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Vital Weekly 520

img  Tobias

The Missing Ensemble is a trio of John Sellekaers (Xingu Hill, Dead Hollywood Stars), Daniel De Los Santos (Tamarin) and Mathias Delplanque (Lena, Bidlo), who released the album 'Hidden doors' as a first release on Mondes Elliptiques, a label run by the people of Angle Records, who release similar kinds of atmospheric, noise or drone related music. The Missing Ensemble have a rather minimalist approach to their music, which is drone related, but not in a usual atmospheric-ambient way, but rather as exploration of sound. The sound slowly develops and unfolds in space, or in the silence, which is cleverly set as a background. Or as empty white canvass on which the painting is to be made. The sounds are used as colors, or rather as subtle nuances, in shapes of tiny noises, pulsating atmospheres, scratchy surfaces... As special guests are mentioned: Ernst Karel (on trumpet, which is not recognizable as such), Eric Heinroth (synth) and Masami Akita with, of course, noise. But this is not a harsh cd at all, in fact it's very subtle, a kind of droney music that can be related more to The Hafler Trio's sound, than to Troum's ambience. Very nice album with subtle sound designs. (Boban Ristevski)

DAVID CHIESA - PHONÈMES (CD by Creative Sources)
For 'Belvedere' the involved musicians were invited in one house. What happened in that house is clearly explained by Guionnet in the liner notes: "A bunch of all kinds of microphones are divided in the house and among the landscape around the place. Each of them is plugged into a mixing desk that Éric La Casa is using in real time. The duration of the mix is more or less pre-decided by the 4 of us. During this amount of time, the 3 instrumentalists are going around, in and out of the house, following their own improvised sounds and courses through this open expanse filled by sound-catchers ˆˆ thus we all are working on the construction of a sort of abstract and tentacle-like belvedere plunged into the acoustic space of the place. This cd is the direct result of one of those mix-experiences."
Jean-Luc Guionnet crossed the house with his alto saxophone, Emmanuel Petit with his guitar and David Chiesa carried his double bass with him. If I understand the words of Guionnet correct the musicians did not interact with each other. It is Le Casa behind his mixing desk who blends the solo improvisations into one whole, completed with environmental sounds (birds from time to time). The result is a massive piece of 70 minutes. Yes, they do not only make a good use of space but also of time! Alas it is a very static and amorphe piece and because of this it fails to carry away the listener in the direction of its possibly aimed imagination or vision.
More musicality is experienced on the solo-album by David Chiesa. He started as an electric basssplayer in rock bands, but changed to improvised music and the acoustic bass. In a duel with silence quiet and loud parts succeed each other, illustrating in the meantime the considerable technique of Chiesa. (Dolf Mulder)

SASCHA DEMAND - PLAKATION (CD by Creative Sources)
PEDRO CHAMBEL - BRUIT (CD by Creative Sources)
With these two discs Creative Sources present two solo-works both for electric guitar, by two unknown players/composers. For those who know this label it is clear that we are in the zen department of improvised music. Music that concentrates on sound in a non-rhetoric, ego-less way, often very near to silence. This is also the case for these two albums. Demand is one of those musicians who work as a performer of serious modern composed music on the hand, but develop themselves as improvisers, or better in the case of Demand, as a conceptual artist. With Boris D. Hegenbart she forms the duo 9khz, who have a cd out on Bottrop-Boy. With sound-artist Ralf Kleinemas she made an album for Nurnichtnur. On her solo album 'Plakation' Sascha Demand plays 39 miniature compositions in 55 minutes, only a few lasting longer then 2 minutes. In it‚s totality the make up a mosaic of small, slightly different sound-paintings. Minimalist and sparse pieces on timbre and texture and sound. They were recorded at her home in Hamburg in the spring of 2005. Both Demand and Chambel make use of unusual guitar techniques. In the case of Chambel you almost forget at moments that you are listening to a guitar. Chambel was one of the first musicians to appear on the Creative Sources label. His debut-album 'Anamnesis' (2001), also a solo-ablum for guitar, was the fourth release by this label. With 'Bruit' recorded in Lisbon (2005) Chambel presents his second work. Typical for this cd is the use of long sustained flows on the one had, and short, ever changing, little sounds on the other. The last ones make you attend for every little nuance and subtlety. In tracks 2 and 4 we find both elements combined. It didn't work for me, I must say. Compared with the album of Demand this one has more dynamic. It is a kind of electro-acoustic work because of the way Chambel makes use of microphones. The result is a very abstract music. Keith Rowe-like. All tracks start very silent. You have to become silent yourself in order to come into contact. This music works only if you want to change your listening habits. Well, may be not only these habits. (Dolf Mulder)

(4LP + 7" by Vinyl On Demand)
THE NEW BLOCKADERS - VIVA NEGATIVA VOL . 2 (4LP + 7" by Vinyl On Demand)
The massive tribute project is no longer a stranger in the world of music. Why do something small if you can make it big? RLW's 'Tulpas' was just a start, The New Blockaders make it bigger. No less than eight LPs, divided over two box-sets. Did The New Blockaders ever exist? If they did, it was only for a short time. And then started their 'final' phase. The final concert, the final release, and then again, the final concert, and another final release. Let's safely say they never ceased to exist, or that they never existed. These eight LPs are somewhere between a tribute project and a remix project. In some of these tracks there are original sounds of The New Blockaders to be spotted, which is usually a fine blend of crashing metal plates and distortion and some others are similar sounds, but perhaps of the artist's own making. The eight LPs read also like a who's who in experimental music: if you are not on there, then you are nobody. That's a too bold statement, for I can easily name twenty great musicians who are not part of it, but there are also people on here who never expected. Scanner, to name one, to be part of a noise monument. Controlled Bleeding are part, which is a rare name these days. It also contains people of whom I never heard of before, like Spiracle, Eshak, Bloxus, Art Break, Embudagonn 108, Plexia, \\\, Silvum, Nobuo Yamada, Komafuzz, Benzo and Treriksroset. The 'laptop'/microsound scene seems to be to a lesser extend be represented (Pita, Jason Kahn, Massimo, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Cheapmachines, Freiband) and the overall pressure lies on the world of noise. It's funny to see some musicians doing whatever they always do, and exactly live up to their expectations: AMK's vinyl cut up, Achim Wollscheid's stutter cut-up or to see people applying their working method to the world of noise, like Scanner or Mnortham. Unfortunately I must say there are no real surprises, like a string quartet version of The New Blockaders to mention one (except maybe the crazy almost acoustic improvisation by RLW and his children), but the good thing is there aren't that many weak brothers there. They are there, but they are washed away in the vast amount of good tracks. It's an overwhelming project, by it's size, it's quality both in music and cover art. A compendium of international noise music, a bold statement, which should belong in every home and an excellent example of how these things should be made. (FdW)


DONNA PARKER - DEBUTANTE (LP by Twisted Village)
Behind Donna Parker is Boston born Mary Staubitz, who has been playing around her town a lot, doing short surprise full gigs. She stands armed with a couple of guitar effects, switching knobs and making a hell of rattle. But it's rhythmical rattle, heavy loaded with distortion but totally captivating. Besides she is together with Jessica Rylan Secret Diary and soon on tour with Lisa Suckdog. After a couple of CDR releases, 'Debutante' is her debut vinyl release on Twisted Village and she surely doesn't disappoint the listener. Her six tracks are a bit longer than usual, but she also brings in an amount of variation in each of the pieces, which we haven't seen before. It's still raw and dirty, using feedback and distortion, but she surely twists the material around and make it into something of her own, especially because of the more rhythmical outings. Very nice indeed, and surely the good start for a female noise artist. (FdW)

Although the name Micheal Farley popped up as a curator of a compilation 'Tensile' (see Vital Weekly 385), but despite his extensive discography I never heard his music. Farley is also the proud father of Mia, who, when seventeen months old, played the piano to an extent that proud fathers like and recordings of that are now processed and all present in the latest release of The Beige Channel, the name under which Farley works. In his playing around with the material, Farley wanted to have the same sort of spontaneous playing as his daughter, and I must say he succeed well in this. In each of the twelve compositions the original piano playing pops up, but throughout it's an excellent work of careful micro-sounding crackles, static hiss and all sorts of granular synthesis. Most of the time this is quite drone/ambient related music, even when there at times a sense of collating the material. Farley creates a dense pattern throughout the material of finely interwoven sounds - this accounts for the some what drone related material. Altogether this is a highly fine work. Delicate, thoughtful and filled with love. Original sources are also included, so if someone out there wants to give it ago... (FdW)

VHF - STATICS (CDR by L'Innomable)
Out of two duo's came one trio. Graham Halliwell and Simon Vincent, and Graham Halliwell and Simon Fell joined forced and became VHF in 1998. Their first release, 'Extracts' launched Erstwhile Records (see Vital Weekly 207). The line up may seem rather regular free jazz: Halliwell on alto saxophone, Fell on double bass and Vincent on electronics. All three have an extended reputation in the world of improvised music and their first CD was rather free jazz related, if I recall well. This new work however sees them moving in an altogether different world of improvised music. Foremost it's a very soft release in terms of volume. One has to crank it up to quite an extent. What unfolds then has not much to do with the world of free jazz, but it's rather a much more electro-acoustic work, touching the surface and carefully producing sound. It's hard to recognize any of the instruments they are supposed to play here, certainly not saxophone or bass sounds. They force the listener to drop all activity and sit back and listen. Concentrate. And listen, and probably listen again once it's over, since it's highly likely you missed out a few things the first time around. But if you do, a simply beautiful world unfolds for you and it's certainly a most rewarding thing to hear. Very onkyo ok! (FdW)

(CDR by Verato Project)
The second release of Ctacik a.k.a. Stanislav Popov for Verato Project (see also Vital Weekly 486) and it's nicely packed inside a wooden frame, like a small painting. 'Amur Region' is a major step forward from the previous 'Ego-generocity'. Whereas that one was loaded with a lot of noise, signaling from various radio waves, this one goes into the direction of ambient music. Still of course this not ambient music with the big A spelled out, as the sonic pictures Ctacik depicts for us are way to dark, bleak and post-nuclear warfare like, this is a major step forward in the development of his sound. Working with analogue of digital synths, the radio waves seem to have vanished, well perhaps, they are still there, but we aren't know. New is the addition of field recordings, which make up a big part of the long 'WED66F6' piece, which is the major tour de force of this release. Not dissimilar to many other dark ambient cum drone projects, but Ctacik does a rather nice job. Roads to explore, me thinks. (FdW)

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