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Vital Weekly 557

img  Tobias

By accident I once got hold of a CD by Social Interiors. I think. Maybe Rik Rue just gave it to me. I can't remember. Rik Rue's solo work always intrigued me as he is an excellent composer using natural sound phenomena (just wanting to avoid the word field recordings here), such as on his excellent 'Ocean Flows' CD. His improvisational work didn't always do it for me. But the Social Interiors CD 'Traces Of Memory' blew my mind. It's a trio of Rik Rue, Julian Knowles and Shane Fahey. The most important piece of equipment they have is the microphone and armed with it they run around their home land recording natural sound. Each of them specializes in creating sound pieces out of that, and on this particular new CD, their fourth (and first non-Extreme release) showcases their individual talent, as well as the group work. Each member has a solo piece here which culminate in a piece by the three of them. However: if you wouldn't know this, you wouldn't probably notice this. Each of the four pieces deals extensively with field recordings and to a much lesser extent electronics. Yet it is not easy to say to what extent they process the sound, via looping, filtering and such. Each of the pieces is a strong display of working with field recordings and how to do so in a way that one doesn't have the idea of listening to a 'pure' field recording and/or a residue of it - it's an utter fine combination of both, I think. Each of the pieces tells a tale of it's own. One simply hears that all three know what they are doing and that there is a vast amount of experience at work here. It's been a long, long time since I last heard 'Traces Of Memory', but I pulled it out and will be surely playing this again, right after the likewise excellent 'Spatial Circumference'. (FdW) Address:

When I last reviewed something by David Maranha, I started with the words: 'After a period of silence, David Maranha comes along with a new CD'. That was Vital Weekly 327 (the one before that was VW 202), so how should I be calling the latest gap? A seemingly endless gap? Maranha returns here with what he started ages and ages ago: Osso Exotico, a group with him, his brother Andre and Patricia Machas. Active in Portugal since the early nineties, they have released some excellent CDs of minimal music, usually performed on violin, cello, flutes, glasses and all to create overtone, textured music. Whatever happened in the new millennium, but their activities, certainly in the area of releasing music on CD, fell back. Here they return with Verres Enharmoniques, the duo of Emmanuel Holterbach and Sophie Durand, who played harmonic music using glasses. Over a period of sixteen months, the two groups worked together on the eight pieces that are now covered on this CD. Unlike some of Osso Exotico's previous work, this is not one work in eight parts, but rather eight separate pieces. That is a pity. Even when there is a twelve minute piece, some of these pieces are just a bit too short for my taste. In each of the pieces however there is great organic beauty, and through it nowhere sounds the same. Per track the sound input changes, although glass is the constant factor. Sometimes flutes are added, a harmonium, a bowed piano, 'e-bowed resophonic guitar, or an electric guitar in feedback. The music seems to me generated through methods of improvisation, and in this case that is an affair not without risk. Their intent is to play some highly delicate music, and through improvisation (wether not with some post-recording editing), this can lead to some problems, as is shown on this CD. Not every track is likewise strong, however the majority of the pieces presented here are very good. Humming, sustained sounds, working the overtone area of the sound spectrum, with minimalist changes, make this a through delight to hear. As said, one could only wish some tracks to be longer, to let the full beauty come, but it's throughout a great CD. And let's hope this is a true come-back, and that there is more to come in a shorter time span. (FdW) Address: <>

LORI FREEDMAN - 3 (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
Freedman is an internationally acclaimed performer who works in many contexts and disciplines: composed and improvised music, electroacoustic music. Collaborations in the field of dance, theatre and so on are many. And many composers wrote works for her as a performer. Her own work is available on numerous cds. Concentrating on Ambiances Magnetiques, this label released a solo album by her some 4 years ago: "A Un Moment Donn�". Now its time for a CD with three different trios by Lori Freedman. During three consecutive nights Freedman played with with three different trios. Why trios? For Freedman this is the ideal format for improvising music. The cds opens with five pieces with Ren� Lussier (guitars), Martin T�treault (turntables). Followed by 4 pieces with Nicolas Caloia (doublebass) and Danielle Palrady Roger (percussion). To close with 4 improvisations with Jean Derome (saxophone, little objects) and Rainer Wiens (prepared guitar, percussion). In all three trios Lori Freedman plays clarinets. Recordings were made live. Afterwards followed some editing and mixing in the studio with the help of Michel F.Cote. What is a clear from the first moment is that Freedman is a very gifted player with a great personal voice. Her playing is very 'soulful' and goes straight to the heart. Deeply human and spirited musician. Together with her companions, they create some very enjoyable improvised music. A great CD. (Dolf Mulder) Address:

This is a time where external events slide by as glib advertisements, as Baudrillard remarked - there was no gulf war.  We only had signifiers. There was no signified - by which I mean can anyone say why we went to war - without even declaring a war? The politician/corporate executive via overwhelming technological power, media subversion and staggering wealth is able to inflict devastation on a global scale. All of their actions in reality are destructive of life, truth and morality. Their texts, their whole culture - justifications, motivations, philosophies even! are only placed to take our attention away from their actual actions. A farmer through the sights of an infra red missile is a terrorist, humans and animals are political-exploitative  opportunities and media foci - not anymore even useful commodities, third world famine an opportunity to not feed the world, but feed the pockets and egos of pseudo-political media personalities.. (and Noise is the nihilistic rejection of all this..) We have come along way from Gericault's raft of the medusa, we have even come along way from Gurnica and the ambiguity of The Weeping Woman- or the blatant hiding of  the horrors of 1914-18 through a screen of an iridescent mist of water lilies.  It was the artist Schwitters and now his Japanese doppelganger who refused both the exploitation of inhumanity, or a refusal to acknowledge it  in an art as opium for the people. After all people are not treated by Merzbow as sheep -but as free moral agents with which the artist can engage in a dialogue, in which the artist's work is more than an opiate or merchandizing opportunity but a commitment to the idea of community which has to engage in ethical frameworks of cooperation and consideration of all life. Art cannot divorce itself from morality for as Wittgenstein stated- ethics and aesthetics are one and the same. (jliat)

ELOE OMOE - MARAUDERS (CD by Animal Disguise)
This is my first encounter with a Boston duo called Eloe Omoe, being Sam Rowell on bass and Tim Leanse on drums. Right from the start, all the way to the last second, being some thirty-nine minutes, they play one long howl, unrelentness and without any mistake: free music. Loud and dirty, feeding the bass through some distortion pedals into a wall of speakers, while the drums keep on banging, like there is no end to come. Free jazz for sure, although I am sure there are some people who would just agree with the word free. 'Marauders' is the debut into the world of recorded media, comes with a nice metallic ink cover, and is solid as a rock. This is not for the weak of hearth, and surely not something to play at a low volume. Loud and dirty is how this should be played. Anything else is besides the point. Quite a blast. (FdW) Address:

Last week I failed miserably (or felt miserably?), but someone distracted me of going to the concert of both Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words and Ronnie Sundin. The prospect of getting a small musical lesson elsewhere prevented me from going. You can't be in two places I guess (sorry guys). Which is a pity since in the past I heard quite a bit of both artists, who now share a 7" to commemorate the first Swedish astronaut in space, launched on December 7th, 2006. Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words present a top-heavy guitar drone piece, that, despite its weight flows free in the sky. Like a big space ship, perhaps the ISS (to which this astronaut is heading) in a vast empty space. Perhaps a bit short, this trip.
Top heavy is also the piece by Ronnie Sundin, but it works on a totally different level. It starts out with some vocalizations, feeding through a bunch of effects, and as the piece evolves, things get louder and louder, until the disappear in space. 'You can't take words into space', Burroughs said, and this launch proofs we have to leave our words behind. Maybe the format of a 7" doesn't entirely justify this kind of music, but it's a nice statement. (FdW) Address:

DAVID NEWLYN - ANCIENT LIGHTS (CDR by Boltfish Recordings)
The English Boltfish label keeps pushing electronic musicians of whom I never heard, such as David Newlyn, but in his case it's not a strange thing: 'Ancient Lights' is his debut release for Boltfish and his previous releases never reached me. He hails from Durham, and one half of October Man, and also running his own October Man Recordings. and by hearing his music, I assume he is quite a mellow guy. His music is largely mellow, based around the simple ticking of a drumcomputer, a likewise mellow keyboard line or two, some guitar tinkling and as an ornament some bell like sounds out of synth. Rather pleasant music without any serious danger or treat. Maybe you can wonder if thirteen of these tracks aren't a bit too much as he could have done with eight and still leave a solid impression. But as I was carried away doing some other stuff around the house, and walked about, this was a most comfortable trip. Very nice, very relaxing. Think ambient house but with some serious beats going on. (FdW) Address:

OBSERVATION POINT VOLUME ONE (compilation CDR by Dirty Demos)
To review compilations of any kind is not an easy task, save perhaps for those which work around a thematic approach. I'm not sure if such a thing is in place for this compilation on Dirty Demos. It seems to me it's 'just' a bunch of music from friends of the label, some of which have had their own releases own releases on the label, such as Explosions And Screaming, Iversen, Sound_00 (the latter two working together here), Loisl, Pinkeye feat Linda and labelboss Dead Wood. Some names are entirely new to me, such as Blackpepper, Matthew, Little Boat, Now, Makinoize, The Four Fisherman. Throughout the music is experimental, but luckily it never reaches the full noise attitude. Everything seems to be a gentle mixture of electronics, field recordings, sound collage, found sound and the more crude musique concrete experiments. The Four Fisherman provide us with some guitars and singing. They form a nice counterpoint in the mass of the more experimental sound. I wish this CD-R wasn't spray-painted, because it didn't play very well, but other than that this is a very nice compilation with lots of interesting new names to discover. (FdW)

I have no clue who is behind this rather odd named project - apparently it's a whole load of people with guitars, percussion, flutes, cello, Theremin, voice, organ and what not. The first track is just a short intro that is over before you really notice it. Things really get going with the second track that starts out as an intense excursion into straight, high-energy drumming with a heavy droning background and about half way through changes into the free-form psychedelia mode that prevails throughout the rest of the album. 6majik9 offer fascinatingly tight woven layers from myriads of acoustic particles, stretched out into long waves or condensed into flickering, sometimes amorphously flowing, sometimes held together by a loose, driving rhythm, and always with that special lo-fi grittiness, that intensifies the sound by giving it a sort of muddy saturation. All this culminates in the last piece, a slow droning 14 minute epic, that sets out all quiet and gradually builds up subliminal tension but never really erupts into a cathartic blast. On the one hand it's a pity that this release is rather short (just under 40 minutes, while I'd bet that they have hours and hours of jams in their archive), but on the other hand this is maybe one of the strongest point about it. Instead of a disc crammed full with material you get a nice selection with enough variation and tension. Good one. (Magnus Schaefer) Address:

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