
1201 Vincent Labeuf – Noumenes #2
1505 Monopium – Dead Horses’ Circus
1814 Andrea Borghi
2117 Rafal Iwanski
2416 Preliminary Satuation – Tweede Opname
2719 Human Combustion Engine IV
3033 Hati – Enter The Dragon
3341 Zabowska – Bazyl
3642 Combustione & Liberzione
3943 Tune

RASZ & KUCZ & KWIATKOWSKI (CD by Requiem Records)
HATI – ENTER THE DRAGON (CD by Requiem Records)
LEGENDARNE ZABKI (CD by Requiem Records/Archive Series)
WAT001WAT002WAT003WAT004WAT005WAT006 N52 39.0278 E19 2 240917 (CD by Requiem Records/Archive Series)
The Polish label Requiem branches out with a new series, called Archive Series, while all along also releasing new music, from the present times. At least that’s what I think. In the trio disc of Robert Rasz (drums, percussion), Konrad Kucz (east/west virtual instruments, loops) and Mateusz Kwiatkwoski (cello), the recording was made with a Zoom H2 handy recorder, so you now it must be recent.The played in the ‘old factory halls of the performer club’, and date is unknown. The music is all improvised, and I am not sure if Kucz is a laptop guy picking up movements and sounds from the others and process them on the spot. Maybe not, but sometimes it seems that cello doubles, triples and becomes a small orchestra, but maybe it’s something that Kwiatkwoski does himself via a loop station. The problem with using space in the way they do is that in the end much of the natural reverb makes it all sounds a bit the same, especially the somewhat hollow drum sounds. Changing positions of the microphones could have prevented this, perhaps. But that’s only a minor concern as the music itself is actually quite interesting. It bridges the more traditional improvised music with something that is vaguely to be understood as ‘orchestral loops’, ambient and maybe even plundered sound sources from diverse media. Rasz isn’t shy of playing a sequenced beat  in ‘Trumpetta’ for instance, but in general is more about exploring the sounds of the drum kit. A curious collision from quite diverse worlds, but it melts in a rather nice way.
Hati, slowly becoming well-known in and outside Poland for their percussive soundscapes and constant recording and touring played on April 29 2009 at Klub Dragon in Poznan and this is now released. I am never too sure about these live recordings. How are we to judge this recording as something special, compared with no doubt their other live recordings? What is so special about this one, that it needed a release, even when it’s close to four years later? That question is of course not answered anywhere, so we have to listen and see for ourselves. Hati is a trio with an array of gongs, tam-tam, shell, rattles, singing bowls, wooden pipes, chains and a harmonium. And lots more from the percussion front actually. As of course with everything reviewed here, I played this with great interest. I think I heard a Hati in a very fine form, but did I hear a Hati that was in any way different than the Hati I heard so far? Not really, save perhaps that this seemed a particular loud(er) recording, taking away bits of the atmospheric edge this kind of music usually has. Nice indeed, but the question is I think pretty valid: ‘why release this in times when the CD market is already flooded by releases?’.
Both of the Archive Series releases are nicely packed in 7″ sized carton sleeves with printed material. Unfortunately the entire booklet of Legendarne Zabki is in Polish, and since I don’t know this band from when they first around (1984-1985) its hard to reflect on their history. There is only a few words in English, on the cover. The band name translates as ‘Legendary Teeth’ and they have the first nine pieces on this release. Then one by Zaki Zwykle, nine by Zabowska and one by Deep Raver Jazz Band – I assume all of these projects are related to each other. The jazz band is recorded in 1984 and all the others in 1985. With twenty-one pieces in an hour, you can imagine these pieces are quite short. I understand the musicians rebelled against the standard rock music scene in Poland in the mid 80s, by playing their own improvised free jazz. There is drums, saxophones, piano, electronics, bass and electronics (and more perhaps) and they approach the free jazz from a rock perspective, rather than taking a pure jazz view. It starts out traditionally, but soon we hear chorals on tape, rhythm machines, sound collage (although not alike that of P16.D4 in the same period, this here remains less cut-up). Throughout these various name changes the music however stays quite similar, tapping out the rich history of free jazz from a free rock perspective.
The other archival release has three bands from Poland, Np.Wat, Marchlevski and 27-29. All three released their work on a label called Wat, all tracks here are from the various releases on this label. I am not sure why a band like Np.Wat, who discography is big enough to fill up an entire CD only gets ten tracks here (with eight for Marchlevski and six for 27-29), but I can see the stylistic similarities between all three bands. All of the bands were active around 1987-1991. Np.Wat is a band that is not unlike P16.D4, with elements of improvisation, rock and tape collage, but perhaps less noise based and leaning towards the rock side still. It’s freely played, but still holds firmly in the more experimental edges of punk. The Ex proposed to tour together in 1987 and it’s not strange to see why. It sounds all pretty interesting. Marchlevski is a bit more heavy in their rock approach, with the free music element pushed towards the back, in favor of louder drum parts and shouting voices, with then a song like ‘Tybet (part 1) End Of The Century’ is then sweet and taps out of regular post punk heritage. It’s doomy and gloomy around here, but Marchlevski also has an interesting element of experimentalism around it, which made it quite nice. 27-29 was actually a magazine and only a band for one night, and with a handful of songs recorded in that one night existence. Here the recording quality is quite low, as low as the music is in technical quality of playing. Here one easily thinks of  the more experimental edges of the Neue Deutsche Welle in 1981, think Didaktische Einheit or Sprung Aus Den Wolken. Both of these archive releases are limited to 300 copies and look in the heavy card 7″ sized covers and the last one also with extended information in English. (FdW)
Address: http://www.requiem.serpent.pl

ANNA PILEWICZ/RAFAL IWANSKI – AQUALUNA (CD+DVD by Zoharum)
MONOPIUM – THE GOAT AND THE DEAD HORSES’ CIRCUS (CD by Zoharum)
One of those things I fail to understand is why you would want to release a double package with a DVD (audio and visual) and a CD with the same portion as a pure audio disc. X-Navi:Et is the solo endeavor of Rafal Iwasnki, who is also a driving force behind Hati (see elsewhere). His solo music is something entirely different. Much more, or perhaps even all exclusively dealing with the use of electronics, effects and synthesizers. Here the film part is created by Anna Pilewicz and it ‘refers to primordial, organic pictures and sounds connected with the element of water and the moon’. Processed images, over laying each other, nature shots, faces, and water shots make this forty minute film. Iwanski’s music is, as said, entirely electronic, save perhaps for a few washes of water sounds in the form of field recordings. His approach reminded me every time I played this of Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected Ambient Works 2′, with its oscillating analogue synths, looped material and the drone inspired approach. Not so refined, maintaining a rough edge. It’s very nice as a total thing, images and music fit together quite well, I think, and perhaps the only downside is that we heard and seen this before  a lot.
Michal Majcher is the man behind Monopium (great name I thought). Active since 2007, he released his first album, “Mesmerized’ on Beast Of Prey in 2009. I don’t think I heard that one. The music here on ‘The Goat And The Dead Horses’ Circus’ is easily classified as ‘odd’. Zoharum describes this “neo-cabaret, post-industrial electronics, musique concrete, drone and even free jazz, it draws associations with incidental musics for film noir, surrealist cinema and the dadaists” and I couldn’t agree more. Not something I necessarily like throughout, I must admit, as it carries some traces of gothic, pathetic undercurrent here and there, the sort of adult stuff about fairytales, but because it sounds quite different from what is usually on our plates, but still could easily be classified as ‘experimental’ by our own standards, this is certainly something I played with a lot of interest. It’s quite heavy on the percussion side of things, but also have tape manipulation, cello, voices and maybe field recordings – more water sounds here. A hotch-potch of instruments, and such perhaps of styles (although of course that’s not necessarily per se), this makes up indeed a curious CD, of all those things mentioned, and to which one could also add perhaps ambient and plunderphonics. Nice one for its daringly, different content. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

DICE FACTORY – DICE FACTORY (CD by Babel)
Babel is a UK label, founded in 1994, specialized in jazz music of UK origin. One of their latest is this album from Dice Factory. A quartet comprised of four young players: Tom Challenger (sax), George Fogel (piano),Tom Farmer (double bass) and  Jon Scott (drums). They started in 2009 as a jam band, and now they are ready for their debut. Half of the eight pieces on this are composed by George Fogel and the other half by Tom Challenger. In all pieces they are close to jazz traditions. I was impressed by drummer Scott who is capable of playing rhythmically complex patterns, of beat and with odd timing. It are his interventions and playing that make this an interesting cd for me. Just listen to ‘Goodch’ for example. The sax player has a very warm and soulful sound, like in the ballad ‘TNG’. The playing of piano and bass are more sparse but effective. With their subtle interplay they create inspired moods and tempers in jazz vein. (DM)
Address: http://www.babellabel.co.uk

WET INK ENSEMBLE – RELAY (CD by Carrier)
A formidable record to start with! For more than a decade this New York-based ensemble is in existence. They perform new music, whether American or European, notated or free. An important criteria for them is the innovative quality of the work. As this ensemble wants to set new standards for the musical practice, so they say. What makes music innovative? And if innovative, is this music then by definition also musically interesting? Anyway, the ensemble consequently played many programs of emerging and established composers during their existence. In 2009 their debut was released also by Carrier, presenting compositions by the members. This is again the case on this second work ‘Relay’, except for the second work (‘Alban’by Rick Burkhardt) and the sixth and closing work ‘Anthem’ that is composed by George Lewis. The members of this collective of experimental composers-instrumentalists are: Erin Lesser (flutes), Josjua Modney (violin), Ian Antonio (percussion), Kate Soper (vocals), Alex Mincek (saxophones), Eric Wubbels (piano) and Sam Pluta (electronics). The CD opens with ‘Color, Form, Line’ by Alex Mincek, a mosaic of short patterns, riffs, etc, coming from different instruments, integrated in a dramatic structure. The vocals bring back memories of Philip Glass and Steve Reich. But this is a very post-minimal work. More about maximizing then minimizing possibilities. This counts for most pieces. They depart not so much from Stockhausen and Boulez, but far more from American traditions of composed and popular music. ‘Alban’ by Rick Burkhardt, is a piece I like very much. It is so detailed, and has so many surprising combinations in sound, that is impossible to register everything in one listening. It is like a painting. Sam Pluta’s ‘American Tokyo Daydream V’ starts as a nightmare. An over the top cacophony with a hammering finale. So much over the top, that it is difficult to take it seriously. Is this music, or a simulation of it? Any way I like it. A gorgeous piece, also after repeated listening when I got used to the extravagant gestures. Text-dominated music does not make a strong appeal on me. This is also the case for the composition by vocalist Kate Soper ‘Only the Words Themselves Mean What they Say’, that is based on a text by Lydia Davis. The second part ‘Head, Heart’ surprised me however as at moments it is close to yodeling in a way.
‘Katachi’ by Eric Wubbels is a very jumpy work, demonstrating  that humor can also be part of new music . Cascading effects in the second part . The closing work by George Lewis is a very dynamic piece, like a thunderous stream of water that finds their way. In most compositions there is a lot to discover and to enjoy: the arrangements, the interplay of electronics and acoustical instrument, etc.. In all works the players demonstrate their dedicated musicianship and virtuosic playing. A very good ensemble that I hope to see live one day. (DM)
Address: http://www.carrierrecords.com

TAKAYUKI KATO & YASUHIRO YOSHIGAKI & KUMIKO TAKARA -  TU GU MU (DVD by StudioBa-Lu-Lu-Ba-Lu)
A Japanese trio of  guitarist Takayuki Kato, drummer and percussionist Yasuhiro Yoshigaki, and  percussionist Kumiko Takara. Takara is a contemporary percussionist and improviser, who worked with the important avant-rock bands Bondage Fruit and P.O.N. And also member of Yasuhiro Yoshigaki’s groups Vincent Atmicus and Orquesta Nudge! Nudge! and Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Orchestra. Recently she was on a release with bass player Massimo Pupillo (from ZU) and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. Yoshigaki is leader of percussion ensemble Orquesta Nudge! Nudge! and member of Otomo Yoshihide New Jazz Orchestra, a.o. The dvd captures a wonderful set by this trio, filmed by one camera and from one and same position. This was also the position of the microphone I suppose, as the balance between the instruments could be a better one. The set starts from an intro full of bells and percussive sounds, before  the guitar player starts to interfere, who also plays often in a percussive style. So we have here a very percussion-dominated  improvisation. The musicians  built very fine and communicative textures during their extended excursions.  For the biggest part they are into sound-improvisations, with sometimes adding conventional ingredients from rock music. Not one dull moment during this trip! (DM)
Address: http://www.y-yoshigaki.com

FRANZ GRAF/SIGTRYGGUR BERG SIGMARSSON (2CD + DVD by Bawag Contemporary)
Here’s quite an art catalogue, combining visual that are moving and on a stand still, as well as two CDs of music. The main visual component is a DVD and a booklet by Franz Graf, who sometimes also designs cover for Editions Mego. In his exhibition he uses found objects and photos as well as drawings from Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, best known as one half of Stillupsteypa. I am afraid I am not really the an to comment on the visual part of the exhibition/catalogue. It looks nice, but the real thing is probably nicer. The DVD is a silent movie with a flickering image of landscapes, which I thought looked great, but the music-minded-me wanted to have a soundtrack. Franz Graf’s music, which I think I heard for the first time, is much alike his visual work, a mixture of found sounds I think. His twelve pieces start out with hissy, looped synth material, a bit rhythmical, a bit chaotic and naively simply. Then there is a couple of pieces that deal with voices, computerized and otherwise, and then a nice piece that reminds me of Pan Sonic/Goem. The final five tracks is again found voices and strange field recordings. Hard to say if I really liked it, or wether I thought this was most curious indeed. Sigmarsson’s music is then something entirely different. As we know from his recent works with Stillupsteypa and BJNilsen he is quite heavily into drone material now and the two long pieces are along those lines. Organ like sounds are looped around in a longer form and smaller loops of more hiss like sounds are present below. Maybe there is a use of field recordings in here, I’m not sure, but it all sounds very good. Maybe he too deals with found sound, but then decided to actually compose with these found sounds. His final piece is a short sound poem for voice only, and more out of place than it does well. No doubt there is a ‘comedy’ side here which I am missing. (FdW)
Address: http://www.bawag-foundation.at/

DIRK SERRIES – MICROPHONICS XXI-XXV (CD/double10″ by Tonefloat)
At the end of 2008 microphonics I – V saw the daylight. Time has come for Dirk Serries to play music under his own name and say good-bye to his alter-egos vidnaObmana and Fear Falls Burning. The design of that album was minimalist in structure. Quiet guitar patterns built up and flowed away and a calm, meditative ambient atmosphere with adventurous harmony was created. Five live albums and a 10 ” were released at Tonefloat. Meanwhile appeared the last album of Fear Falls Burning, what can be called a stunning album, which led to an acoustic aftershock of an era ended. For more than four years later arrived the second studio album by the musical project microphonics, microphonics XXI – XXV with the subtitles Mounting among the waves, There’s a light in vein, The burden of hope and Across thousands of rivers, which are the titles of the four tracks on the album. Elements of Fear Falls Burning, vidnaObmana and of course microphonics can be found in the compositions. The sound of the guitar is dirtier, unpolished, seeking feedback and underneath the many layers of repeating sounds in which Serries is a master. The discrepancy between the heavy bass lines, distorted guitars, layered chords and delicate strumming seek each other, collide and blend together. Cheerfulness is hard to find in this album. It is true quest in which somewhere hope flickers. In this way the album ends with open chords and a rolling drone. The album is a pleasant surprise twist in the microphonics project, in which the ambient atmosphere reigned supreme. The double 10?is coming out with a book of city photography of Martina Verhoeven, the partner Dirk Serries. She plays bass in 3 Seconds or Air (a side project of Dirk Serries) and is responsible for the cover photography of Serries. The photography of the book, I haven?t view it yet, but given the pictures I’ve seen her before, it will be aesthetically pleasing and appropriate to the album. Often there is a desolate atmosphere in carefully composed black and white photos. Tonefloat knows to release another wonderful compilation of image and sound, which is a delight for the eyes and ears.(JKH)
Address: http://www.tonefloat.com

THE BOATS – OUR SMALL IDEAS (CD by Flau)
MASAYOSHI FUJITA – STORIES (CD by Flau)
LIZ CHRISTINE – SWEET MELLOW CAT (CD by Flau)
Always a bit of mystery for me, The Boats, an once duo, now trio from the UK. I always seem to like their music but at the same time I am not always sure what to make of it. Here we have re-issue from a highly limited CDR from 2009 with seven rare bonus pieces. Lots of crackling sounds, but also nicely, soft plucked guitars, minimalist computer processing of instruments such as glockenspiel (I think), but also voices, a bit distorted but pushed away to the back. Very much on the fringe of pop music and microsound. You see: I never know what to make of this. The funny thing is that most of these pieces are rather short here, it hardly exceeds the three minute break, adding further to the idea that this might be some sort of pop music indeed. What else can you say about this? This is throughout an excellent delicate platter of mellow tunes. (spoiler ahead) Like all of these Flau releases usually are, and well suited for long winter evenings of staying inside.
I am not sure why Masayoshi Fujita left her ‘band’ name behind, El Fog, to work under her own name, while there is no significant change in her sound. She still plays vibraphone, and get occasional help on violin and cello. Her first album was reviewed in Vital Weekly 707 and I was pleased with it, even when it sounded all a bit long in the end. It seems as if she also left behind the more clicky rhythms, the bass patterns and all of that for pure vibraphone sound and a bit of electronics to expand on her sound. Poetic, quiet music, full of ringing overtones. Delicate music for the early evening, glass of red wine, cheese, candles light, but not entirely part of the world of new age, should you think such things. It’s rather from a world of modern classical music, rather than the somewhat more jazzy sound of El Fog. I must say I enjoyed the first one, but this one is a major step forward. More her own record, and without wanting to sound like something else.
More classically inspired electronic music can be found on a CD by one Liz Christine, of whom I think I never heard. She is assisted by F S Torres (aka kkfs) and Madamme F. Sampling is the main game here, and the result is an odd mixture of dark jazzy film noir soundtracks and plunderphonics and all of that in a highly delicate fashion. She adds a bit of her own voice, rather in a sort of storytelling way than actually singing songs. Sampling animal sounds (lots of cat sounds around here), jazzy tunes, a bit of field recordings and such like and you have a great CD. Here’s someone to keep an ear open for if you are in need for someone to produce your next radio play. Think Dominique Petitgand, but perhaps a bit less personal. Christine takes her time her to tell a story. These are not sketch like short, but spawn out to pieces of four to six minutes and each tells a story. Strangely weird music indeed. It tops of a trio of delicate music, but start with this one, then The Boats and end a fine evening at home with Masayoshi Fujita. (FdW)
Address: http://www.flau.jp

AARON DILLOWAY & KEVIN DRUMM – I DRINK YOUR SKIN (CD by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY – CONCEALED (cassette by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY – POST LIVE CODA LUGA (cassette by Hanson Records)
AARON DILLOWAY – AFTER THE SHOWERS (cassette by Hanson Records)
If you stick around log enough, gain some fame, you are set for life re-issuing your old releases, especially if they are obscure. And here’s two men who gained a fair amount of fame, long around with obscure releases and a proper (what’s that?) re-issue of a tape released in 2001 on American Tapes. It’s a collaboration through physical mail, with dirty tape loops and a ‘minidisc (what’s that, daddy?) caked in spilled coffee or something’. Each of them produced a piece of twenty-five minutes using sound material from the other. This is obviously from the land of noise. Department of distortion, chaos and ‘junk’ sound of smashed records, broken tapes and minidiscs covered in spilled coffee indeed. The difference is in the details. Dilloway’s piece is the more chaotic one, and Drumm has some form of organization – at least most of the time. With the latter you may get a bit more of the original sound, whereas with Dilloway it’s all heavily, unrelentness distortion. This is excellent noise, of the kind I like. Loud, obnoxious, chaotic and also with some form of idea and composition thrown in. Excellent.
Also on the re-issue front is a cassette version of a LP released in 2007 by No Fun, sadly not reviewed in Vital Weekly. On this version side A and B are mixed together and four previously unreleased bonus tracks in forty-five minutes (program repeats on the other side). Here we have a six year leap forward, away from the chaotic, unrelentness noise into the reel-to-reel tape loop land with lots of sound effects. In the end, of course, the sound effects have taken over control and gradually over these thirty five minutes we gradually move over from some plain loops into mild distorted electronics. In his bonus pieces he’s effectively taking a similar route, of which ‘Medusa’ even has a strange ambient like quality (if I counted the pieces right, that is). Especially the shorter bonus pieces made great sense and showed a different Dilloway.
The other two cassettes by Dilloway are more recent affairs. ‘Post Live Coda Lunga’ deals with crowd noise, which according to Dilloway is total abstract noise for him. Last summer he played a ‘subliminal’ DJ set, one song over and over at a very low volume, and recorded that along with the crowd of people talking, all of this in Italy. He did this for an hour, but only released thirty minutes of it, on this tape. This is obviously stuff I like, for the simply fact that I share similar fascinations for sound that happens around me, and which annoys or attracts me. Sitting on the balcony while downstairs there is a party in progress – that sort of thing. Recorded that and play it on repeat. Ambient music is not so much about hearing something on a record, but rather how you perceive sound in a space you’re in – or even you’re not in.
The other new cassette takes material from his ‘Modern Jester’ 2LP (see Vital Weekly 828) set into the land of pre- and re-mixes, especially the piece ‘After The Showers’, but also it has raw material from the tracks ‘Tremors’. I quite like that record (and I saw it in a couple end-of-year lists, so I wasn’t the only one), not so much for the noise pieces but more for the rather subdued tape-loop stuff and hissy effects. I am not sure if that popped up in other reviews, but it’s on this interest this cassette expands further. Dilloway does ambient? Almost, but you know it will (probably) never be like that. Some of the material on the b-side (no specific titles are mentioned on the cover) is a bit more louder and more present with keys of cheap organs firmly held down. Along with ‘Post Live Coda Lunga’ this is some excellent early morning music, whereas I’d save the other two for later in the day. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hansonrecords.net

VINCENT LABEUF – THE POETICS OF VACUUM (CD by Obs)
ANDREA BORGHI – VETRALE (CDR by Obs)
While both are on a different format, the presentation of both look quite good. In Borghi’s case a set of nice printed cards on sturdy stock and in Labeuf’s case, a A5 sized booklet with pictures and text. We learn that Labeuf was born in 1974, studied with Denis Dufour and works in various studio’s to create his electro-acoustic, acousmatic music. Each of these pieces gets a short explanation, such as ‘inspired by’, ‘recorded for’, but not necessarily tells us much about the piece itself or sound sources used, except for a toy accordion in one piece. There is however very easy to spot a lot of field recordings used in this work. Street sounds, cars passing and that sort of thing. Labeuf’s work is a bit different from many of the other serious composers of electro-acoustic music. He isn’t shy to use his sound sources ‘as is’, rather than covering them all with lots and lots of processing. The toy accordion piece is an odd piece around here, as it’s the most ‘musical’ (in the traditional sense of the word) piece on this release. The six pieces in total here are very nice collages of daily sounds, mixed with bits of electronics, some spoken word and it works out in various ways. From introspective in ‘Fine Amor’, to street hectic of ‘Paysages-Ville’ and the somewhat noisy passages of ‘Noumenes #2′ and that odd waltz like piece ‘Sur La Place’, played on a toy accordion. You see, they can play music! If they want to.
Andrea Borghi use of modified turntable, elaborated glass discs, computer and effects is much more alike the underground section of the serious academic composers, the scene which is sometimes called ‘microsound’, ‘click ‘n cuts’ or ‘noise’, or perhaps even something else. But to take a single object, like ‘elaborated glass discs’, and record whatever sound comes off it, and then use it further in all sorts of configurations is of course the same as many of his serious peers do. He too has six pieces here, all of them untitled, and displaying a fine sense for the more minimal approach. Once in motion, his pieces only evolve slowly. The sound is looped around, no doubt due to the use of the turntable and the splintered sounds of shattered glass flies about. Borghi adds a minimal amount of electronics to it, which sometimes provide the change of the detail. Borghi’s work is a fine display of music where boundaries don’t count anymore. It can be a bit of ambient, noise, musique concrete, microsound, and it all blends together as easily as it’s natural. A fine work, if not always the most unheard off: there is of course a whole scene of people doing this, but then you knew this from these pages already. (FdW)
Address: http://abser1.narod2.ru/

GOOD LUCK MR. GORSKY (LP by Granny Records)
It’s been a few years since reviewing the split CD of Eventless Plot and Good Luck Mr. Gorsky (Vital Weekly 618) and while the first had a couple of more releases on Granny Records, we didn’t hear from Gorsky again. Now there is a new LP, recorded live in june 2011 in Athens. Good Luck Mr. Gorsky is a trio of Spiros Emmanouilidis (trumpet, synth, prepared piano samples), Thanasis Papadopoulos (synth, sampler, vocals) and Savvas Metaxas (field recordings procession). Many of the bands on Granny Records share mutual interests. There is always an element of ‘real’ instruments, field recordings and electronics, mingling together to create atmospheric music that has, occasionally, a rock like texture. Good luck Mr. Gorsky is no different. The chirping of insect sounds, the bouncing synth backdrop and the Throbbing Gristle like trumpet on side, fading into a spacious synth event with glockenspiel (although perhaps these are the prepared piano samples?). The spacious nature of the music is present on both sides of this record, even when it bumps into a more steady rhythm on the second side, it still remains spacious. Here we have music that easily defies any categorization. Ambient, electronic, pop (but then, not really), maybe even post rock, soundscaping: all of that is in there and it makes great sense but as said: file under what exactly? Maybe we should not care about such thing? Let’s do that and simply enjoy the record at hand. (FdW)
Address: http://www.grannyrecords.org/

THE SWIFTER (LP by The Wormhole)
The Wormhole, is a ‘byproduct of The Tapeworm’, and releases ’round’ things, hence a LP here. The Swifter is a trio of the for me unknown Simon James Phillips on piano, BJNilsen on electronics and Andrea Belfi on drums and percussion. This was recorded in 2011 in a church in Berlin and I have no idea of The Swifter is an one-off or intended as an ongoing concern. The liner notes are very cryptic here, but the key is provided: ‘What is this record? Space. Not sure. But space is one thing for sure’. Like I am pleased with the current wave of spacious Australian ‘jazz’ music (Spartak, Gilded, 3Millions and Pollen Trio), this too shares that terrain. It’s not really jazz of course by any sort of jazz standard, but especially what Phillips and Belfi are doing on their instruments is a bit jazz like, and spacious – above all spacious. BJNilsen provides the odd element here, something which takes it even further away from the jazz, and adds a more sinister backdrop to the music. Belfi keeps rolling his mallets over the skins and the piano plays repeated chords, but, hey, this is a church, so it sounds also a bit remote, a bit far away – more spacious movements going on here. This is the kind of music without a term. Its improvised for sure, its not really jazz, its quite ambient, but then also heavily acoustic. Maybe it is one of those things where you realize you don’t need terms all the time to say something about the music. This is an excellent record, and let’s hope The Swifter is indeed not an one-off project. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tapeworm.org.uk

HUMAN COMBUSTION ENGINE IV – GAMES WITHOUT (CDR by Ilse)
Despite the fact that I may like this music, I think the whole presentation is a bit of a let down, especially when it comes to the information part. Human Combustion Engine IV is Melanie O’Dubshlaine, who plays Evolver, and Philip Todd, who plays Moog Rogue. This work here was recorded in Leeds, 19 February 2012. That’s it. Todd of course we know from his work as Ashtray Navigations. Ok, well, maybe it has all the information we need? Two people behind what I would assume are synthesizers (didn’t look it up on the internet), improvising (perhaps?) for forty five minutes. Agentle improvisation, but not necessarily from a pure drone end. Here we have something that is along the lines of a few things. First of all there is the cosmic connection obviously, but then in a rather more abstract way, drone like but not playing the entire long form (‘the cigar’ as a friend of mine calls it, because all these sound waves look alike), but in smaller parts, with various oscillations and a constant filtering of the sounds that these synths produce. A very nice recording, that starts as suddenly as it stops, and despite the fact that this is a live recording it has a nice mellow edge to it. I wish perhaps things were just more clearer on the cover. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ilsemusic.info/

COMBUSTIONE & LIBERAZIONE – FOOD CHAIN (CDR by Orgonomy)
Already released in July 2012, so way beyond the six month mark to get a review, but then, I thought, this is a limited edition of 40 copies, and this is number 7 out of those 40. Maybe a random pick from a pile, but maybe there weren’t more then 6 sold, and they could use all the publicity they can get? But maybe it’s the content of the product, or the way it is presented. A sort of magazine inside a slim line DVD case with a CDR to go along, rather than vice versa: a CDR with a booklet. I think. I am not sure. The whole thing has to do something with food. Maybe not. A small art-zine. The music is produced by Leonardo Amico and Pere Saguer, also known as Combustione and Liberazione. Burn and be free. I also learned there is some amount of voice samples in here. Otherwise we are covered with mystery. The music is all about improvisation with electronics, of the cheaper variation. A drum machine, lots of smaller effects, maybe a small synth. In the two pieces they follow the same path: it starts out in a nice mild fashion but then slowly unfolds into a barrage of noise, like little kids lost in the world of electrons. Now why is that, I wondered. You could learn to discipline yourself and keep your improvisation within a given range for instance. Stop after a while, and not plough forth on an endless tune. Do more editing, make choice, try to compose with the material: the sky is the limit, but not yet here. (FdW)
Address: http://orgonomy-records.blogspot.com

CHVAD SB – GUT (CDR by Facility Records)
GUT is a film about two friends Tom and Dan who have a fascination for horror films. Both operate at the same office, have lunch together, make the occasional joke and drink  beers while enjoying a bloody film. At one point, Dan has a very realistic clinical horror movie and friendship begins to falter. The atmosphere of the film GUT is slow, there are many observations of what is happening, fixed camera positions and an oppressive atmosphere by the distance that exists between people and occasionally interrupted in family circumstances or during lunch at a coffee shop. The theme of dulling of sensation and can feel something through the eye of the camera or screen in this film is a theme in this movie. Especially the miscommunication and what impact that has been well mapped. The soundtrack was created by Chvad SB and is made with guitar and effects. The music fits in perfectly with the film. It’s simple, threatening, slow and has few layers. The power of music lies mainly in its simplicity. Eighteen tracks come over and take you to quiet moments and to the deeper depths of the soul. Chvad SB lives and works in Brooklyn – New York and makes music since 199. The soundtrack for the movie GUT was released on his own label Facility Records. In the film, the soundtrack is a pleasant addition to the image, but if music is also very rewarding to listen to in a dark room and you can create your own images in your mind. (JKH)
Address: http://facilityrecords.chvad.com/

HAWN – SPREE (CDR by Hawn)
Hawn consists of John Craun, Michael Lee and Michael Winter. The music of their first release has been created by Craun on guitar, samples and electronics and Lee on vocals. Winter recorded the album in the living room of Lee in New Orleans and played piano on one songs. The musicians play together since 2010 and slowly they evolve their music. Lee starts to sing in an old-time band, but stopped for several years, because he puts all his attention on fiction writing. Craun grew up by listening to religious rock, but he is now more involved to noise and improvisation music. Winter played hardcore and for now he created sound art. Spree consists of seven songs and is a beautiful mix of blues, folk, experimental music and electronics. The voice of Lee is seductive and supported by slow chords, some bass-lines, electronics and some distorted sounds. The last song Frozen Warnings is a Nico cover and is a nice interpretation of this sad songs. Hawn is busy with writing for a follow-up. I am very curious what that will be, because this is really a nice start. (JKH)
Address: <hawnband@gmail.com>

PRELIMINARY SATURATION – 20 DEC 1979 (CDR by Vatican Analog)
The date here is, as well as the two titles (in Dutch) ‘second recording’ and ‘fourth recording’ of no particular importance, and doesn’t reflect anything from the personal lives of the band members, Steffan de Turck (aka Staplerfahrer) and Wouter Jaspers (aka Franz Fjodor, Ezdanitoff and sometimes CEO of the excellent Koma Elektronik, for all your equipment needs) – the latter wasn’t even both yet. The date however can give us a hint however about the music, as it’s inspired by the more adventurous early industrialists, in particular Throbbing Gristle. That’s an idea right up my alley. Take something from the past and try and do your interpretation of it. Of course the late 70s, early 80s have tons of original bands that may provide you with a template for a great idea, and Throbbing Gristle is indeed not a bad one to be inspired by. The two pieces here show an interest in the earliest work of Gristle, being all lo-fi, and a bit crackly, with longer parts needed for improvisation. There is the odd trace of a melody, or perhaps even a sense of a melody, along with small synth sounds, electronics and an absence of a any coherent rhythm. Recorded occasionally with a mild sense of distortion and there you have some thirty minutes of music that is inspired by the past but also fits our times really well. The lo-fi extended electronic soundscape works well, and it would have been nice to have this on cassette to complete the (fake) historical picture of it. (FdW)
Address: http://www.staplerfahrer.nl/

KOMMISSAR HJULER UND FRAU (HOLLE) (DVDR by Shmf)
KOMMISSAR HJULER UND FRAU – SOFA NR. 2 (DVDR by Shmf)
KOMMISSAR HJULER – MUTTER AB7 (CDR by Shmf)
JAAN PATTERSON – DIE ANTIZIPATION DES GENERALIZED OTHER (CDR by Shmf)
A bunch of heavily limited edition releases by Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer. Or Frau (Holle) as it is on a four minute film on the fairytale, which is basically when Hjuler explains an installation they are doing, and how it is about recycling. The most humorous bit is towards the end when Hjuler is distracted by his neighbors. How they look like when they perform their strange sound poetry live can be seen on ‘Sofa Nr. 2′, performed at the Zappanale #21, in which basically the lyrics are ‘you are my sofa’ for herr Hjuler, while Frau sings something else, which I didn’t understand.
Hjuler taped his (?) mother on his answerphone and put that out on ‘Mutter AB7′, which is a whole series of this sort of works. Even when it’s in German and no doubt very private, but it sounds all very fascinating, with words that are repeated to call back, and of course we don’t know, if there is was any respond. This is some great found sound poetry! And at seven and half minute also probably long enough.
Jaan Patterson reworks a text by Georg Herbert Mead, which Hjuler sends out to other people and ask them to work them in any sort of way they want. This will then be released and take the form of a CDR, but also vinyl – depending on popularity perhaps. The quickness of this, reminds me (well, perhaps a lot of what Hjuler does) of the old school mail art scene. Here is something, do something and that’s it. Work done. I have no idea who Jaan Patterson is but the piece he did is the text with a lot of low resolution sampling devices looping bits and pieces. Nice but even at thirteen minutes a bit long, I thought. All of these releases are limited to just a handful copies. If sold out, then get something as equally weird! (FdW)
Address: http://www.asylum-lunaticum.de/shmf.htm

4K V F1 – EP (Businesscard by Drekka)
DREKKA G HELGI MORTAL KOMBAT – DGHMK EP (3″ by Drekka)
Michael Anderson aka Drekka lives and works in Reykjavik – Iceland and started at the end of 2012 a new project.  He set up shows and collaborate with artists he hasn’t worked yet. They met each other one week before the show and started to work out an idea of the show. The rehearsals are recorded and parts of it will be released in a small edition of 3″ CD-R’s. The first collaboration was with 4K, a so called evil twin of Drekka. The businesscard contains only three minutes, but a digital download gives you more insight of their collaboration. The music is meditative and is created by  a repetitive small melody and disturbed by screams, harsh noises and more. The wall of sound increases more and more and the speed turns up. The live show was played at 6 December 2012 at The Ream. The second collaboration Drekka did with Helgi Mortal Combat and they did a in-store show at 12 Tonar record store in Reykjavik. Helgi is a kid living in the suburbs of Reykjavik and plays with toys and Casio instruments. The mix between field-recordings, dark electronics, fresh clicks and a ongoing melody which is based on a Icelandic lullaby. The mix between ordinary sounds recorded in the house, raw recordings, dark sound waves and a distorted lullaby gives surrealistic atmosphere. The second recording at this 3″ is more based on rhythm and I guess the basic-instruments are gun toys. The repetition of loading guns, electronic gun power and electronics creates childish dark warfare. It is a pity that the composition ends with a ordinary song which has been edited. The duo has strength enough to create another final of this composition. The first track ends with an traditional lullaby played on a programmable music box. Something like that would be nice too. Anyway? I am looking forward to the next collaborations, but the recordings are very adventurous. (JKH)
Address: http://drekka.bandcamp.com/

NOISH – BLACK NATURE (cassette by Hum Rec)
Oscar Martin is the man behind Noish and has already released on Free Software Series, Uzusounds, Drone Records, TecnoNucleo and BRRR and his primary concern is to create music with free audio software, which in this case is Pure Data, SuperCollider and Ardour under Ubunti, which may sound a bit like abacadabra if you are just a listener and not a creator. In all of this Noish uses field recordings as his input and what comes out is not be recognized as such anymore. His artist moniker may suggest that we are dealing here with someone plays a lot of noise, but that’s not entirely true. Even while his ‘Noish vs Anton Mobin’ on the b-side is an over-lengthy excursion into that world, the four other pieces – all solo I would assume – are actually quite interesting pieces in which Noish finds his ground in the more academic areas of electronic music, the serious electronics of the sixties. Clusters of sounds, glissandi and oscillations are placed in some excellent compositions, which aren’t justified, I think, by the format of the cassette, but there is a free download waiting for you somewhere. More Stockhausen than Schulze. Very nice release – most of it anyway! (FdW)
Address: http://www.humrec.org

SVARTVIT – AUTO-DA-FÉ (cassette by Svartvit)
“Svartvit is a Dutch harsh noise project that was started in 2008 by sound artist Kevin Jansen. Svartvit takes influences from a wide spectrum including but definitely not limited to; Vienna Aktionism, socio-political topics, underground punk music, Russian constructivism as well as his
contemporaries like Sword Heaven, The Rita, Prurient & Vomir.” “ An auto-da-fé (also auto da fé and auto de fe) was the ritual of public penance of condemned heretics and apostates that took place when the Spanish Inquisition or the Portuguese Inquisition had decided their punishment, followed by the execution by the civil authorities of the sentences imposed. Both auto de fe in medieval Spanish and auto da fé in Portuguese mean “act of faith”.” And it is clear from elsewhere that Kevin arrives at HNW via the P.E. ‘scene’ very much with an agenda- a frustration on both a personal and
wider social level. “My music is based on frustration. I don’t think this is a message on it’s own but I think it can work as a message for similar minded people. Some will hear my work on recognize the feelings presented in it. I’ve had experiences like this myself before and hope some will have it with my stuff as well. It’s good to feel that you’re not the only one with these thoughts. So for some it can be a very emotional experience while for others it would be just noise. I think with the current state of music the role of an artist is to offer up music just the way they like. With all these new ways to gain music I think people themselves can filter out what they prefer. If they want to hear very outspoken political message, there are places for that, if they want pure sounds without any message attached to them they can find those as well. The artist shouldn’t compromise towards the audience in any way, it would only give the music less value.” So this could be argued for almost all of contemporary art, and is a general apologetics given for it, from the millionaires – Koons, Hirst etc. (strangely the plastic arts seems not as cash strapped as the sonic arts?) through to Prurient, still attempting to climb the ladder to Svartvit? Whose sound is very much tape saturated distortion of what might be a conventional rock piece – broadcast on shortwave, played through a PA and recorded through several layers of concrete…  I did have some kind of argument with this kind of thing, that is some value system, and the idea of a privileged artist, something which noise might just be a critique of – However “Abstract Noise appears to critique the prevailing cognitive and social habits of modernity by providing concrete and particular art objects that demand attention and jar us from one-dimensional life. Noise sounds, for a moment, like a true alternative not only to contemporary music but to a whole way of thinking through abstract generalization and living through commercial mediation. Understood in this way, noise makes sense. Once noise is no longer inscrutable, however, it is assimilated into popular culture and becomes a commercial novelty. The blatant contradiction of the commodification of noise gives rise to a second order of critique wherein noise parades its uselessness and occasions reflection on the tortured existence of art in modernity, the ubiquity of identity thinking, and the relation between use and exchange value. This ironic endgame for noise, however, is itself absorbed by consumer culture and noise lives on as but another cool, extreme product. The cultural reception of noise thereby demonstrates the mechanism by which modernity absorbs artistic attempts to critique it, and noise is ultimately understood as a desperate but spectacular failure.”- Nick Smith.(http://pubpages.unh.edu/~nicks/pdf/Splinter.pdf) And taking up *any* attitude towards this seems doomed to failure also. (jliat)
Address: http://svartvit.bandcamp.com/

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