OPOLLO – STONE TAPES (CD by New Nihilism) *
DAUGHTER’S FEVER (CD by HelloSquare Recordings) *
YANNICK DAUBY – CHANG, FACTORY (CD by Kalerne Editions) *
HAARVÖL – INDITE (CD by Moving Furniture Records) *
WIEZA CISNIEN II (CD compilation by Zoharum)
R. SCHWARZ – THE SCALE OF THINGS (LP by Gruenrekorder)
STUART CHALMERS – IMAGINARY MUSICKS VOL 3/4 (CDR by Hairdryer Excommunication) *
MOB HEOLSTOR (CDR and 12 page book by More Mars)
NATHAN AMUNDSON – UPSETTER (cassette by Orphanology)
BILIN WAKE – WAKE COUNTRY (cassette by Orphanology)
FLANNELLY VS FUNKHOUSER – VOLUME THREE (cassette by Redfrost Industries)
TRACKING (cassette by Servataguse)

Vital Weekly #982 by Vitalweekly on Mixcloud

tracklist for Vital Weekly 982:

0000 Tune
0014 Daughter’s Fever – Daughter’s Fever
0320 Fjordne – Capsella
0606 Llarks – Virgins Clique
0913 Yannick Dauby – Caire Archas
1225 Tapage & Espoir
1532 Marcus Maeder – Progeny
1842 Haarvöl – The Massive Downward Of Greyness
2148 Opollo – Can You Mear Me
2456 Sakana Hosomi & Chihei Hatakeyama – Frostwork III
2800 Stuart Chalmers
3106 Yannick Dauby – Chang, Factory
3416 Tune

OPOLLO – STONE TAPES (CD by New Nihilism)
Jaroslaw Leskiewicz mostly works as Naked On My Own, but here as Opollo; I first read it as Apollo, which I guess is not odd at all, especially when I heard the music. This is his first physical release, following an online release. New Nihilism calls his music ‘a meeting place of shoegaze, ambient, sludge and drone’; In the ten tracks on this album I heard mostly ambient and drone, unless the use of guitar and sound effects justifies shoegaze and/or sludge – well ‘Rising’ has a few of those howl effects that may be sludge like I guess; if you decide to put up the volume a bit more you will notice that more pieces have those notions. Leskiewicz plays according to the cover guitars, synth, ebows, sound manipulations, space communications protocol and these pieces are excellent dark and atmospheric as well as a bit nasty with that distortion and chorus pedal working overtime; none of these pieces are very long and each is a well-rounded ‘song’ like structure. Drones faded up, the ebow adds a loop or two with more spacious but also melodic sounds, there are some extra sounds (which is no doubt more synth and guitar but sounds sometimes like field recordings of rain) and there is a fade out at the end. Leskiewicz knows very well how to attention through a bunch of varied pieces – variations on the theme of drones and atmospheric music of course. There is not much in here that one hasn’t heard before, which is not a bad thing of course but maybe the combination of drones and distortion in combination with a more song like structure that makes it more of his own. As said, it’s all presented with great style, and quite some variation and it makes quite a fine album, which is surely also fine enough for me. A rainy Sunday afternoon get it’s own perfect soundtrack. (FdW)
Address: http://alchembria.pl

Why do I always seem to end up reviewing music that fails to move me and/or where the artist’s carefully constructed image rubs me up the wrong way? It’s not that I have a limited musical taste – my tastes are notoriously far from being limited in fact and I very much enjoy a fine image for a fine band. What I do not enjoy is when second hand imagery does not translate into first-rate music. To be more specific: there are only so-many Current 93 clones I can take. If you want to look like a complete berk holding a stuffed chicken in one hand and making an Aleister Crowley gesture with your other hand, cue 23 Threads main man Marek Marchoff, feel free to do so, but then also be prepared to face the consequences. It doesn’t help that vocalist Ingrid Swen is pictured looking yearningly at some sort of ritual dagger. Now, if all this nonsense would result in great music, I would be over the (full) moon. Unfortunately it doesn’t. According to the press release it has taken 23 Threats 20 years to record this follow up to their debut CDR album Magija. Incidentally: Magija, as I’m sure you have guessed, is Croatian for magic. However, Magija was released in 2001, which makes it 14 years, not 20 – still a bloody long time though. The band likes to call their music ‘macabre folk’ and, as is in keeping with the folk tradition, emphasize the words in their songs. And so Conspicuous Unobstructed Path centers around the story a woman moving though a mysterious forest rediscovering herself on a mystical journey. Now, it is perhaps tempting to ridicule this story line, but let’s not forget a lot of classic folk music (a term originating in the 19th century, but the music it refers to goes back much longer) uses the very same metaphor to great effect. So, no sniggering in the back please. But what about the music by 23 Threats (did I mention the importance of 23 in numerology?). Marek Marchoff is responsible for the music (or rather ‘music foundation’ as it says on the cover), Rafal Janus does things electro-acoustic, plays bass, guitar, the Aruban flute (not just any flute mind) and djembe and vocals are handled by Ingrid Dawn Swen. The words are, interestingly enough, not by 23 Threads but by Caroline Rider, whose relation to the band is not revealed. The album, or rather the journey, starts In Deep Forest, which features a fine moody backing to Swen’s vocals, which are more ‘Sprechgesang’ than actual singing. As such she sounds like a dead female ringer for David Tibet. Musically, the album also owns a nod or two (or 23) to Current. Still Waters, with its soft electronics and plucked guitar I quite like, but God, does it all sound like Current 93. The track Music Box brings us a semi-scary eh, music box but very little else – like context for instance. The Fallen features a delay on the vocals and minor bass/guitar plucking. And it just goes on and on and on: same tempo, same vocal mannerisms, same guitar/bass sound, same vocal effects, same everything. You will have guessed by now: I do not like this album. And I’m terribly sorry for it as I wish 23 Threads well. It’s just that I find myself unable to enjoy Conspicuous Unobstructed Path because of its Conspicuous Obstructing Image. If only 23 Threads would stop taking themselves so serious, lose their Current fascination, ditch the semi-magic cliché’s, start realizing that songs actually need writing and they might actually make an interesting little gathering. And now I really need to listen to something completely different. (FK)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

From the ever so active Chihei Hatakeyama two new releases on his own White Paddy Mountain label and one contains music of his own making, albeit in collaboration with Sakana Hosomi. The latter works sometimes as Maju, Neina and Hosomi; I believe some of these names include more beats. He’s also a member of Akino Arai and Minakumri and has worked with Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Hirotaka Shimizu, MIGU, dip and particapted in a project by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The pieces on their collaborative album were recorded in Hosomi’s studio and live performance. They play guitar and synth and do that to quite some minimalist extent. You can’t hear the difference between the studio and live pieces simply by listening (and it’s not indicated on the cover either), which is a good thing? I am not sure. Whatever they do, they do it with great care and style, without doing something ‘new’ necessarily. They crafted five excellent pieces of glacial like ambient. It flows slowly and it flows majestically; when it cracks one is reminded of the cracking of ice or snow in wintertime. In that respect the title of the release and of the pieces actually give away quite a lot. There is, perhaps, not really a lot of mystery in this music. One could argue if that’s a bad thing or not. Me, personally, I don’t care. I can understand if people don’t want to distract the listener and give them face value what it is. In that sense, ‘Frozen Silence’ doesn’t disappoint at all. It’s a warm drone, atmospheric release of highly spacious tones, frosty (yet warm!) drones and tinkling piano notes as snow flakes from the sky. Nothing new, but very sensitive and delicate music. Quite a delight.
Delightful is also the release by Fjordne, from Tokyo, whose ‘Moonlit Invocations’ is his sixth album, following releases on U-Cover, Dynamophone, Ryoondo Tea, SEM and Kitchen. It’s however not the sort of delightful that makes me very happy. This is cocktail jazz/lounge music, sipping cocktails in some uberhip(ster) place. Lots of piano and drums, but also with a touch of electronics. It’s recorded as if one sits in a cocktail lounge bar and the band is playing in the back; the electronics then sound like stuff happening at the bar, and sometimes as distant chatter of other folk, such as the humming in ‘Glati’. Sometimes this music reminded me of the great A-Tent LP on Cherry Red from 1981, but somehow this record has less impact. Maybe because this was all a bit more regular jazz like? Maybe it isn’t? I am not sure here. It’s nice to hear something that is so totally alien from anything else in this week’s issue that makes it nice. But somehow it didn’t grab me very much; say beyond the novelty act of it all. Some pieces, like ‘Capsella’ with its spoken word samples and ‘Forseen Light’ with its electronics more present were surely a nice exception. (FdW)
Address: http://whitepaddymountain.tumblr.com

DAUGHTER’S FEVER (CD by HelloSquare Recordings)
Now here’s a very oddball release of which I am not sure if Vital Weekly is the right place to review. It’s on HelloSquare, no strangers to these columns and among the names of people who play on this record we find the name Joe Talia, also no alien, coming from the world of jazz and improvised music; otherwise the other names don’t mean much to me. In the centre we find singer and guitar player Paddy Mann, ‘of revered alt-folk group Grand Salvo’ (never heard of) and Peter Knight of the Australian Art Orchestra (likewise never heard of of), who plays trumpet, electronics and bass. Talia is on drums and Revox B-77 reel-to-reel tape machine. Other guests are Erik Griswold on prepared piano, toy piano and piano, Vanessa Tomlinson on tuned and un-tuned percussion and Andrew Brooks on saxophone. Seeing this on HelloSquare one could perhaps expect some ‘Australian Nu Jazz’, but it’s not. Music-wise this is less jazzy, but very much improvised. It leans sometimes towards jazz, but very much so it’s also scratch and peep. Very much Vital Weekly you would think? Maybe so, but the odd element lies in the voice and singing of Mann. It’s indeed very folky and perhaps sometimes doesn’t make a connection with the music; or perhaps it very much does so, with the voice being one different instrument among others. There is a streak of atmospheric colouring to these sounds here, spacious and afar, and to see David Sylvian and Mark Hollis referenced is not a strange thing. Sometimes Mann mumbles and speaks, sometimes he sings. In ‘The Dark Eyes’ there is a rock like drum rhythm below all of this, and it’s almost a straightforward rock piece, with a saxophone wailing on top. In the title piece, it’s almost like laidback, smoky nightclub jazz. ‘The Green Window’, which closes this release, is an instrumental piece in which the Revox plays a role: it’s a nice cut-up of alternative rock strategies, basement jazz and musique concrete. A remarkable end to a remarkable CD. I quite enjoyed it, even when I didn’t think I understood it all. (FdW)
Address: http://www.hellosquarerecordings.com

Here we have two new releases by Yanick Dauby, who lives and works in Taiwan. The first of these new releases uses ‘in-site improvisation and field recordings’ from Xinzhuang in Taiwan and judging by the title and the cryptic, poetic words on the inside of the cover, this is done in a factory. It takes a while before arriving at this factory. Somewhere after the twenty-three minute mark we hear a conveyer belt, and you realize this is a factory. It sounds like a loop, but it isn’t we hear a phone ringing nearby. After the level of abstraction comes back on: we hear some rumble in a bigger hall, metallic and obscured, ending in a similar drone pattern that we also encountered on the first half of this piece. It’s hard to say what Dauby does in this piece that is ‘in-site improvisation’, but some of the parts here consist of quite unearthly rumble; sometimes there are parts in which we hear the large space in which this factory in located and objects being pushed about. Maybe the more abstracter, dronier bits were derived from this? Maybe that is one assumption. Throughout this piece all of this remains quite dark; quite oppressive also, even maybe a bit depressing. There is no light in this factory. Everything is closed off and just machines intoning away, even when it suggests some human activity. Quite a fascinating release!
More field recordings and in-site improvisations (the cover notes them the other way round here, but I’m reading too much in there) can be found on ‘Vescagne, Salese’, which is about ‘some landscapes of the Mediterranean Alps’. Two pieces here, of which ‘Lignete’ contains recordings made in a mine in Vescagne and ‘Caire Archas’ is from the Col de Salese. These pieces are entirely different from the other factory CD. In ‘Caire Archas’ we listen to the surrounding of a mountain top: lots of bird sounds, maybe a plane in the far away distance (but might also be any distant hum actually) and what seems village life way down below. It ends with what seems an ascendant on ropes, all the way down (I didn’t check if this was a really high mountain; it would interrupt my romantic notion of this music). The other piece has a somewhat more hollow, cavernous sound and certainly towards the second half darker moods, but throughout sounds way more open than one would expect probably, based on the other release. More than on ‘Caire Archas’ this piece seems to have in-site improvisations, rummaging through metallic objects that are (perhaps) to be found on this location. All three pieces found on these two CDs are quite strong in that sense that they tell a story, moving from one part to the next, going round in a factory or mine and being on top of a mountain looking down. Two excellent CDs, based on field recordings, but beyond so much than just field recordings. Very imaginative works. (FdW)
Address: http://www.kalerne.net

Maybe it just looks that way, looking from the outside inwards, but it seems that Marcus Maeder’s Domizil label releases mostly his own music. As said: I might be wrong. Maeder is these days pursuing a Master’s degree in Philosophy, as well as a research associate at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology in Zurich. In his recent work he spent time on the sonification of scientific data. ‘This involves the use of data to control sounds in order to study processes in nature that would ordinary be beyond the reach of our senses’. He asks questions such as if art provides insight in the world around us. ‘Progeny’ is about ‘associations of concepts as shaped in Theoretical Biology’ – the long quotes are from the press text, not the cover of the CD. That is a pity because none of this is evident from listening to the ten pieces on this release. ‘Progeny’, so says Maeder, is very much about ambient music, ‘ambient poetics develop speculations about nature that transcend our conceptual and ideological limitations of perception, thus reshaping our environment’. While I was sitting back and just listening – that is before writing this review or studying the press text – none of that was very clear to me. Having the cover at hand, none of these titles seemed to refer to any of that. What I heard sounded like a sturdy, fine work by someone like Asmus Tietchens on one of his Line CDs. Lots of sound treatments, with lots of space between the sounds, but also with occasional dense clouds produced by a cluster of sounds. None of these pieces were very long, although usually between four and five minutes and each seemed to have it’s own character. Maeder uses an interesting concept, but without the concept it is also quite a refined album; maybe not as new, but a further exploration of what was once called ‘microsound’. For me he could dispense with the big words and just concentrate on the music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.domizil.ch

HAARVÖL – INDITE (CD by Moving Furniture Records)
Late last year I was first introduced to the music of Portuguese band Haarvöl, ‘with three permanent members’ and ‘Hebetude’ (see Vital Weekly 960) was their first album. Much of what they do relates to “the exploration of the properties of sounds in order to achieve cinematic and imaging environments. The sounds are not restricted to their medial origins: both digital and analogue sources are used and mixed in intricate compositions with special attention to detail”, but obviously that whole visual aspect is lacking on the previous CDR and this new CD release. There is a vimeo page where you watch these videos. ‘Indite’ is an old English word and it is about the creative process of composing. There are no instruments mentioned on the cover of this CD, nor on the information, so we are a bit in the dark in that regard. Maybe there are various kinds of instruments used here, saxophone seems like a candidate on ‘Quaestio Tormentorum’; maybe there is also percussion and guitars (in the same piece), but my best guess would be that the majority of the music found it’s origin inside the computer, or, if that isn’t the case, they are heavily treated inside one. Drones that are the result of this processing is something that runs like a thread through these pieces that can be very noisy (in the aforementioned piece), but in general take a more delicate form, without being very ‘soft’ per se. The music of Haarvöl is quite intense as well as dense. It seems indeed rather composed than improvised. Maybe it found its origin in something more improvised but through a process of editing, deleting, and adding they crafted some great electro-acoustic drone music. Following ‘Hebetude’ I think this is another step forward, a further refinement of their sound. This is certainly a great new name to watch out for.
Also new names are those of Tapage and Espoir, being Tijs Ham and Roald van Dillewijn, who have been working together for some time, via monthly recording sessions. We learn that “in each session, they tried a different approach to making music which resulted in a lot of improvisation sessions which, at times, could be cryptic, abstract and hard to grasp. But a combined love for homemade instruments and sublime sound sources lay at the core of each session.” Four pieces, each around ten minutes, stem from two of these sessions, one per side. These are quite different. The two pieces on side A were a bit too chaotic for my taste; a test of instruments, technology and ideas, but not fully forming into great songs or pieces (whatever terminology they prefer). The two pieces on the other side are great: moody electronics, shifting back and forth and not necessarily always very drone like. It seems to me they are built from various bits from one session using extensive cross-fades to paste them together. Maybe all a bit crudely done, but in these two pieces it actually works quite well. These pieces have a nice sense of atmospherica to it, in which it’s not necessarily all very dark and doomy. Tapage and Espoir allow quite some light in their music. This side of the release certainly holds promise for future releases, I think, exploring that crossroad of drone and musique concrete a bit further and maybe carving their own niche here. (FdW)
Address: http://movingfurniturerecords.com

WIEZA CISNIEN II (CD compilation by Zoharum)
Having missed out on the first volume of ‘Wieza Cisnien’, which is some sort of documentation of a gallery space in Poland, I now start with the second. I am not sure, I didn’t manage to re-type the Polish booklet into Google translate. ‘The common denominator for both sets of tracks [both compilations] is the space where we held meetings of creators, recipients and sounds’ but in this second it is not about a diverse repertoire but about treating non musical sounds as music. That’s what I understood. Polish finest underground shows up, Zenial, Ter, Mirt, X-Navi:et, Micromelancolie along with a bunch of new names as Demonszy, Monopium, Sambar, Bachorze and Kaleka. Monopium and Sambar has a saxophone in their music, which seemed rather musical for my taste; the same instrument we also heard with Bachorze, but in a more improvised music context. I liked the more abstract, electronic and ambient pieces better, even when the nine minutes of Kaleka was a bit long. The other tracks were all right. Nothing spectacular. I am not sure why this was send my way, other than to drum up some interest. Just another compilation, or so it seems to me. (FdW)
Address: http://www.zoharum.com

R. SCHWARZ – THE SCALE OF THINGS (LP by Gruenrekorder)
The name Robert Schwarz seems to me a new name and from his website I understand he creates sound installations, sound art and musique concrete pieces and to that end – perhaps the musique concrete end? – he uses field recordings, which, for this record, were recorded in Bale, La Gomera, Mabolela, Naxos, Vienna and Yangshuo. For Gruenrekorder this presence of field recordings would probably be enough, but not for Schwarz, who also uses a modular synthesizer, in the seven pieces on this record. Together they make some excellent music; lots of tension is formed in these pieces and lines are blurred. It’s very hard, sometimes, to tell the difference between what is a field recording here and what is the modular synthesizer, which is an approach I like very much. The sustaining scraping could be a fence out there in nature, but also some sort of oscillation running wild. And sometimes these differences are very clear, and their distinction is what carries the piece. There is certain darkness in all of these pieces, a nocturnal quality if you will, like the field recordings were taped at dawn or night-time. Schwarz wanders through woods, leaves crack below his feet and cars pass in the distance. Suddenly some electronic sounds mingle with these and take over the piece, and it completely changes colour and direction. Robert Schwarz’ music has a great dramatic quality to it, refined, spooky, dark and you could easily commission him for a radio drama; I am sure he would create some fine work in that realm. This is an excellent album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de/

Whatever happened to…? Chris Jeely for instance? In the write-up on Llarks, his latest musical incarnation, he doesn’t mention his main claim to fame, Accelera Deck, nor September Plateau or his other musical activities and labels he ran, just that he was a guitar player in local bands (local as in Birmingham, AL) and found inspiration in American hardcore punk. It has been quiet for him for some time, for reasons I don’t know, but he’s back as Christopher Llarks with two lathe cut 7″ records, small editions only I assume, and ‘Haunted Sea Forever’ comes with a download for two bonus pieces. So all in all we have six new pieces by Jeely, sorry Llarks, and in these he returns to the guitar, which is a primary instrument for him, even when as Accelera Deck he dabbled with rhythm machines and electronics a lot more. But here’s the good ol’ guitar and effects again and it reminded me of September Plateau – even when it must have been years when I last heard any of that – less the rhythm. Jeely plays some highly atmospheric tunes here, which owe as much to ambient rock and post rock as well as bit towards noise and psychedelic music, such as the wailing of (bonus-) piece ‘Llarks Crest’, or the delicate ‘Radio Starslide’. In ‘Haunted Sea Forever’ I suspect to be some computer trickery, but I might be wrong. The other 7″ comes without a CDR of the pieces (and bonus pieces), and no labels, so I have no idea which side is which piece, but both of these are very drone like, one with a varying speed (my turntable? the music?) and the other side is an even more atmospheric affair. Both tracks fit together very well. A small but effective restart of a career; no doubt there is more to come. (FdW)
Address: http://lathelight.org/llarks/

STUART CHALMERS – IMAGINARY MUSICKS VOL 3/4 (CDR by Hairdryer Excommunication)
On very few occasions I lament about the state of artwork on releases, and I did so with the previous volume of ‘Imaginary Musicks Vol. 2’ by Stuart Chalmers, see Vital Weekly 962. This time round it looks much better. Still handmade, but at least some thought went into this. I am not sure why ‘volume 3 and 4’ are on one CDR; the music now spans sixty-nine minutes, which is a bit long, I was thinking. All of this was improvised, using three cassette players and pedals (no synth and sampler this time). On this new release Chalmers moves away from the collage form, which he used before, and doesn’t cut and paste these sounds together. This time he creates music around a bunch of sounds – three from the cassettes no doubt and use them but dry and wet, i.e. play them through the sound effects in order to create more on-going sound events; more drone-like perhaps, more atmospheric, even when Chalmers doesn’t shy away from the more noisier aspects in this. It seems to go back to his earlier work, I think, without being all too refined and careful, although ‘Requiem’ comes close, even with it’s quiz master host ‘Speaking In Tongues’ uses a Dictaphone cut-up but even then is more repetitive and atmospheric. Throughout there is the much needed variation and while some pieces might be a bit too long, it’s certainly an album to keep one’s interest going. Another fine release; Chalmers is someone who deserves to be out in the open more, through releases or concerts. (FdW)
Address: http://stuartchalmers.bandcamp.com

MOB HEOLSTOR (CDR and 12 page book by More Mars)
Nothing from Frans for ages then this strange burnt offering from Greece… a recording made using analogue and handmade equipment in Athens, a CDR within a strange booklet of hand drawings in ink of odd characters. Track one opens with what appears to be some analogue neo-experimentalism – which is confusing as I thought I was the noise guy @ Vital… but soon the piece becomes a fairly consistent Wall of – yes HNW.  ‘Fairly’-  as there is a definite dynamic of a filtering? so  the track has some minimal differentiation. The piece ending as it began with feedback whine and white noise. Tracks 2 through 4 follow the same pattern- only less so… only if one imagines – you always need imagination in these reviews – the track as a sandwich with the HNW as the filling and the HN / Experimentalism.. feedback, oscillation loops (some long – others not so long) etc? as the bread – then the thicknesses vary as does the bread, white sliced, brown, wholemeal, Focaccia… Pumpernickel but unlikely its ever Lagana – a special kind of Greek azyme bread, baked only on Clean Monday, the first day of Lent… which would obviously inject far too much MEANING into both bread and Harsh Noise Wall for any JLIAT followers. But then my point is there is in the noise community (congregation!) far too many closet Lagana  eaters…. And worshipers of the mighty ink blot, and the demonstration of the possibility of humans making anything symbolic of something else, you know – bread and wine. The danger, if there is one, is seeing in music a real, as blood and flesh of a God, and then consuming it…e.g. Prurient… so forgive them for they do not know what they are doing? [No reference or jokes were made about the economic situation current in Greece or were any animals harmed in writing this review] (Jliat)
Address: http://www.moremars.org/

NATHAN AMUNDSON – UPSETTER (cassette by Orphanology)
BILIN WAKE – WAKE COUNTRY (cassette by Orphanology)
FLANNELLY VS FUNKHOUSER – VOLUME THREE (cassette by Redfrost Industries)
Three new tapes, of which two are released by Orphanology (a side project for the Bluesanct label) and one by Red Frost Industries, another sub-division of Bluesanct, but all of which seems to be operated by Michael Anderson, the man behind Drekka. I started by playing the tape by Nathan Amundson, also known as Rivulets (but not heard as such by me). For this forty-three minute piece on one side (repeated on the other side) he has a band around him of himself on guitar and voice, Jessica Baliff on bass), Chris Brakow (of Codeine) on drums and Bob Weston (of Shellac) on organ. The latter also recorded this, as Electrical Audio in Chicago and it’s an excellent piece of droner rock music, carved from a single large rock. It rolls out in a slow, majestically way. Emphasis lies on the cascading sound of this, in which the cymbals play a big part in the opening sequence, and the singing more to the background, but slowly the organ comes in, adding more to the same cerebral sound from the band. Waves roll ashore here and it has a somewhat church-like atmosphere. The extended use of reverb on most sound sources no doubt adds a lot to that. Maybe it’s all quite over the top, but I must admit I quite enjoyed this piece. If this was a concert, I think I would have found this a bit long but now, at home, sitting back and listening in comfortable circumstances this worked very well. Massive.
Bilin Wake is a duo of Mark Trecka (also a member of Pillars And Tongues and Dark Dark Dark) and Evan Hydzik (also of Pillars And Tongues). There is a lengthy artist statement here in which Trecka explains the nature of the project, that he got source material from Hydzik, and he supplied some of that to Hydzik, but that he did most of the work, themes and concepts. The music is supposed to be androgynous, which is something I found a bit hard to relate to, but that’s perhaps I never think of sounds as feminine or masculine (well, the latter actually I do, but usually when witnessing something from the world of commercial pop music). The music is rather ambient and has waving patterns of sound, a bit of processed percussion and field recordings captured on the lowest means (Dictaphone and/or cassette) to add a polite level of distortion. Maybe there is a bit of electronic manipulation beyond all of this, but these pieces are quite delicate and fragile. Highly drone/ambient/atmospheric, but unlike the Amundson cassette, which is from a more rock-drone perspective, we have here something that is more along general lines of the genre; as such I didn’t think what they do is very new but one can hear it’s made with intelligence and a strong love of the sounds and the music created with it. Delicate.
John Flannelly and Rob Funkhouser are from Indiana and the later gave sound sources to the first. On the cover we read: ‘Flannely remixed Funkhouser’s sounds through the open source program Audacity except ‘Suddenly Funkhouser’ wherein he used a glitchy scrubbing effect from a website he cannot recall’, whereas  ‘Funkhouser remixed, rethought and meditated on Flannelly’s music using Ableton Live’ and the result is a two different sides on the sixty minute tape. I do spot another difference, perhaps a variation on the notion of atmospheric music. Whereas Amundson may represent the rock end of drone music, and Bilin Wake the moody (or more regular side) of drone music then I’d say the electronics of Flannelly and Funkhouser represent a noisier side to the genre; not necessarily always very drone like, but something that works on various levels. Funny, distorted, naive and not always to be taken seriously, but in ‘Floating Funkhouser’ there is a bit of deeper sound and meaning to all of this. Funkhouser more than Flannelly it seems is in a more concentrated effort to create compositions, whereas Flannelly is more of the drag-drop-play-record type of sound: any drone goes. Of the three tapes this my least favourite release; it’s too much of a random mish-mash of electronic sound treatments, which were no doubt fun to create (as creating music is fun!), but may need a bit more consideration, I’d say. (FdW)
Address: http://orphanology.bandcamp.com
Address: https://redfrostindustries.bandcamp.com

TRACKING (cassette by Servataguse)
A three way split compilation with the music of Kristian M Roberts, Grey Park and Leitmotiv Limbo, the latter had a cassette of their own reviewed in Vital Weekly 951; the other two seem to be new to me. A coloured cover with, besides title, label name, band names and track titles, no information. From the website I learned that the previously reviewed Leitmotiv Limbo cassette was released by this label too, and one of their three pieces is live recording, and so is the one by Grey Park. The music is quite diverse. The first Grey Park piece is quite industrial in a primitive, in early 80s fashion and works well; ‘Interrupt’ and ‘Alarm’ by Roberts are two fine pieces of serious electronic music in the classical sense of the word; the latter no doubt deriving source material from alarm clocks. The first Leitmotiv Limbo piece is a slow builder of electronics and what could be slow breathing down the microphone. The other pieces are likewise atmospheric and a live feeling to them, but apparently are four track tape manipulations. Like their previous cassette, Leitmotiv Limbo has a nice 80s underground feel to them. The second Grey Park piece is much quieter and peacefully orchestrated: a subtle myriad of drone sounds. Each band has it’s own musical characteristics and it’s easy to figure out which is which track here (which can be tiresome on compilations). A fine introduction to three excellent bands and projects. (FdW)
Address: http://www.servataguse.com/



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