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Vital Weekly 890

colophony

DEER – ONE (CD by Deszpot) *
MAMMOTH ULTHANA (CD by Zoharum) *
MAEROR TRI – MEDITATMENTUM (2CD by Zoharum) *
ZAHAVA SEEWALD & MICHAEL GREBIL – FROM MY MOTHER’S HOUSE (CD by Sub Rosa)
HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO – ALL OF THEM WITCHES (CD by Rune Grammofon)
HUBSCH & MARTEL & ZOUBEK – JUNE 16TH (CD by Schraum) *
ROSE & KNEER & BARRETT – COLOPHONY (CD by Creative Sources Recordings) *
RUCE NASI DORY – FILATROPNI STROJ (CD by Poli5) *
SKRVTY PUVAR BYROKRACIE – JOHOHO! (CD by Poli5) *
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS/TOMAS VTIPIL (split LP by Poli5)
LUMINCOLOR – RESONANCES (LP by Tandori Records)
AB-HINC – FARKHULSE FIST RECONFIGURATIONS (2LP by Widerstand Records)
RALF GERRITSE & OSCAR WYERS – GROENE DRIEHOEK 21.04.13 (CDR by Oggy Records) *
FOAM SWORD – THE LIBRARIAN (CDR by Oggy Records)
MUSIC FOR IMAGINARY VIDEOGAMES (CDR by Oggy Records)
EXCLUSIVEOR – ARCHAEA (CDR by Carrier Records) *
JESUS IS ANGRY – YUROP SQUEALS LIKE A PIG IN HER DEATHBED WHILE WE WATCH AND SMILE (CDR by Full Wave Rectifier Laboratories) *
YOL – CORDLESS DRILL FACES SEPARATION ANXIETY (CDR, private) *
SINDRE BJERGA & MICROMELANCOLIE – MOMENTUM (CDR by Twice Removed) *
NACHT PLANK – NOTES FROM AN OPEN WINDOW (CDR by Twice Removed) *
BEN STEED – FROM HERE YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING (CDR by Twice Removed) *
MONOLYTH & COBALT – DE LIEUX (CDR by Twice Removed) *
ADAM A WILLIAMS – ON RECOVERY (3″CDR by Twice Removed) *
ID M THFFT – BLOOD BLOOD/HER BLOOD (double 3″CDR by Orila) *
UA YENOH CRY CRY – SPACE AND ORDER (cassette by Orila) *
JEREMIE MATHES – OIARZUN (3″CDR by Taalem) *
JANNICK SCHOU – ELDEY (3″CDR by Taalem) *
PHILIPPE LAMY – ENTRE DEUX (3″CDR by Taalem) *
MARCIN MASECKI – POLONEZY (CD by Lado Abc)
LXMP – BACK TO THE FUTURE SHOCK (CD by Lado Abc)
LADO ABC SAMPLER (CD by Lado Abc)

listen

tracklist for Vital Weekly 890:

0000 Tune
0014 Lumincolor – Amerigo!
0311 Mammoth Ulthana – Interludium
0610 Maeror Tri – Onoskelis
0914 Adam A Williams – The Odyssey
1215 Ben Steed – I Can No Longer See You
1509 Sindre Bjerga & Micromelancolie – Towards Water
1808 Nacht Plank – Notes From An Open Window
2110 Monolyth & Cobalt – A Last Echo
2403 Philippe Lamy – Mots Effaces
2704 Jannick Schou – Eldey
3007 Skrvty Puvar Byrokracie – Favocisla
3309 Jeremie Mathes – Higidura
3608 Jesus Is Angry – Eight Movement: Intergalatic Climax Of The Half-Dead
3908 ExclusiveOr – Archaea
4212 Hübsch & Martel & Zoubek – Coin Rang. Clock Clacked
4510 Deer – One
4810 Kneer & Rose & Barrett
5103 Ralf Gerritse & Oscar Wyers – Groene Driehoek 21.04.13
5410 ID M Thfft Able
5714 Yol – Eco
5924 Tune

DEER – ONE (CD by Deszpot)
Here we have three players of the bass clarinet and electronics. They all play the same single note, for about forty minutes. Sounds boring? Wrong. Sounds fascinating. I never heard of these three players, Hans Koch, Christian Müller (well, I did hear his work as Strøm, with Gaudenz Badrutt) and Silber Ingold, all from Switzerland, all from the field of improvisation, live electronics and modern classical music. This is also what meets up in ‘One’. It starts out, for quite some time actually, in a regular drone fashion, a minimalist piece of layered bass clarinet sounds. After about seven minutes we are finally in the more audible part of the pieces and from there on it stays on pretty much the same level for about fifteen minutes. Then it starts building more and more and it ends in a very loud, noise scape, with a fast descrecendo. That whole build up, the final twelve minutes, is pretty much predictable and not so much to my liking. The whole piece towards say minute 25 is something I enjoyed very much. Densely layered drone music, in which real time playing merges with the electronics. Everything stays close together but is at the same time pretty much well defined. That makes a great, tightly knit sound pattern. Not minimal in the sense of say Phill Niblock, but maximal in the sense of, well, Deer, I guess. I could easily live without those twelve final minutes and have that replaced with a further deepening of the first twenty-five minutes. Excellent, most of the times. (FdW)
Address: http://www.deszpot.ch

MAMMOTH ULTHANA (CD by Zoharum)
MAEROR TRI – MEDITATMENTUM (2CD by Zoharum)
A duo, Mammoth Ulthana, of Jacek Doroszenko and Rafal Kolacki, combining oriental gong set, bells, animal horns, pipes, ethnic drums and singing bowls, but also computer software. It’s the combination of some obscure traditional music ritual meeting up with the latest electronic music software. You could be sitting next to a campfire in the Tardis, with a shaman disguised as a time traveler, if you catch my drift. Of course, I am never that spiritual, but perhaps that’s also because I have more mundane tasks to perform. I’d rather load up with peyote and write a review of this while on that, but such is never possible it seems. For one, I have more reviews to write in the afternoon and I am not Hunter Thompson. I can hear there some skill in this music, and they perform it very well. Mammoth Ulthana have set themselves a task, playing spiritually inspired music, with ancient and modern means and it works very well. When you decide to stay sober (no drugs, no candles, no incense, no mother nature, no campfire, or anything else to set the mood), then you might feel this music is a bit too much of cliche, walking perhaps a very easy path, along very common musical ideas if you want to bring something magical or ritual. Perhaps this kind of music doesn’t require such notions as innovations?
Whenever there is no new music to digest, I return to my collection and see what I have – I guess a pretty normal activity if you love music. I tend to play music label or group-wise, so a while ago I pulled out all the Maeror Tri CDs I have – which I guess is pretty much all of them in their original released form – and had that on play for a couple of days. Not much later it was the turn for Troum, Maeror Tri successor – and I decided that I liked Maeror Tri better, even when the differences are pretty small. Just a matter of highly private opinion, but I am bringing this up, since today I got this double pack of the two ‘Meditamentum’ releases. The first volume was released by Holonom and then re-issued by Manifold, who also released a second volume of it. Both of these releases compile tracks that were scattered on compilation cassettes in the very early Maeror Tri, the years of inexpexerience and lots of experiment. It’s years that I have close to my heart and very early on I was in contact with the band and liked their music straight away. I reminded me of Zoviet*France and was regarded back then as ambient industrial. Through all these twenty-three tracks (two are new bonus pieces, also from compilations, but on the previous volumes) you can follow their early steps from Maeror Tri on CD one which spans 1989-1992 and their more refined sound on CD two, 1992-1996, when their music gained more and more depth. Still all highly ambient, right from ‘The Threat’ (1989) to ‘Res Magnifica’ (1996) with endless sustaining sounds, drones, processed field recordings and harmonium/guitar/percussion sounds and sometimes bringing the sound back, deep into the earth. Tons of effects have been used, but all with the right amount. If you are a Maeror Tri fan you may have the original releases, but worth here for the bonus tracks and the excellent remaster. Or if you are curious what the hell all the fuzz is about this obscure band in it’s day worth all these re-issues, then this is also your place to start. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

ZAHAVA SEEWALD & MICHAEL GREBIL – FROM MY MOTHER’S HOUSE (CD by Sub Rosa)
Seewald has her roots in Antwerp where she grew up  with liturgical singing in Hebrew and Jewish music from early on. In Brussels she studied classical singing, as well as art history and archaeology with a focus on Judaism. Since 1992 she has her own ensemble Psamim performing Yiddish songs, Jewish songs from Morocco and Spain. Identity and music are strongly intertwined in live and work. Also in this new – by definition personal – work by Seewald. Michael Grebil  is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, specialized in medieval music. This new album is the closing part of a trilogy. ‘Ashenaze Songs’ (1995) collected a diversity of folk songs. ‘Ashkenaz Songs 2: Work and Revolution’ (1999) goes into the Jewish music of Brooklyn, whereas this new part is an exploration of the Yiddish culture. For this new work she uses poems and texts from writers such as Paul Celan, Léa Goldberg, Rose Ausländer, Richard J. Fein en Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, in order to evoke the Yiddish culture. All in cooperation with Michael Grébil, a Belgian composer, multi-instrumentalist. At home in electro-acoustic music as well as medieval music. Some of the pieces on this album are actual songs. In between we find soundscapes, ambient textures, spoken voice, field recordings or instrumentals like ‘Rast Krasna’. They are woven into a coherent and strong unity that is experienced as a united whole. This is a fine example of a work that combines many possibilities and genres in order to create an experimental and poetic work that very much stands on its own feet. (DM)
Address: http://www.subrosa.net

HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO – ALL OF THEM WITCHES (CD by Rune Grammofon)
A new attack by the power trio of Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen. Thomassen on guitars, Ellen Brekken on bass and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad: drums. After ‘Shoot’ it is now time for ‘All of them Witches’. An all instrumental heavy rock album. Like many Scandinavian acts (Elephant9, Grand General, etc.) they start from musical conventions from the seventies (Hendrix, Black Sabbath, Sharrock, etc.). The guitar playing of Mollestad is continuously in the forefront. She is an educated guitarist and won the Molde International Jazz Festival’s Jazz Talent of the Year in 2009. She worked with The Trondheim Jazzorkester and her own Trio Thomassen. The music of her recent trio is enjoyed best when played loud. The spontaneity and pleasure drips every second from their music. Metal, psychedelica, blues and improvisation are tastefully mixed into a fusion music that stands and will surely appeal to people with a desire for just plain rock music. (DM)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com

HUBSCH & MARTEL & ZOUBEK – JUNE 16TH (CD by Schraum)
ROSE & KNEER & BARRETT – COLOPHONY (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)
A while ago I visited Cologne’s jazz club ‘Loft’ and placed my cup of coffee on the piano. I had to take a lot of stick for that, as it’s a famous piano in an even more famous club. Many releases were recorded in this place which doubles as a recording studio. On June 16th of last year this very piano was played by Philip Zoubek, in a trio he did with Carl Ludwig Hübsch on tuba and Pierre-Yves Martel on Viola da Gamba. All of these players have been reviewed before and perhaps be known from their work in the field of improvised music. This new work shows how skilled these people are in what they do. Their playing shows a refined sense of interaction between the players, which ranges from very quiet and spare, call and delayed response, in the first two pieces, to a more lengthy exchange of arguments in ‘Coin Rang. Clock Clacked’. All of the music is played with great clarity – each instrument has its own place in the whole constellation. Zoubek and Martel seem to me the players who treat their instrument as it is, whereas Hübsch extends his instruments into a big sounding board, although I might be wrong here. It’s perhaps not a very surprising disc, as nothing what happens here, hasn’t been in the same field somewhere else, but this trio plays it certainly with great care.
Also a trio, recorded in Berlin, and also with international players, is the release by Jon Rose (violin, tenor violin), Meinrad Kneer (double bass) and Richard Barrett (electronics). I have a soft spot for Rose, every since he showed up in my radio program – way, way back – and took over the show with record spinning and voices. Must have been twenty-five years ago. At least. Here, this trio is in fine form, and lumped in with the new release by Schraum, as it covers pretty much similar ground. Of course here too we have improvised music, and perhaps a bit from a conventional point of view. The string instruments, especially the violins of Jon Rose sound like… well… like violins. Points of abstraction are mainly from Barrett and lesser from Kneer I’d say. Here too we have highly skilled improvisers at work, which know how to listen to each other, and interact in a fine way with each other. Like the other this one moves from the very loud to the very sparse, all in the course of one hour. from a wide macro shot to the telescopic detailed sounds on a tiny level. Like the other release, not something you haven’t heard elsewhere but played with the same great care. (FdW)
Address: http://www.schraum.de
Address: http://www.creativesourcesrec.com

RUCE NASI DORY – FILATROPNI STROJ (CD by Poli5)
SKRVTY PUVAR BYROKRACIE – JOHOHO! (CD by Poli5)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS/TOMAS VTIPIL (split LP by Poli5)
Of course I understand the need to promote releases: labels want to sell them. But sticking a CD – or a few – in an envelope and mailing them out, brings what exactly? Maybe that’s something a label should consider. “I am sending this release to this publication, because…” I guess there was no such consideration for the release by Ruce Nasi Dory, a fairly standard Czech rock group, whose ‘Filantropni Stroj’ isn’t peppered with a great production, but all with lyrics in the Czech language. So why does it land on the desk of Vital Weekly, who are not well-known for reviewing mediocre rock releases? It eludes me. I played six out of the ten pieces and then gave up. This would have been better promoted to the target audience, which I believe should be found in the Czech Republic.
Ah there you got me. ‘Johoho!’ contains also ten pieces with a strong emphasis on lyrics in the Czech language. I guess when the music is more interesting then it doesn’t matter. If I interpret the cover notes correctly, this band uses guitar, saxophone, trombone, drums, bass, synth, sampling and voice. Skrvty Puvar Byrokracie take their inspiration from forty years of alternative rock music, from Henry Cow and Frank Zappa, via Pere Ubu to anything that uses a bit more electronics and rhythm machines, while the voice forms a dominant feature in all of these tracks. Again, if I understood the cover correctly, the lyrics are all inspired by Deleuze, Guattari and Baudrillard, so we are talking intellectual music here. If I could understand of course what this is all about, which I don’t. Maybe somehow I think this is also a bit too rock like for me, Skrvty Puvar Byrokracie sound way better than Ruce Nasi Dory, more adventurous with their drum machine, synth, improvised parts and heavily structured bits walking side by side in a great way. Here I can easily understand why this is promoted abroad. Music is good, rock in opposition like, and there is a strong political edge in a way we might also understand.
The final new release is a split record with a rock band called Frequently Asked Questions, who play a sort of standard introspective form of rock music, with a female vocalist. This is like Ruce Nasi Dory again. No fine songs, nothing original and a sub-standard production. Of more interest is the music on the other side, which is by one Tomas Vtipil, who plays voice, piano, guitar, sampler, body percussion and no-input-mixer. While his music dedicated to MartiN.B. of Napalmed in memoriam, this is not full out noise. It’s a computerized mixture/collage of instrumental parts, which are at times chaotic, or abstract or sometimes a bit like strumming guitars. Is this a display of interests, or fixed compositions? Or a bunch of improvisations? Computer music? Electro-acoustic music? It’s hard to say wether this is something great, or just alright. It surely makes an odd combination with the music on the other side.
Poli5 did some great releases in the past, but I am afraid I miss out most points made here on this new trio. (FdW)
Address: http://www.poli5.cz

LUMINCOLOR – RESONANCES (LP by Tandori Records)
Google translates the site a bit odd, as always, and it makes me wonder why these things aren’t in a language more people can understand – I know which risk I take here – but alright. Luminocolor are a duo of Benoit Farine and Olivier Minne, from Lille, France, already in existence since 1998. They have had a bunch of releases before, but this is the first I hear their music. The LP comes with the same material on CD – or vice versa, whatever position you have in the war of the formats. While no specific instruments are mentioned, there are a lot of wind instruments to be heard around here, as well as a fair amount of rhythm. I am not sure to which extend all of this is sampled together from other records or played themselves, but somehow I’d like to think it’s the latter: them playing all the music. Not that it really matters of course. There is a strong link to post rock, as various reviewers indicate, but more importantly I think there are strong links to the music of the seventies, Henry Cow, free but melodic jazz, big band music, progressive music, Pascal Comelade: all of that seems to find a place in there, aided and added with a bit of electronics. Jubilant, triumphant music which makes you happy and perhaps also a bit tired in the end. Which is of course not a bad thing, you have just danced/moved your socks off to this music and you are sweaty yet satisfied. Nice release with some great uplifting music. (FdW)
Address: http://tandorirecprds.bandcamp.com

AB-HINC – FARKHULSE FIST RECONFIGURATIONS (2LP by Widerstand Records)
Back in 1997 I missed out upon the 12″ called ‘Farkhüsle Fist’ by Ab-Hinc, perhaps because I wasn’t part of any speedcore movement, like Widerstand Records was. I understand that record was also an odd ball for the label, being downtempo and atmospheric. Like it happens with cases like this, it’s hard to judge the remixes if you don’t know the original. Actually I played the record before reading the press text and I assumed it was all by one artist, who enjoyed lengthy cuts of atmospheric sound to bounce off in dark, chopped up hop beats and more abstract fast rhythm material. All of this, no matter how form it takes, sounds very digital in my ears. The deep bass sound rumbles mighty deep, the drum patterns bang like steel on steel. I believe this to be part of subculture, which I hardly think is mine. I quite enjoyed this record, these reconstructions, but found them at the same time quite remote, cold and distant. I couldn’t envisage myself dancing to this, but then that might not be the objective goal of this record. It’s enjoyable, and that’s important. (FdW)
Address: http://widerstand.org

RALF GERRITSE & OSCAR WYERS – GROENE DRIEHOEK 21.04.13 (CDR by Oggy Records)
FOAM SWORD – THE LIBRARIAN (CDR by Oggy Records)
MUSIC FOR IMAGINARY VIDEOGAMES (CDR by Oggy Records)
Label boss Oscar Wyers is foremost a writer, who writes stories and publishes his own magazine Kutgitaar, but occasionally dabbles in electronic music. I have no idea what Groene Driehoek stands for (other than that it means ‘green triangle’); maybe it’s the name of a place where they recorded on April 21st their twenty-two minute electronic improvisation. They are in a rather free mode, jamming about without much idea or sense for structure. I assume this is a deliberate choice. Rather than using strict laptops I think this is all a question of hooking up a bunch of lo-fi electronics and let them play, switch, cut and change, occasionally interfering with the sound. Not really noisy, never ambient, hard dance-like, but all pretty much chaotic and wild. Twenty-two minutes seemed enough for me.
As Foam Sword, Wyers plays solo electronic music and here he returns to his laptop to create some music which is ultimately much more coherent than the jam session. Here Wyers plays around with ableton live to create his own fine blend of techno inspired music, but while rhythmic, it’s also with a bunch of rough edges, making it occasionally more a crude form of techno, or the easy (?) encounter with the world of industrial music. Nicely minimal, these seven pieces are actually quite good, with a touch of house in ‘Return Of The Pageturner’. Wyers is easily on par with many of the local musicians dabbling in this kind of music (usually finding their home with the Lomechanic label). I was enjoying the weather outside, reading a book and thinking of the Tour de France (to watch later on) and had this on repeat. A bit too early for a beer, but life is good.
Maybe the most interesting release, for a wider audience, is the ten track compilation ‘Music For Imaginary Videogames’, featuring mostly local – read: Nijmegen! – musicians, such as Peter Johan Nijland, Prototoys, Grootstal Ontwaakt and one half of Wieman. I was part of a facebook discussion for this, and read what the various imaginary games were about. One example: a frog wants to cross a road in the dark, the enemy is a group of helpful scouts. Mission: kill those scouts. There are games with dungeons, blood sucking animals and confusion over pong vs poing. Music wise it ranges from a ‘song’, to say it rather bluntly, like Rijnder Kamerbeek does, or Ototo Timu, to messed up sound pieces of digital distortion, like you are transported through many levels in a game, like Groostal Ontwaakt, Lopende Paddo and Wieman. I have no idea how the world of computer gaming works, having played maybe less than 5 and usually with the sound disconnected, but this compilation works quite well. Just as release of ten fine pieces of techno-ish music or as the product of indeed some form of computer gaming. Even if you dislike computer games – and there are lots of reasons why you should – an excellent compilation. Check out the website for free downloads, but pay if you care! (FdW)
Address: http://viezecocktails.bandcamp.com/

EXCLUSIVEOR – ARCHAEA (CDR by Carrier Records)
This is the follow up to ‘ExclusiveOr’, which back in Vital Weekly 632 was listed as a release by Sam Pluta and Jeff Snyder, but now turns out to be the name the duo. A duo playing improvised music using analogue synthesizers (Snyder) and laptop (Pluta). Snyder builds his own modular synths as well as Pluta’s laptop controllers. Like before these two men explore the realms of noise, but noise-within-reason. They are not interested in blowing down your walls with their noise, but opt for something which shows a love of improvising, playing together, and that can take the form of something more introspective, such as the opening of ‘Book Of Dreams’, sometimes it takes the form of many short pulses and sometimes as a block of noise. It’s quite alright, though not great. Maybe I heard such music well enough by now, maybe it needs a bit more editing, or perhaps I am suffering from an off day. It’s not great, it’s not bad, it’s fine. Is that enough I wonder? (FdW)
Address: http://www.carrierrecords.com

JESUS IS ANGRY – YUROP SQUEALS LIKE A PIG IN HER DEATHBED WHILE WE WATCH AND SMILE (CDR by Full Wave Rectifier Laboratories)
This band name gave me a good laugh. Jesus Is Angry. So what! I never heard of them, but I like funny band names. In this band we find William T. Hapalys (twin saxophones), Bob (modular synthesizer system), Foufoutos (bass), Jesus (drums). Hapalys is mentioned somewhere on the cover, apart from the other three, so maybe this is a kind of collaboration between the trio and the twin saxophonist. The music may indicate that as well. We have a heavy trio playing slow metal like music, replying heavily on drums and bass with the synth making odd figures and the twin saxophones – what is that anyway, somebody playing two saxophones at the same time, I assume – play an excellent free jazz tune or two. Somewhere trapped in between metal, jazz and psychedelic music, you could spend your time banging your head along this, preferable against a brick wall. Top heavy music on all accounts. Nine tracks, which span forty minutes. Three are pretty long (ten, nine and seven minutes) and those capture the spirit of psychedelic best. Banging like krauty metal, whereas the shorter are more like aggressive punk rock explosions. I quite enjoyed this, maybe for the sum of the parts than the individual slices that make it up. There is an incredible amount of raw energy sparking of this release. It surely lifts you up. I could move a mountain afterwards. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fwrl.org

YOL – CORDLESS DRILL FACES SEPARATION ANXIETY (CDR, private)
A new release by Yol, from the UK, who writes ‘in part its an attempt to take inside sounds and work with them outside, and outside sounds brought inside. Some of it is a messy attempt at a kind of noise busking’. The seven pieces are rather short, and I am not sure of which kind of streets he would be attempt this busking, but I must admit I could imagine a fine scene. Yol with a battery powered amp on the street, a microphone, him shouting his words, and rambling about with percussive objects and occasional leaping towards a bit of feedback. Have that picture? On the crowded shopping street, outside your favorite shop. It would certainly make a daring move for him to do this and bring his music, which seems to be more the result of performance art then deliberate composition, to an entirely new audience, outside the confined space of art-galleries and obscure music venues. I would seriously suggest he should try to do it. This new release is not really a break from his earlier work, but by his own suggestion placed in a new context, which is nice. I’d say thumbs up for this one! (FdW)
Address: <yol1971@hotmail.co.uk>

SINDRE BJERGA & MICROMELANCOLIE – MOMENTUM (CDR by Twice Removed)
NACHT PLANK – NOTES FROM AN OPEN WINDOW (CDR by Twice Removed)
BEN STEED – FROM HERE YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING (CDR by Twice Removed)
MONOLYTH & COBALT – DE LIEUX (CDR by Twice Removed)
ADAM A WILLIAMS – ON RECOVERY (3″CDR by Twice Removed)
Of course Sindre Bjerga needs hardly an introduction, I would think. He’s in the pages of this weekly a lot, either with new releases, or with touring information (which part of the world didn’t he travel?), who works here with Robert Skrzynski. He works with “no-input mixing board, old VHS tapes, classic analogues and field recordings” and has had releases on Already Dead and Amplified Music Pollution. He also designs covers for labels such as Monotype and Bocian. The two of them already had a release on Aurora Borealis and now there is ‘Momentum’. There is no indication as such on the cover, but I strongly believe this is the work of collaboration through mail. I am unaware of Skrzynski’s output, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had the final say in this work, as it doesn’t sound much like what I heard of Bjerga. Two long pieces, both almost thirty minutes, of highly minimal ambient music, with sparse in- and output of sounds and what seems a total absence of sound collage, Bjerga’s more favored working methods. Two pieces slow liquid sound, which work very well on a slow day.
Then there is a highly limited EP – although still thirty-four minutes, limited to thirty copies – with one piece by Lee Anthony Norris, also known as Nacht Plank. Under this guise it’s been some time since I last heard his music, but in recent years he is still active as Metamatics and Norken, as well as collaborations with Moss Garden (with Dimitar Dodovski), The Ashes of Piemonte (with Wil Bolton) and Ashtoreth’s Gate (with Solopsism). Nacht Plank is the name he chose for some highly ambient music, although what I remember never of such epic length. Microwave, microsound and ambient glitch, whenever those terms were en vogue. Here I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Norris stuck a microphone outside his window and fed whatever passed his window went straight into his computer and via the twists and turns of computer processing, slowly changing parameters in whatever piece of software he is using, he crafts together a great piece of music. Slow, meditative and tranquil. Thirty copies? Oh boy, that’s an instant collectors-item. Excellent return of Nacht Plank.
Not a collaboration even when the name indicates otherwise. I never heard of Monolyth & Cobalt, which is the name chosen by Mathias Van Eecloo (who also works as d.rhöne). His previous work was released by Somehow, Feedback Loop, Audio Gourmet and Kesh, and he has had collaborations with Évo Lüthi (for Heat Death Records/American Typewriter), Keijo, Teamforest and Thomas Bel. He uses many acoustic instruments such as harmonium, piano, various strings, melodica, clarinet, cithar, concertina, xylophone as well as field recordings and computer treatments. He created nine pieces of highly introspective music, carefully moving about, slow like snail, sometimes barely audible but also present. There is the long form, sustained sounds from processing acoustic instruments colliding gently against actually played parts, such as the cithar and other stringed instruments. Beautifully slow summer music, but best served when twilight sets in.
The last big CDR is by Ben Steed, who was discovered through music posted on Soundcloud – so that works, indeed? Here we move further and further away from the ambient lands of the previous three releases, through the extended use of IDM rhythm and bits of vocal, except in the longest pieces which are well over nine minutes. These are far more ambient than the other six pieces, which have those bits of slow rhythm, shoegazing sounding guitar bits, and heavily treated vocals – lots of reverb. To call this dream pop is a bridge too far (yet), even when the whole music is quite relaxing, dreamy and at times pop like. It’s just not yet entire pop like. Heavy melancholic mood music here, none of which we haven’t heard before, but it’s all excellently produced with great care for detail and with a suitable amount of variation.
The final release for now is on a 3″CDR and is by Adam A Williams, from North Wales (that is in the United Kingdom), who had releases on Hibernate Recs, Audio Gourmet, Cathedral Transmissions, Feedback Loop, and Flaming Pines, but I believe I didn’t hear of him before. The thematic approach here is the illness and recovery of his dog Finley, which includes “field recordings taken on the initial days of Finley’s convalescence, his first walks, and first visit to the beach”, as well as, I assume, Williams subtly playing his guitar in the title and in the much longer ‘The Odyssey’, there is a balance with the guitar and computer processing/real time sound effects which make it all fall apart into crackles, hiss and static – we have left the beach and are now way down into the sea. Quite solid ambient music, no dramatic new insight in the genre as such but crafted with likewise great care. (FdW)
Address: http://www.twiceremoved.storenvy.com

ID M THFFT – BLOOD BLOOD/HER BLOOD (double 3″CDR by Orila)
UA YENOH CRY CRY – SPACE AND ORDER (cassette by Orila)
Here’s a name that I heard before, and no doubt heard music of before, but you know, never really got to know. ID M ThFft Able from South Portland, Skot Spear has been around for quite some time, and it’s all about ‘oddity, silliness, pop detritus, play and dead seriousness’. I’d say plunderphonics meets rap and comedy. I am not sure if that helps. It surely didn’t help when I was listening to this. One disc, ‘Her Blood’, contains sixteen minutes of what is perhaps best described as ‘sound poetry’, with whispering voices, semi-singing, sighing and obscure crackles – but hey this is recorded live. Just as the other disc, which is called ‘I Want It. The Hole. I’m Swimming In Blood, Blood, Blood’. This one is considerably louder, with more extensive use of loop devices. Here he also uses a bit of ‘other sounds’, rambling of percussion perhaps. I have no idea what to make of this. It’s hard to judge this in terms of good or bad, or even interesting. Whenever this guy plays locally, I will surely head out to see what it is he is doing, but based on these forty minutes, I am more than clueless.
Shon Mahony is behind the likewise oddly named Ua Yenoh Cry Cry and ‘Space And Order’ is his first full length album. He is the drummer of psych folk band Big Blood, a baker and an illustrationist, as well as a cosmic sound explorer. Solo he plays a bunch of keyboards and ‘physical instruments of unknown origin’. I could call this cosmic music, and perhaps I would, but this all a bit too crude to be taking the listener away on a space ship into the great black unknown. Ua Yenoh Cry Cry keyboards are simple and perhaps a bit crude, but make up some nice drone music. It seems like he picked up his keyboards with a microphone down in the basement, and is perhaps better as a horror soundtrack than as record of cosmic bliss, but I’d definitely give this a thumbs up. Crude but fine. (FdW)
Address: http://orila.net

JEREMIE MATHES – OIARZUN (3″CDR by Taalem)
JANNICK SCHOU – ELDEY (3″CDR by Taalem)
PHILIPPE LAMY – ENTRE DEUX (3″CDR by Taalem)
Perhaps it was indeed some time ago since we last saw new releases by Taleem, who excuse themselves for the recent ‘long pause’. In their series of mini ambient albums it’s time for two that can be classified as musique concrete meeting ambient. The first is by Jeremie Mathes, who previous work was released on Mystery Sea and Basses Frequences, and who uses recordings here from an abandoned farmhouse and inside ‘le semaphore de calleloungue’, which is in the national park of the calanques. There are water sounds, which run through more of this work (pun intended), sonic debris, crackling of leaves and all of that some highly dark and mysterious sounds that lurk underneath. Slow approaching violence, perhaps. It’s all quite dark and highly atmospheric. Just like pretty much all of his work so far, which is of a consistent highly quality.
Dark is surely also the appropriate term for the music of Jannick Schou of whom I never heard. He is from Denmark and had releases on Experimedia and Rural Colours. Of the three new releases, this is the one that has only one twenty minute piece of deep synth drones. More synthetic than Mathes, this might be synthesizers or heavily treated guitars, which work their way up and then slowly down with a more abstract tune coming up as a sort of coda. Here I had the impression it was made with guitars. Its all fairly decent ambient from the dark, isolated corners of the musical underworld. I thought it was quite enjoyable, but not necessarily something new.
The least dark is the release by Philippe Lamy, who also had releases on Mystery Sea, as well as Dronarivm, and bases his ambient music on the use of processed field recordings, just like Mathes does. But in Lamy’s work there is room for a bit of air, a fine amount of higher pitched sounds, and is more glitch like perhaps. Maybe also a bit more abstract, with music being further removed from the original source material, which is no longer to be recognized. Maybe it’s also the music that is less linear and more chopped into various bits, like an acousmatic composition. These two pieces are the most varied bits of music of these three new Taalem releases. Whereas the others are maybe more text book like ambient pieces, here we are dealing with some more in depth composition. That is not say that one is better than the other, as I quite enjoyed all three for what they are. (FdW)
Address: http://www.taalem.com

MARCIN MASECKI – POLONEZY (CD by Lado Abc)
LXMP – BACK TO THE FUTURE SHOCK (CD by Lado Abc)
LADO ABC SAMPLER (CD by Lado Abc)
In the lingo of these days: WTF? Three CDs from Poland (which is also the home land of Mystic Music, who send us at least 20 promo’s of their heavy metal music before releasing we weren’t going to review any of them) from a label called Lado Abc, who have professional CD promo’s in card covers – there is money somewhere – to promote some odd music. One Marcin Masecki has six tracks of big band jazz music/ballroom jazz or public square dance music which I heard on my holidays in small villages in Austria. Let’s do the polonaise. Great. Next.
Next we have a duo called LXMP who do a cover of the entire Herbe Hancock record ‘Future Shock’, you know, with mega scratch hit ‘Rockit’. They do this in a more noise but still jazzy way, using a bunch of synthesizers. I like ‘Rockit’, sometimes, and ‘Future Shock’ I thought was otherwise pretty boring, so why would I want to play this? Again it eludes me. Next.
‘This is a Warsaw non exclusive scene compilation’, says the label sampler. I just adjusted the FGA.html on the Vital Weekly site, hoping people will stop sending label samplers. I hate label samplers. Give them away with orders, at concerts, with magazines who run subscriptions, but I really don’t see a point in reviewing them. To end on a positive note:
“Dear promotional manager of Lado Abc, thanks for these three promotional items. At Vital Weekly we only review the real thing, not the promotional version. Furthermore none of this music is the kind we review, so save your money and remove Vital Weekly from your promo-list. Many thanks.” (FdW)
Address: http://www.ladoabc.com

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