Christof Kurzman & Burkhard Stangl

ALEJANDRO ROJAS-MARCOS – TRIP TRACKS (CD by Luscinia Discos) *
L’ECPLIPSE NUE – NEGATIVE (CD by Dorei Recordings)
MAJUTSU NO NIWA – THE NIGHT BEFORE (CD/DVD by Pataphysique)
S.E.T.I. – THE GEOMETRY OF NIGHT (CD by Loki-found) *
CHRIS PITSIOKOS AND PHILIP WHITE – PAROXYSM (CD by Carrier Records)
NICOLAS PERRET & SILVIA PLONER – NYEY (CD by Unfathomless) *
ZENO VAN DEN BROEK – DIVERGENCE (LP by Moving Furniture Records)
NIKOLAIENKO – THE SOUNDS OF PSEUDOSCIENCE (LP by Graphical Recordings/Muscut)
MYTRIP – EMPTY (7″ by Amek)
GOKKUN – LOVE HITS ’09 (cassette by Amek)
LISA CAMERON & ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE – SOL ET TERRA (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
RAMBUTAN – REMEMBER ME NOW (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions) *
BURKHARD STANGL & STEVE BATES – HOPEFULLESSNESS (CDR by The Dim Coast)
JAKOB RIIS OCH ANDERS LINDSJÖ – TACK! (CDR by Setola Di Maiale) *
KAMIL SZUSZKIEWICZ – ISTINA (cassette by Wounded Knife) *
GOGO (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records)
o . o ????????? ??????? – TRAINABLE JUKEBOX II: MAGICAL LEMURISM (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records)
JON SHEFFIELD – SPRINGBOARDS (cassette by Obsidian Cuts)
COMPUTER SYNDROME – NIGHT RECOVERY (cassette, private)

Vital Weekly #990 by Vitalweekly on Mixcloud

tracklist for Vital Weekly 990:

0000 Tune
0014 S.E.T.I. – String Theory
0318 Lisa Cameron & Ernesto Diaz-Infante – The House At Pooneil Corners
0626 Alejandro Rojas-Marcos – Köln 3
0929 Kamil Szuszkiewicz – Istina-Movement I
1236 Nicolas Perret & Silvia Ploner – Nyey
1542 Rambutan – Fourth Day
1851 Jakub Riis och Anders Lindsjo – Slutligen, Mitt Varmaste tack Vill Jag Rikta Till…
2146 Tune

ALEJANDRO ROJAS-MARCOS – TRIP TRACKS (CD by Luscinia Discos)
The title here doesn’t refer to music to trip by, but music recorded while traveling. In 2014 Alejandro Rojas-Marcos toured with the dance company of Israel Galvan and touring is mainly waiting; for sound check, for curtain call, in a bus and all that. Rojas-Marcos doesn’t like to waste time and while waiting post-sound check and pre-show he recorded pieces on the piano. There are different pianos in different places and those places are never fully quiet, always surrounded by people and action. Not that we hear much of these actions and people, I was thinking, but it could have added an interesting form of field recording. In the nine pieces on this release, Rojas-Marcos explores the piano in a traditional way: we always recognize the piano as such; maybe he was afraid it got out of tune before the concert (providing of course they would need a piano during this performance; I don’t know). Sometimes it seems as if he uses a bow and extracts sustaining tones from the snares and sometimes he plucks them. But most of the times he bangs, plays, hits, and plucks the keys and it sounds like modern classical music. The difference in recording techniques makes that it sometimes bursts out of your speakers, and sometimes sounds far away. Almost like there is some sort of processing going, but there isn’t. It adds also a nice variety to these pieces, not just in the way Rojas-Marcos plays them, but also changing the colour of the pieces in these various locations. Quite a good CD of improvised music. (FdW)
Address: http://luscinia.ruidemos.org

L’ECPLIPSE NUE – NEGATIVE (CD by Dorei Recordings)
L’Ecplipse Nue is an industrial noise unit based in Tokyo, Japan. Daniel Sine is the man behind this project. Most of his albums are released by Dorei Recordings, which is also based in Tokyo. His fifth album ‘Negative’ is based on a drawing of Christian Weston Chandler and the story behind this artwork. The drawing shows us a nude woman with a spooky face. The nude woman stands for a nude female model that poses for many artists and photographers. But she didn’t only poses for them, but offers also her body. But later she takes another decision and haunts the artists and photographers who did really wrong with her during her lifetime. Of course sexual abuse and violence are traditional themes in the noise scene. But the eleven tracks created by synthesizers, samplers, vocals and effects give a massive interpretation of the aggression. Especially the tracks with voices are extremely aggressive and the anger about the story of the woman is overwhelming. Great album for people who are interested in intense noise. (JKH)
Address: http://www.dorei-recordings.com

MAJUTSU NO NIWA – THE NIGHT BEFORE (CD/DVD by Pataphysique)
The Stooges revisited by long haired Japanese men. According to Phataphysique records this album ‘warns the perishing civilization’. I couldn’t have said it better myself. (FK)
Address: http://www.majutsunoniwa.com/pataphysique.html

S.E.T.I. – THE GEOMETRY OF NIGHT (CD by Loki-found)
It’s no secret that in the nineties I worked for Staalplaat and in recent years I worked on my memoir, which is nearly ready to get some form of printing. I can’t go into too much detail, but one thing that isn’t mentioned (among many, no doubt) is the short-lived ‘digi-dub’ musical genre, that sprang up in the mid-90s and died out as suddenly. One of the reasons it’s not mentioned in my book is that Staalplaat didn’t have much to do with it, but in those days I was in contact a lot with Mark Gee, a New Zealand guy who worked for Germany’s Semaphore and who liked the music of Muslimgauze and Rapoon, and he wanted to include them on a compilation of ‘digi-dub’ which was to establish his own label Incoming! I must admit I totally forgot to mention those long phone calls with Mark, but his enthusiasm for his dub cause was always inspiring: this guy could sell a product. Plus those two first compilations he did (with Muslimgauze and Rapoon), ‘Serenity Dub’, volume one and two, are still releases I play from time to time. But it was a distraction to far away from the main Staalstory. Anyway, I forgot all about Incoming! and their releases, and surely the fact that Andrew Lagowski, as S.E.T.I. had one on this label as well. When I opened the mailer containing this double release, I thought ‘mm… hopefully S.E.T.I. changed his tune a bit’, not realizing this was a re-issue and that ‘The Geometry Of Night’ was Lagowski’s darker answer to ‘digi-dub’. The whole ‘digi-dub’ was, more or less, a side step of ambient-house, merging with dub/reggae; maybe as The Orb would sometimes sound like – but unlike the analogue Black Arc studio, the digital answer. Now, twenty-years and many musical life cycles further: how does ‘The Geometry Of Night’ hold up? Lagowski kept on developing his music, so where does it stand in his catalogue now? Don’t let that ‘digi-dub’ thing scare you off as this album has very little to do with (traditional or otherwise) dub. It’s an album with some great, somewhat slower beat oriented pieces, but it also has those key elements of S.E.T.I.: the dark synths and the space flight control voices. And while those rhythms are a bit slower in tempo (dub?) and may have a bit of echo/delay (dub?) it also is throughout a bit dark and doomy. It might be S.E.T.I.’s most rhythmic release (as S.E.T.I.; Lagwoski did more rhythm music under various other guises). Today happens to be one of those hottest days of the century, here in the Netherlands that is, and I was thinking ‘what the hell I am doing inside with brains on melt-down, listening to S.E.T.I.’, but then I by pass the fact that sitting back, ventilator all open, a book within reach, these dark yet laidback tunes provide the best soundtrack for such a hot day. Tapping my feet along with the rhythm, nodding my head: this might indeed be dub after all.
I am not that familiar with the laws of marketing, but I understand that a re-issue of an album like this needs something extra, and with the original album already some seventy-five minutes it’s easily thinkable that the bonus is a second CD. It’s called ‘Companion’ and it says ‘companions, bound together by molecular chains, enveloped in dark matter and history. Swirling endlessly within infinite illuminating spirals. BrEAUTalitY answerable only to the laws of universal physics and spiritual cosmology’. Here we have seven pieces, sixty-two minutes, of something entirely different that the other album. Deep ambient; deeper than anything we may have previously heard from Lagwoski. Here we have no beats, no Nasa flight control, no sequences; nothing of that sort, but just long stretched out field of endlessly sustaining synthesizers, with a very slow percussive bang in the final piece ‘Nemesis’. It’s a fine album, and perhaps should have been released by itself. It’s maybe not the most original sound in the world of ambient and drone music, but it’s of great dark beauty. Now, in summertime, it takes a while before night sets in, so when day light starts to fade, you could start with ‘The Geometry Of Night’ and when it’s dark outside you listen to ‘Companion’, preferable sitting outside and with your headphones on. (FdW)
Address: http://loki-found.de

CHRIS PITSIOKOS AND PHILIP WHITE – PAROXYSM (CD by Carrier Records)
Carrier Records was formed in 2009 and their goal is to release improvised and experimental music from New York. The collaboration between Chris Pitsiokos on alto saxophone and Philip White on electronics suits well in the philosophy of this label. They started to work together in the summer of 2013 and discovered that they are interested in powerful sonic statements. Both musicians have their roots in jazz, noise and contemporary classical music. Chris Pitsiokos is saxophonist, composer and improviser. He runs also his own label, is curator and the Gadfly Series and programs a radio show. Philip White is composer, improviser and performer. He creates his own electronic instruments and works together with a numerous amount of music and recorded music for Jim Jarmusch, Jozef van Wissum, John Butcher and many more. The CD Paroxysm is divided in six parts and electronic sounds and saxophone tones are coming up as quick as possible and disappear in the same speed. The music is fast, furious and intense. In some moments there are some short moments of quietness and tranquillity. But after a few seconds they start to bleep and bloop again. The combination of the saxophone tones and the self-made electronics suits well. The explosive chaotic music is adventurous, both musicians search and find a interesting symbiosis between two musical worlds and created a new mixture of electronics and analogue sounds. (JKH)
Address: http://carrierrecords.com

NICOLAS PERRET & SILVIA PLONER – NYEY (CD by Unfathomless)
Again Unfantomless releases a work by people that I never heard of, although Nicolas Perret might be the same the one behind the release of Hotel Gromada (see Vital Weekly 705). That was music with the use of guitars, field recordings and electronics, whereas this new work is all about field recordings, all made off the coast of Iceland, where in 1963 an underwater volcanic eruption created new land, but which is closed off due to scientific research. Underwater volcanic eruptions are a rare thing. Only a few scientists are allowed there, and then only four days a year. In the same area there are similar islands created in very much the same way, much earlier, which is where, if I am correct, these field recordings were made that Perret and Ploner use in ‘Nyey’. Various, I assume, scientists speak a few words every now and then but throughout this is a more than excellent work of electro-acoustic music. I would think that the field recordings have been effectively used to create a work of radio-dramatic proportions. Sounds are transformed, altered and placed against versions of the same sound but then untreated; there is drone like blocks of sustaining sound, especially towards the end, probably from holding a microphone in the arctic wind. There are also explosion like sounds, with a microphone stuck way below the surface, which sounds almost like these recordings are witnesses of the original volcanic eruptions. Ranging from violent loud to very quiet and subdued. The voices are dispersed rather sparsely throughout this piece (which clocks in at thirty-one minutes), but add a documentary feel to it. It’s just enough and ends on a perhaps sad note: ‘we jump forward 1000 years so we can start to understand better how Surtsey will look like when you have only one rock from one island with a lot of vegetation on top. What happens then?’ The second sentence is a different voice, but it adds great drama. Excellent, yet all too short release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.unfathomless.net

ZENO VAN DEN BROEK – DIVERGENCE (LP by Moving Furniture Records)
With an impressive record of live performances, (audio-)visual work and a series of releases as “Machinist” over the last couple of years, Zeno van den Broek has chosen to present his latest endeavour under his own name. Architect by trade, he seeks to explore the spatiality of sound and this release holds no exception to that objective.
Consistent with Van den Broek’s usual modus operandi, the pieces on Divergence were carefully constructed by use of basic sounds – white noise and sine waves – which were subsequently treated and crunched up with tape saturation. Whereas his previous works were strongly drone based, this album largely leaves that particular path, to continue on a more dynamic one that organically pulsates, modulates and hisses without repeating itself. This might sound like a description of, say, a digital and slick Raster Noton release, but the timbres and phrasing in combination with the tape grit give the tracks on Divergence a pleasant warm analogue brittleness. Without harbouring the intention of pushing the album into any kind of scene-related context, I felt that parts of it, for instance the second track on the a-side, had an almost post-industrial-like drive to it – I am thinking of the sound of the Galakthorö label in particular, but perhaps also for instance Nana April Jun’s Ontology of Noise. Mind you; musically speaking the two are not very similar and in that regard perhaps comparing it to the minimalist works on Basic Channel/Chain Reaction would make more sense. Still, it is the dense crunch of wayward pulse waves and the unsettling wail of interference patterns that definitely give the record a somewhat ‘darkened’ sting – referring purely to the sound here – which personally I think is a real treat in these kinds of sonic explorations. The album finishes its cycle with a moody minimal ambient track that is a bit lighter by comparison and seems to feature occasionally dropped vocal field recordings of some kind, that create a widened contrast space in relation to the more prominent rhythm and melodic drone.
I gave the album a couple of spins and I have to say that I enjoyed listening to it very much. This is without a doubt a favourite amidst all that I’ve heard of Zeno’s output and also another proper release on Amsterdam’s excellent Moving Furniture Records. Well done. (PJN)
Address: http://www.movingfurniturerecords.com/

NIKOLAIENKO – THE SOUNDS OF PSEUDOSCIENCE (LP by Graphical Recordings/Muscut)
From the Ukraine we have one (Dmytro) Nikolaienko and on the backside of the cover of his new record we see his ‘studio’: a table with a modest modular synth, a mixer, some other apparatus and an old reel-to-reel machine, next to a laptop to record it all on. The idea is that we think, of course also when listening to the music, of the first generation of electronic composer, who sometimes also had their home studios. Nikolaienko however doesn’t offer long pieces of music, but rather has his tracks shorter and more to the point. More ‘pop’ than ‘classic’ if you get my drift. There is always a bit of rhythm going on, but never of the more ‘dance’-like variety, but chopped/cut-up. Sometimes these pieces are indeed more old school pioneer like, such as ‘Solo For A’, which includes a ‘vocalese’ by Anna Makarchuk, but at 1’47” may be not the most classical length. I must say that I enjoyed this to a certain extent. The cover, music and concept are all executed well, even when not all of the pieces could convince me. Sometimes it seemed to me that the ideas where just a bit too poor, even within the time limit of a few minutes. Tension seemed to be lacking in some of these pieces, and it came across as some sounds of electronic origin have been put together. But in others it works better and you can see where this is coming from. I didn’t find it easy to make up my mind here. Concept and execution where all very consistent, but somehow it wasn’t all that great when it came to actually transform these ideas into great music. (FdW)
Address: https://muscut.bandcamp.com/album/the-sounds-of-pseudoscience

MYTRIP – EMPTY (7″ by Amek)
GOKKUN – LOVE HITS ’09 (cassette by Amek)
Its not every day that we receive something from labels from Bulgaria, but here are two releases from a label called Amek. Sometimes they also organise concerts. The 7″ by Mytrip is their first release on vinyl, and it is described as ‘dark ambient/drone’. I am never sure if the format of a 7″ is the right one for dark ambient music. I never heard of Mytrip but I learn from the information that he is as ‘deep as usual, but less lo-fi and warmer instead’. Both pieces were created on the spot and recorded in two nights. ‘Wherever You Are’ is actually more a song than a piece of ambient music (quick fade in and fade out, and on a similar level throughout), with a highly dynamic set of sounds, some drone like, but all together working as a sound collage, with a fine structure within the music. It doesn’t sound like an out take of something bigger, which is what happens with this kind of music on this kind of format. ‘Wait For Me’ is along similar lines, but darker and more ambient; it also ‘betrays’ the use of the instrument, which seems to me to be the guitar. Here the central idea is to have a song, rather then an excerpt. Quite powerful and dramatic it all is, with an almost orchestral sound to top it off. Maybe the pressing is a bit so so, and of course it’s all a bit short but if this something of a change of direction for Mytrip, I am surely interested in where it is heading to next.
On cassette with a pink cover we find a bunch of love songs, recorded by Gokkun in 2009 while he was on tour with Dave Philips and Mindfuckingboy and it is ‘a lesson in affection, pure emotions and an insight in the anatomy of human spirits, whose paths have crossed, but will never lead to one another again’, which might refer to every ‘song’ here being something like ‘My Fate Is Love (Theodora, Athens, Greece)’, indicating girls and women he met on tour? The tape is an edition of 20 copies and will not be available in a digital version but ‘feel free to spread the love yourself’. This might very well the first time around that there is a harsh noise musician who deals with LOVE and not hate, destruction and violence. It might also very well be just a smart (?) to reverse a trend; it might not work however. Who cares? The music is quite all right in terms of harsh noise. It’s not just a relentless wall of noise, but he moves around more, bouncing stuff through his stomp boxes, and not one static wall of sound. I am not sure if I feel any love here, well, nor any hate to be honest, but it’s all quite enjoyable. I see Gokkun made it to Nijmegen too: where did he play and who is Meili, I wondered. I am not sure if the love version of harsh noise will catch on, but let’s hope for the best. (FdW)
Address: http://amekcollective.blogspot.com

LISA CAMERON & ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE – SOL ET TERRA (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
RAMBUTAN – REMEMBER ME NOW (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
Two releases this time from Texan Kendra Steiner Editions and in both of these improvisation plays an important role. Dolf Mulder reviews much of the work by Ernesto Diaz-Infante, but I gladly take this on me. Ernesto plays a 12 string acoustic guitar here and does so in duet with Lisa Cameron, who plays percussion, electronics and lap steel. In September 2013 they recorded at [Next Door to the Jefferson Airplane Studios] as the location mentioned on the cover, and Marjorie Sturm used some of the music in the film ‘The Cult Of J.T. Leroy’. Together they offer eight pieces of music that is improvised, to a certain extent at least, but the drumming of Cameron sounds perhaps more traditional in places: she let’s the sticks roll over the percussion instruments and keeps a steady rhythm. That is surely not something that is a regular feature in improvised music. She drags Diaz-Infante into playing some more rhythmic stuff too, but he’s a bit freer in the way he plays his sounds. Throughout all of this is quite minimal and in each piece they explore a couple of ideas and that’s it. It is an approach that I like very much, as it brings together my love for minimal music in a somewhat freely played context. Cameron’s noise is kept to a minimum but never too far away. She seems to be the one in control here, more than Diaz-Infante. I thought this was a wonderful release.
Behind Rambutan we find Eric Hardiman, whose name we only came across before in a release by Linda Aubry Bullock (see Vital Weekly 743), but not anything of his own. The cover is not very clear what it is that he does, instrument-wise. In fact it could be lots of things, but my best guess would be that he samples objects and instruments and plays around with them, very much like one would do with a sample keyboard – say opposed to collecting these samples on a computer and creating a sound collage from that. Sometimes it seems that he plays complete recordings all along his sampled pieces. I might be entirely wrong with all of these assumptions. I must admit I am not blown away by all of this. Some pieces, such as the drone like ‘Kill The Lights’ or ‘Fourth Day’ with its acoustic objects, were quite all right, but it also happens that pieces are just a mixture of sounds without much structure or relationship. You can run various sounds along each other and that’s it: yes, that is certainly an option; but is it something one should do? Not necessarily. In these pieces there is very little tension and you wonder why you are listening anyway, such as the ‘Total Amnesia’ and the title piece, which seem both nothing more than a vari-speed reel-to-reel tape play back, and a 78rpm record at the wrong speed. Maybe I am missing something here? (FDW)
Address: http://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com

BURKHARD STANGL & STEVE BATES – HOPEFULLESSNESS (CDR by The Dim Coast)
Steve Bates and Burkhard Stangl did a collaboration at the Suoni per il Pololo Festival at Montreal – Canada. They decided to do an improvisation session during an afternoon and recorded it. The result is three beautiful piece of improvised guitar music. The improvisations are recorded without overdub and the second track has no edit at all. The other two have some small edits. Burkhard Stangl from Austria is guitarist and composer and works in the fields of improvisation, electronica en contemporary classical music. He worked together with lots of musicians like Christian Fennesz and John Butcher. Steve Bates works and lives in Montreal and is musician and artists. He runs also the label The Dim Coast. The three pieces are like musical journeys in which the traveller moves from one musical landscape to another. Quiet pieces with harmony will flow into pieces of unbalance and dissonance. Both guitarists complete their play and their music is getting stronger and stronger. The atmospheres move smoothly into on another. Hopefullessness sounds like a good running machine. It seems that both musicians collaborated for years. A high quality piece of improvisation music. (JKH)
Address: http://dimcoast.net/

JAKOB RIIS OCH ANDERS LINDSJÖ – TACK! (CDR by Setola Di Maiale)
Setola di Maiale from Italy is a label, specializing in improvised music. Here we have one of the varieties that offer the more heavy weight version. Jakob Riis plays laptop, cymbals and electronic feedback and Anders Lindsjö plays electric and acoustic guitar. They have been together since 2007 and released ‘WRRP’ as their debut album then. This is their second release and the recordings were already made in 2011, over a period of two days, which made me think this is a studio recording rather than a live recording. But no doubt, recording together in a studio doesn’t exclude the ‘live’ aspect. This can of course be a case of setting up a microphone in a studio and taping the action, without any tampering later on. This is loud stuff, and especially the feedback is from time to time very loud, peeping and scratching away, along with some of the stuff that is going on in the computer – somehow it bursts and beeps there too. That’s not it, as the contact microphones of the cymbal and acoustic guitar seem to be broken and the electric guitars howls around too. Yet, don’t believe this is all mindless noise music. Far from it. These two players know how to balance their music very well, so sometimes it stays on the quiet side of things and then sometimes occasionally very loud. In the course of their eight pieces they explore all of that and they do so with great care and style. It’s not music that one easily listens to; one remains on the edge of one’s seat, listening carefully to every move. You never know what will happen next. Quite a fine release, delicate might not be the right word, but in it’s own way it surely is. (FdW)
Address: http://www.setoladimaiale.net

KAMIL SZUSZKIEWICZ – ISTINA (cassette by Wounded Knife)
So, if I understand correctly, behind the name Kamil Szuszkiewicz we find Zuzanna Lelek? A Polish voice artist who receives help here from Hubert Zemler on drums, metallophone, cymbals, bowed guitar, percussive guitar and temple block. The source material was recorded in November 2013 and from what I hear I think we have a combination of Lelek’s voice, pure and untreated, along with the ones that fed off heavily through a battery of electronics, creating wild, noisy sustaining sounds. It takes a while before the contributions from Zemler come in, but when it does we find the first piece, ‘Movement I’ in a very mellow phase: slow and distant percussion, a jazzy trumpet (although no credit is given for a musician) and slowly it builds up again and becomes more noise again. ‘Movement II’ seems to be more about the voice; here we find the looper device, the wonder machine for so many solo instrumentalists, used for the creation of a massive voice drone, which goes on for the entire length of the piece, eventually picking up more and more abstraction along the way, and Zemler at one point guiding the riding wave with his toms. I thought the piece was all right, not great. ‘Movement I’ with it’s film noir jazz trumpet and weirdness from the voice was more favourite here. Raw untamed power than the other side, which wasn’t bad either, just not as good. (FdW)
Address: https://woundedknife.bandcamp.com/

GOGO (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records)
o . o ????????? ??????? – TRAINABLE JUKEBOX II: MAGICAL LEMURISM (cassette by Powdered Hearts Records)
JON SHEFFIELD – SPRINGBOARDS (cassette by Obsidian Cuts)
A bunch of – well, two – of releases on Powdered Hearts Records and one from the label boss on another label. The first one is by David Atlas, who goes by the name Gogo. The label’s bandcamp page refers to an interview with him, but there is nothing much coherent to be found over there. It’s about as much nonsense as this cassette, which lasts no less than close to ninety minutes and which is basically a compilation of four earlier albums released by Gogo: ‘Chante’ (2009), ‘2’ (2010), ‘Revient’ (2012) and ‘Le Monde Est Gogo’ (2012). Each new part on this tape is introduced by Gogo. Everything revolves here around weirdness; perhaps what some would ‘outsider’ music. Gogo doesn’t care about recording quality, which shows in many of these songs: a bit distorted in certain places. Gogo sings and plays keyboards; sometimes he raps. Much of his lyrics are in French. I know alternative music circles, some of them close by, who love this complete foolishness, but to be honest: I am not the biggest fan of this, and especially at ninety minutes, this was all a bit too much of an overkill for me. If I want to hear this, then a bit shorter and in concert, and I’d enjoy it with a beer in my hand.
o . o ????????? ???????? How to pronounce that? It is the musical project, we learn from the bandcamp page of Sifaka Long/David Atlas, I assume one person, who mission statement is: “If I had to state a philosophy, it would be that there are infinitely many songs in any two second clip of audio. And twice that many if the clip has significance to your life.” It is along the lines of Gogo when it comes to weirdness and not caring about the quality of the recording. It’s not however about a similar sort of outsider singing like a drunk maniac in possession of a keyboard but someone with a cheap sampler next to a shortwave radio to pick up and sample any sounds coming in. Ethnic music, pop stuff, heavy rhythms, all of which are fed through quite an extended range of samplers and sound effects. It has that raw poppy quality, except these pieces are not exactly ‘songs’, but stuck together like one collage of sounds; psychedelic to some perhaps and that’s all right. I think I would have preferred a few things to be different: for one
o . o ????????? ??????? could have been more selective in with these pieces: seventy-eight minutes of music is quite a lot, and not every moment is equally strong here. That’s one thing; the other deals more with the way the music is made: I think it would be a good idea if these pieces would have been cut into pieces, head and tail and all that, so they would indeed be songs. Overall, so it seems to me, this music has quite some potential in that direction, which doesn’t shine through very much.
Powdered Hearts boss Jon Sheffield has had music on labels as Sparkling Beatnik, Subversal, Tomlab,  Hiao Hiao Hiao and Universal (no doubt not the major); check out his early work on the labels’ bandcamp. ‘Springboards’ is a limited cassette of recent works I assume. The tape cover doesn’t have much indication, nor does the bandcamp page. You could see the interests he has a label boss (read: the two tapes he just released) reflected in his own work, but he does exactly that what the other don’t do. Sheffield creates electronic pop songs, heads and tails. Plus he sings, every now and then. Sheffield’s own music is on all together different level. Whereas the other two artists throw around ideas and/or weirdness, Sheffield actually knows how to compose a piece of music. Many of his electronic songs reminded me of 80s darkness: that slightly muffled voice, the dark rhythm, the bleep synth and the melancholic chords. And sometimes it all comes without any of these ingredients and all there we hear is just a few ambient synths, as in ‘Two Meds’. Sheffield has a great variety in these twelve pieces; it’s almost like a great album of alternative, electronic pop music. A bit dark, a bit joyful, and bit of sorrow. Why on a cassette and download? This guy could, nay should, go places. (FdW)
Address: https://powderedheartsrecords.bandcamp.com
Address: http://www.obsidiancuts.com/

COMPUTER SYNDROME – NIGHT RECOVERY (cassette, private)
There is not a lot of information anywhere about Computer Syndrome. Nothing is on the cover of this cassette, and nothing much on the bandcamp site where you can order or download this. The small note that came with the cassette said ‘all sounds generated on a linux system using open source software’. The bandcamp site also indicates there is no separate pieces per side, which was odd, as it certainly moves some extreme variables. There is a bit of cheesy church bell sounds from a synth being played with some controlled action, but the next bit is as easily a bunch of computer noise – maybe of the likes of Jliat: harsh noise wall doing a digital break, followed by synths again, dark and droney and a highly distorted voice. It’s not easy to figure out what exactly all of this means. Yes, indeed there is lots of stuff possible with linux system and open source software, but because of this sheer variety it’s very hard to say anything about it. Some of it sounded all right, some were tiresome exercises in noise or otherwise and the whole thing left me a bit confused. Why? (FdW)
Address: https://computersyndrome.bandcamp.com/album/night-recovery

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