Pierre henry

SUSANNA GARTMAYER – AOUIE (CD by Chmafu Nocords) *
TAKUMI SEINO – BOOK APPLE (CD by VOS)
JOAO CAMOES & RODRIGO PINHEIRO & MIGUEL MIRA – EARNEAR (CD by Tour de Bras)
KOMUNA//WARSZAWA – TAUTOLOGOS III (CD by Populista) *
RINUS VAN ALEBEEK & MICHAL LIBERA – CHAMBERS (CD by Populista) *
RALF MEINZ & KAROLINA OSSOWSKA & MIKOLAY PALOSZ – LA SONATA IN SOL MINORE AT TERZO SUONO (CD by Populista) *
MICHAL LIBERA – TYTO ALBA (CD by Bolt Records) *
_KELO & MICHAL LIBERA – INVISIBLE CITY (CDR by Grosser Larm) *
LAS VEGAS (CD by Off)
PIERRE HENRY – CHOIX D’OEUVRES DE 1950 A 1985 (10 LP box by Vinyl On Demand) 8
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS – CHEMICAL PLAYSCHOOL 16 &18 (2CDR by The Terminal Kaleidoscope)
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS – PREMONITION (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidoscope)
REAL ADULT – FAKE PERSON (cassette by Gold Bolus Recordings)
BLACK LOVE – SOUNDTRACK FOR BLACK POWER (cassette by Hertz Lion)
SILVIA KASTEL – VOICE STUDIES 20 (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
SHARON GAL – VOICE STUDIES 19 (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
MAYA DUNIETZ – VOICE STUDIES 18 (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
BERT SCHOLTEN – FIGURATIEVE POPMUZIEK (cassette by Barreuh Records) *

Vital Weekly #975 by Vitalweekly on Mixcloud

Tracklist for Vital Weekly 975:

0000 Tune
0014 The Legendary Pink Dots – Den Of Disrepute
0322 Ralf Meinz & Karolina Ossowska & Mikolaj Palosz – La Sonata In Sol Minore Al Terzo Suono
0630 Komuna//Warszawa – Tautologos III
0934 Rinus van Alebeek & Michal Libera – Chambers
1243 Susanna Gartmayer – I
1537 Michal Libera – Wilhelm Heinrich Dove
1848 Pierre Henry – Hugosymphonie
2154 _Kelo & Michal Libera
2502 Bert Scholten – Mij Best
2819 The Legendary Pink Dots – Premonition 1
3128 Tune

SUSANNA GARTMAYER – AOUIE (CD by Chmafu Nocords)
Although Susanna Gartmayer (1975) plays bass clarinet, contra alto clarinet and alto saxophone, she restricts herself here to the bass clarinet and ‘the sonic multi-dimensionality’ of the bass clarinet. In a concert situation she finds a single position to play her music using the acoustic situation of every venue – so not just on stage. I’d be curious to hear that. On the seven pieces that can be found on ‘Aouie’ we find studio versions of her playing; four of these are solo bass clarinet, one is that plus piano resonance, and one is a concert recording using the contra alto clarinet. Gartmayer, who studied fine arts in printmaking, is an auto-didactic when it comes to playing these instruments. She was a member of The Vegetable Orchestra and played with the entire who’s who of the Viennese improvisation scene. Much like the recent release by Hans Koch (see Vital Weekly 964) we clearly recognize the instrument here, but sometimes also we hear the keys, breathing and additional sounds from the instrument. Unlike Koch however, Gartmayer uses no overdubs and stays close to the instrument. No interaction with feedback, long sustaining sounds or electro-acoustic compositions using the mechanics, but rather intense pieces of music; improvised pieces of music of course from a more jazz like background, such as in ‘AE’, or the highly introspective ‘U’ but also in a wildly, vivid, almost noise like piece like ‘A’; by itself and not related to any of the other pieces is the more mathematical approach of ‘I’. This is a rather short release, clocking in at twenty-eight minutes, but Gartmayer shows an interesting variety of possibilities and techniques, culminating into an excellent release. (FdW)
Address: http://nocords.net

TAKUMI SEINO – BOOK APPLE (CD by VOS)
Here is a new life sign from guitarist Takumi Seino. Most releases have him in the company of other musicians. You may know him from his work with Drops Trio or Next Order. As an improviser he worked with many different musicians from all over the planet, but he mainly works in Japan if I’m not mistaken. ‘Book Apple’ is a solo effort. The album is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Big Apple in Kobe, a place where Seino often performs. For this occasion he recorded 25 short improvisations, playing acoustic, electric and baritone guitars. All improvisations were recorded in his own studio during four days in October 2014. Whatever guitar he is playing, he delivers comfortable jazz music that is dominated by romantic atmospheres. We meet similar moods in all pieces. Seino for sure is an accomplished player, staying close to jazz idiom. Although he succeeds in staying miles away from plain easy listening, one would wish he showed more faces and more sense for musical adventure. (DM)
Address: http://www.takumiseino.com/

JOAO CAMOES & RODRIGO PINHEIRO & MIGUEL MIRA – EARNEAR (CD by Tour de Bras)
Recordings, dating from 2010-2011 (Namouche Studios, Lisboa), by a Portuguese trio ended up last year as a CD-release for the Canadian Tour de Bras-label that concentrates on new and improvised music mainly of Canadian origin. I’m glad they made an exception with this charming release. Cellist Miguel Mira is the veteran of the three. A multi-disciplinary artist who plays jazz and improvised for many years now. Joao Camoes (violin) is classically trained but discovered improvised music after moving to Lisboa. He is involved in numerous initiatives and has also his own projects around (Open Field String Trio, Nuovo Camerata, etc.). Pianist Pinheiro also has a background in classical music before entering improvised territories. Their eight improvisations on this record are all of a subtle and delicate nature. You have to concentrate while listening to their excursions in order not to miss something. And that is a rewarding experience I can say. The use a wide range of dynamics and intensity. In their own words the music is “focused on the balance between a contrasting counterpoint, polyrhythms and fluid soundscapes”. They use extended techniques in a relevant manner, as an integrated part of their musical vocabulary and  grammar. Pinheiro is fantastic in pieces like ‘Airfall’. But above all it are their intimate musical constructions that impress and are completely convincing. Hope this trio is still around! (DM)
Address: http://www.tourdebras.com

KOMUNA//WARSZAWA – TAUTOLOGOS III (CD by Populista)
RINUS VAN ALEBEEK & MICHAL LIBERA – CHAMBERS (CD by Populista)
RALF MEINZ & KAROLINA OSSOWSKA & MIKOLAY PALOSZ – LA SONATA IN SOL MINORE AT TERZO SUONO (CD by Populista)
MICHAL LIBERA – TYTO ALBA (CD by Bolt Records)
_KELO & MICHAL LIBERA – INVISIBLE CITY (CDR by Grosser Larm)
There are various connections to be made with these releases. Three of them are part of ‘Populista’, which may or may not perform ‘modern’ (?) classical pieces, while the other connection to be made here is the name Michal Libera. I believe I am not allowed to say this, but I am not sure if I ever heard of him. There was not any bit of information with these releases, and nothing much on the website, but I am sure it’s the one born in 1979 and who works as a freelance music curator, producer and theorist. Much of his work is about doing research of old music to be released or performed again. The first three releases are interpretations of modern pieces. The first is ‘Tautologos III’ by Luc Ferrari; “In 2011, the prose score of ‘Tauologos III’, served as framework for a chamber opera prepared in Komuna// Warszawa. Its core element consisted of three separate performances of a short fragment of Alfred Schnittke’s String Trio. Violinist (Julia Kubica), violist (Wojciech Walczak) and cellist (Filip Rzytka) played their own parts of the given movement one after the other. Their performances were recorded live and finally overlapped and played back with no synchronization. The procedure was sprinkled and scattered by dance movements and lecture.” There is a voice announcing the piece and explaining some bits, and then that voice gets repeated throughout the music, along with someone humming and tape material by Ferrari himself. No doubt one this is one of those more open-ended pieces to perform. Once you get the idea of the repeating voice with its dry announcements and they sink into the music it becomes a great performance. The music, once it rolled out, turns out to be pretty chaotic and noisy, but all within the acoustic domain. Everything seems to be really closely miked up, which add an excellent up-front sound. It has an excellent dissonant sound in the instruments used, but together with the voices and field recordings all of this comes off as particular strong.
The next one is a perhaps a bit confusing. It says on the front cover ‘Rinus van Alebeek and Michal Libera play Alvin Lucier Chambers’, but on the inside it says ‘composed by Rinus van Alebeek’. ‘Chambers’ is a rather open ended up with mainly two instructions ‘collect or make large and small resonant environments’ (and then lists whole bunch) and ‘find a way to make them sound’, which also comes with a long list on what you could do. So it’s save to assume that’s van Van Alebeek did here, with Libera in tow to recite texts by Italo Calvino, or maybe just as a source of inspiration. The whole thing was recorded on location – obviously, as large resonant spaces were to be collected’. I envisage both of these men on location, in Italy (I assume) playing these sounds on the spot, recording it on a Walkman (Van Alebeek is known for his love of cassettes) and presenting these pieces, which may or may not have been edited afterwards. Very much like Ferrari’s music this deals with outdoor sounds placed in a new context, and which have a beautiful poetic context. Even if you wish not to follow any of the text read by Libera and (some by) Barbara Eramo, their half whispered voices add to the poetic context. Sometimes, as in ‘Thin Cities 2: Catanzaro’, we hear a bit of (electronic) delay, so it might also very well that Van Alebeek set up shop in these places and performs intimate concerts, instead of ‘blowing, bowing, rubbing, scraping, tapping, moving, fingering’ his objects, but expands on these with the use of electronics. Quite a beautiful release of field recordings, electronics and voices.
The final new release by Populista is the only that has no immediate link to Libera, other than it’s on his label. I didn’t know Giuseppe Tartini or his “‘Trattato di musica secondo la vera scienza dell’armonia’ published in 1754 [in which he] laid out a mathematical proof of third tone’s pitch as either sum or difference of the other two articulated pitches. The idea behind the performance of Karolina Ossowska (violin), Mikolaj Palosz (cello) and Ralf Meinz (recording) was to search for the combination tones in Tartini’s own music.” I am not sure how that works, which is probably down to my inability to play any instrument proper, and I never heard of Tartini before (despite a solid classical music background as a kid), so I wouldn’t know how his music sounds. I believe to hear something baroque-like in these three pieces, which is all basically a few bars from this piece repeated over and over again. Not in a classical music fashion but in a very minimal music frame. Lengthy sustaining tones bouncing off each other, not in a static manner, but rather as a nice ever changing flow; phase shifting in the best Steve Reich tradition. Or maybe not unlike the work of Micheal Nyman but without much of the rhythm. Wonderfully beautiful modern classical music, which I very much enjoyed. The way it’s performed but also how it was recorded – with lots of care for detail and lots of warmth – makes this a particular strong release. One of the best mimimal music releases I recently heard.
The next release is by the main label, Bolt Records, and contains music and spoken word by Michal Libera, with the help of Martin Küchen on saxophone and Ralf Meinz on sound design. This is more or less a concept album dealing with melancholia. “Disposition or disease, melancholia is a rich psycho-territory full of apathy, depression, withdrawal, self-dismissal, hallucinations and alien voices. And hearing. In particular, suffering of the ears and peculiar way of listening related to it.” Each of the thirteen pieces is named after somebody with whom either text or music deals. People like Max Ernst, Auguste Rodin, Bedrich Smetana but also Alvin Lucier, of whom ‘Bird and Person Dyning’ is quoted. You could say this is narration; or a radio-play, maybe plunderphonics and requires your full attention if you want to follow what this is all about. As a pure music lover I must admit that I am perhaps the wrong person to judge this. It sounds interesting, but the voice seems to be very much on the same similar speaking tone. There is a common thread through this music, feedback like sounds, real bird sounds, waving all of this into a long story. Nice, I thought, but perhaps a bit too depressing for me?
The final release comes in a carton box with a few cards and contains more music and more spoken word. Maybe one could say this is an extension of the project of with Van Alebeek? I am not sure. The music is a bit different here. It’s more electronic in origin and a bit more leaning towards noise, with some distorted drones and crackles. It also uses field recordings, and sometimes it’s not easy to make out if the texts were recited for this project or part of the field recordings which were used in here. If this is a companion release to the one with Van Alebeek, and it surely could be, then the distinction would be that this one is more ‘musical’ in a traditional sense of the word; drone-like, atmospheric, ambient, industrial and the Van Alebeek taps more into the field of sound art, being also ambient and atmospheric, but less heavy handed and delicate. The two of these work really well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.boltrecords.pl/
Address: https://grosser-laerm.bandcamp.com/

LAS VEGAS (CD by Off)
LAS vegas (as they prefer to spell it) is a band from Belgium, a four piece, with programming, synth, voice, guitar. Kris Engelen sometimes works as ‘ambient /industrial’ Lost, and Dominique van Cappellen-Waldock was in Baby Fire, whose CD was reviewed in Vital Weekly 946, and which I liked quite a lot. Then there is also Eugene S. Robinson, who worked with Philippe Petit a couple of times. The other name, Raphael Rastelli (from Von Stroheim) is new to me. The press text says ‘genre: rock’, which it might very well be, but it’s not the kind of rock I enjoyed very much. As said, I did like Baby Fire and I like other bits of rock music, but this bunch of songs I thought was pretty boring. Quite slow songs, not a lot of power most of the times, a bit gothic in the vocal department (as in ‘pathetic’ and ‘swollen’), lots of emphasizing on these vocals. No doubt this is all serious, all meant well, but I couldn’t find anything in here that I thought was engaging me to exploring this any further. (FdW)
Address: http://www.off-recordlabel.blogspot.com

PIERRE HENRY – CHOIX D’OEUVRES DE 1950 A 1985 (10 LP box by Vinyl On Demand)
A long time ago, somebody said to me: “all this noise you do, is nice, but when are you going to compose with this?” I had no clue what he was on about, but he then went on, for some time to come after that explaining the nature of composing electronic music, giving books on the subject and, thanks to the fact he worked in a record store, selling us works of historical significance. Well, some bought them and the others taped them. The same person who introduced us those historical works of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry worked last year on this massive 10 LP set, doing the re-mastering; I am talking of Jos Smolders of Earlabs. For pretty much everything you read about in Vital Weekly there is a historical reference to be made and maybe I am over doing it but I would like state that perhaps 90% of what is reviewed goes back to music, techniques, ideas Pierre Henry thought about in the early fifties. Henry was born in 1927 and started to study music when he was seven, but also very early on had an interest in working with pure sound. In 1949 he started to work with Pierre Schaeffer, with whom he composed ‘Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul’ in which they used everyday sounds, which they treated with very primitive means, but early on they also started to work with oscillators, sine waves and especially reel-to-reel machines, which were capable of capturing every day sounds and which were treated using these electronic devices, but also using all sorts of tape-techniques (slowing down, speeding up, reversing and such like).  Since dance companies have used then Henry’s music, but also film makers and even he collaborated with a rock group, Spooky Tooth. He founded the Groupe de Recherche de Musique Concrete and later on his own studios. He composed a lot of pieces, but these ten LPs form a more than excellent introduction (in case you never heard Henry’s music) to the man’s musical universe, or perhaps you want to have a much better sounding copy than the old records. Jos Smolders did an excellent job cleaning up the old masters and bringing out more depth, more sonic detail on the music. The Henry universe is big here. We have for instance a collage of Beethoven fragments in ’10ieme Symphonie’, but then the ‘2ieme Symphonie’ is not like that at all: sine waves, electronics and feedback are heavily altered; sometimes it seems that these piece have been improvised, almost in a krautrock fashion in ‘Corticalart I/Levitation’, which has a hammering rhythm machine, but that’s an oddity (and sounding great and it’s not what you probably expect.). A piece like ‘Haute Voltage’ seems all about this kind of modern improvisation with voices and strings. A piece of purely processing acoustic sounds, in this case the piano, is ‘Concerto des ambiguïtés’ from 1950; compare that with ‘Variations Pour Les Cordes Du Piano’ from 1953 and you will notice a massive shift: less primitive, heavy on the snares and a most powerful piece of music. Among the many notes I made while playing this music, I noted with ‘Microphone Bien Tempere’ “NWW like, with speeding of tapes’; for lots of the piece in the box you could easily find other musicians, composers and improvisers from the last sixty years being inspired by any of these works. That piece was among my favourites, along with the dark ‘La Noire á Soixante’ and ‘Hugosymphonie’, both which used a lot of field recordings, as well as the pieces already mentioned here, and of course ‘Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul’ remains a classic, must heard piece if you even only remotely interested in the kind of modern music we write about. This box is obviously a hefty investment, band perhaps a bit early for Christmas, but it offers a wealth of great music and is great source of inspiration I should think. (FdW)
Address: http://www.vinyl-on-demand.com/

THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS – CHEMICAL PLAYSCHOOL 16 &18 (2CDR by The Terminal Kaleidoscope)
THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS – PREMONITION (CDR by The Terminal Kaleidoscope)
These two releases were obtained after a visit of the Legendary Pink Dots’ Bandcamp pages. The Bandcamp phenomenon, online stores where you can purchase both digital as physical music directly from bands/musicians themselves, has grown explosively in the past few years adding a fascinating chapter to the cottage industry of duplicating cassettes and sticking them in handmade covers. The benefits to both parties are obvious: the seller has very little overhead, thus maximum profit; the buyer gets her/his music straight from the artist, maximizing the bond between creator and listener (and vice versa). For those who care less about the digital/virtual format, a lot of Bandcamp sites also offer cassettes, vinyl and CD’s. I was not only amazed to see the amount of music made available on the Dots’ Bandcamp, but also to see what titles they are selling, as there are high quality files for the albums they created throughout their long career for ‘official’ record labels (for instance their albums for Play it again Sam records). By putting these albums on Bandcamp, remastered where deemed necessary, the Pink Dots actively take back what is rightfully theirs. Apart from these ‘official’ albums (for lack of a better term), the Dots’ Bandcamp offers a large number of live shows and compilations of rare tracks. It’s Pink Dots manna from Heaven! Even though my collection of the Dots is biased to their 80s output, there are some post-80s albums that I love (for instance Nine Lives To Wonder). To sustain that admittedly uneven balance in my collection I ordered one of their 80s albums and a recent one. Let’s start with the latter one: Chemical Playschool 16&18. Chemical Playschool is a term used from their earliest releases onwards: in fact Chemical Playschool 1&2 and 3&4 are among my favorite albums ever. However, later Chemical Playschools (such as 8&9 and 11, 12&13) did not move me much, so a new one is much welcomed, but also faces some apprehension. So what does the new Playschool has to offer: two CDR’s that come in individual full color thick carton cover with a nice ‘spacey’ design and inserts. Full marks on first sight. So, with considerable anticipation I sat down and entered the Playschool for nearly two hours. The first CDR features Chemical Playschool 16 and is divided into three parts and 11 titles, the second volume Chemical Playschool 18 is made up of one part, divided into 4 titles – and they are a gorgeous listen. Even though there are vocals on some of the tracks, most of the music is instrumental, built up out of keyboards and synthesizers. Some of it is quite spacey, there is a hint (for me luckily only a hint) of the Dots Krautrock sound, but it never loses focus nor strays into territoir Bore. Then suddenly rhythms appears from out of nowhere with a lone keyboard melody. Fantastic! Edward uses his voice to great effect over delicate ambient settings, never cluttered or claustrophobic. There are bleeps and bloops a plenty, but they are never self indulgent. In a sense, the compositions and music on Chemical Playschool 16&18 almost appears ‘simple’ and unassuming, but they always manages to keep you attentive and wondering. The trademark of quality. Even though I’m not familiar with all albums the Dots have created in the past few years, I do not hesitate to say this is the best music I have heard by the Dots in a long time.
Premonition is an older cassette released in 1982 on the UK cassette label Flowmotion. After their initial edition of roughly 60 copies sold out, production was taken over by the Ding Dong label in Arnhem who gave the cassette a new cover and shuffled the tracks around. To my ears both versions sound quite different – I have always favored the feel of the Flowmotion version. This 2014 remaster of the Flowmotion version is an intriguing release, as the music was recorded right after the first major line-up change in the band: founding members Phil Knight (Silverman) and April White are not present on these recordings. Guitarist Michael Marshall returns and contributes some great songs, Roland Callaway’s magnificent bass and drummer Keith Thompson complete the Premonition line-up. The only track to feature both April and Phil is the lovely waltz Before The End. The Ding Dong version added Edward’s solo demo of Love Puppets to the mix which is luckily retained on this remaster. Some of the tracks on Premonition have also appeared on Chemical Playschool 1&2 and on the CD Under Triple Moons, but here they are presented in a dream sequence and completed with unique tracks like Splash (which I dearly love). It took me years to find a Flowmotion copy in those pre-internet days. In fact, it was Edward who gave me one many years ago. I still remember the moment of that gift – I’m sure I said thanks at the time, but I’ll happily repeat that here in print: thanks Edward! It appears the Flowmotion edition was copied a trifle too fast, which is corrected on this remaster. Concluding: Premonition is, in my opinion, one – if not the – best cassette album the Dots have made as it captures their trademark sound (a mix of experiment and song, electronics and instruments, cold and warm) in a perfect balance. Any release that features songs like Splash, Submerged, Amphitheatre, Digital, Anthem, Intruder and two versions of the title track (OK, make that ALL the songs on this album) is well worth anyone’s money.
In a sense this review is an encouragement to all Vital Weekly readers to check out if their favorite musicians/bands have a Bandcamp and to purchase directly from them. If you’re a Dots fan and you haven’t checked out their Bandcamp yet, go there and be amazed. (FK)
Address: http://legendarypinkdots1.bandcamp.com/

REAL ADULT – FAKE PERSON (cassette by Gold Bolus Recordings)
According to the information Real Adult is a mess: ‘depressed and anxious and financially irresponsible and addicted and sexually frustrated and a fetishist and bitter and confused and pure id. Real Adult can’t pull his shit together. Sometimes this music makes sense, and it can be architecturally and artistically justified. And sometimes, to be honest, it can’t. It’s just a mess’, plus we learn, more interestingly perhaps, behind Real Adult is Cory Bracken of the Ashcan Orchestra and IKTUS Percussion, with a no ‘input mixing board, maxed out contact mic’s, a metal u-channel, vibrators, bells, drums and a bevy of tiny instruments’, which are played all together, recorded at the Issue Project Room, so maybe this is some sort of live recording? Whatever is the case this is some very interesting percussion music. Quite noisy, sometimes a bit chaotic perhaps, but surely all of it rather intense. It’s ringing and singing metallic rumble of the B-side – I couldn’t figure which piece of the two mentioned on the cover – versus the more monolithic approaches on the other side of various forms of distortion; it’s all recorded with some presence, so to speak, bursting out of your speakers with a nice level of coherence. One could say this is improvised music by someone who loves improvising, and perhaps it’s just that indeed, but I quite enjoyed the level of distortion on this. Not too much, in every sense of the word, but this is one of those noise-boys who has a bit consideration as to what he does. A mess? Not really. (FdW)
Address: http://www.goldbolus.com/

BLACK LOVE – SOUNDTRACK FOR BLACK POWER (cassette by Hertz Lion)
Here’s a rather short cassette, with a rather long text. It’s the soundtrack for an action performed at Redcat in 2008 by David Cotner (who contributed to these pages ages ago, actually) and Sergio Segovia, ‘with Sarah Best (now of Consumer Electronics) running point on logistics’ and we also learn that adult film figure Dana DeArmond (whoshe I wondered, but adult film industry is perhaps not my field of expertise) was in the audio audience that evening, ‘for some strange reason’. I am not sure why she or Best mentioned this way; it comes across as name-dropping. Anyway, as sound source the two men used a 1981 Texas Instruments text adventure cassette game called Strange Odyssey, which is what this tape is, so I was wrong about the documentation part. On top of the sounds on this tape they used amplified sounds of tape – audio, duct, scotch, magic – and some of that is used on the envelopes this comes in. This is a wholly conceptual release. The sounds on the tape are to be loaded on to your computer, like it did back then – maybe you remember the ‘XL-1’ cassette version by Pete Shelley having something similar at the end? well, maybe you don’t – but oh yeah, these sounds can be heard as a piece of music by itself. I rather would have loved to hear the music from the performance itself and see how these would have sounded all together. File under ‘AO’; for art objects. (FdW)
Address: http://www.discogs.com/label/148254-Hertz-Lion

SILVIA KASTEL – VOICE STUDIES 20 (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
SHARON GAL – VOICE STUDIES 19 (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
MAYA DUNIETZ – VOICE STUDIES 18 (cassette by My Dance The Skull)
It’s been quite a while since I heard of a few new releases in the ‘Voice Studies’ series, but here are three new ones and it seems these are all by female composers. I started with the one name I recognized, Sylvia Kastel from Italy. She works mainly as an improviser, which is something that is shown here too. For each side of the tape she has a different approach. On side a it’s her voice, synth and amp while on side b its voice and room. It’s room with some proportions I think as she uses quite a bit of the natural reverb of the space in these six improvisations. Much of this appears to be wordless, just using vocal sounds, breathing, sighing, shouting and let these flow around in a natural way in space. The pieces on the other side have titles and come across more as songs than as improvisations. Maybe Kastel is using ‘proper’ lyrics for these pieces, so I was thinking, and has there been more planning of what seems to be actual songs. The differences between the pieces on both sides are significant, also in the way she approaches recording of these. I don’t favour any particular side actually and think both sides work really well and shows the extension of what Kastel can do with her voice.
Of an entirely different nature is the music by Sharon Gal. Her two sides are untitled and perhaps they are to be understood as one piece? There is just credit for voice and electronics here. One might argue that’s the same as Sylvia Kastel but the end result is something different. Gal’s improvisations sounds like a whole bunch of them, layered together and then mixed down. She whispers, sighs, breaths and all of that it seems with some amount of short delays so it’s highly atmospheric. On one side even more quiet than on the other side but essentially it seems to me to be the same approach. It’s lengthy and it’s spacious and it works well on that cross road of atmospheric music, improvisation and electronics and the end-result is great.
From the cover of the Maya Dunietz release we learn she only uses voice and that this cassette was recorded in a cave, ‘the bell cave’; I am sure where that is, perhaps at the Bet-Guvrin-Maresha National Park, mentioned on the cover. It’s hard to believe there are no electronics here, plus it doesn’t sound like something that was recorded in one take. This might very well the result of various layering together of takes of sounds produced with a single mouth in this cavernous space. With lots of natural reverb, this sounds actually great. Of the three releases this is the most complex release, I would think, using various recordings and mixing these together. The other two releases are great, but it’s this one I like best. The way the voice is used, almost like imitating animal sounds – bats in cave made audible by the human voice, I thought at one point – and using the spatial proportions of the space made this into an exciting release. Intense, powerful, strange and highly captivating. Due time, this would be one of those things that gets a re-issue with some proper liner notes explaining more about the recordings and the way the music was composed. Three remarkable releases of great beauty. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mydancetheskull.com

BERT SCHOLTEN – FIGURATIEVE POPMUZIEK (cassette by Barreuh Records)
Pop music, sung in Dutch. Am I a fan? Am I a fan of pop music with vocals at all? Not necessarily, but I readily admit I never listen to lyrics anyway. That’s what sets me aside from music journalists who love lyrics, you know, ‘the music is not very good, but ma’an, those lyrics’. That’s why I never liked The Fall. So when they are in Dutch? I might understand that? Yes, I do understand. I am a big fan of Drs P and the first album of Het Goede Doel (I am sure I lost many readers by now, and those who understand may scratch their heads about all this madness) as well as some of the best early Dutch sung punk songs (De Straks!). In The Netherlands there always has been a whole discussion about the ‘Dutch lyrics’, whether its good to do, musically, and sometimes people are very critical towards content. There is lots of stuff to consider there, but perhaps not always the way of Vital Weekly. Anyway here’s Bert Scholten from Groningen, appearing on the el-mucho sympathico Barreuh Records from Eindhoven. Scholten is a member of Earth Control, a duo sounding very much like they have been transported from a grubby early 80s Dutch squat into the modern life; also in Dutch (although it took some time before noting that when I saw them live), so maybe Bert Scholten solo is Earth Control minus the guitar, but still with keyboard, rhythm machine and voice. Lyrics are enclosed here, and are about boredom, sport, something about indifference and who knows what else – judging lyrics is like explaining poetry; not something I am capable off, I think. I may like this for the wrong reasons: it sounds crudely recorded, it sounds old fashioned and has a charming rumble about it, but not necessarily for the music or the lyrics and that’s perhaps… ‘wrong’? I enjoyed it! (FdW)
Address: http://barreuhrecords.bandcamp.com

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modisti

About: modisti

Experimental Music and sound art Archive. If you want to propose some work for the file you have to register as a user

Categories: Publications