Eduardo Polonio

HOMOGENIZED TERRESTRIALS – SHADOWS THINK TWICE (CD by Aubjects) *
AMALGAMATED – SOLVE ET COAGULA (cassette by Aubjects)
DOG HALLUCINATION – MITZI (cassette by Aubjects)
NICHELODEON/INSONAR – UKIYOE MONDI FLUTTUANTI’/FRANCESCO PAOLO PALADINO – QUICKWORKS AND DEADWORKS (CD & DVD by Snowdonia)
ERLING WOLD – CERTITUDE AND JOY (CD by Minimax Music)
SATURN’S RIVAL – SATURN’S RIVAL  (CD by Pfmentum)
EDUARDO POLONIO – EDICION ANTOLOGICA 1969-2014 (double DVD by Luscinia Discos)
VERTONEN – UTTERER (CDR by Ballast) *
BAMBOO STILTS – BENEATH THE BARK (CDR by Eilean Records) *
MORE EAZE – STYLISTIC DEAUTOMATIZATION (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
FOSSILS & BILL SHUTE – THE FLORIDA NOCTURNE POEMS (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
GIFT FIG: ALFRED 23 HARTH & CARL STONE – STELLENBOSCH (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
DAVID EVANS – TRANSITIONS (CDR by 3Leaves) *
VOIDMORF – BEYOND ALL THE LIGHT (CDR by Exabyss Records) *
EARTH BURIAL – ALL SHALL BE DEAD ALL SHALL BE NOT (CDR by Exabyss Records) *
THE ETERNAL MALCONTENT (cassette compilation by Exabyss Records)
CORE SHIFT – FAR BEYOND THE STARS (3″CDR, private) *
THE INTUITIVE P’ARTY (DVD-R by P-Art)

Vital Weekly #988 by Vitalweekly on Mixcloud

tracklist for Vital Weekly 988:

0000 Tune
0014 Bamboo Stilts
0319 Homogenized Terrestrials – Scubble
0619 More Eaze
0921 Vertonen – Utterer
1229 Gift Fog: Alfred 23 Harth & Carl Stone – Overberg
1536 Core Shift – Far Beyond The Stars
1845 David Evans
2153 Fossils – Nocturne 3
2453 Voidmorf – The Perpetual State Of Coronium
2758 Earth Burial – Aspirating Soul From The Abdominal City
3104 Tune

HOMOGENIZED TERRESTRIALS – SHADOWS THINK TWICE (CD by Aubjects)
AMALGAMATED – SOLVE ET COAGULA (cassette by Aubjects)
DOG HALLUCINATION – MITZI (cassette by Aubjects)
In my mind it seemed only recently that I reviewed ‘The Contaminist’ from Phil Klampe’s project Homogenized Terrestrials, but a quick search learns this was in Vital Weekly 870. He has been around for many years and has by now many releases to his name, in more recent times on CDs, rather than CDRs in the early days. Here we have another lengthy release, with no less than sixteen pieces, spanning seventy-one minute of music and as (also) per usual, Klampe doesn’t list any instruments. There are more links to his previous release: there is a fine use of acoustic sources, maybe including field recordings and acoustic objects/instruments, lots of samples and sound effects, but also Klampe still keeps his pieces closed and small. Usually somewhere between three and six minutes he explores a set of sounds, loops and atmospheres and works these into a compositions, unlike his earlier work, which seemed to have somewhat longer pieces and a more general free attitude when it came to composition. This new stuff is delightful to hear, as one can hear the attention for detail. It seems less than ‘The Contaminist’ rooted in the world of rhythm (which reminded me back then of Rapoon, Reformed Fraction or Muslimgauze), even when looped sound is part and parcel of this. Atmospheric, ambient, drone like, but also tight and composed; maybe Klampe could be a bit more selective in choosing pieces. Not every piece is as good as any other, such as ‘Defective Extractor’, and on the way Homogenized Terrestrials could easily do without a few of those. Otherwise this is again quite a strong release. Keep going, make selections and small changes and Homogenized Terrestrials could go on for time to come.
The other two new releases by Aubjects come via cassettes in oversized plastic boxes. The Amalgamated release has an extensive booklet of Xerox art material, which reminded me of the 80s cut ‘n paste culture (sadly missed, so it’s good to see such a thing). Amalgamated in recent years has brought me a whole bunch of great releases in a variety of formats. All of these recordings by this band are pretty old, usually from 2004 (like this new cassette) but mixed in more recent times, although the cover also says ‘Amalgamated is’ and not ‘was’, so the band might still be Phil Klampe, Bob Newell, Mike Richards and Cory Bengtsen. What I particularly like of their music is the sheer variety of music, easily ranging from psychedelic to ambient to noise to musique concrete. A bit filmic, the studio as instrument, spacious; notions like that. I imagine they just jam around and record it all to four-track cassette and sixteen tracks digital and later on decide on the mix, allowing them the freedom to move things around as they see fit. Music with an open mind: that’s how we like these things. On ‘Solve Et Coagula’ (dissolve and coagulate) they seem to stay in much the same territory, rather than spreading out. Part noise, part ambient but all of this is in the best tradition of drone music. Psychedelic noise that is, with lots of layers of sound. On the B-side it reminded me of the mid 80s records of :zoviet*france: (sky high favourites here); nice lo-fi sample resolution, analogue delays running wild and music for the altered states (of any mind or kind). Less heavy this time of rhythm, but with lots of guitars, effects and synthesizers. Just another excellent work by them.
The duo of Dog Hallucination, “Doggy P. Lips” and D. Petri also had a bunch of releases so far on CDR and cassette and here have seventy-seven minutes of new music and a slightly smaller booklet of Xerox collages but some of these in full colour. Petri is also a member of Amalgamated (so it’s all a small family here) but as Dog Hallucination they rather explore rock ends of music, using drums, guitars, accordion, effects, piano zither, voices for almost both players. Playing an atmospheric tune is also the objective of Dog Hallucination but in much of their music they stay closer together. A bit post-rock from time to time, with the piano by Petri playing some moody tunes. Sometimes it stretches out and the sound effects seem to have life of their own, almost sounding like synthesizers playing cosmic tunes and the whole things quite dreamy. Less abstract altogether than the music of Amalgamated of Homogenized Terrestrials, this is, at least for the main portion of the pieces, sounds the most traditional, instrumental rock music of the wide open, spacious variation. Dream on here. Both cassettes are highly limited to a handful amount so act swiftly, I’d say! (FdW)
Address: http://aubjects.wordpress.com

NICHELODEON/INSONAR – UKIYOE MONDI FLUTTUANTI’/FRANCESCO PAOLO PALADINO – QUICKWORKS AND DEADWORKS (CD & DVD by Snowdonia)
Another impressive statement by Italian singer Claudio Milano. Milano started working with his project Nichelodeon in the context of theatre, before changing around 2008 to progrock and avant-garde settings. Both terms however miss the point. At the same time some continuity is evident concerning his background in theatre, as his music is very theatrical in the positive sense of the word. But to call it progrock, as many do, well maybe the neo-classical approach may be a common element. But differences are far more evident. His music is not built on some rhythmical structure, but is more about exuberant sound sculpting with harmony and melody as important ingredients. Sometimes the music is a bit over the top but always within the borders of their ground-breaking musical concept. This new work contains eight ‘songs’, about 46 minutes in total. The vocals by Milano are absolutely central. In the instrumentation we recognize a wide variety of instruments, but they are heavily manipulated in order to decorate the vocal architecture. Many players were invited to take part in the so called Interactive Orchestra, and make their contributions on violin, saxes, clarinet, piano, guitars, bassoon, drums, percussion, field recordings. At the core of the crew however are just two: Milano, who composed the music and Paolo Siconolfi (Insonar) who did the sounddesign.A very fruitful collaboration as they pull each other into very unconventional operations that results in incomparable and very vital music. Essential! Included is as an extra is a dvd with the short movie ‘Quickworks & Deadworks’ by Francesco Paolo Paladino that has music by Nichelodeon/Insonar. (DM)
Address: http://www.snowdonia.it

ERLING WOLD – CERTITUDE AND JOY (CD by Minimax Music)
A chamber opera from the obscure American composer Erling Wolt. I know him from works released on the even more obscure Spooky Pooch Music-label in the 80s and 90s, and surprised to have a new work of him in my hands. The libretto of this opera combines the Old Testament story of Abraham almost sacrificing his son Isaac, and the story of LaShaun Harris who was told by God to throw her three children into the San Francisco Bay, which she did (2005). He also alludes to Blaise Pascal speaking of the certitude of faith. Opera never was my thing, and I don’t expect my preferences will change here. As a theologian by background however, I feel a weak spot for this passion play. Also because it is about something that is almost daily business in our newspapers: the relations between religion and violence. In this opera Wold shows how people are driven to very violent actions from a religious certitude. He deals with this in an empathic and intelligent, far from dogmatic pros and cons, also because he integrated biographical notes on his struggle between faith and ratio. The drama is communicated in a way I can’t refuse. With minimal means he creates a maximum of drama and impact. A very accessible work, driven forward by a pumping, hammering piano. Very melodic with some interesting dissonants at some moments. The music is played on two pianos by the Zofo Duet, being Keisuke Nakagoshi and Eva-Maria Zimmermann. Laura Bohn and Jo Vincent Parks are the major singers. The music has a strong inner drive, that combined with dramatic narrative, make up a very solid and relevant work. A powerful statement! (DM)
Address: http://www.erlingwold.com

SATURN’S RIVAL – SATURN’S RIVAL  (CD by Pfmentum)
Saturn’s Rival is a collective of Maxwell Gualtieri (guitar), Susan Allen (harp), Richard Valitutto (piano), Ryan Parrish (winds) and Anjilla Piazza (percussion). With this album they present their first recording. The CD contains four collective improvisations, recorded in May 2011. The musicians are all new to me. I guess they mainly operate in the local scene of Los Angeles. Free improvisation is still an interesting play for many musicians, also for these relatively young musicians. They make their very own moves in their multi-coloured-improvisations. They make use of unusual tunings, a bit of extended techniques, etc. The first improvisation starts slowly made up of deep and low sounds. Halfway the reed player invites the others in a lively conversation. The second part with flute and harp in a prominent role sounds very poetic, with discomforting guitar-generated sounds in the background. Halfway the music becomes more aggressive with extravert playing by Parrish, to be continued by nervous piano-string and harp based sounds. The third improvisation starts with the use of many electronic effects, with almost looped guitar sounds in the background. The closing improvisation has machine-like noise in the forefront. But gradually the wall of noise is dismantled by more subtle interactions. As the recordings date from 2011 I ask myself if this is a posthumous release. I hope however this ensemble is still together, as they make some adventurous and engaging free improvised music. (DM)
Address: http://www.pfmentum.com

EDUARDO POLONIO – EDICION ANTOLOGICA 1969-2014 (double DVD by Luscinia Discos)
The name Eduardo Polonia I must have seen before, mainly because he had a record on Discos Esplendor Geometrico in the late 80s (which I can’t remember hearing), but I had no idea who he is. This double DVD makes up more than good for it. On disc one there is a forty-five minute documentary on him and the other contains music from him, in total 9 hours, 54 minutes and 37 seconds. I watched the documentary first, which seemed to be focussing on various aspects, all going with interviews. Polonio himself tells about his youth and upbringing and various aspects of his work, such as electro-acoustic music, opera, improvisation/theatre/performance work and children’s work. Many of his colleagues tell about him and what they find so attractive about his work, his methods or the man himself. Sometimes it seems a bit too glowing for my taste and it sometimes lack a bit of depth. Sometimes we see the current Polonio at work behind a keyboard in his studio, but wouldn’t it be nice to know more about how he really works/composes, along which lines, which choices he makes and so forth? Maybe I am too much a nerd for wanting so? But I rather have such a thing than the more hagiographic notes now. Some basic facts: Polonio was born in 1941 and studied at the conservatory in Madrid, later on on Darmstadt and work in Belgium with electronics for the first time. Back in Spain he was a member of Alea Musica Electronica Libre, the first Spanish group to play electroacoustic music live. He only uses tapes, synthesizers and ‘processors’ and no traditional instruments.  He composed a lot of music, including three electro acoustic operas.
The other DVD has close to ten hours of Polonio’s music, divided in various blocks, 1969-1974, 1976-1984, 1981-1985, 1986-1990, etc., including his opera. That is of course a lot of music to take in. In his early works there is strong tendency towards minimalism. Polonio has a fine jumpy sound which repeats and repeats and which comes across more electronic than electro-acoustic, i.e. more based on synthesizer sounds than treated acoustic sounds. I could be wrong of course. ‘Valverde’ (1981) is an odd piece for Spanish guitar, and which sounds like an oddball in here. From the mid-80s onwards the computer treatments become clearer, and it’s here that Polonio reaches various peaks. Silence seems to play quite an important role in his music. Unlike others Polonio doesn’t overemphasize too many sound effects and doesn’t smear his pieces together with sound effects.  I must admit I am not blown away by his works for voice, such as the opera on Kepler’ or the radiophonic work ‘La Cocina de Leonardo Da Vinci’, but maybe that’s because these works are in Spanish? It also seems to me that these are more traditional in the way the voices are used. Of more interest are his instrumental pieces, such as almost two hours of multi-channel pieces, which are quiet, such as ‘Labrys’, and ‘Transparencias’. There is indeed a lot of music to be explored here, and not something one should do easily. Unlike the Frank Rothkamm 24 CDR set reviewed a few weeks ago, which one could enjoy best when listening in one long session, this is something to play every now and then, and then fully explore individual pieces. There is an extensive booklet with this that details in alphabetical (rather than chronological) order these pieces, in English and Spanish, so there is a lot to read about the background of these pieces. (FdW)
Address: http://luscinia.ruidemos.org

VERTONEN – UTTERER (CDR by Ballast)
On Blake Edwards’ new imprint Ballast a second release by his own Vertonen project. As I noted last week, when discussing his project Dead Edits (with Eric Lunde), much of Vertonen’s own work is in the realm of drone/musique concrete/noise, but lately mostly in the world of drone music. At the core of this new seventy-three minute piece is a ten-minute vocal drone recorded by Anthony Dunn (the singer of doom metal band Sun Splitter), who mailed this out to anyone who was interested in working with it. Edwards surely was and toyed around with it for quite some time in order to come up with such a lengthy piece. According to the information this is divided into five different parts, although one on the actual release. Over the years I have wondered what kind of methods Vertonen uses, and in some of his more noisy work these surely are turntables and sound effects, but for his atmospheric drone music I am actually not too sure. These might be in some way analogue (as in feeding them through synthesizers of whatever kind and filtering frequencies) or, and perhaps that’s more likely, I think, we are dealing here with computer technology. These five parts – distinct as they are, but cut as one piece, and in these pieces there is in general a static approach to the word ‘drone’, with very minimal changes in the effects that are used. Maybe these changes come from the original source material, but more likely from hand manipulations by Edwards. The third part is very short and acts as a bridge; the fifth part is the longest at almost thirty minutes and is the best part of it all: slowly changing within given parameters, along organ-like drone sounds. This is an excellent work for late night listening. This is a limited CDR, thirty0-three copies only, and comes with a set of cards ‘executed’ by Dunn. It’s a pity that it’s not easy to break open the envelope in a gentle way. (FdW)
Address: http://ballastnvp.blogspot.com

BAMBOO STILTS – BENEATH THE BARK (CDR by Eilean Records)
Here we have a new name, but this duo consists of Leigh Toro (also a new name to me), and Orla Wren, of whom we reviewed music before, but not in recent times it seems with the last time being back in Vital Weekly 895. That was CD for Home Normal, which might give you an indication as to where we find his music. Orla Wren is a traveller, working out of a van, in which he keeps a whole bunch of instruments, such as a critter & guitari pocket piano, ciat lombarde terrazi organ, pipe organ, guitar, shruti box, flute, bugbrand weevil – and yes, I have no idea what that is – plus much more. Leigh Toro uses such delights as the ekdahl moisturizer, 4ms bass line generator, ciat lonbarde tetrazzi organ, squarewave parade teaspoon, frost wave alienator, electro harmonix delay with hazari and ring modulator, bugbrand weevil, novation k station, concrete dog matrix mixer, 4ms nocto loco, zoom h4, cold gold contact microphone, apple ipad, acoustic guitar, piano, cello, chimes, singing bowl, various percussion items and software (and yes, that also includes a few bits I can’t describe). Toro and Wren both had debut albums on Expanding Records, I am told, and have been exchanging cassettes and mini discs for about two decades, but in 2012 each started to work on sounds to be exchanged and quite quickly they had the ten tracks for this debut release. All of this is easily to be found in that crowded area of carefully processed acoustic sounds, microsound, ambient, atmospheric, delicate and fragile. And maybe there are more words to convey that things around here a bit more subdued. It’s nothing one hasn’t heard before, but it’s also something that has been put together with great care and style. It meanders about in a rather free way, seemingly without caring too much a tight structure, and just has a few sounds ring-a-ding and adds whatever feels right. Intuitive music. Nice stuff for the early evening. (FdW)
Address: https://eileanrec.bandcamp.com/

MORE EAZE – STYLISTIC DEAUTOMATIZATION (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
FOSSILS & BILL SHUTE – THE FLORIDA NOCTURNE POEMS (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
GIFT FIG: ALFRED 23 HARTH & CARL STONE – STELLENBOSCH (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
Behind More Eaze we find Marcus M. Rubio, of whom we last heard with his ‘Cities Sinking Down’ (see Vital Weekly 968). I am not entirely sure why he’s working under a different name on this new release, but perhaps it has to with the electronic nature of the music here. On the previous release he played the banjo and sang, feeding it through some kind of software. This new release probably deals also with software of some kind, but then with the absence of banjo and voice. It’s hard to say what goes into the sampler/software/processor, but the end result is five pieces that are unmistakeably louder than his previous enterprise. While the first (untitled) piece is actually quite mellow, with a rhythm of some kind, a bit of ambience on the synthesizer and a bit of distortion underneath, the release, as it progresses, gets louder and louder. The third piece is to be found in some very high end frequency range, and seems to be much louder than the first two pieces, the second being an extension of the first really.  Those high-end frequencies linger on for a while and end with some rumble below, of what sounds like a melted down drum machine. The fourth piece is the most melodic ‘song’, with a slow drum machine and a voice with much reverb (reminding me of Dome actually) and again noise buried below. The fifth piece is the all-out noise piece. I am not sure what to make if this. I enjoyed some of the pieces (1, 2 and 4) and was less taken by other two, and its diversity is also something to marvel about, the mild to excessive noise, which not always worked out too well. Curious release; if only we knew what More Eaze was all about.
‘The Florida Nocturne Poems’ by Fossils, the duo of David Payne and Daniel Farr, and label boss Bill Shute is the second release by them. But unlike ‘Diesel Fallout Dixie Stampede’ (see Vital Weekly 937) this is not a case of poetry reading by Shute and voice manipulations by Fossils, but they set their pieces against each other: we have four poems by Shute and five ‘Nocturne’ pieces by Fossils. I am not the right person to review poetry (or lyrics for that matter), as I simply don’t have enough affinity with that form of art to say anything interesting about it. The five pieces by Fossils I thought were quite interesting. There was a time where I thought they would move from free-noise improvisation to using these into more musique concrete type tape collages but then following that there were a couple of more regular improvised music releases. On this release it seems they are back at doing more tape-manipulation: a bit of field recordings, slowed down reels, instruments pushed into various corners, but not taking the central role, ambience recording of the recording space, make up five great pieces of very intense pieces of electro-acoustic music. Thoughtful, intense, spooky and simply great. Now, gentlemen, that’s how I liked these best.
Alfred 23 Harth and Carl Stone worked together before, along with Kazuhisa Uchihashi and Samm Bennett (see Vital Weekly 875) and it was all right but a bit too jazzy for my taste. That was mainly due to Harth’s playing on reeds, which is what he does here too, along with the Dojirak and kaoss pad. Carl Stone uses laptop and voice. The recordings were made in September 2014 in Stellenbosch Konservatorium in South Africa. ‘Klein Karoo’, the final piece here, is one of the more jazzy pieces on this release. Harth goes out and plays it all the way, while Stone adds piano treatments on his laptop and adds a bit of voice. Not my favourite piece here, as I enjoy things better when it’s more abstract, when the saxophone is feed more through the kaoss pad as it were, such as in more orchestral, slightly dissonant opening ‘Constantia’, the free jazz tending towards noise in ‘Paarl’, or the heavily drenched sound of the computer treatments in ‘Overberg’, which was the best piece. Abstract, heavily layered, a bit of voice, computer treatments running amok and the wind instruments sufficiently bend, but also recognizable, still. Nice one! (FDW)
Address: http://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com

DAVID EVANS – TRANSITIONS (CDR by 3Leaves)
Searching my memory and looking at David Evans’ bandcamp page didn’t help, nor did trying to find him among the many other David Evans namesakes on discogs: I don’t think I heard of him before. He has two releases on his bandcamp, one is with a standard acoustic drum kit and the other one with a typewriter, drumkit and field recordings. He is also the drummer of the Australian band This Is Your Captain Speaking. His new album is called ‘Transitions’ and perhaps it has to do with the fact that he is only using field recordings here, and these recordings are a ‘reflection of our immediate industrialised past rather than the digital minutiae of the present’ – which made me think these consist of recordings made in old factories? There is that cavernous space sound and a piece like ‘Razor Grinder Chrous’ sounds perhaps a bit like a rusty conveyer belt. I am not sure, obviously, but some of these pieces sound as if there was some kind of human interaction; maybe I am just hearing something that is not there? But maybe David Evans plays some of these sounds, very rhythmically? Or he uses a bow, such as in ‘Driftmetal’ and ‘Unicollage’? But then, for all we know, he just does the usual treatments on the computer. These seven pieces have in common that they are very minimal: it explores one or two sounds and that’s it, but Evans strips these down, bends them around and through the track the sounds changes in colour and intensity, thus creating something that is quite pleasant to hear. Sometimes on the quiet side, but in ‘Rotary Carriage’ and ‘Timeworm Meter’ also dark and menacing. It makes all together a highly varied disc that sounds occasionally way more electronic than the cover text suggests. If you are looking for something new in the world of field recordings, this might be your cup of tea. (FdW)
Address: http://www.3leaves-label.com/

VOIDMORF – BEYOND ALL THE LIGHT (CDR by Exabyss Records)
EARTH BURIAL – ALL SHALL BE DEAD ALL SHALL BE NOT (CDR by Exabyss Records)
THE ETERNAL MALCONTENT (cassette compilation by Exabyss Records)
Here we have three rather grim looking releases here; welcome to the horrordome; horrordrone even. None of these bands might be something I heard of before (I know there are people counting how I often use that, so they can make fun of it, in case I did actually review something by any of these earlier on). Voidmorf is a duo of Vinnui (also sometimes known as Nadragea, OMX and Project Higgs-Bozon) and Mortum (a.k.a. Stone Wired and mortumExabyss), who wrote six of the eight pieces, and one is by Fusam and Mortum and one by Mortum solo. Throughout these pieces we find a flickering light on a dark wall, pitch-black wall at that, but with shimmering lights. Voidmorf play dark synthesizer music, lots of sound effects (of which reverb is the most effective to create ambience), very sparse rhythm effects (most notable in ‘Infinitestimal Atoms Amd Molecules As Mininature Solar Systems’) and sometimes what seems to be field recordings of thunder. If I’m not mistaken I’d say that Voidmorf like their Lustmord catalogue and made an in-depth study of it, along with the darker edges of cosmic music. It’s not something that sounds entirely new, but I quite enjoyed this. The lengthy courses Voidmorf take remind me a slow science fiction movie in which you know there is something going wrong with the spaceship but the crew as no idea yet. All they do is watching the big empty, black sky outside and pass time quietly. Scary stuff; don’t play at night and not when you are alone. Ambient industrial par excellence.
Of the fifteen pieces on the other CDR we note that eight were recorded between 2002-2008 by Odour Sonour in Hungary and the other seven by Odour Sonour and Stone Wired in 2015 in New York. So its Odour Sonour featuring Stone Wired; ah, that explains. Earth Burial taps out of the same ambient industrial barrel (depth unknown; reverb large) of say, again, Lustmord. In the eight pieces by Odour Sonour there is a tendency towards more noise-based music, grittier sound treatments. More industrial than ambient and with Stone Wired supplying vocals in the next seven pieces we enter truly the world of noise and power electronics, but it’s not an on-going affair. Pieces may start out quiet, with a menacing drone or two before exploding into a cascade of screaming vocals, biting synths and pounding rhythm (sequencers rather than a drum machine). I must admit I rather enjoyed the solo Odour Sonour pieces, which were less noisy, but also less ambient; it seemed to be seeking out a firm middle ground: both ambient as well as industrial. Together with Stone Wired is was all a bit too much. Clocking at seventy-five minutes this was also a tour de force. It was like listening to two albums packed on a crowded CDR.
I never heard of Exabyss Records (and they might not have been reading Vital Weekly for a long time), so they thought it was a good idea to enclose a compilation cassette showcasing other bands. Exabyss might not know we aren’t too particular fond of compilations. Here we find such party animals as Gnawed, Noise Nazi (indeed: what’s in a name), Von Cogwell, Les Filles De La Mort, Odour Sonour feat. Stone Wired, Hari Maia, The Vomit Arsonist (indeed), En Nihil, Rape X, Mortum, Voidmorf and Exterminant. Do any of these people ever smile, I wondered. More industrial nightmares here, more power electronics, more screaming vocals, occasional rhythm machines that sound like machines – thanks for Ramleh, thanks Whitehouse and thanks Throbbing Gristle for the ever-lasting legacy. Only Voidmorf supplied a moment of temporary rest. Actually I enjoyed all of this while it lasted, but I was quite exhausted and deaf afterwards. I need a walk and a light lunch. (FdW)
Address: https://exabyssrecords.bandcamp.com

CORE SHIFT – FAR BEYOND THE STARS (3″CDR, private)
THE INTUITIVE P’ARTY (DVD-R by P-Art)
Some time ago I reviewed the first releases by Mike Kramer’s new project Core Shift (see Vital Weekly 931and 940), but we missed ‘A Gentle Touch’, which he also released in the meantime. He likes his pieces to be long, but only now reaches for longer: ‘Far Beyond The Stars’ is twenty-one minutes and as we’ll see soon the piece on the next release is also twenty minutes. Core Shift is Kramer’s interest in all out ambient music, using laptop technology. As noted before there is a whole renewed interest in ambient/cosmic music, and sometimes that comes with a bit of rhythm, reminding us of the mid 90s ambient house. Kramer’s music fits right in there. In a very minimal way he develops his music, adding layer by layer and then suddenly you might be hearing an on-going slow thump of rhythm, emerging from these stretched, sustaining fields. Beware: Core Shift doesn’t play dance music. If anything, you could think Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected Ambient Works Volume 2’ if you need something to compare, but also mid 90s Vidna Obmana comes to mind, Biosphere is an obvious point of reference, but also much of the music by Heavenly Music Corporation or any other release by Silent Records. ‘Far Beyond The Stars’ has it all: a bit of rhythm, bass thumping below the endless sustaining synths, the bit of Nasa flight control (or whatever cosmic intervention), a bit of nasty sounds at the far end (of the horizon?) and lengthy, spacious outro, makes this a great piece; one without surprises, but Core Shift does a more than excellent job here.
The other lengthy Core Shift track can be found on a DVD compilation called ‘The Intuitive P’ARTy’. Here there is no sign of any rhythm, just a deep drone piece, which is quite sombre in tone. It lasts also twenty minutes but nowhere we have the idea this is very long. I am not sure what this package is about, which might be odd: it comes with an extensive booklet, but more on the composers and their pieces, than on what this project is about. This seems to have grown from a website, promoting similar artists. There are five audio pieces on this DVD-R and four films. Timo van Luijk has one of each, as the only one; Clarence Barlow has two audio pieces. Much of the work here comes from the world of serious composing; Barlow’s piano piece is a perfect example but his organ piece is very nice; maybe also a bit chaotic but with some refined clusters of sound. Van Luijk’s audio piece, ‘Fantasie Magnetique’, is a great one too: entirely in the tradition of sixties electronic music. The fifth audio piece is by Circular, the duo of Jose Marchi and Daniel Varela, who also have a most curious piece of drone sounds, recorded on some very low means. It sounds very good: mysterious, shimmering and haunted. Paul Timmermans (the man behind P-ART) has the first film, which is a slide show of paintings and simple video effects. The music is an all-electronic thing, changing each time the painting changes. Not so convincing. Carl Bergstøm-Nielsen is next, who improvises with a variety of wind instruments and voice, along some guidelines (reprinted in the booklet); we see this performance in action. Also filmed in action is the piece by Klaus Runze for a de-montaged piano and double bass (played by Jochen Hug); it has a strange metallic sound and sounds at times orchestral. It sounded very good. Marc Evans has someone playing the cello and he treats the sound and paints an animation: it is a bit sweet for me this tree and bird animation. Timo van Luijk’s video is an unedited, not super-imposed made while passing the Bosporus with some found sound from an old reel. This is a great poetic movie and a fitting soundtrack. It’s a pity it’s so damn short. It’s by far the best video piece I thought. The booklet explains a lot about the pieces and has biographies of everybody involved, along with some full colour picture of scores, people and images. An interesting project, even when the background could have been clearer. (FdW)
Address: https://coreshift.bandcamp.com/
Address: <p.art@skynet.be>

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modisti

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