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Vital Weekly 899

Philip Corner

RICHARD YOUNGS – CALMONT BREAKDOWN (CD by Fourth Dimension) *
ORPHAX – DE TRAGEDIE VAN EEN LIEDJESSCHRIJVER ZONDER WOORDEN (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
YANN LEGUAY – QUASI STATIC CRACK PROPAGATION (CD by Consumer Waste) *
VIPCANCRO – GAMMA (LP by Lisca Records)
EDITH ALONSO – ROSTROS EN LA MULTITUD (CDR by Luscinia Discos) *
SEBASTIAN WESMAN – OTROS PARAMETROS (CDR by Luscinia Discos) *
WOUTER VELDHUIS – BLUE FOREST (CDR by Organic Industries) *
SOCIAL DRIFT SHORT NOISE WALL (CDR & free download compilation by Social Drift)
MYSTIFIED & MARTYN SCHMIDT – AN EFFORT OF MEMORY (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
HUN (CDR by Sqrt Label) *
KOSTOGLOTOV – LOVE SONG FOR BROKEN BUILDINGS (CDR by Quiet World) *
B.LONE ENGINES – ALBION GEARED (CDR by Quiet World) *
BRIAN LAVELLE – MY HANDS ARE TEN KNIVES (CDR by Quiet World) *
PHILIP CORNER – THROUGH THE MYSTERIOUS BARRICADE AT HOLYSLOOT, HOLLAND (CDR by Quiet World) *
IAN HOLLOWAY & BANKS BAILEY – STRANGE PILGRIMS (CDR by Quiet World) *
JLIAT – ALL POSSIBLE CDS (CDR by Jliat) *
ALICE KEMP – DECAY AND PERSISTENCE (CDR by Fragment Factory) *
SCHIMPFLUCH GRUPPE – NIGREDO (cassette by Fragment Factory)
DAVID PAYNE – SOLOW VOL 6 (CDR by MJC) *
FOSSILS – ON BITTER GREENS (cassette by MJC)
YOL – FOUR LIVE PIECES (cassette, private)
BEL ARGOSY – LET’S HEAR IT FOR BEL ARGOSY (cassette, private)
THE COMO BROTHERS BAND – BABY STEPS (CD, private)

listen

tracklist for Vital Weekly 899:

0000 Tune
0014 Kostoglotov – We’ll Never Feel Like This Again
0321 Richard Youngs – Distress
0632 Orphax – Geluiden Van De Eerste Dag
0926 Edith Alonso – La gente Que Viene
1259 Alice Kemp – Decay And Persistence
1600 Ian Holloway & Banks Bailey – Strange Pilgrims
1904 Brian Lavelle – My Hands Are Ten Knives
2208 Mystified & Martyn Schmidt – The Effort Of Memory
2509 Wouter Veldhuis – An Ever Changing Landscape
2914 Sebastian Wesman – Imaginary Mountain
3115 Phillip Corner
3423 David Payne
3725 B.Lone Engines – Headless In The Distance
4034 Yann Leguay – DAP1
4332 Hun
4635 Jliat – All Possible CDS
4941 Tune

 

RICHARD YOUNGS – CALMONT BREAKDOWN (CD by Fourth Dimension)
Very few artists know how to surprise their fans, and with surprise I mean almost always, but Richard Youngs is such an artist. You probably never know what to expect. There was a time when I almost religiously got everything he released, but perhaps I was more part of the real music industry back then and had easier access to it. In the new millennium this sort of faded out (like with so many other artists I followed), but last year, as part of my private campaign ‘play all those CDs on your shelf, dude’, I played all of his work again, and again enjoyed it a lot. I wasn’t perhaps too keen on his piano or guitar with singing releases, but when he goes out and does something weird and unusual I am all ears. Something like ‘Calmont Breakdown’ for instance, which is a totally crazy CD. It starts out with a rhythm that sounds like someone pressing all the ugly pre-sets on his keyboard, making a loop out of them, and then some random keys and chords on the same keyboard. In a likewise random fashion this is changed. Naive music perhaps? Upon first hearing perhaps indeed, but if you listen closer you will recognize typical Youngs trademarks, such as multiple layers, a fine production – this is not someone doing something on a keyboard. In ‘Car Park’ Youngs also uses his voice and in ‘Deep Inspiration For Nothingness’, many guitars and electronics, which are looped around into an ever-changing, loud manner. This nineteen minute opus works in a highly minimal fashion, reminding me of ‘Festival’, a much older work of Youngs. Also the piano, another favorite instrument of Youngs is never far away, in ‘In Containers’ for instance, along with a lot of hiss. Refinement is not a word that applies here, naive music however it is. Loud it surely is. Sometimes sounding like it was recorded to a cassette, but for me just added to the fun of this. I think this is a great CD, reminding me easily of the best work of Youngs which I found so great so many years ago. Time to play all of that again and add ‘Calmont Breakdown’ as another great addition to a great catalogue. Although I can easily imagine this is the kind of naive playing that many people will find annoying. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fourth-dimension.net

ORPHAX – DE TRAGEDIE VAN EEN LIEDJESSCHRIJVER ZONDER WOORDEN (CD by Moving Furniture Records)
A while in the making, this ‘tragedy of a song writer without words’, which was already recorded between 2005 and 2005, later reworked, in 2008 and 2010 and then left in the hands of a less reliable label, but now being released as a CD on Orphax’ own label, Moving Furniture Records. Orphax, you should know, is the work of Sietse van Erve and perhaps the easiest thing to say is that he is a computer musician, and one of the few I know who works extensively with AudioMulch, a sort of build your own musical software, along the lines of Max/msp or pure data. He has released a whole bunch of things, mostly CDRs and downloads, but now his first CD, and perhaps I am listening to this differently, but it sounds great. Do I listen better, more closely because this is a CD? I would hope it doesn’t make any difference, but the five pieces, all with titles in Dutch, showcase what Orphax does best. Creating glitch like music, with microscopic changes, deep end drones and it works heavily on the mind. You could wonder wether something ‘new’ happens here, but that’s not the point I think. Orphax plays some glitch based music which is firmly rooted in minimalism and has a tendency towards noise, but unlike some of his previous releases, the element of noise is very much under control here: it’s there for sure, it serves the purpose of the music but it doesn’t get in the way of whatever is going on, the drones, the ambience. Carefully building sound constructions, these six pieces is each a beauty to hear. This is, and I am not exaggerating here, by far the best Orphax release I have heard. It’s a great decision to have this on a real CD, a show of confidence. (FdW)
Address: http://www.movingfurniturerecords.com

YANN LEGUAY – QUASI STATIC CRACK PROPAGATION (CD by Consumer Waste)
Consumer Waste has released a whole bunch of CDRs with covers printed by Knust/Extrapool, but here move away from format (CD) and new format for the cover (7″, recycled, letter pressed card stock). The first CD is by Yann Leguay, from Brussels, of whom I never heard but who apparently uses all sorts of media to create music: an angle grinder to destroy a microphone (hello Dick Raaijmakers, are you listening up there?), or to playback a CD at dizzying speed, releasing a 7″ with no centre hole, and a record composed from recordings of vinyl being scratched by scalpel. On this CD he is ‘amplifying and recording CD players, tape recorders and DAT machines with a wide range of pickups’, and it’s all about the internal machinery sounds and electro-magnetic activity. You could try and find out which machines are what here, by looking up ‘D-NE1′, ‘CD-601′ and such like, but it’s more fun listening to these. As you perhaps could have guessed, this is all rather noise like material, but also quite interesting. It reminds me of the noise that is produced by the likes of Joe Colley or Jason Zeh: loud at times, soft at other times and in an intelligent mix set together, bouncing and rubbing against each other. One could perhaps also think that this is all a bit static, but it’s not. The changes are in the small details and here it’s where it’s all happening in the music. Leguay places subtle variations in the way he handles the material – and this I mean quite literally. In the thirteen minute piece called ‘Static’ we get the idea of how all of this sounds live and is indeed a bit more static than the six studio compositions, but nevertheless also with interesting change overs. Now there’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing. This is indeed a most interesting discovery. (FdW)
Address: http://consumerwaste.org.uk/

VIPCANCRO – GAMMA (LP by Lisca Records)
A nice shiny shiny silver silkscreen cover here for VipCancro’s LP (in an edition of 250 copies), with the instruction to play it loud. This Italian improvisation band has a rock like line up, almost, but then without guitars: Filippo Ciavoli Cortelli (percussion, tapes), Alberto Picchi (electronics) and  Nicola Quiriconi (voice) and Andrea Borghi on bass. They had previous releases (see Vital Weekly 785 and 872) and noise is their style, but there is more happening than just a wall of noise. Their dirty, lo-fi drones remind me of some of the best bands from New Zealand in this area, such as Sandoz Lab Technicians or Surface Of The Earth, but VipCancro is even more minimal and feedback seems to play a bigger role, from time to time, along with the noted absence of the guitar. Unlike the previous releases, which seemed to be a bit more noise based, this new LP seems rather more subdued and deeper, perhaps more atmospheric. Maybe turning up the volume isn’t such a bad idea, not because loud equals better, but because more of the album’s beauty is revealed. Of the three releases I heard by VipCancro so far, I think this is the best so far. Carefully constructed pieces of dirty drone music, with a touch of noise thrown in here and there. Lots of subdued scraping of instruments and long-form sustaining drones, going bass deep down. The element of voice is hard to find around here, maybe only in ‘Giorni Di Carne’, but maybe there are live transformations of the voice, rendering it impossible to hear. Who knows? Excellent stuff throughout here. (FdW)
Address: http://www.liscarecords.com/

EDITH ALONSO – ROSTROS EN LA MULTITUD (CDR by Luscinia Discos)
SEBASTIAN WESMAN – OTROS PARAMETROS (CDR by Luscinia Discos)
In the last two or so years I learned that Spanish label Luscinia Discos is one that cares about quality. Their packaging is totally professional, in design and print and the music is always worth hearing, always somewhere on the cross road of modern composition, radiophonic works, electronic music and improvisation. Edith Alonso is a composer, improviser, pianist and sound artist from Madrid and ‘Rostros En La Multitud’ is her first release. It translates as ‘faces in the crowd’. The three pieces were already composed in 2007 and 2008 and are all ‘radiophonic’, dealing with ‘the plight of people in the world, making decisions, human relationships and the passing of time’. It’s hard for me to judge that, about interaction and such like, as whatever is said, is in Spanish, a language I surely haven’t mastered. Maybe that is a downside, I was thinking, but perhaps it also possible to enjoy the total package of sound on an equal level, music and spoken word. The music is made from highly processed acoustic sounds, all according to the working methods of musique concrete and from likewise processed voices, especially in the long, third piece, ‘Atardecer En Un Patio’. Sometimes her methods of processing these sound is a bit simple, with obvious stretching of sounds and such like, which makes this from time to time a bit too conventional in approach, I thought it was throughout a fine release. Maybe because it captures much of the city of Madrid, which I visited for the first time last year, and it brought back some nice memories: the hectic, the reverb-y neighborhoods of people talking from balcony to balcony and the great food. Nice release!
For the other release, by Sebastian Wesman, I’d like to re-print what I wrote about his release ‘A Blue Bird’ (see Vital Weekly 865 – well don’t see, as it’s reprinted here): “More music here by Sebastian Wesman, whom we first heard as Isableasnacho in Vital Weekly 818 and under his own belt in Vital Weekly 836, which were slightly different releases. Under his own name things turned out to be more modern classical than as his alias. back then I had no idea how these things were made and perhaps this DVD-R sheds some light on it. It’s recorded and filmed in a church in Estonia, of which we see shots of the interior and we see Wesman playing the violin. What we don’t see, but which I think might there actually, is some electronic afterlife, maybe a looper, but for all I know I am all wrong. Oh and Wesman uses his voice. Like I noted with his previous release, I am not really the person to judge modern classical music, even when I quite enjoyed this work. There is the obvious reference to the other Estonian composer to be made, and especially ‘Fratres’ by Arvo Part (for it is him). Rather than separate pieces, I think this is one piece in various parts, but obviously, since the scenery doesn’t change – Wesman playing in a church – it’s perhaps only natural to think this. Beautiful music, minimal yet moving stuff. The church acts a great resonance board for the music. What Nils Frahm is to the piano, Wesman should be to the violin, preferable with the same recognition!” This new release takes part of that material, including remastered versions and outtakes, and I am not sure why he does that. That DVD-R was a perfect release, showing his violin playing and singing very well, so I am not sure what this album is for. Maybe it’s because I don’t like these sort of ‘variations’ releases, and prefer to hear something new every time? If his music is something which you never heard, then this album may serve as an excellent (and short: thirty-two minutes) introduction. If playing CDRs is preferred over DVDRs then you might want this too, otherwise I am not too sure. (FdW)
Address: http://luscinia.ruidemos.org

WOUTER VELDHUIS – BLUE FOREST (CDR by Organic Industries)
The third album by Wouter Veldhuis, a Dutch composer from a rather remote area of the country (if remote areas exist in such a small country. Like on his previous (second) album ‘The Endless Now’ (see Vital Weekly 805) there are ‘no samples, synthesizers or electronic audio sources’ (and no guitars, vocals, or drums either, I always think, when I read such statements), but in stead ‘all tracks are made out of captured and processed pre-heard, found sounds and field recordings’. I guess this ‘processing’ does take place within the realm of a computer or a system of electronic devices, which maybe include samplers or electronics in some way or another. Maybe the lines to define such things is just very small. But as before, had I not known this, I would indeed think this was generated from synthesizers and such keyboard things alike. Alright, so that isn’t the case. The eleven pieces here are chilly, distant affairs of highly processed sound. It’s impossible to tell which field recordings are the basis of this release, and they are morphed into sustaining glacial affairs, frosty icebergs colliding on a cold night. I wrote that before, when reviewing ‘The Endless Now’, but it’s also something that can be said of ‘Blue Forest’. The spirit of the early Thomas Köner music can be found here, or else pick up that Isolationist double CD compilation from years ago, when the bigger companies thought it had marketing value. There is nothing in this fifty-three minute work that you haven’t heard before, and maybe that’s the downside of it. But you know what to expect if you like this kind of music and Veldhuis does a great job in creating some of this dark atmospheric music. A name to watch for, I wrote back then, and that still is the case. Just don’t expect some innovation of the genre. (FdW)
Address: http://www.organic-industries.com

SOCIAL DRIFT SHORT NOISE WALL (CDR & free download compilation by Social Drift)
Nineteen tracks of believe it or not short, maximum is under six minutes, of noise walls. The CDR has a detailed text which proposes a crisis in noise and attempts to offer a response to this crisis. The crisis being, it is argued that within culture use is now absent and this has been replaced by exchange value. This is defined as a ‘marketable meaning’, and one that noise does not evade. Noise as unstructured sound still has a cultural value. The argument runs that commercially successful noise and a virtual freedom from poetry will enable a new form of music. This relates to arguments which are difficult. Much of this discusses a validation of a personal vindication of poetry which resolves around the self.  And in this a certain playfulness which is allowed in noise is vindicated. And this in turn vindicates “our sickness”. Noise’s “smallness” is it seems part of the fact that nonsense and meaninglessness can be sold. And this in turn makes its acceptance a sign of bourgeoisie inauthenticity.  An interesting if complex way of justification of an activity, which it must be, “a response”. Has any response an exchange value? For sure it must, for a start it presupposes a causality. An much of what I find problematic here are such assumption, hidden or not. The organic response to any situation is fundamentally laden with telos. And there is nothing wrong with that, philosophy, metaphysics, is no different to any other praxis in this respect, no different to poetry or ballroom dancing. I t would be unfair to leave things there, as if there were no alternative, but that is there is one, one in which to state the inorganic is free of any telos, and then fail to be able to adequately respond to any rejoinder is to in effect become inorganic. And what and why should this be commendable, no reason, but it is in fact The Real. We can be as much the organon of pleasure as of extinction
. But, and, in both cases, in all cases we are justified, and in fact real, but only as a very specific real. And where that specifics plays is in the very act of value, choice, use. (jliat)
Address: http://www.socialdrift.bandcamp.com

MYSTIFIED & MARTYN SCHMIDT – AN EFFORT OF MEMORY (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
A collaboration by Thomas Park’s project Mystified and Martyn Schmidt, a German poet and sound artist. There is a short spoken word prologue, a sixty-two minute piece of music, and short epilogue. In the main piece, ‘An Effort Of Memory’, uses, according to the information, ‘feedback loops, the sound of whale bones as percussion instruments on a Danish island and jackhammers from local building sites’, of which Schmidt made the samples which he combined with the music of Mystified, resulting in this hour long sound collage of all things atmospheric. Forget the word jackhammers (or building site), as there is nothing ‘industrial’ or loud about this. The music here is all atmospheric, dark in the full moon night, and everything flows into each other. The music may seem an amorphous mass of sounds mixed together, without real beginning or end, and perhaps (I might be wrong) without much compositional planning. More like a go with the flow kind of music, which is nothing strange in this particular musical underworld. None of the sound sources are easily recognized here, if at all, but all is transformed into a long, sustaining mass of atmospherics, and works very well. A cold day today, autumn has arrived it seems and this is the soundtrack for such seasonal weather. Nothing new, but it works very well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

HUN (CDR by Sqrt Label)
Over the years I have learned about Lukasz Ciszak that his primary interest lies within the world of improvisation, and perhaps this is also the case with his band Hun, a trio of himself on guitar, Tomasz Juchniewicz in bass and Grzegorz Zawadzki on drums, but I must admit I didn’t expect this album of (free-) rock music. Five pieces, recorded in April this year, edited down a bit (I assume) and shows them in a fine noise rock mode. It is all stomping around here, with minor changes in the stomping, and lots of riffs thrown in. Sometimes there are these mathematic changes, which surely someone will applaud for their inventiveness or skills of the players, and surely there is a lot of energy feeding off this music, but I must say it didn’t do much for me. Maybe I would enjoy this in situ, the real, one-off thing as a concert, but on a sunny thursday morning (11:06 to be precise), I am not sure about this. Maybe it will grow one night, but not at home, I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://sqrt-label.org

KOSTOGLOTOV – LOVE SONG FOR BROKEN BUILDINGS (CDR by Quiet World)
B.LONE ENGINES – ALBION GEARED (CDR by Quiet World)
BRIAN LAVELLE – MY HANDS ARE TEN KNIVES (CDR by Quiet World)
PHILIP CORNER – THROUGH THE MYSTERIOUS BARRICADE AT HOLYSLOOT, HOLLAND (CDR by Quiet World)
IAN HOLLOWAY & BANKS BAILEY – STRANGE PILGRIMS (CDR by Quiet World)
Yes, that is not what we like, five releases at once, which easily puts whatever else we get on hold for a day or two. Sometimes we listen for a bit longer than thirty seconds, if you are to believe popular belief about the weeklies. I started out with the people I never heard of. Kostoglotov sounds Russian but he is in fact Daryl Worthington from London. He has had two albums on Wonderful Wooden Reasons and the cover states that all music was ‘recorded at home, surrounded by broken things’. I assume the synths used here weren’t broken. Quiet World mentions Cluster and surely an excellent point of reference. It has that Farfisa sound, breezy and hissy, and the setting called ‘strings’ is used a lot. In ‘Some Lights (Song For Umez)’ there is also something more high end, and a tinkering rhythm, which makes this a bit more experimental, and not a mere copy of anything Cluster did in the 70s. Sometimes he used sheer silence, and low end bass to create a piece, as in ‘Broken Building’ or ‘Cement’. I thought this was wonderful, great, light music. Cosmic music of course, but much, much lighter than what usually passes for cosmic. Excellent release!
Also unknown to me are the duo of Spider and Ant Blone, who go by the name B.Lone Engines – what in names, right? They had their debut on Dark Meadows Recordings, who also planned their second release, but closed down so now it appears on Quiet World, who call it ‘unorthodox post-Krautrock experimentalisms’. Funny that the word krautrock also popped up with the Kostoglotov release, whereas the releases are quite different. It starts out with the very loud and short ‘Tea Atom Three’, but in the subsequent six pieces there is indeed a sense of experimentalism in these pieces which is perhaps not always krauty, but quite nice. It’s perhaps all a bit more about improvising with lots of means, such as violins, guitars, electronics and synths, and the atmospheres here are more dark. Some of these pieces are a bit too long and could used some more editing, I think, and at times also a better recording. Nice throughout and would be interested to hear whatever next from them.
Then we move on to Brian Lavelle, who recording career is hard to follow: sometimes he seems active and then for quite some time very silent. His thirty minute piece ‘My Hands Are Ten Knives’ is made with electric guitar, sine tones, field recordings, piano, electronics and voice (Jill Lavelle) and ‘designed to be listened to at medium to low volume’. It’s easy to understand why, as two-third of the piece consists of very slow building sine waves. It opens however with a more open drone thing, made from far away field recordings, e-bow guitars and already those sine waves, with occasionally a plink on the guitar and in the second half perhaps (perhaps not) a humming voice. It’s indeed a very meditative kind of music, and one that works well. Mysterious music, played with great finesse.
Art lovers and collectors should pay attention. All of these Quiet World releases come with a small card with an autograph of the composer(s) and of course Philip Corner is an art force to be reckoned with. He’s best known, I guess, for his involvement with Fluxus. He already had a release on Quiet World which I didn’t hear, and here is a set of two improvisations recorded in Holland (I assume he means The Netherlands, even when Holysloot is in the province of North Holland. Corner’s brother lives there and has a piano, which Corner uses to record number 17 and 144 of a series of improvisations based on a composition by French baroque composer Francois Couperin, which of course I don’t know. It’s not the greatest recording, but it’s an interesting piece of Fluxus music. Corner plays indeed the piano, but in the opening of ‘June 16, 1989′ it seems like someone is using a saw in the background and further along the lines there is something which reminds me of a ball being thrown around – but all of this not inside the piano, mind you. When Corner plays the keys, it’s all quite minimal and repeating. It’s nice to hear once, but perhaps it’s better, nicer to see this in action, rather then just hearing the recordings.
And finally there is Ian Holloway, boss of Quiet World, and his regular collaborator Banks Bailey, who is avid taper of the sounds of the environment. In this case a recording of a Hermit Thrush, which pitched down sounds like a bamboo flute. Holloway made this collage out of it, added some sounds of water which he recorded and this thirty-one minute is the result. It’s quite drone like, but the bird calls, bamboo flute like sounds make up for what is indeed a very nice piece of music. Perfect for a late night session or for the more daring listener, I’d say, play this on your Ipod if you go out into the woods at night. This you might find the best soundtrack for such a stroll. If any of these five releases sums up what Quiet World is about, then I’d say it is this one. Nothing new as such, but a most delightful tune. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quietworld.co.uk

JLIAT – ALL POSSIBLE CDS (CDR by Jliat)
A spoken word release here and it makes me a realize why it sucked at maths in high school. Jliat has the computer read this story http://jliat.com/APCDS/ and you are best of listening to the words being read for you, while trying to read the text online. It adds more confusion, certainly for a computer/math illerate like me. There are no record stores any more, right? Otherwise I would strongly suggest to file this under ‘sound poetry’. (FdW)
Address: http://jliat.com/APCDS/

ALICE KEMP – DECAY AND PERSISTENCE (CDR by Fragment Factory)
SCHIMPFLUCH GRUPPE – NIGREDO (cassette by Fragment Factory)
The release by Alice Kemp is the result of a re-working of music they (?) did for two performances by Rebecca Weeks and Ian Whitford and ‘these works were both part of the Wearing With Horns series, which focused on exploring fidelity, love and being in the continuously shifting landscape of a relationship. They charted a process of learning, its challenges, failures and successes, working with actions of disintegration and renewal and at other times tracing the scars that are left as the trophies of love’, so it says on the cover. It’s perhaps not something I would have easily guessed based upon what I was hearing. The piece here, lasting one hour, is quite interesting for those who like music by Schimpfluch or Dave Phillips. It’s quite loud in the way the sounds are recorded, but not really noise based. It has strong roots in the acoustic treatment of sound, with clocks ticking and the breaking of branches and leaves and in two instances there seems to be electronics in play. It’s not that all of these sounds are played in real time it seems. Much of this seems to be in some looped form, which move in a irregular intervals, which keep the whole work quite vibrant. There are constant points of recognition, but the configurations are different. It takes well over the fifty-one minute for an entirely new clock sound to enter. While I didn’t hear all of those aspects of the performance in here, I thought it was overall quite a fascinating piece of music. Loud, noise based, but without mindless distortion. Excellent release.
On a cassette we have Schimpfluch Gruppe, a notorious group of various musicians, with a live recordings from April last year in Tokyo on one side, as recorded by Rudolf Eb.er (a core member!) and Dave Phillips and on the other side a split channel by them, with Phillips in the left channel and Eb.er in the right channel, recording things that were totally independent. It’s interesting to play this straight after the Alice Kemp release, as it shares the similar approach to working with acoustic sound – straight in your face, although especially in the live recording this seems to be not-so-loud. In the split channel piece there is a bit more noise but here too, I must say it’s not a lot. The action may seem obscure; you could hardly think what’s going on. A performance perhaps, but for all we know we have two persons playing sounds from a laptop, or burning bits of wood, strongly amplified. It has for me the same captivating feel to it, but a strong love for anything sound based is quite in place here. Also the music recorded separately works wonderfully well, and I never had the idea of listening to two different things, stuck together on one tape. This is noise, and this is noise that I like. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fragmentfactory.com

DAVID PAYNE – SOLOW VOL 6 (CDR by MJC)
FOSSILS – ON BITTER GREENS (cassette by MJC)
Fossils member David Payne has an obscure release: a CDR, a xeroxed booklet with visuals and no information. Obscure is also what the music is about. He plays guitar I think, and it might somehow be picked up with microphones, or direct lines to the computer. He plays the surface of the strings without much sustain or distortion. More like rubbing objects over the strings and keep doing that for the length of a piece. The music is all rather soft and not always outspoken. That I thought was a bit of a downside to this release, as sound wise there is something to gain I would think. Also the amount of variation wasn’t enough, so perhaps fifty-five minutes and nineteen tracks is a bit long for an album I was thinking. I enjoyed however the idea of it all. Quite acoustic in approach, all highly improvised, and if say thirty minutes with a bit of mastering, this would be a really good release, needing a bit better presentation.
But as the tape by Fossils show, the esthetics of MJC/Fossils/Payne is all lo-fi with very few information. I have tape ’8/23′, Fossils are Daniel Farr and David Payne, and this is ‘MJC435′ and a stamped date, Sep 13 2013 (recording date? release date?). Nothing else. Which again is a pity, I would think, as the music of Fossils is more and more interesting. I wrote that before. This duet here for what seems a guitar, a drum kit, and lots of acoustic objects, and probably could make up for a very lo-fi version of AMM. Recorded onto dictaphones, using radio bits, table top guitar and table top drum kit, there is a nice flow to the music here, a constant stream of zen like sounds, but a bit more raw and bolder than the refined AMM. Improvised, yet based in the world of musique concrete and all things electro-acoustic, with dashes of noise. Like Payne’s solo release, perhaps a bit long, but it has some wonderful things in it, as well as room for improvement. (FdW)
Address: <middlejamesco@hotmail.com>

YOL – FOUR LIVE PIECES (cassette, private)
The funny thing about re-using cassettes which you can buy in thrift stores, is that the ‘consumer’ never knows what is the music of Yol, and what was originally on the tape. Here we have four live pieces by Yol, UK’s answer to Schimpfluch (for his actions, I guess) and Henri Chopin (the extensive use of words, voices and such like). The live sound is shaky, microphone, feedback, hollow rooms, dictaphone recording and then on a re-used tape. The pieces were played at ‘non art/improv friendly places’, and with busking on streets, as I suggested with his previous release (see Vital Weekly 890), and shows him to do what he does: shout, spit, scream, whisper into the microphone and meanwhile crashing beer cans or some other action with acoustic objects. I must say it’s something I know by now, and think it’s maybe time to do something else, or perhaps release a DVD-R and show us what it looks like. (FdW)
Address: <yol1971@hotmail.co.uk>

BEL ARGOSY – LET’S HEAR IT FOR BEL ARGOSY (cassette, private)
THE COMO BROTHERS BAND – BABY STEPS (CD, private)
Pop music of course arrives here every now and then, luckily never too much, since reviewing pop music, rock, metal, country & western, dixieland and rap (to mention a few variations) is not what we like to do, partly because, yes we have favorites in that field and no, it’s not why we do Vital Weekly. But the simply new wavey pop/ pub-rock of Bel Argosy reminded me of the early Stiff Records, Cherry Red and god knows what else from thirty years ago, of punk and new wave – nothing post-punk. Refreshing after a hard day of difficult music listening, and about to start an evening of more of this kind of energetic pop music. Boys! I appreciate your music, I don’t think you’d sell one extra following this glowing review in a ‘difficult’ music info thingy and it’s good to see a band which are young and have no beards.
But of course there is also something like The Como Brothers Band, Matt and Andrew, who send me a CD and I know, difficult times, high postal rates and such, but I wish they investigated a bit more what Vital Weekly is about. Not about the kind of music of Bel Argosy but I can dig them, from a personal perspective, a historical angle, but The Como Brothers Band? “The Como Brothers Band brings an energy, excitement and originality to the stage that leaves fans wanting more and more of them. The band is very personable and accessible to fans” – which might all be very much true, but all I hear is some pretty standard rock music, blues like, energetic indeed from time to time, radio material (if I should have any notion what is popular on radio waves these days – you bet I don’t) and absolutely, 100% nothing for these pages. I wish them well, they don’t need this kind of publicity. (FdW)
Address: http://belargosy.com
Address: http://www.comobrothersband.com

 

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