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Vital Weekly 874

vital weekly 874

TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A. – THE GRIEF THAT SHRIEKED TO MULTIPLY (3CD by Monotype Records)
KOJI ASANO – AUGUST IS FALL (CD by Solstice) *
GRAND GENERAL – GRAND GENERAL (CD by Rune Grammofon)
SPLASHGIRL – FIELD DAY RITUALS (CD by Hubro)
AX – METAL FOREST (CD by Cold Spring)
EDWARD KA-SPEL – TANITH AND THE LION TREE (CD by Cold Spring)
SCHLOSS TEGAL – ORANUR III – THE THIRD AND FINAL REPORT (CD by Cold Spring)
HBAR – SONIC PARADOXES (CD and DVD by Dobia Label)
MARC BEHRENS – QUEENDOM MAYBE RISE (CD by Cronica Electronica) *
RM74 – TWO ANGLES OF A TRIANGLE (2CD by Utech Records) *
THE BEAUTIFUL SCHIZOPHONIC – BELKISS (CD by Dynamophone) *
ALTAR OF FLIES – LET NEW LIFE RISE IN THE FACE OF DEATH (CD by Hästen & Korset)
TIM BRADY – ATACAMA SYMPHONY NO. 3 (CD by Bradyworks)
NIEUWE ELECTRONISCHE WAAR 8.0 (CD by Esc Rec)
VON HIMMEL – ROCK N ROLL ANIMAL/TRAUM ESEL (LP by Donkey Disk)
MATT KREFTING – HIGH HOPES (LP by Open Mouth Records)
MECHA/ORGA – 40:43 (CDR by Oto) *
INSTANT SATISFUNCTION (compilation CDR by URBsounds)
IFANG – DELUSION (CDR by Esc Rec) *
VISSZAJARO/LEZET (CDR by SP Recordings)
TO-BO – GAS TERROR (CDR by Vomit Bucket Productions)
\\\V/// – 267-18 (CDR by Vomit Bucket Productions)
LOUD SILENCE – REVERSING THE BUTTERFLY (CDR by Vomit Bucket Productions)
GOVERNMENT ALPHA – AFTERLIFE IS WARPED (3″CDR by Debila Records)
GEN 26 – GENE FARM (3″CDR by Debila Records)
BROTHER OF JUDO – ALL THE THINGS YELLOW (3″CDR by Debila Records)

listen

tracklist for Vital Weekly 874:

0000 Tune
0014 Ifang – Delusion
0320 RM 74 – May 30, 2012
0614 The Beautiful Schizophonic – Apparition
0912 Mecha/orga
1214 Marc Behrens – Maybe Rise
1518 Koji Asano
1822 Tune

TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN L.A. – THE GRIEF THAT SHRIEKED TO MULTIPLY (3CD by Monotype Records)
Whenever I do duties like this, I am thinking of putting up a larger introductionairy text on the Vital Weekly website, detailing what it is I think, in general, of compilations, and remixes, and both of course. It’s got all to do with such questions as ‘why compilations’ and ‘why remixes’? Remixes, I think, are marketing tools to bring a band to a new audience, in order to sell more records. That is, in the real world, where musicians try to make a living. In the Vital scene, remixes are usually affectionate tributes to heroes. Which is all nice, of course, and maybe bring the fan of, let’s see here on the cover, say Howard Stelzer to the music of To Live And Shave In L.A. Over the years I didn’t hear a lot of their music – my mistake – and if you’d wake me up and asked me ‘quick, gimme some names of remixers for a three CD set of To Live And Shave In L.A.’, I would probably have told you to beat it, muttering ‘hell why not four CDs’. It’s one of those things that probably passed me by in the nineties. Maybe because I wasn’t concerned with noise in the nineties, when this band was at their most active? Let’s safely assume that’s the reason. Now I have here three CDs, close to four hours of music (more so if I would download disc four), which inconveniently (but thumbs up in the annoying department) has one track per CD, so you’d loose track of this who’s who fairly quickly. In my case, disc one, thirty minutes in. Would like to know what Staplerfahrer (disc 2, track 7), or Wouter Jaspers (disc 3, track 5) did, I would be in serious trouble – sorry, boys and girls that it’s hard to comment on your specific remix. Do I have a much clearer what To Live And Shave In L.A. was all about? Good question. I am not sure, but I don’t think so. It’s about noise, it’s about sound collage, mayhem, cut-up, voices, guitar noise and what have you. The artist list reads like an encyclopedia of today’s noise trouble makers, some of them serious middle aged men, and some young hipsters alike. Too many to mention, and we don’t want our reviews to look like an endless shopping list, do we? Go check with the label, if you want to know more. Did I like this (sensing this might be a review)? Well, actually I did. As said, I gave up thinking who did what here, and let shave me in an endless stream of sound. Next to The New Blockaders remix sets (two 5 LP boxes), this is one of the bigger sets of remixes of the last few years. For the fans of many! (FdW)
Address: http://www.monotyperecords.com

KOJI ASANO – AUGUST IS FALL (CD by Solstice)
Slowly Koji Asano is picking up speed again when it comes to releasing new music. ‘August Is Fall’ is the forty-ninth CD on his Solstice label and increasingly devoid of any information, so I have to assume a few things here. One and perhaps most important, is that ‘August Is Fall’ is a work of electronic proportion. Like with his entire body of works, Asano is a conceptual composer. We have no idea what he does, but whatever it is, it’s very consistent. Here we have in the first part a loop of electronic sound – no drone, no rhythm, just a sound, very mid-range – that becomes layered, tied together with the rest. In the second part it’s a similar sound – not the same, mind you, and it appears to be layered straight from the start, which is repeated in the third piece. Same idea, different-but-not-too different sounds to work around with that. It’s fascinating to think about the idea behind this release, although I found it hard to know what it is, and every piece sounded alright for about ten minutes, but it had trouble keeping my attention for the entire length of the three pieces, which was close to an hour. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kojisasano.com

GRAND GENERAL – GRAND GENERAL (CD by Rune Grammofon)
Grand general is conspiracy of following talented musicians: Even Helte Hermansen (guitar; of Bushman´s Revenge), Ola Kvernberg (violin), Erlend Slettevoll (keyboards; of The Core),Trond Frønes (bass;  Sunswitch, El Doom & The Born Electric) and Kenneth Kapstad (drums; Motorpsycho). It is one of those Scandinavian bands that find new inspiration in 70s progressive music and jazz rock. Because of prominent role of the violin, in this case one has to think of Mahavishnu Orchestra as a point of reference. Grand General plays their material with verve. Overall top notch playing, very tight and full of energy. No doubt a real power group. I’m not impressed by their compositions that besides the evident jazz influences also takes inspiration from folk music. Their heavy and melodic rock stays too close to 70s esthetics to be surprising. I’m not convinced of the relevance of their undertaking. But for those who are into revisions of 70s prog- and jazzrock, this is your thing. And again, although they give an enthusiastic performance, it did not really touch my soul. (DM)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com

SPLASHGIRL – FIELD DAY RITUALS (CD by Hubro)
Strange music. We have to listen carefully here. This isn’t what is seems. For this reason I first asked myself if we not dealing with kitsch here. More about pretending? But I think that not the case. It is a new release of the Hubro label. A label dedicated to Norwegian jazz and improvised music. Splashgirl is a piano trio of Andreas Stensland Løwe (piano, keyboards), Jo Berger Myhre (double bass) and Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød (drums, percussion). With guest appearances of Eyvind Kang and Timothy Mason. This is their fourth album, recorded in Seattle with the help of producer Randall Dunn. Their music is related to easy listening and jazz, but it is nor jazz, nor easy listening. Is it difficult listening? No, the music is very accessible. All eight pieces are built consequently in the same well-defined style, that is however difficult to situate. The music dwells in romantic, ambient and pastoral atmospheres. Most pieces pass by in a slow pace. Instrumentation and arrangements are sparse and very focussed. The music is very open so that every detail can be noticed and enjoyed. They make effective use of electronics and sounds in tracks like ‘Never been anywhere before’. ‘Twixt it and Silence’ reminded me of Martin Denny’s lounge music, although Splashgirl definitively wants to trigger other moods then he did. Very fine contributions by Eyvind Kang on viola, like in ‘Mass’, a very spiritual piece close to Popol Vuh, that has subtle synth additions by Mason as well. Hypnotizing, mysterious, puzzling music from talented trio. (DM)
Address: http://www.hubromusic.com

AX – METAL FOREST (CD by Cold Spring)
AX is the project by the brain behind the extreme electronic project Skullflower. As you press play on this full length carrying the title “Metal forest” you will soon realize that the style of the two projects are familiar. The album opens with slow harsh crushing beats that soon after are assisted by deep rumbling noise-scapes, as is the case with the works of Skullflower, AX takes its starting point in heavy crushing power electronics that makes your speakers sound like burning from the inside. But as the title suggests “Metal Forest” uses elements from the metal scene to create this destructive kind of expression. Drones of heavily distorted guitars  is an important part of the picture giving some associations towards Industrial-Metal-legends of Godflesh meanwhile the guitars other times reminds of the style of Robert Hampson (ex-member of Main and Godflesh) and his works as Loop. Pulverizing bass drones and crushing power electronics creates a beautiful work distorted symphonies and dark atmospheres. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

EDWARD KA-SPEL – TANITH AND THE LION TREE (CD by Cold Spring)
Re-issue of one of the many interesting moments of Edward Ka-Spel. Edward Ka-Spel is best known as the lead singer and co-founder of the unique band The Legendary Pink Dots – arguably one of Netherland’s most interesting acts from the psychedelic scene of the last decades. As a solo artist Edward Ka-Spel continues his explorations into strange sound-spheres that circles in-between experimental electronics, psychedelic rock, blues and even art pop. “Tanith And The Lion Tree” was originally released on CD and cassette 22 years ago – in 1991. The album is treat for the open minded listener. Ballads coupled with a dark, malignant backdrop and ambient moments of experimentalism and moments of true musical beauty as on the strange ballad “Prithee” – a magic track including an awesome piano-line. “Tanith And The Lion Tree” has been out of print but now thanks to Cold Spring this strange, emotional and mystical trip has seen the light of the day once more. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

SCHLOSS TEGAL – ORANUR III – THE THIRD AND FINAL REPORT (CD by Cold Spring)
Present album probably has been inspired by the title of Industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle and their ambient-noise-milestone “D.o.A : The third and final report of Throbbing Gristle” and the expression is a similar nauseating and very interesting experience. The artist name Schloss Tegal is taken from a hospital in a castle near Berlin, that served as a psychiatric clinic treating soldiers with art and music therapy. Behind the project you find the two american sound artists Richard Schneider and Mark Burch who began their explorations back in the late eighties. Present album is a re-issue from the original release that came out in 1995. “Oranur III – The third and final report” has widely been considered as one of the first albums to be labelled “dark ambient”. It is a conceptual album that takes its starting point in the work of the Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich and his encounters with UFOs. If you ask the artists due to the expressions of this album UFO’s are certainly not friendly. Expressively the album oozes of sinister atmospheres and frightening soundscapes built on rumbling noises and horrific voice samples coming and out through the soundscapes. The album has so much intensity that the listener will get sucked into this sinister world of aliens from outer space. Excellent.
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

HBAR – SONIC PARADOXES (CD and DVD by Dobia Label)
hBar is an italian duo consisting of Alberto Novello and Paolo Pascolo. Alberto Novello’s scientist, video artist and musician, he also plays under the name JesterN. Within hBar he is responsible for the digital side of the music and the visuals. Paolo Pascolo plays flute and saxophone. The approach to the music with various scientific theories on quantum mechanics and timbre. How the theories may be, ultimately the result is what counts. To my taste academic music often without feeling and particularly from the ratio composed. There is, within the five compositions on the CD Sonic Paradoxes nothing to notice. In different ways the flute of Paolo Pascolo combines together with the electronic world of Alberto Novello. The sphere changes from atmospheric and rustic, to restless beats and free-jazz-like experiments. The CD starts with an atonal piece which tone to tone, pace and rest, intensity and complexity are important ingredients. The song is not for nothing subtitled Multiplicity. The song subsequently has a meditative character and resembles an Indian mantra, which however is broken or supplemented with troubled electronic glitches. In this sense it is perhaps more meditative than regular approach of meditative music, which is predictable. In meditation is about paying attention listening to music, breathing, environment and yourself and unpredictability help it along just fine. Within “Patterns” is the fusion between flute and high tones electronically searched. Digital and analog worlds merge with each other, but also to wring painful show and disappear into harmonic chords.The accompanying DVD shows the video images that Alberto Novello makes during the live performances of the duo. They are computer animations of abstract shapes, lines and patterns and blend well with the music of the duo. The numbers have the same titles as on the CD, but are processed live recordings that would otherwise be performed. The video “Superconductivity” is my favorite, because there is a nice mix between recognizable microscopic images of cell structures, which are mixed with the abstract video. This video is a starting point of hBar strongly forward, the mix between the analog and digital world. All in all a wonderful release, a feast for the ear and especially also for the eye. (JKH)
Address: http://www.dobialabel.com/

MARC BEHRENS – QUEENDOM MAYBE RISE (CD by Cronica Electronica)
It’s been a while since I last heard about Elgaland/Vargaland and I kinda hoped it would all been have passed by now, the kingdom was overthrown by The People’s Republic Of Elga/Varga, but here the ministry of not knowing what to be a ministry of, also known as Marc Behrens, offers a piece that was composed for the opening of yet another gallery, sorry consulate in Karben, Germany. The good thing is that it uses the (female) voice of Yoko Higashi, so we may have a Queendom here. Which ties it nicely to the much longer first piece here, ‘Maybe Rise’, which deals entirely with recordings from Tropical North Queensland. Queendom, queensland, kingdom, you get the royal flush , right? Marc Behrens is a man, not unlike Yiorgis Sakellariou (reviewed elsewhere), who uses a lot of field recordings to compose his work, but unlike Sakellariou, he may use all sorts of computer techniques (read: plug ins) to alter his sounds – but perhaps I am all wrong. In ‘Maybe Rise’ however I think I am not wrong, and there is some form of sound manipulation going on. It’s a very minimal piece of music, with long parts of similar sounds, heavily layered and sounding great. From the tropical moves of the opening ten minutes via some highly processed part in the middle to the percussive bits and then the more tropical sounds again at the end, it gives us the sense of a journey, and one hell of a trip it has been. Nowhere does the sound ‘sink’ away in sheer silence, but it makes effective use of dynamics. ‘Queendom’ is much shorter and uses Higashi’s voice as source material, stretched a bit, humming and ultimately very much a piece of musique concrete. Quite nice, but not his best and sounds perhaps as a disc filler, whereas the previous piece of forty-one minutes already showed us, we didn’t need a piece filling this up. Unless of course it’s placed here out of conceptual reasoning, in which case I didn’t say anything. (FdW)
Address: http://www.cronicaelectronica.org

RM74 – TWO ANGLES OF A TRIANGLE (2CD by Utech Records)
You could wonder, as I did, why you would release two CDs of music, if all the music can also fit on one CD. I am not speaking out of ecological reasons, but just thinking here as a customer, who is probably paying a bit more to get a double pack? Maybe it’s all got to do with the old fashioned idea of a double LP, which could have such lengths? Reto Mäder, also known as RM74 has been around for some time, with his Hinterzimmer label and of course his own music. Here on ‘Two Angles Of A Triangle’ he tries to play something that is ‘similar to folk music without genre typical folk arrangements’, using rhythm, piano, kalimba, theremin, guitar, ‘nostalgic music box melodies’, ‘the scraping sound of a chalk on slate, oscillated radio frequencies, lost and found tape voices and the cracking of tree branches. All according to the information on the insert. Obviously the music is not really folk like, or not really folk like in the way we think about folk music. It’s moody, it’s introspective and perhaps as such counts for something folky. But it’s also something that is electronic, that owes to the world of collage/montage that we are so familiar with. It’s partly a bit noisy, a bit psychedelic, musique concrete like, drone like and all of that. It’s more simply said an album that defies any categorization. It’s a bit of everything but strangely enough it all sounds wonderfully coherent. Which I think is the essence of a great record. It grabs you, it keeps holding you close, along offering all of these different styles and techniques, to come with a bunch of varied pieces of music. It could have been all on one CD of course, but alright, it’s two. Excellent stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.utechrecords.com

THE BEAUTIFUL SCHIZOPHONIC – BELKISS (CD by Dynamophone)
You can’t say Jorge Mantas produces a lot of music, but with some regular measure his name pops up in Vital Weekly as The Beautiful Schizophonic and usually I like it quite a bit. Perhaps because the music appeals to me, but also because Mantas doesn’t use laptops in an ordinary way, nor does he present it with the air of remoteness, being aloof and all that. In fact he embraces the listener, makes grand gestures and is wandering soul – a hopelessly romantic person perhaps. I never met him, so I am merely speculating here. On ‘Belkiss’ he makes the next move in his career. On three of the thirteen pieces he has a vocalist who sings her moody tunes to sorrowful piano music and bits of reverb. Otherwise Mantas uses his laptop processing like he did before: sustaining, warm, ambient, with processed vocals, glockenspiel, guitars and field recordings and makes highly introspective music. A true mood engineer. Like with his previous releases, there isn’t something here which we haven’t heard before, but Mantas belong to the best in the genre of ‘warm microsound’. The humming at times reminded me of Enya – and I am still trying to work out if that is good or a bad thing. There is always an element of risk in this music: it might become very kitschy. The vocal pieces show that already. The Beautiful Schizophonic walks a tight rope, but somehow I think Mantas is aware of that, and that it’s all a deliberate play with images, genres, styles and he succeeds very well to play his audience. (FdW)
Address: http://dynamophone.com/

ALTAR OF FLIES – LET NEW LIFE RISE IN THE FACE OF DEATH (CD by Hästen & Korset)
Since a string of early tapes on his own Hästen & Korset imprint, Mattias Gustafsson’s Altar of Flies project has steady picked up steam, his sounds hitting vinyl, cassette, and compact disc on a wide swath of prominent labels including Release the Bats and A Dear Girl Called Wendy. ‘Let New Life Rise in the Face of Death; is a new H&K edition featuring a triad of tracks originally issued on a 2011 Sprachlos Verlag tape, buttressed by two previously unreleased compositions. The key here is texture, with Gustafsson glossing his sounds over with varying intensities of analogue fuzz and digital fizzle. He is a master of harnessing energy, both nervous and kinetic: though he deals largely in improvisation, his tracks convey a deep sense of top-down reasoning. In lieu of regurgitating piles of harsh noise onto the listener, he assimilates tapes, effects, and contact mics into assiduously woven epics. The roads taken aren’t mere build-and-release; instead they burble and hover, sprouting out unpredictably but gratifyingly (as in the macabre first half of stellar “I Have No Memories”). On the title track, found spoken word reels are streamed at varying speeds, the disembodied voices fomenting anxiety in the listener’s mind space. On lugubrious “Anagrams,” contact mic garble, orchestral loops, deformed bovine moo-oo-oos, and incidental ambient sound are assembled into a quasi-symphony, each successive step smartly prefacing the next. As the record’s final movement, it best realizes Gustafsson’s ear for drama and subtlety – and reveals an all-too-rare joy for the possibilities of sound. (MT)
Address: http://hastenochkorset.tumblr.com/

TIM BRADY – ATACAMA SYMPHONY NO. 3 (CD by Bradyworks)
Ah, here we stumble upon one of those cases where promo’s are mailed out to who ever might be interested. If there is a guide upon the internet with ‘useful’ contacts, and Vital Weekly is in it as ‘a fine online resource for new music’, then please remove Vital Weekly from such a list. Or perhaps users of such guides should perhaps inspect things a bit further. Tim Brady’s third symphony is performed by Bradyworks, his own ‘contemporary chamber music ensemble’, the VivaVoce Vocal Ensemble and himself on guitar. Texts are based on poems by Elias Letelier about Pinochet era in Chile. Our own vocabulary on the subject of modern classical music fails so badly, that I have no words to describe this. It seems to me very conventional modern classic music, with fairly traditional choral parts, but then who the fuck am I? Maybe I am all wrong and this is the greatest NEW music of the 21st century. I doubt that, but you never know. Perhaps as part of childhood trauma, modern classical music or classical classical music is never really my cup of tea. I played it with interest, and it doesn’t alright, but this is not what I set out to write about when I started Vital, as fanzine, in 1986. (FdW)
Address: http://atmaclassique.com

NIEUWE ELECTRONISCHE WAAR 8.0 (CD by Esc Rec)
Originally N.E.W. meant ‘Nijmeegsche Electronische Waar’ (Nijmegen Electronic Stuff), but the ‘N’ has been changed to ‘Nieuw’, which needs no linguist to know it means ‘new’. Probably because they ran out of young talent from this beautiful city to put on a compilation CDs. I guess now it’s open for anyone from the Eastern part of The Netherlands to join this contest sort of thing. Send your tracks to the jury and if they like your music you can be on the CD and play on one of the CD presentations. All granted with permission of those who pay for it. I’ve been to a couple of these launch parties and it’s nicely crowded with friends of the performing acts seeing their mates on stage for the first time and all that, but when you get back home and play the CD, you are may be a bit let down. Oh, did I ever mention that I don’t like reviewing compilations, of any kind? Probably I didn’t, as I am still probably hearing at least two or three a week. Music as a commodity this is, well captured within official schools, ‘programma podiumplan’ (I assume nobody outside the Netherlands makes it this far in the review, so I won’t be bothered to translate), and the conservatorium of Arnhem. Goddamnit. What happened to do it yourself, the punk spirit of electro, techno, acid? Why did I listen to this Ableton tutorial of risk free music? Lots of would be techno, rap, r&b and all that. I wish all of these musicians lots of luck in their career. Tonight I wish to play Unit Moebius for a very long time and at a ultra highly volume. I am pretty sure this review didn’t qualify me a seat on the next jury. (FdW)
Address: http://www.escrec.com

VON HIMMEL – ROCK N ROLL ANIMAL/TRAUM ESEL (LP by Donkey Disk)
One Greg Garbage is behind Von Himmel. At least according to discogs. I see there are few releases, one cassette which was re-issued on LP, this new LP, a CDR and another cassette. Three of them appear on Donkey Disk, so perhaps Greg is the man behind the label? This seems to be the first LP on the label, following a bunch of cassette releases. The LP cover doesn’t tell much anyway. The band name, the name of the label, and the two titles, one per side. The label’s website isn’t more forthcoming: “descending hieroglyphics implicated by percussion fluctuations and multiphonic undergrowths of upended guitar hero sound diagrams in a prism of vacuous moon secretions; horizons unfold with tingling sparkles on a phosphorescent mossy riverbed in unseen hinterland tombs as our bodies melt with coursing streaks of sublimity in finite journeys vis-a-vis primordial birth death interplay. drawings by bart de paepe of sloow tapes.” Maybe Von Himmel is a real band, I was thinking, judging by the music on the LP. There is quite a bit of guitar and drums on it, maybe a bit of organ, bass, percussive bells and electronics, so not easy to play of this at once, hence a band. Maybe Garbage played all of this in the process of multi-tracking? That is another possibility and may count for the somewhat low fidelity of the recording. It may, however, be also part of the esthetic which is not uncommon for this sort of free flow rock music. Actually music I quite like. Music that reminded me of say No Neck Blues Band, or K-Salvatore – maybe the screen printed cover also helped, albeit in one color. All music to be played in an endless stream of unconsciousness – stoned out of their skull? Maybe I should not write that? It’s, if you are open enough I guess, music that can expand your consciousness too, even when taking no illegal substances of any kind. ‘Rock N Roll Animal’ has no nothing to do with wildly played rock n roll music. Towards the end of that piece we float around in heavy, hissy and textured bath of electronics. ‘Traum Esel’ starts out like cosmic music, again trapped in a barrel of hiss, and moves through three different stages of the cosmic state. Here no drums, bass and percussive bits, but all about electronics, effects and guitars, all captured on that hissy cassette. Excellent obscure stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://donkeydisk.com/

MATT KREFTING – HIGH HOPES (LP by Open Mouth Records)
In Vital Weekly 853 I was quite taken by the latest solo release of Matt Krefting. He’s a part time member of Idea Fire Company and also a member of Son Of Earth. In his solo music he uses obscured loops of likewise obscure sounds. Like a bunch of battered reel-to-reel tapes and machines and the Krefting minimally alters the sound material. Maybe he even records a bit of his own sound on them, perhaps using his guitar, an organ, sound effects. On the previous solo CDR the pieces were rather short, but on this LP he offers two parts of the title piece, one per side. It’s interesting to see how that shift works, from short(ish) pieces to those who extend to say twenty minutes. Krefting lets go of playing around with a few sources per piece, and creates more extended  mix of lots of different sound sources per piece. We hear a bit of Gregorian chanting, glass smashing, a car, some sort of rudimentary organ, piano bits and all such like. By the time we get to one-third of ‘High Hopes Part 2′ a few loops of guitar are pushed forward and from there on, towards the end, not much else happens with the sound. An extended coda perhaps, or was ‘High Hopes’ intended to be heard in one go, uninterrupted? Like before I was somehow also reminded me of old 78rpm records being used here: the actual sound of his pieces is ‘old’ – like it has some sort of coating that makes this sound ‘old’. Like before this is all done sparsely, everything is well spaced from each other, taking slow moves. Slow music, like in slow food, is perhaps the term I’m looking for. Not slow in tempo, but the peaceful character which is used in placing these various sound elements from each other. This is one of those genre defying records. It’s not minimal in the traditional sense of the word, it’s perhaps musique concrete, but lacks the fast editing of sounds or the extended use of electronics, it’s maybe improvised but sounds as well composed, and it’s not noisy, psychedelic or ambient in any of the more classic definitions of those genres. Ergo? A great record indeed. Refined classic music. (FdW)
Address: http://openmouthrecords.blogspot.nl/

MECHA/ORGA – 40:43 (CDR by Oto)
Former Greek, now based in Lithuania Yiorgis Sakellariou works since quite a number of years as Mecha/orga, in what is best described as ‘organizing field recordings’. Rather than taping field recording as ‘events’ and present the pure, unedited recordings as compositions, he records a whole bunch and then starts putting them together as compositions, with heads and tails, with a notion of the listener. But I am not sure to what extend Sakellariou changes his sounds. I don’t think he does a lot to them. Within the framework of a composition he plays ‘pure’ sounds in the form of a collage, rather than feeding them through all sorts of plug in possibilities sound software has these days. Sakellariou is more interested in finding a dialogue between those pure sounds. There is of course such things as fire works (seeing this was recorded up to January 2013), but the third part opens with some very nice rhythmic metallic sound – a fence perhaps – which is an all its density works well. It works anyway best when the sound sources are layered, from just a few to quite a lot. By now we may have heard enough fireworks, insects and water sounds by themselves, and we are in strong, urgent need of a fine composition with these elements, and this is what this release is all about. An excellent ear for the finer qualities of field recordings, melting them together into a fine piece of work – well four of them. When everything sounds together it’s a massive work. Like Behrens, Sakellariou works extensively with shifting dynamics, and brings fine variation into the pieces themselves. Limited to 100 copies, with a nice package. (FdW)
Address: http://oto-jpn.narod2.ru/oto_releases/oto_release/

INSTANT SATISFUNCTION (compilation CDR by URBsounds)
Wauuvv, this is absolutely amazing! Having reviewed for Vital Weekly in fifteen years I rarely put my ears to albums that surprises me with new un-heard sounds, however this compilation really does it. The works of this compilation is first of all beat-driven and quite abrasive in expression. Heavily distorted and blasting beats in upfront aggressive soundspheres is the overall style here. Some tracks belongs to the technoid scene with elements of idm-atmospheres where others and that is the main part belongs to the power noise however the expression is not only a question of brutality. Best way to describe the styles of the sixteen contributions is something in-between break core and power noise but in many of the works the beat-patterns are so complex and otherworldly strange that it makes me think of a style termed progressive noise – (does this term exist?). The rhythm textures here are so complex working on several levels and overwhelming that it makes you lie down and just consume this wave of upfront beat-driven noise. Yes, progressive noise must be the term to describe this masterpiece of a compilation from the Slovakian label Urbsounds. I advice everyone interested in adventurous sonic brutality to keep a close on the four acts represented here: Rioteer, Urbanfailure, Axiomid and Gotharman. Especially Rioteer and his two contributions “From better times” and “Sphere collider” are absolutely mind blowing stuff. This might be the noise-acts of the future. Awesome!! (NM)
Address: http://www.urbsounds.sk

IFANG – DELUSION (CDR by Esc Rec)
Thank god, Esc Rec has more to offer that a compilation with lame ‘new’ electronic music.  Check out their website as there is lots of free music over there for download. I am never sure when the decision is made to release something as a download-only and when it is also granted a CDR release. Here for instance the music spans only three tracks in about thirteen minutes. It has a nice handmade digipack, so that’s always great. Ifang is a seventeen year old producer from Nijmegen – hey ho let’s go – who did this music as part of a school project but now wants to devote his life to making music. Good for him. These three pieces are all based on the more intelligent lifeforms of techno music, with nice beats, crispy electronics, scratchy samples and a humming melody or two. Like that ‘NEW 8.0′ sampler elsewhere – which actually has no pieces from Ifang on it – this is all laptop based electronics, but since I never really properly studied Ableton, I must say this is indeed very nice music. Not the most ‘new’ (pun intended), but in a sort of Warp Records fashion this was all pleasantly nice ambient techno armchair shit, y’know dude? Unless of course I missed out on the latest craze in techno land and I am using the wrong lingo here. Nice, nice. Relaxing, melancholic. Oh, shit, only thirteen minutes. Why, oh why? I would have loved at least thirty or forty of this! Nijmegen’s new talent! Hurrah. (FdW)
Address: http://www.escrec.com

VISSZAJARO/LEZET (CDR by SP Recordings)
A split release with two musical projects from Serbia, both of which seem new to me. The first two pieces are by Visszajaro, a duo of Akos Czini on keyboards and effects and Laszlo Lenkes on guitar, effects, cover design, lo-fi recording and mastering (isn’t that a contradiction I wondered). In their two lengthy pieces (each band has about fifteen minutes here) they mess around with guitar wailing feedback, which is kept under control, but occasionally leaps out of there and wails away into the great far out. It’s noisy, it’s chaotic at times, but it doesn’t derail that much. It’s not your standard loud onslaught noise (LON – think about that instead of HNW), but I am afraid it’s also not exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.
The other three tracks are by Lezet, being Igor Jovanovic on bells, guitar and glasses (the ones you drink from I assume, not those on your nose). This I must say was more to my liking. Not just because it was less noise based, but also because it was less chaotic. His primary concern seems to be working with overtones. In two of the three pieces it deals with careful rattling of the bells against the glasses, not unlike chimes in the wind, and have a nice meditative character. On ‘Tunnelling’, his final piece, it’s all about feedback and guitar – sound captured in a glass? – but it’s an effective piece of music as such. Very nice stuff. (FdW)
Address: http://www.sprecordings.com

TO-BO – GAS TERROR (CDR by Vomit Bucket Productions)
\\\V/// – 267-18 (CDR by Vomit Bucket Productions)
LOUD SILENCE – REVERSING THE BUTTERFLY (CDR by Vomit Bucket Productions)
There is a conceptual purity to ugly music, and Vomit Bucket Productions’ lead dude Gag embraces that idea. The label’s name and logo revel in the sort of revulsion that evokes the hectic underground network of grindcore/gore-grind labels and their propensity for copiously secreted bodily humors. But Gag prefers shapeless noise as his instrument of terror, with a fervent DIY attitude to boot: each Vomit Bucket edition is limited to a scant thirty copies.
German noisester To-Bo (who runs the cheery Shit Noise and Industrial Noise labels) brings seventy minutes of wily aural assault to his latest Vomit Bucket joint, ‘Gas Terror.’ He’s typically a gent who’ll include himself on a six-way split, so this full-length solo record really allows him space to work with. After a spirited blitz of electrical noise on the first track – falling somewhere between the oppressive drone of a boiler room and that sound your audio jack makes when it’s hanging out of its port – he sets up shop for a full, HOUR LONG track two. It bolts out the gate already-serrated, a fountain of abrasive mid-range noise exchanging blows with one of those infuriating birthday whistles; this noise is then rended and recrystallized again and again over the track’s sprawling duration. As various pitches of white noise seethe and careen, one can just make out the horrified vocalizations entombed within. An influential guy on the ugly sound scene, To-Bo’s ability (and willingness) to slather his noise on thick justifies his fame.
Unpronounceable act \\\V/// (whose email address is lllllllllllvlllllllllll [at] gmail [dot] com, which I thought was worth mentioning on bizarreness grounds) pulls off a subdued but sturdy stretch of droning noise on his/her slightly-more-pronounceable ’267-18′ CDR. There is the predatory snarl of grouchy pedal noise deep in this mix, but it’s pulled through a murky sludge of peripheral sounds – ominous bass tones, echoed incidental audio, etc. A plodding, rattly beat is covertly inserted somewhere short of the halfway mark, which keeps things engaging but doesn’t taper the meaty menace of the proceedings. Over a single twenty-four minute track, it states its premise and expounds upon it – had it trounced along any longer, it would have ceased being tolerable.
Loud Silence is an American noisester who’s just begun dribbling tapes and CDRs out on the usual suspects (Smell The Stench, Parkbench, Palemoon). His ‘Reversing the Butterfly’ CDR fills a big empty room with all manner of power-tool clank and clang, approximating the after-hours ambiance of some gnarled corner of an industrial park. The line between the malevolence of noise and the tempered ominousness of dark ambient is blurred, with an attention to mood that is more complex than many more abrasive exercises. Sure, at this album’s most vicious moments, the reverb is layered deep, and varied metallic implements are bothered into your typical harsh frenzy. But here a tense juxtaposition is drawn between this noise and fleeting moments of prettiness – there are synths and samples that are outright tuneful, but they are tugged at and harassed by the destructive impulse that surrounds them. Whoever is behind Loud Silence doesn’t seem like your typical baby-eating noise freak – I don’t get the sense that he hates music that is ‘nice,’ or that he is making overtures towards the complete dissolution of popular music. Instead, Loud Silence reveals opposing fascinations with beauty and ugliness, designing ‘Reversing the Butterfly’ such that each extreme makes the other more potent. (MT)
Address: http://vomitbucketproductions.blogspot.com

GOVERNMENT ALPHA – AFTERLIFE IS WARPED (3″CDR by Debila Records)
GEN 26 – GENE FARM (3″CDR by Debila Records)
BROTHER OF JUDO – ALL THE THINGS YELLOW (3″CDR by Debila Records)
Here we have three three-inch CDRs from one of the major contemporary outposts of the noise scene, Slovenian imprint Debila Records. The first comes from Japanese noise legend Government Alpha (Yoshida Yasutoshi), who has maintained an enviably steady pace of releases since the mid-nineties. ‘Afterlife is Warped’ is consistent with the blips I’ve heard from Yasutoshi’s grandiose back-catalogue: squirreling spirals of mid-range harsh noise that flit and tumble with epileptic abruptness. It’s harsh but not vicious – more in line with the playful abundance of Boredoms than the scene of bloodied noise denizens that envisage their listeners decaying in subbasements. At thirty-two copies, this is one of those titillating collectors items that is worth scratching someone’s eyes out to get a paw on.
‘Gene Farm’ captures another grizzled veteran at work: Gen 26 is the noise project of Matjaž Galičič, one of the precious few who built the Slovenian scene from the ground up – including founding both Abnormal Tapes and Fuck-U-Tapes. His mini-CDR also worships the middle range of the sound spectrum, but he’s replaced Yasutoshi’s irascible caterwauling with a rigid Harsh Noise Wall. As Vomir foretold, there is no progression nor dynamics here, except for the occasional, short-lived drop to a different frequency; instead the (dis)pleasure lies in being subjected to stiff-lipped, disciplined auditory abuse for just over seventeen minutes. Prepare to be drained by track’s end – if you can make it that far.
Last up is Brother of Judo’s ‘All the Things Yellow,’ which is the most unpredictable of the batch. Four short tracks feature rapidly permuting abrasion, two of them rendered in full fleshy form, the others presented as if you’re hearing them through a VoIP line. But “Disremembering-Autodidact” is the key item. At ten minutes, it devotes its first half to a mysterious field-recording drone, gently lulling you into a strange sort of peace, before abruptly thundering into a stanza of messy noise buttressed by the ululations of a pornographic actress being either pleasured or filleted. Like most good noise, it generates a sense of tension and acts on it. (MT)
Address: http://brotherofjudo.blogspot.ca/p/debila-records.html

 

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