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Vital Weekly 938


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RASMUS BORG & HENRIK MUNKEBY NØRSTEBØ – 120112 (CD by Edition Wandelweiser Records) *
DARIUS CIUTA – L2DI-(3) (CD by Unfathomless) *
RUDOLF EB.ER & JOKE LANZ & GX JUPITTER-LARSEN & MIKE DANDO – WELLENFELD (CD by Fragment Factory) *
ODEYA NINI – VOUGHEAUXYICE (CD by Pfmentum)
STIAN WESTERHUS & PALE HORSES – MAELSTROM (CD by Rune Grammofon)
DAVE PHILLIPS – HOMO ANIMALIS (2CD by Schimpfluch Associates) *
PJUSK – SOLSTØV (CD by 12K) *
LYDIA LUNCH ZAHRA MANI AND MIA ZABELKA – MEDUSA’S BED (CD by Monotype Records)
FRANCISCO LOPEZ – UNTITLED #281 (CD by Storung) *
ASFERICO – SONIDOS DEL SUBCONSCIENTE (I) (CDR by Storung) *
LOOPY DAY – ILLUMINATION (CD by Spacecontroller Records) *
ELECTRIC BIRD NOISE – KIND OF BLACK (CDR by Silber Records) *
P JØRGENSEN – GOLD BEACH (LP by Lowpoint)
CONSTANZA FRANCAVILLA & ALEX INFASCELLI – BUSHWICK17 (LP by Zerokilled Music)
EMANUELE DE RAYMONDI – ULTIMO DOMICILIO (12″ by Zerokilled Music)
GREG KELLEY & JASON LESCALLEET – CONVERSATIONS (CDR by Glistening Labs) *
LEONARDSEN & MARGOLIS & VAN NORT – VENDLAM (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
GUIGNOL DANGEREUX – RHYTHMS OF TRANCE (CDR, private) *
STROM VARX – A COGENT HEAVY HIGH-TECHNOLOGY WORKS SINCE STROM VARX (CDR by Agxivatein) *
CHRISTOPH LIMBACH – BEGIN_IF_ (3) (cassette by Agxivatein)
THU20 – NIJMEGEN (cassette by Midas Music) *
THE OTHERS – ANXIETY LOOPS (cassette by Rainbow Bridge)
J. MARCLOID – PROMISE SWEEPERS (cassette by Rainbow Bridge)

Vital Weekly #938 by Vitalweekly on Mixcloud

tracklist for Vital Weekly 938:

0000 Tune
0014 Guignol Dangereux – Between The Sky And The Deepsky
0315 Loopy Day – Illusion
0614 Greg Kelley & Jason Lescalleet – Intercourse
0918 THU20
1221 Pjusk – Demring
1523 Rasmus Borg & Henkrik Munkeby Nørstebø
1827 Francisco Lopez – Untitled #281
2131 Leonardsen & Margolis & Van Nort – Mandlev
2432 Strom Varx – A Cogent Heavy High-Technology Works
2739 Electric Bird Noise – One Eno
3043 Asferico – Sonidos Del Subconsciente
3344 Darius Ciuta – L2DI-(3)
3654 Dave Phillips – Exipotic
3957 Rudolf Eb.er & Joke Lanz & GX Jupitter-Larsen & Mike dando – Wellenfeld
4302 Tune

RASMUS BORG & HENRIK MUNKEBY NØRSTEBØ – 120112 (CD by Edition Wandelweiser Records)
It has been a long time, I think, since I last heard something from the Edition Wandelweiser Records label from Germany. I don’t think I heard many of their releases, but I do remember that maybe all of them were relatively quiet, using lots of silence in between the notes. A bit like the release I am now reviewing. Here Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø (of whom we recently reviewed a CD he did with Daniel Lercher, see Vital Weekly 932) plays his trombone and Rasmus Borg plays the piano. Three pieces here, all more or less of the same length, fifteen minutes (the last one nineteen). It seems (I might be wrong) that the music is improvised with the two players on a very Zen like meditation scheme: we only play a note together, and when it dies out we wait a bit until it’s quiet and we play another note. Sometimes two tones are played in a row, or there is more sustain used on those notes. All of this at a very low volume – I admit: I cranked it up to zero DB – which adds further to the Zen like music. This is something to hear in a completely silent room (balcony doors open, bird chirping, and the downstairs neighbour working his garden might not be ideal circumstances, unless you accept those sounds as a potential extra instrument in the music). Over the course of these three pieces it seems that there is more happening in the third one than in the first one, so there is a gradual built-up here. This is quite an experience! It’s most certainly not easy listening music, but one that needs your full concentration and attention; otherwise it’s entirely lost on you. (FdW)
Address: http://www.wandelweiser.de

DARIUS CIUTA – L2DI-(3) (CD by Unfathomless)
This might very well the longest release on Unfathomless so far, clocking in at seventy-three minutes. A long time ago, Darius Ciuta worked as Naj and as such had a release on Pure/RRRecords, but since working with field recordings he calls himself by the name his parents gave him. He is from Lithuania and he recorded at Curonian Spit the sound material he uses here. The cover lists a bunch of conditions, such as there should be ‘an interval of at least 1,5 hour in between recording sessions’ and that they ‘were made during daytime (11 am – the earliest/6 pm – the latest) etc and that all recordings ‘are grouped by their photo of light – from lightest to the darkest’. This process took five days and presents a cycle of a day (less the night). Not a lot of releases on Unfathomless go this far to describe the concept. So, cut together as one piece it’s not easy to ‘follow’ the conceptual guidelines as set out by Ciuta. It all sounds like an environmental work, and if you listen superficially it may sound like an uncut piece of nature sounds, but if you listen more closely you can hear all these edit points, changing over the course of this piece. Lots of insect sounds, crackling of leaves, and maybe birdcalls. It makes all together quite a fascinating environment. You can listen to this very concentrated, like you would when listening to something that requires your full attention, or you just could simply walk around, take a nap, read book or have a phone conversation, or even mix it with your environment, by opening your window. True music of ambience I’d say. (FdW)
Address: http://www.unfathomless.net

RUDOLF EB.ER & JOKE LANZ & GX JUPITTER-LARSEN & MIKE DANDO – WELLENFELD (CD by Fragment Factory)
A while ago, December 2012, saw Bristol celebrating twenty-five years of Schimpfluch activities via a three-day festival called ‘Extreme Rituals’, with their various members performing (Dave Phillips, Rudolf Eb.er, Sudden Infant) and various guests, such as Con-Dom and The Haters. The festival ended with ‘Wellenfeld: for amplified brainwaves (in memory of Urs Schwaller)’. To quote the cover: “Four leading figures of the international Noise circus team up for a unique performance, solely based on their brainwave activity. Each performer is wearing a wireless electroencephalograph (EEG) headset. The EEG signals sent from the stage are received by sound engineers, transformed from data into sound and processed to emerge through eight speakers surrounding the audience. The performance took place without prior tests or rehearsals. The performer develops and gains control over his own brainwave patterns during the performance, by listening to the sonic results of his mental activity. By changing electric impulses of the brain during meditative and ecstatic trance, the performer begins to sculpt the sound through the mind alone.” It looks, I’m sorry to say (and no doubt I am not the only one to notice this), a bit like Alvin Lucier’s ‘Music For Solo Performer’, although a bit different. The twenty-six minute piece, by the performers mentioned above, mixed by Rashad Becker onto an eight channel system surrounding the audience, is a quite a noisy piece of loud tones, which may sound like simple, hand build synthesizers, but with some extreme activities. If you look films of this on the net, you see Eb.er moving and shaking at one point, and the others not moving at all. I think I would have preferred if none moved at all, and it would keep Zen like thing with as little activity as possible and take away the ‘extreme’ performance element (which to me looks all very ‘un’-extreme, very regular performance art; I wondered if there was any body there who wasn’t dressed in black) and focus on the interesting aspect of creating music this way, which is something I liked very much. Quite a nice release; noisy but very interesting and that’s how I like these things. (FdW)
Address: http://fragmentfactory.com/

ODEYA NINI – VOUGHEAUXYICE (CD by Pfmentum)
Odeya Nini offers a daring introduction to her work as a vocal artist on her debut album ‘Vougheauxyide’. Nini Is a Los Angeles-based composer and vocalist. She has Yemenite Israeli roots, coming from a musical family. Singer Noa is her sister. She studied at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where she studied with vocalist Theo Bleckmann, and worked so far with dancers, choreographers, filmmakers and musicians like Meredith Monk and Butch Morris. From her first album we learn she is a radical vocal artist, not so much interested in text and words, but focussed on all the sounds, textures, etc that the human voice is able to produce. Of all eight pieces only two are improvised, the others are composed.  In ‘Tunnel’ we come most close to melody. Here she interprets an old Jewish folk song, recorded in an aqueduct in San Francisco. In most other pieces Nini abstracts from melody and other common musical elements and turns to the basic possibilities and characteristics of the human voice. And it is only in the improvised piece ‘There are so many things that I have to tell you’ that Nini uses common language and words. In ‘Tapestry of synonyms’ her voice is contrasted with varied material coming from field recordings. All in all Nini assembled a varied and convincing presentation of her vocal art. (DM)
Address: http://www.pfmentum.com

STIAN WESTERHUS & PALE HORSES – MAELSTROM (CD by Rune Grammofon)
Three musicians at work here: Stian Westerhus (guitar, vocals), Øystein Moen (keyboards) and Erland Dahlen (drums, percussion). Westerhus is known for his abstract guitar playing, like for example on ‘Didymoi Dreams’ an album with vocalist Sidsel Endresen. Among his collaborations are projects with Puma, Nils Petter Molvær, Jaga Jazzist, the Britten Sinfonia, etc. The three already played together in Puma. Moen is also member of Jaga Jazzist, and Westerhus once guested on one of their albums. I guess with this new release they wanted to move more towards straight rock. As Puma and other projects show also influences of jazz and improvisation. But when I say rock, I mean rock of a particular kind.  The pieces on this album are best described as ballads or songs, featuring engaged singing by Westerhus. They pick up where bands like Coldplay and Radiohead stop. Music that is bombastic, but not in a negative sense, as this music is also very emotional. Experimental, moving between song and soundtexture. (DM)
Address: http://www.runegrammofon.com

DAVE PHILLIPS – HOMO ANIMALIS (2CD by Schimpfluch Associates)
More music by Dave Phillips, of whom we recently reviewed a collaborative work with Aspec(t) (Vital Weekly 934). Here the former founding member of Fear Of God returns with another double CD, now for Schimpfluch, of which he has been a member since the early 90s. The works here, some 160 minutes in total, of works recorded from 2009 to 2011 (two are from 2007). Some of these pieces were released on limited edition cassettes, but all of these pieces have been reworked extensively. Phillips, you may be aware of this, is an activist when it comes to animal rights and in much of his music he uses sounds from animals, and how we treat them, that we should not eat them, etc, but as with many of the politically inspired musicians, you can wonder how many minds are turned. No matter how fine the causes are, mind you. The music by Phillips is one that I quite enjoy. It’s dark, it’s noisy, and yet there is so much than just a bunch of noises. Phillips loops his sounds of animals around, quite densely at times, and adds the sound of his voice (sighing, breathing) and/or such acoustic sounds as rubbing against a balloon. All of this can end abruptly and move over into something of near silence, or to be replaced by something of an equally heavy weight noise, but of an altogether different nature. That’s what makes this a particular noise release into one I like very much. Here we have somebody who has thought about the whole genre of noise and how to keep things of interest. Now, listening to ten pieces with a total length of 160 minutes is quite a demanding thing and probably not one that one should do all to easily. Phillips music is, although I really like it, also quite grim, sinister and dark, played with a strong force, and if you follow what it says on the cover ‘for best results play loud’, your ears will bleed and you might possibly ready for a straight jacket. However if you take this CD one at a time, and perhaps control the volume a bit, then you too might see the beauty of this noise release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.davephillips.ch

PJUSK – SOLSTØV (CD by 12K)
From Norway hail Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik and Rune Sagevik, who call themselves Pjusk. Their debut, ‘Sart’ was reviewed in Vital Weekly 575, but the follow-up albums, ‘Sval’ and ‘Tele’ went by, not reviewed. This is their fourth album, and the title means ‘sun dust’ and it sees them using the trumpet sound of Kare Nymark Jr, which they solely use, besides a bit of guitar (by Anders Voldsund). Label boss Taylor Deupree adds a bit of his own trumpet processing, using Kyma, and the Pjusk cuts, past and collage all of these processed recordings into a ten-piece/one hour release this is. I wonder who was responsible for making the trumpet sound like wind chimes in ‘Demring’, maybe all of them? This is an album that has to offer quite a variety of approaches. From the glacial and somewhat predictable opening tones of ‘Streif’, the trumpet-as-trumpet in ‘Gløtt’, the chimes of ‘Demring’ and the somewhat crude (nice!) guitar effects on ‘Blaff’. Maybe at times there is too much reverb on that trumpet and it sounds too much as a cliché (‘Blaff’ again), but the album is saved by the amount of variety in these pieces. I like the more abstract pieces, which avoid the pure glacial drone style that Pjusk has at times, but, as said, it’s a combination of various interests (glacial drones, trumpet with reverb (ECM inspired I wondered), abstract) that makes this quite an interesting album altogether. A bit Hubro Music at times, I mused, bit jazz like, but a totally different kind of jazz. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

LYDIA LUNCH ZAHRA MANI AND MIA ZABELKA – MEDUSA’S BED (CD by Monotype Records)
The collaboration between three female musicians from different countries is a dark story, which takes you to hidden places of this world. The CD “Medusa’s Bed” is like a radio play in which Lydia Lunch tells a horrifying stories about abandon places, suicide and murder. A dark soundtrack created by Zahra Mani on bass guitars, fieldrecordings and electronics and Mia Zabelka on violin, voice and electronics aswell supports the voice. The mixture of abstract sounds, on-going basslines, clears violinplay and edited voices and sounds with a lot of echo and delay give this album a deep atmosphere. It seems that the sounds are coming for the caves of the earth or from abandon cities, which are infected by an unknown virus. The atmosphere of the music suggests that the music is created by improvisations of the two musicians. Sometimes the music reminds me to the early industrial music from the eighties created with a lot of delay effects. The voice of Lydia Lunch is sweet, provoking, sinister, sad and nasty and suits well to all these dark tones. The diversity in rhythm of the recital makes Lunch to a great performer. Mia Zabelka, living and working in Vienna – Austria, has done some other projects before with Lydia Lunch in which violin, electronics and voice find a fusion and they did several concerts.  She did also some projects with Zahra Mani aswell, who is working in Vienna and Istria – Croatia. This album is the first collaboration between these dark ladies. Hopefully this lullaby for Medusa is not their last, because I became hungry for more of this ‘horrible’ music. (JKH)
Address: http://www.monotyperecords.com

FRANCISCO LOPEZ – UNTITLED #281 (CD by Storung)
ASFERICO – SONIDOS DEL SUBCONSCIENTE (I) (CDR by Storung)
You have to take the CD out of the box, so you can read the complete liner notes on the cover, which is a nice thing. For this particular composition – almost close to thirty-two minutes – Lopez uses recordings of bird calls which he recorded from 1995 to 2010 in ‘multiple wilderness locations of Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Spain, South Africa, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. Not unlike other recent works by Lopez (the ones I heard that is), it seems to me that Lopez uses new pieces of software to treat his soundmatter, as he calls it. It has that granular synthesizes sound from max/msp and Lopez uses it quite radically. Things can get pretty wild in here, as we are warned on the cover that ‘digital clipping in this an aesthetic decision and is explicitly intentional’. Especially in the first half this is a very present feature. But this work isn’t of course all about noise; it opens with that Lopezian silence – except it’s more audible; no contradictions there. After a firm break around thirteen minutes things become silent for a while again, but never completely silent. Towards the end is the only section with what seems to be the original bird calls mixed with processed version thereof, with the latter gradually taking over. This is another fine Lopez work, with perhaps less of the mysterious ways of his earlier, connecting more to computer music scene (like Roel Meelkop or Marc Behrens)
An older work by label-boss Alex Gamez was also received, called ‘sounds of the subconscious’ in Spanish, which is a ‘combination of massive manipulations of field recordings, captured around the world since 2007, and analogue synthesizer sounds’. In some ways it may seem that Asferico is a fine student of the work of Lopez, using a similar approach to ‘loud’ versus ‘quiet’ but it sounds all a bit less refined and sometimes the built up is a bit ‘easy’ – but on other occasions this is actually nice, with a dark unearthly rumble and at one point a very silence part of almost four minutes, which is the true old Lopez style. I am not sure why this wasn’t properly promoted when it came out in 2012, since it’s definitely a work of interest. If you dig Lopez (Meelkop, Behrens etc.) than this is certainly must hear work. Go check out this piece of forgotten history. (FdW)
Address: http://www.storung.com

LOOPY DAY – ILLUMINATION (CD by Spacecontroller Records)
ELECTRIC BIRD NOISE – KIND OF BLACK (CDR by Silber Records)
When reviewing the previous release by Loopy Day (see Vital Weekly 873), I already wrote about my doubts if Loopy Day is a fine name. It may indicate too much what it is all about. Back then he had a double album to show; now it’s a single CD. It’s still the guitar and loop devices that create the music, the today’s version of Robert Fripp and his mobile unit, but no longer with tape recorders. Jakob Brandt-Pedersen from Denmark composed/improvised another four, long pieces of music, using the same recipe as before. It’s ambient, it’s drony and it’s live: sometimes the piece ‘collapses’ a bit, and we hear Loopy Day finding a new spot to work on. That is perhaps another downside from working this way. Maybe it’s an idea to use more overdubbing, more studio techniques, more rigid editing? While this music provides a nice backdrop to whatever you are doing this is also very unsurprising music. Nothing in here really demands your attention, and doodles just away; nicely but doodling. I am not overtly negative about this, but also not jumping for joy. I played it, thought about it, and probably forget about it. A release should do more than this I think.
Also ‘just’ guitar music we find on the release by Electric Bird Noise, also known as Brian Lea McKenzie. Electric guitar I’d say and maybe some sound effects. I am not too sure about a looping device. The previous release I heard from him, ‘The Silber Sessions’ (see Vital Weekly 790) was pretty melodic, and I draw a line from him to say The Durutti Column. That’s not what he is doing here, it moved away from the melodic stuff towards more dissonant guitar stuff. He himself refers to this as ‘elevator music for art galleries’, but no doubt that includes some sarcasm on behalf of the composer. Eleven pieces, called ‘One Eno’, ‘Two Owt’ etc of relative concise length, between two something and four something, with two longer exceptions. McKenzie’s plays his music very consistently, and here there is something that demands your attention, but at the same time, perhaps the amount of variation runs a bit thin here. After about seven pieces you get the drift and I had enough. I listened until the end to see if there was something entirely different waiting for me, but there wasn’t. The majority of this was actually quite all right, but here too perhaps a bit long. (FdW)
Address: http://spacecontroller.dk
Address: http://www.silbermedia.com

P JØRGENSEN – GOLD BEACH (LP by Lowpoint)
This is the fourth release by P Jørgensen, his third on Low Point actually, but I think I only heard ‘To’ (see Vital Weekly 697). He spend the last four years working on ‘Gold Beach’, we are told, and the main difference with his older work is the use of unprocessed acoustic instruments, such as the double bass, violin, clarinet and saxophone. Others played some of the instruments used, but Jørgensen himself plays the double bass, e-bow, harmonium, field recordings, bells, crystal glasses, teisco ep-21, shortwave radio and digital processing. Each side has one piece, simple ‘Gold Beach A’ and ‘Gold Beach B’. These pieces are however not the result of a one-take recording, but are in fact edited together. That’s quite interesting as when I first played this record, I thought it was some sort of spontaneous recording of some kind. But the more I listened to this, all the more details I started to discover, the many layers this record has. There is happening a lot here, and on a lot of levels. This makes that this record has a great sonic depth. There is, first of all, the variety of instruments that Jørgensen uses, all of which play rather mournful like tunes, passing slowly like ships in the night – or ships passing foghorns. Then there is a most curious bunch of field recordings to be detected in here, of chairs moving through rooms, objects falling to the floor and whispering. At times it gave me a feeling of listening to the ‘Sinking Of The Titanic’, but perhaps then cut up in smaller bits. This record may indicate one piece per side, but there is a bit more happening than just that. Jørgensen has smaller pieces that form one long composition, which for LP sake has been cut into two. My copy was a bit dirty and had surface noise, which was a pity, as it took away some of the beauty of the record. I guess for me it’s more CD music – true purists may beg to differ. Excellent record! (FdW)
Address: http://www.low-point.com

CONSTANZA FRANCAVILLA & ALEX INFASCELLI – BUSHWICK17 (LP by Zerokilled Music)
EMANUELE DE RAYMONDI – ULTIMO DOMICILIO (12″ by Zerokilled Music)
It might just be me, but I never understood the whole concept of the one sided LP, unless it’s really (as it was when I had my first 7″ record pressed) that you can save on the costs of not using the other side? But, on the other hand, with the high postal rates these days wouldn’t it be nicer to offer two sides of music for the same amount of postage? I never heard of this label, or of the musicians. Francavalla, from Italy but now living in Brooklyn, runs the label. She collaborated with Tricky for some time. Her voice seems absent on ‘Bushwick17’ until the end, but her synths are here. She recorded this piece with Alex Infascelli, from Rome, who moved to Los Angeles in the mind 90s where he played in bands and now works in the film industry. Here he plays drums and guitar – not at the same time. The guitar is placed in front of a fan and that makes the snares vibrate. Then he adds his drums to it, sometimes pretty wild, sometimes very introspective and Francavilla adds a wall of her synths sounds low humming and her own voice softly singing – only towards the end. Recorded live, no overdubs, no editing, and no effects without preparation, just this seventeen-minute piece of very free, yet very introspective music. Quite a trip.
The other record has luckily two sides and has music by Emanuele de Ryamondi, also from Italy, who graduated at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but now is back in Italy. He writes music on paper, for such people as Oguz Buyukberber, Jennifer Choi, but also works with digital sound processing. His latest work is ‘Ultimo Domicilio’ (the last domicile) together with Lorenzo Castore, a photographer, although besids the cover we don’t see any other photographs. Each of the five pieces is named adter a city. It’s a bit difficult to guess if this record is to be played at 33 or 45 rpm. I choose the first. De Raymondi plays here guitar, piano and samplers and the result is somewhere between atmospheric sound processing, modern avant-garde and a bit of improvisation. Quite odd music. It somehow doesn’t seem to fit. In ‘Brooklyn’ for instance, which starts out moody, but when the guitar comes in, it somehow doesn’t quite fit the moodiness of what it started with, and the two have a rather uneasy marriage. In other pieces he reminded me of KK Null earliest solo works and his improvised duets, in which the guitar pedals started to play an important role. I must say, I found it very hard to make up my mind about this. I quite enjoyed it, actually, basically because it was odd, defying any genres, odd gestures and such like. Very nice because it’s very weird. (FdW)
Address: http://zerokilledmusic.com

GREG KELLEY & JASON LESCALLEET – CONVERSATIONS (CDR by Glistening Labs)
For whatever reason I assumed Jason Lescalleet and Greg Kelley had a bunch of collaborative releases, but it seems this is their second so far. Lescalleet plays here tapes, turntables, amplified objects and ‘Dell XPS’, whereas Kelley plays his beloved trumpet (he’s best known as an improviser on the instrument), along with a rather lo-fi realistic concertmate MG-1, Roland RE-20 Space Echo and an Electro-Harmonix Frequency Analyzer – he also produces occassionally some heavy noise music. Four of the six pieces were recorded at Lescalleet’s home base in Berwick, Maine, and the other two are live recordings. Especially the longest piece, recorded in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, on April 20th of this year, is an excellent piece. They start in near silence and via a myriade of drones, they reach a certain strong level of drones and when they reach that, they start to add subtle variations, especially Lescalleet as Kelley starts adding long sustained sounds on his trumpet. It’s quite loud, but never really noise based. They use this form twice in this concert recording. The only noise piece on this disc happens in ‘Sayonara (Pechuga Cadaver)’, the closing piece, with it’s layered feedback. In the other four pieces they explore the lower, dronier end of their music. The live piece from Mexico seems to be very quiet, but in the other, studio, pieces, their drones are very subtle, with a nice menacing undercurrent. Only the short ‘A Frank Discussion’ is entirely made of acoustic sounds, turntable surfaces rotating and somehow destroying the horn of the trumpet. Or so it seems. It sounds, more or less, like an accident that worked out well. At seventy-one minutes perhaps a bit long, but throughout it contains some strong, beautiful music. Excellent release all around. (FdW)
Address: http://glisteningexamples.bandcamp.com

LEONARDSEN & MARGOLIS & VAN NORT – VENDLAM (CDR by Attenuation Circuit)
It was quiet in the past weeks when it comes to releases on Attenuation Circuit (although they are active with download only releases), but here’s a new release of a trio of improvisers: Al Margolis (best known as the man from If, Bwana and label-boss of Pogus Productions) on violin and synthesizer, Eric Leonardsen on springboard, which is something he built himself and he plays with cello bows and homemade friction mallets and Doug van Nort on his laptop using Greis (pronounce ‘grace’) which he built using max/msp. They performed in concert on June 8, 2013 in My Pizza Place, Poughkeepise, NY as part of the Experimental Music Showcase. This all makes somehow quite an electronic work, especially in the final, title, piece things get pretty noisy and the music seems to be an imitation of the sounds of a train getting to a grinding hold. Quite enjoyable I think. In the opening piece, ‘Mandlev’, is much milder piece in which they scratch and scrape their instruments and it slowly builds up; it seems that the laptop needs time to heat up but once he’s there, he provides a nice backing to the piece, the mortar between bricks. In between ‘Lamvend’ is the shortest and acts a sort of bridge between the longer first and third piece, of slow and low humming sound. Quite a nice one, this one. Nice to see this on a CDR, but perhaps nicer would have been to actually witness the concert? This is, however, a nice souvenir of the event itself. (FdW)
Address: http://www.attenuationcircuit.de

GUIGNOL DANGEREUX – RHYTHMS OF TRANCE (CDR, private)
The last time I reviewed something from Guignol Dangereux was in Vital Weekly 506, who, until then, only released on Tib Prod and then that last release on Simple Logic. That’s close to nine years without a release, as they (?) write me in their letter. ‘A full-length album based on the incredible sound of the handpan. An experiment to create an unplugged techno-trance album’, it also says. I checked his website and there is a picture of the man with his handpan and a four track recorder. Yet, I must admit, I find it hard to believe that everything on this album is acoustic. There is reverb here, a bit of delay it seems etc. But yeah, maybe by and large this is acoustic music. This seems to be a break from his older music that had sequenced rhythms, theremins and electronics. This is, of course, not really techno music, but maybe in a tepee, with the right amount of incense burning, you get into a trance like state. The eight pieces are mostly around the eight or nine minutes – maybe too short of trance inducing state, I think – and work very minimally. If this is all played live, then Guignol Dangereux surely knows how to keep a steady, minimal sound. Following what seemed to be an over production all those years ago, this is a remarkable return. It’s new, it’s different than before, and it reminds me of a more acoustic version of Muslimgauze or, rather, Rapoon, more ethnically inspired (by cultures I don’t know) and it works best if he expands his sounds beyond the handpan, such as what could be a keyboard, xylophone and handpan in ‘Between The Sky And The Deep Sky’. It adds a bit more depth and variation to the music; it’s probably that, or plays the same thing for over an hour and makes it truly a rhythm of trance. (FdW)
Address: http://guignoldangereux.com

STROM VARX – A COGENT HEAVY HIGH-TECHNOLOGY WORKS SINCE STROM VARX (CDR by Agxivatein)
CHRISTOPH LIMBACH – BEGIN_IF_ (3) (cassette by Agxivatein)
From Paris hails Strom Varx, of whom we reviewed something in Vital Weekly 848, and here he presents an hour-long composition. Noise and beyond was his previous release and so it is here. It starts out with a twenty-minute noise thing, which really didn’t bother me. I skipped to that point where things became interesting, which is actually the full next forty minutes. It’s hard to say what he does, still, but no doubt it’s some form of computer processing that he applies to whatever the input may be. Field recordings? Maybe something of a more electronical nature? It’s hard to say, but there is some pretty interesting, drone like sound material produced here. I don’t understand how the mastering went of this CD, but that whole forty minutes sound quite low in volume, which is a real bummer. No doubt this is part of the aesthetics of the piece, but there is so much more to be gained here. My suggestion there for is: open this in an audio editor, cut out that so so noise bit (unless of course you like so so noise bits) and normalize the rest to zero DB. A vast amount of beauty will reveal itself.
The other release is on tape, by Christoph Limbach. He is from Berlin and works with sound editing principles borrowed from the film world, along with fusing concrete sounds and improvisation. He began thinking about ‘begin_if_’ in 2005 in Madrid and released the first volume on Contour Editions and the second on Modisti, the third is here on Agxivatein. He uses tapes to play his music, and has a bunch of them with hiss sounds and sometimes there is the violin of Angelina Kartsaki. It’s all recorded at a very low volume, which is a pity I think. It adds certain vagueness to the music that is not necessarily an improvement. I am not sure if we are to understand this as an esthetical thing or whether this was just soft. Sounds from various locations are used and layered on top of each other. It’s all quite all right, I think, but nothing really outstanding great. I could imagine that a concert of this would be something to attend. On tape, I am for the time being less convinced.(FdW)
Address: http://www.agxivatein.com

THU20 – NIJMEGEN (cassette by Midas Music)
It has been a long time ago that THU20 released their first cassette at Midas Tapes. I still remember this release from 1986 with live-recordings from Buk-Buk and Pepijn. The tape was released by Midas Tapes, a label run by Sjak van Bussel, which was very active in releasing tapes of projects like IOSS (Jos Smolders), Mailcop (Roel Meelkop), Kapotte Muziek (Frans de Waard), Jacinthebox (Jac van Bussel) and compilation tapes like “Harsh Ears Now.” For now, 28 years later, THU20 releases again a tape at Midas. It is selection of 60 minutes of a 124 minutes live recording at Extrapool in Nijmegen – the Netherlands. Some members of the collective cooperated together in several projects the last years (Kapotte Muziek, Goem, Wieman). Since 2007 THU20 did two concerts and the members of THU20, Frans de Waard, Roel Meelkop, Sjak van Dussel, Jos Smolders and Peter Duimelink, started to create music again in 2013 on a more regular base. The first live-performance since then was a mix of a recording session and a live-concert. Every member has taken the initiative to create a music score, which will be the base of an improvisation. The setting is a table full of wires, electronics, a synthesizer, digital devices, a singing bowl and other acoustic sound sources. It is a like a working table or a kitchen table surrounded by friends who communicate with each, not with words, but only with sounds created on their own way. The result is a tape full of four adventurous sound-collages. The mixture of electronic cracks, sound waves, noises and abstract acoustic sound, with or without editing is beautiful. The sounds have been played with a lot of attention. They examine each other, melt together in harmony or mix which each other in contradiction. The legend of THU20 has been reborn and this release is an interesting sound-document for all the people who have waited for this moment. The result of a long period of silence resulted in a beautiful mix of musique concrete and acoustic electronic music. The last months THU20 did some more concerts and recording-sessions, hopefully they keep this high standard of adventurous music with amazing moments. (JKH)
Address: http://www.discogs.com/THU20-Nijmegen/release/5487507

THE OTHERS – ANXIETY LOOPS (cassette by Rainbow Bridge)
J. MARCLOID – PROMISE SWEEPERS (cassette by Rainbow Bridge)
Behind The Others we find Andrew Kirschner (also known as Tooth) and Jake Johnson (who seems to be also working as Moltar) and they have two pieces of fifteen minutes on their cassette, which seem to be using quite a bunch of loops, as mentioned in the title. These loops go on for a bit too long at times, before the two start another loop, slow the current one down a notch or add some electronics. The whole thing has something crude and mechanical, without being very noisy per se. It’s loud for sure, but not distorted, or blearing away. I must admit I wasn’t entirely convinced about the quality here. It had something rather naive and an air of easiness around it. ‘Have loop, will do release’ sort of thing. With some more though, maybe a bit more layers of sound, some editing and such like, it all could be much better.
Thinly disguised is label boss Justin Marc Lloyd behind J. Marcloid with a rather short, sixteen minute, cassette. On the bandcamp I found this description, which we regard as a piece of poetry, rather than a description of the music, necessarily: “It is not certain that Venus’s inner-self is solid because it’s weak magnetic field doesn’t come from a dynamo located in it’s center. Promise Sweepers is an EP of neo-nü-industrial downer music from Venus’s METAL CORE. If living conditions there were bearable, you’d definitely be able to make a slam dunk at from an additional 2 feet. Mixed and mastered spiritually northwest of Cygnus X-1, inside a living room simultaneously located in Chicago, IL. Sounds come *as is* and are non-returnable without a restocking-fee of 229 Dollarpounds, as the economy has been adopted by Red Dwarfs.” Here too we find loops, but probably from a more electronic nature, but also small tunes, rhythm machines and a slight notion of a pop song here and there. Nothing you would ever hear on the radio – if anyone ever listens to such as thing – but Marcloid’s music has this idea of keeping things interesting with a touch of melodic interest. It’s far from the early noise we knew him for, and these noisy tunes have just one disadvantage: it’s too short. I wouldn’t have minded a couple of more of these collaged song material action. (FdW)
Address: http://rainbowbridge.bandcamp.com/

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