Ryuichi Sakamoto

TOC – HAIRCUT (CD by Circum Disc)
FORENZICS – MALIGN (CD, private) *
RADIOLUX – MAGNETIC FLUX (CD by Private Elektro)
RICCARDO DILLON WANKE – CUTS (LP by Three:four Records)
SICK DAYS (CDR by Vacancy Recs) *
SKARE – GRADER (CDR by Reverse Alignment) *
-BØB- – THE TECHNICAL ACADEMY PLAYS (cassette by Fixture Records)
ROPE SOCIETY – DISSOLVE (cassette by Trapdoor Tapes)
LOUIE RICE – PUXE (cassette by Portaaaa)

Vital Weekly #969 by Vitalweekly on Mixcloud

tracklist for Vital Weekly 969:

0000 Tune
0014 The Legendary Pink Dots – Your Humble Servant
0257 Doc Wör Mirran
0602 Ryuichi Sakamoto & Illuha & Taylor Deupree – Movement, 3
0909 Doc Wör Mirran feat. Conrad Schnitzler – Rojo 5
1218 Bjørn Fongaard – Galaxe
1527 Steinbrüchel
1831 Craig Ward & Radboud Mens – The Drive To Taxonomy 3
2138 Skare – -30 degrees
2442 Forenzics – Hypnagogic
2749 Sick Days – Part B
3054 Tune

For more than thirty years I have been following The Legendary Pink Dots, of which maybe twenty years close to the fire. I have written a lot about the Dots; about their music, the various incarnations, the old work versus the new and how some of the new albums released on smaller scale are more experimental than the bigger scale releases. When I was listening to ’10 To the Power Of 9′ (a culmination of two earlier LP releases under the same name), I was thinking about the latter notion – small/big, experimental or not – and thinking this is perhaps no longer the case. Whereas on the older yet recent works the stomping ground of krautrock was used a bit too much for my taste, the more experimental works were relegated to CDR, but on ’10 To The Power Of 9′ there is a fine balance between the experiment and the accessibility. A song like ‘Malice/Freak Flag’ shows this inside one piece: noisy guitars, spacious synthesizers, spacious guitars and mayhem, within these twelve minutes a lot happen. It seems as if Edward Ka-spel’s voice is more ‘above’ the music, more reciting than singing; the emphasis is more on the poetry than the pure song format. But all of that embedded within the experiment of the music. I quite enjoyed this album for its variation. The more song-like structures of ‘Open Season’, ‘Room For Two’ and ‘Your Humble Season’ or the title piece, but also a psychedelic outing as ‘The Elevator’, which remind me of the band’s various incarnations of the piece ‘Premonition’. It seems to me that The Legendary Pink Dots have found their ground better in a work like this. Highly varied, a display of their various incarnations and throughout a hauntingly beautiful release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.rustblade.com/

The problem with reviewing classical music is that you never know to whom you should credit the release – the headline above a review -: the person who composed it or the person who is playing the music. Anders Førisdal plays quarter tone electric guitar, voice and percussion here and performs mostly, though not exclusively, music by Bjørn Fonsgaard, but also Brian Ferneyhough, Ole Henrik Moe and Øyvind Torvund, although from the last three only a single piece each and these are to be understood as responses to the work of Fongaard. There is also help from Hakon Stene and Eirik Raude on percussion in some of these pieces. Apparently Fongaard was a great performer of his own work, but not many recordings were made and released (or are available still). Of course I can’t say if Førisdal is a great performer of Fongaard’s work: I have no point of reference, but it seems to me it’s rather free work anyway. These two hours of microtonal guitar music is not very easy to hear. Partly because the tuning is not something our ears are used to, and also the playing is not very easy. A lot of this sounds like improvised music with some very nervous and hectic playing. There are also differences. Some of this music is very quiet and introspective, like ‘Sinfonia Microtonalis No. 1’, which is for guitar and various tape speeds it is recorded on while the title piece is a very hectic and nervous pieces of what seems to be multi-layered guitars. Here it’s all heavy and even (acoustic) noise. It makes all of this a highly varied release and one that is best enjoyed in smaller portions and its not recommended playing the whole thing at once. The pieces in ‘reaction’ are nice too, and sometimes it’s not easy to mark the difference between those and Fongaard’s originals and perhaps I would have minded just a double disc with all Fongaard’s originals. (FdW)
Address: http://grappa.no

TOC – HAIRCUT (CD by Circum Disc)
Two new works by ensembles we know from earlier releases on Circum Disc. Toc is a trio of Jeremie Ternoy (fender Rhodes, Rhodes bass), Ivann Cruz (guitar) and Peter Orins (drums). They present their third release, preceded by ‘Le Gorille’ and ‘You an dance (if you want)’ . Members are known from other Lille-based projects. Ternoy is at the moment also part of the Magma-crew. The album counts two pieces, both taking about 23 minutes. ‘Half Updo’ starts quietly with long echoing guitars, with rhythmic patterns by keyboards and drums in the background, that very slowly evolves towards a climax. Gradually intensity and complexity increase within repetition-based patterns. Development is realized with a limited set of musical vocabulary. They have a full and solid sound together and move within post-rock territories. ‘Updo’ is following same procedures, but starts with a higher dose of energy. In the middle section the music is very open and peacefull, but quickly chooses direction for a very noisy finale. Fine grooving playing by all three, but especially Cruz’s guitar work convinces. Quartet Base exists some 18 years now, but released only one album so far, ‘Allo?’ for Cicum-Disc in 2009.  For the follow-up ‘Le Diapason’ Sebastien Beaumont wrote most of the music like on their debut. The group counts five members: Christophe Motury (trumpet, voice), Christian Pruvost  (trumpet, saxhorn), Nicolas Mahieux (double bass), Peter Orins (drums, electronics) and Sebastien Beaumont (guitar). They combine melodious jazz music with wild noisy improvisation, hardcore rock, progressive rock, funk, etc. All these influences guarantee a very mixed bag, with many entertaining moments. Jumping from one style to another genre, etc., they take you by surprise at a first listening. At second hearing it are the vocals by Motury that attract most attention. In one track he sings in a bluesy of jazzy way. In other tracks he sings like a hard rock singer, or like an opera singer. The playing is fresh and sparkling and a joy to listen to.  The compositions however didn’t always convince me, nor the concept of jumping from one idiom to another. (DM)
Address: http://www.circum-disc.com

On the first of these two discs we find a quartet of players, who never played together as such before. It is a recording at the Yamaguchi Center For Arts & Media – which is a great place in a very nice part of Japan, believe me – which existed ten years and hosted an installation by Sakamoto (erstwhile of Yellow Magic Orchestra, but that seems light years ago) and without much preparation, other than a lot of talk in the preceding days, they took the stage. Sakamoto on the piano, treated piano and percussion, Deupree on modular synth and Illuha being a duo of Corey Fuller on guitar, pianet, electronics and Tomoyoshi Date on pump organ, electronics and noises. If you followed the careers of Sakamoto and Deupree over the last ten to twenty years you may know where this sort of collaborations go, music wise; lengthy drones, carefully processed sounds, spacious and atmospheric clustered tones. In that respect one could say ‘Perpetual’ is more of the same. But there are also small differences, I think. In ‘Movement, 2’ there is also a bit of percussion, sparse as it is, it’s perhaps also not the most common feature, but it works quite well Also the third (and last) movement has these faint traces of percussion, which act more like footsteps in the snow rather than any sort of consecutive rhythm. Sakamoto is as sparse as always on the piano, playing very slow music. There is a fine ambiance in this recording, a sort of natural reverb (maybe this recording is a combination of microphone and line recordings), which adds a subtle layer to the music. Despite these little differences this perhaps exactly the kind of you would expect and these expectations are met: this won’t disappoint any fan of this kind of music. It’s a great album.
Apparently Steinbrüchel never had a solo, full length CD on 12K before, despite being present on compilations, an EP and a collaboration with Frank Bretschneider. His ‘Parallel Landscapes’ is not another CD release but incorporates music and art. The latter via a sixty pages (CD-sized) booklet of photographs by Taylor Deupree, design by Steinbrüchel and an essay by Lawrence English and raises such issues as music and landscapes, music as horizontal layers, drawing curves of sound files and such like. Steinbrüchel uses what he always seems to be using, which is sine waves and long sustaining sounds, but somehow he managed to make this all much softer; fragile and delicate even as opposed to the somewhat harsher music from earlier on in his career. I assume that he also uses something more than just (sampled) sine waves. I suspect samples of instruments to be playing part of this too. It’s sounds of a bell being sampled and played across the keyboard. In all eight pieces this is a feature, and perhaps as such one could say there is not an awful lot of variation in this. That is, I think a pity, here: it sounds pretty similar, but it suggests, also through indexing these as more than one piece, as more pieces. Also the music itself seems to me walking common paths of the kind that 12K walked before, especially label boss Deupree did some excellent work in this direction. Steinbrüchel delivers a finely produced CD, but it’s not one that is really innovative. If you like the microsound/warm glitch/ambient approach then you’ll love this. In that respect this is among the best, warm and staying in a similar place. (FdW)
Address: http://www.12k.com

The first thing that crossed my mind as I was confronted with this newest work of Skullflower is the beauty of the package. The album is a double disc nicely wrapped into a DVD-sized blue-colored cardboard artwork. However considered from the view of conventional music the musically containment is in a radical opposition to the term beauty – not a great surprise considering the style of U.S.-project Skullflower. Behind the project you find the two members Matt Bower and Samantha Davies. Especially Matt Bower is a legend on the experimental scene having operated in the field in more than two decades. Having released quite a number of noise-related albums, Skullflower belongs to the more abrasive part of the noise-scene. The music on “Draconis” is a collage of noise textures combined with concrete sounds. The expression reminds me of the noisier moments of coil in the period around “Constant shallowness leads to evil” thanks to the kind of strangely alluring drones that causes some kind of trippy drowsiness in a quite interesting manner. Also early kraut-rock bands such as Popul Vuh comes into my mind as I listen to the “Draconis”-album. 75 minutes of alluring noise music. Excellent. (NM)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk

One of my favorite albums within drone music is a compilations disc titled “Swarm of drones” released back in 1995 on Asphodel Records. The Irish composer Swarm Intelligence also uses a kind of swarm-sounding drones on his debut album titled “Faction”. The drone sounds here first of comes the ultra deep and heavy bass lines that saturate a great part of “Faction” – an album that first of all circulates in the spheres between beat driven industrial and dark dubstep. The album has so many atmospheres with the swarming drones swirling in the background of the dark and apocalyptic sounding universe. Imagine yourself wandering around in the ruined landscapes of a post-apocalyptic world. This is the feeling I get when listening to “Faction”. Swarm Intelligence manages to keep the intense atmosphere throughout this album. Stylishly, the album should appeal to a large group of experimental listeners – from noise across drone music to dark dubstep. Very interesting! (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net

“Samurai” is the fourth full-length album by Machinecode, the boundary-pushing joint venture project of Tim Elliot (Current Value) and Dean Rodell. By pushing their gear to the limits, they’re also pushing the boundaries of genres such as Drum’n’Bass, Techno and Dubstep. Stylishly Machinecode on this latest album moves into spheres of ambient tranquility combined with the beat-driven textures. The rhythmic structures are first of all built on upfront break beats with moments of more downbeat dubstep-textures. The album oozes of atmosphere. Listening to the album is like bring part of a sonic sci-fi movie with industrial drones and concrete sounds swirling around you. There are plenty of trippy and dreamy atmospheres to let the listener walk into his very own inner cinema throughout the runtime. Excellent! (NM)
Address: http://www.adnoiseam.net

By now you should probably know a few things about Doc Wör Mirran: it’s a band around Joseph B. Raimond, it has a floating membership, they operate in many entirely different styles of music and I quite like what they do, however some styles obviously more than others. Here we have a new release and for one reason or another it says ‘featuring Conrad Schnitzler’. I don’t know why that it is, as the others musicians are just in the list of the line-up. My best guess would be that in all of the ten pieces (called ‘Rojo #1’, ‘Rojo #2’ etc.) the starting point is any type of (synth) music played by Conrad Schnitzler. Sometimes, such as in the sparse opening piece, by adding more synthesizers, or perhaps even layering some of Schnitzler’s originals. But Doc Wör Mirran adds also guitars, tape collage (a crying baby), cut-up and even a saxophone to the proceedings, such as in ‘Rojo #7’ – the latter is something I could have lived without. Much of this captures the various interests of Schnitzler very well, such as the modern classically inspired ‘Rojo #4’ or ‘Rojo #8’ and his more ‘non-keyboard electronics’ in ‘Rojo #1’. And perhaps some of the other works remind me of Schnitzler’s work with others such as his LP with Michael Otto for ADN (don’t get me wrong: I am far from a know all when it comes to the work of Schnitzler, but what I know, I love very much and he certainly had the right attitude, at least in my book). This CD comes off as a tribute by Doc Wör Mirran to the work of Schnitzler, by using his music and adding their own bits and it’s a most lovingly work. Excellent release!
And just one day later DWM release #131 arrives (‘Rojo’ is #128), a CDR in an edition of 40 copies on the recently revived Clockwork Tapes, and here Doc Wör Mirran  is besides Raimond, Stefan Schweiger, Cedric Raimond, Michael Wurzer (also the label boss here), Ralf Lexis and .mario. This is entirely different music, even when it’s electronic also. The rhythm machine plays an important role on this one and the music is quite cheerful it seems. Maybe it’s Doc Wör Mirran’s version of techno meets lounge music? The guitar plays a role, not big but it tinkles nice away in some of the backgrounds of this. The music has certain cheesiness to it, which is actually quite all right. All nine pieces are quite along each other lines; this is music while you work: play this when you clean the house, do the taxes or any such work. This is Doc Wör Mirran in their most entertaining guise. Nothing seems very difficult around here and it all has a certain mechanical drive to it. Music that is programmed rather than played it seems, save perhaps for some of the guitars. This might be Doc Wör Mirran’s own version of ambient house; the only thing it could use was a bit of additional mastering: it sounded a bit thin. (FdW)
Address: http://www.touretterecords.com

Judging by the line-up of this quartet (guitar/bass, guitar, trumpet and drums) I assumed this was some kind of jazz group, perhaps also because they cite as influences Supersilent, Jon Hassell, Mile Davis (‘Bitches Brew’), Tortoise, Necks but also early Sonic Youth. Yet I started to listen and didn’t blindly pass this on to Dolf Mulder. That is not to say I am entirely blown away by this. Forenzics is a Sydney based group who recorded this album in the space of a single day, with no overdubs. I quite enjoyed the dark atmosphere of all of this. It has that smoky, nightclub atmosphere, a film noir soundtrack if you like. That’s due to all of the instruments that are used here. There is however a downside also. The trumpet is fed into a delay machine and which setting doesn’t seem to change much. So it seems always the same repeating action, or no action when the machine is off, such as in ‘Acid Nekk’. That works against the music. It’s a trick that is repeated too often, as far as I’m concerned. Together with the longitude of the pieces, all somewhere between seven and twelve minutes, but not always with enough matter to hold one’s interest. One could argue that the whole band doesn’t change that much, but whereas drums and guitars are more in supporting roles, the trumpet is clearly the ‘voice’ here, playing around, making the actual piece. So I partly enjoyed this to quite an extent, but in the end things seemed a bit too much of the same thing and too much altogether. While I can see why people would want to do recordings without overdub or editing, it’s perhaps on the other not a bad idea? (FdW)
Address: http://www.forenzics.net

RADIOLUX – MAGNETIC FLUX (CD by Private Elektro)
Radiolux is based in Leipzig, Germany. It is a trio consisting of Marek Brandt (electronics, synth, spatial drum, fx), Fabian Niermann (saxophone, prepared clarinet) and Inka Perl who creates objects and pictures to live visuals. A multimedia project that is about live interaction between visuals and sound. Structures come about through improvisation using digital and analogue means. Their ‘Magnetic Flux’ is released on Privatelektro, a label established in 2000 by Brandt as an outlet for mainly experimental electronic music. Brandt focuses on sound installations and work for film and theatre productions. Fabian Niermann works mainly as saxophone teacher in Leipzig, and plays with other improvisers. With only their cd to my disposal, I only have half of their work in my hands. On the cd we hear the improvised interaction between sax, some drums and above all electronics. Interesting passages occur from time to time and the interplay of electronics and acoustical instruments is balanced and worthwhile. But throughout these improvisations didn’t work for me. How radical their approach may be, they didn’t really touch upon something. So a bit boring, to put it shortly. But again, the interaction with the visuals is missed, which is a substantial part of their art. (DM)
Address: http://privatelektro.de/

Subtle Lip Can is a trio, counting Bernard Falaise (guitar), Joshua Zubot (violin) and Isaiah Ceccarelli (percussion) as its members, all of them part of the vivid Montréal improv scene. Operating since 2007, they released in 2010 their first one for Drip Audio. Now they strike back again with a extraordinary new work. Bernard Falaise one may know from Klaxon Gueule, Papaboa, Miriodor, Les Projectionnistes and Barnyard Drama. Ceccarelli composes for his own ensembles Bréviaire d’épuisements, Lieux-dits, De cælo servare, and participates in numerous other projects in the Montréal scene. Zubot originally comes from the Calgary scene, but settled in Montréal after completing his studies in electro-acoustic composition. Since then he is an active participator in the Montréal scene. Their improvisations as Subtle Lip Can are totally fascinating. In all ten improvisations that count between three and eight minutes they create engaging textures. All of them are equally interesting, demonstrating their unique musicality and vision. The sound works are full of microtonal subtleties where every movement is to be noticed and enjoyed. Very focused and concentrated they set their steps. In all its abstractness, this music is at the same time very dramatic and communicative. Also their statements are very complex but very solid and together as well. For sure an essential and exceptional recording of improvised music. Pure beauty! (DM)
Address: http://www.dripaudio.com

RICCARDO DILLON WANKE – CUTS (LP by Three:four Records)
So far music by Riccardo Dillon Wanke popped up in Vital Weekly as part of improvising with others, with notable exceptions, the CD ‘To R.S.’ (Vital Weekly 758) and ‘Caves ‘(Vital Weekly 629), but I am sure I missed out a few (on such labels as Die Schachtel, Headlights and Apice). Wanke’s primary instrument is the guitar, although he also uses voice, keyboards, drums, piano, synth and harmonium in the total of six pieces to be found on this record. Usually his music explores development over a long period, in a minimal way, but on this record these are a bit shorter, even when the two pieces of side A, last seven and eleven minutes. Moving away from the more improvised settings of his earlier work, it seems like he’s been interesting in using the format of a ‘song’ to further develop his minimalist approach. Also there seems to be a more rockist attitude; maybe post-rockish would be a better word. Wanke’s minimalist approach works quite well, especially in a sort of somewhat dark and intense way. A bit guitar/drone-like creating a few dense layers of sound, such as in ‘Una Sonrisa Forcida (Seminotes #1)’, being one such painting in a few limited colors. I am not sure if singing is something he should do, in ‘Dust’, the only track to feature this. I like the way the instruments are used on this piece, but the singing is perhaps not so much of my liking. There is a great dark atmosphere in these pieces, which I enjoyed a lot, and most of the times Wanke creates some fine minimalist song structures. Well-rounded and finished compositions, rather than a free play of instruments and sounds. Quite a step forward and overall it’s something that I like a lot. (FdW)
Address: http://www.three-four.net

SICK DAYS (CDR by Vacancy Recs)
A long, long time ago I was dabbling in the world of noise and one day a friend of mine asked me: all of this noise you do sounds interesting, but when will you actually start composing with this noise? For me that was an eye-opener, although it still took some time before I started to do so; perhaps around the time I could afford to buy a four-track cassette machine and I could better organize the noise that I had. But of course I could have said to this, still dear, friend: my aim is not to organize any of this noise and leave it be as it is. It’s hard to say for others, how they feel about these things, but maybe Jeffrey Sinibaldi is such a guy who rather leaves things unorganized? As Sick Days he has two long pieces (46:15 and 28:37) which use “field recs, improvs, loops, records, tapes, samples, recs, ETCs.” as the cover tells us, but also that he “recorded/composed/processed” this, so perhaps one form of organization or another took place. In ‘Part A’, the longest of the two, there is an extended amount of sound effects being used, especially the ‘delay’ pedal does overtime here. It closes off whatever sounds are used in here, and obscures the whole proceedings and it adds a certain distortion. That’s a pity as things stick too much in the mud called noise, even when it sounds more was in here that is covered by the noise. Part B, the shorter one of the two, has a more open minded idea to the music; it’s created with a lot of loops of sounds, percussive rattle, obscured voices and some sound effects, slowly shifting back and forth in a lesser noise based variation with a great almost then minute ambient drone ending of an empty room/rattling window/highway far away mood. Now this piece, while also ‘uncomposed’ showed more promise; now, maybe Sick Days could consider ‘composing’ and organise his noise; it might bloom further. (FdW)
Address: http://vacancyniagra.bandcamp.com

SKARE – GRADER (CDR by Reverse Alignment)
Packed in a great, professional digipack is a CDR by Skare, with two live recordings he did before releasing his debut also ‘Solstice City’, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 669. That is indeed quite some time ago. One of these pieces is from 2005 and from 2007. There have been no releases in between. Skare is a duo of Per Ahlund and Mathias Josefson, the latter we also know from other, solo work under his own name, as well as Moljebka Pvlse, and Ahlund worked/works as Diskrepant. Both pieces are named after temperatures and the first is ‘-5 degrees’ and the other is ‘-30 degrees’. Welcome to the world of drone music; you will not be surprised to know that their first CD was released on a label called ‘Glacial Movements’. The two pieces have a similar polar wind feel to it. It’s hard to say what it is made off, this music, be it highly transformed field recordings, sound effects or some sort of instrument use; if the latter, I have no idea what it should be. Towards the end of ‘-5 degrees’ these ‘instruments’ pop up, suddenly; I suspect these to be string instruments. Both pieces are quite dark and moody and operate within the realms of ‘atmospheric drone music’. It’s not really much different from their previous release, which is a pity, as it doesn’t shed much new light on their development as a band, nor is it really much different from the world of all things atmospheric and drone-like. Though nice as it is on a day the temperature goes hardly over zero degrees. In that respect this is best soundtrack for such a day. (FdW)
Address: http://reverse-alignment.se

-BØB- – THE TECHNICAL ACADEMY PLAYS (cassette by Fixture Records)
Apparently one Bob Lee, who performed it live with ‘algorithmic bots in an Atari computer’, already, released this twenty-four years ago. All of this has to do with midi-channels and a synthesizer connected, maybe all of which was a bit high tech back then, but now may sound a bit out-dated or retro – it depends which side you will take on such matters. In the last ten or so years truckloads of old cassette releases were shared online through expert blogs so any of this may not sound too weird if you were a keen follower of such blogs. I am not sure what to make of this. I quite enjoy the idea behind this and like the execution of this, but the mechanical orchestral pieces felt a bit cold and distant, which might not be the idea I would think. I can imagine that -Bøb- had the idea to create something that would have been closer to traditional instruments than this. Maybe it’s because nowadays all of this stuff is packed into ordinary home computers – think Garageband – that this much less of a surprise; anyone can get their hands to this. I enjoyed this more from a historical perspective than from a pure musical point of view. (FdW)
Address: http://fixturerecords.bandcamp.com

ROPE SOCIETY – DISSOLVE (cassette by Trapdoor Tapes)
Another lo-fi cover for Trapdoor Tapes. Just six song titles and the name of the band and title of the release. Rope Society, as a name, sounds lovely like industrial/power electronics, 80s like, and the music is actually not unlike that. Well, maybe I was confused a bit by the opening of side one, ‘Heads Above Water’, which was rather soft and not outspoken but came with a nice deep bass end and a mumbling voice. The other pieces show us something that is not dissimilar to early Throbbing Gristle, where three members are gone for a coffee and Genesis stayed behind (the member, not the band) to try out some rudimentary bass exercise and vocal routine. Or maybe Rope Society is more inspired by the likes of Ramleh and all those spin-off groups, which a distorted voice that goes into a couple of delays pedals. It’s not great at all, it’s not original, but I must admit I quite enjoyed it; especially because it sounded like a time machine from a lot of years ago. It would it have said ‘recorded Feb 1983’ I would have believed it also. (FdW)
Address: <trapdoortapes@hotmail.com>

LOUIE RICE – PUXE (cassette by Portaaaa)
From the busy bees of VA AA LR here is a solo tape by LR, also known as Louie Rice. He has five pieces on this thirty-four minute cassette and he uses, analogue synthesizer, FM radio, tape, speaker drivers and objects. Like much of their collective and solo work, this too seems to be dealing with the nature of sound and how it moves through space. Think of deep rumble going into small speakers and the sound being picked up somewhere else; or the same speaker covered with tin foil or cloth to alter the sound. I think this is the sort of methods applied here, but Rice knows how to create music with these methods – as we know a method is nice, but not a music piece per se. To do that you have to walk the extra mile – at least. In the minimalist electronic pieces, Rice does this quite well. A few tones mingling together, some consecutive beats, irregular crackling and such like and in each of these five pieces there is a beautiful tension underneath, an acoustic drone quality (on the B-side), some mild distortion. Less collage/cut and paste than in their trio work; different, but complimentary to the group effort. Refined beauty! Fine experimentalism! Great listening music. (FdW)
Address: http://portaaaa.com

“You might know Craig from his work with an insanely diverse collection of groups that includes deus, Kiss My jazz, The Frames, The Summer Of mars, The Love Substitues, Elton Genocide, iH8 Camera, True Bypass, Mark Mulholland & Craig Ward and A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen”, the press blurb tells me, and part of this text is also a mail conversation between Ward, Mens and the label, in which it is said ‘you are the famous guitar player’, and I am sure it’s not Radboud Mens that is the famous guitar slinger. Him I do know, but I never heard of Craig Ward or any of his bands (and yes, I heard the name Deus before, not any of their music), which proofs once again: the more famous one is, the less likely I heard of it. Vital Weekly is, quite proudly, in a different galaxy, surrounded by it’s own stars. Stars like Radboud Mens – once writing for these pages – who worked as Hyware and Technoise, and collaborated with a whole bunch of people like Roel Meelkop and Mark Poysden (both also writing for VW, so we create our stars indeed) but also Michel Banabila and Jaap Blonk. I had no idea what to expect here. I know Mens as someone who can create a fine piece of minimal techno as well as someone who takes apart any incoming sound source on his laptop and spread it out over the course of a fine ambient meal. That is what it is going here. Not unlike Mens’ work with Dan Armstrong as Fitness Landscape (see Vital Weekly 804), Ward’s guitar sounds are taken apart and fed through a whole bunch of computer plug-ins and what have you and cooked up in long pieces of repeating fields, clusters and isolated tones, slowly coming together in dense masses of sound. It’s glitch-like of the ambient variety, which we perhaps don’t hear enough anymore. Warm, most of the time, although the fifth and final (and longest) part is quite dark and atmospheric and doesn’t have the similar light feel as the other pieces, which is nice; like another side of the coin. Beautiful, quiet music with a slight unsettling nature; that’s the way we like things here on our own little planet. (FdW)
Address: http://www.jezusfactory.com

This is actually the second (of two) booklet I got from Belhomme, but with the first I wasn’t sure if this was to review. Now while I love to write about music – perhaps the only subject I would claim to posses any knowledge of – I am always a bit shy writing about stuff I have no knowledge of, which is perhaps just the rest, everything else. That includes literature, movies, sculptures or photography. So in this small booklet we find a photograph per page and most of the time there is a connection to the world of jazz music. Now, what does this mean? I have no idea. No idea at all actually. I could be flattered about the fact that I am perceived as someone who gives critique de culture, but in reality I am just clueless. So, yeah, I enjoyed looking at these pictures while listening to totally unrelated music – of the like which are reviewed in these pages. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lenkalente.com



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