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Vital Weekly 558

img  Tobias

On his previous CD, Micheal Page, the man who controls Fire In The Head got help from Nicolas Blinko, once known as the singer of Rudimentary Peni, on his new one, he uses artwork by Gee Vaucher, once the singer of (still a favorite here) Crass. That's a funny connection, as the noise produced by Fire In The Head could easily be the natural successor of punk rock. The do it yourself mentality is big on both scenes, and Fire In The Head is using vocals to pretty similar extent, yet less easily to grasp what they mean. But intention-wise there are similarities. Just like the previous two releases which I heard by Fire In The Head (see Vital Weekly 505 and 534), this is another excursion into the world of noise and like before it's not music for the weak of heart. A battle fought with distortion, feedback, crashing sheets of metal and other industrial music mayhem. Yet I must say that I think Fire In The Head is one of the more interesting acts of noise that I encountered. There is a finer balance to be noted in this work, not purely dwelling on pure noise, but also moments where the sound is taken aback, and throughout the ten pieces there is certainly enough diversion to be spotted. Perhaps, and that might be my objection, it is something I also said about the previous releases, and it might be good thing to look further and make the balance between the harsher noise and the more atmospherical version thereof a little bit sharper. (FdW) Address:

(CD by Grain Of Sound)
Over the past few years the Portuguese duo @C  have been playing lots of live concerts, and have released a couple of CDs, on Miguel Carvalhais' own Cronica label, but also as MP3 on Silence Is Not Empty and on CDR for Grain Of Sound. The latter now releases a full length, real CD - I believe the first for the label, and also the first by @C that is a studio album, rather than a collection of live pieces.  @C, being Pedro Tudelo and former mentioned Carvalhais play improvised music on their laptops (on their website, you can even spot up to four in a concert), together with Lia, who improvises the visual aspects. So going to a studio might not be the thing to expect. Over the past three years they have been toying around in the studio. Or perhaps they have been toying around with sound files. Each of the seven pieces, all denoted by numbers, have a list of sound files, each ending in .aif and they form, I assume, the piece. However it's not clear if these sound files went into some sort of Max/msp, super collider or whatever type of computer sound software, or that these are the various blocks with what the music is composed. Not really important of course, but it leaves stuff to guess. How does 'lego09.aif' or 'beetloopradio.aif' sound? You could think that a duo of improvisers on a laptop going into the studio, would probably edit out all the little irregularities (to avoid the word mistakes), but to me it seems that they didn't do that. That is actually quite nice, since it provides the music with a certain vividness and liveliness that can also be found on their live releases. Throughout they keep a very fine balance between the 'composing' and 'improvisation'. Never the material seems to be carrying on for too long, and it's not buried under studio techniques. Quite an excellent CD! (FdW)

(CD compilation by Beau Brun)
Not being an ornithologist myself, so you'll excuse me if I never heard of the Bicheno Finch, a small bird from Australia. One is called Cagesan and his singing is subject of this compilation. Various artists make a piece of music, incorporating the singing. Many of the artists are new to me, such as Olga, Montag, Fashion Flech, DJ Chienloup, Mc Cat Genius, Digiki, Toog but there are also some names to recognize, such Felix Kubin, O.Lamm, Davide Balula and Reznicek. Throughout the music is a sampled pastiche of weirdness, that involves crazy small melodies, chopped up rhythms, and of course bird twitter. All nice and well, but half the time one doesn't realize that one is listening to a compilation dedicated to a bird. Two tracks leap out: Mc Cat Genius samples Nina Hagen, and raps a long. Not very positive. Reznicek however takes his inspiration from 'Free As A Bird', in itself not a very good piece by the former Beatles, but he knows how to built quite an intense piece of music with using just the lines 'free as a bird' and a handful of elements of concrete music. Great piece, but throughout a bid mediocre compilation. Not great, not bad... (FdW)

MIKROKNYTES - KAVERNA (CD by Kavekavity Records)
Music by the US duo Mikroknytes, being Derek Morton (electronics, effects, mind control) and John Coursey (violin, electronics, idea manufacturing), has been reviewed before in these pages, although sometimes the band name was misspelled as Mikronytes. On 'Kaverna', a super limited CDR release on their own Kavekavity Records, they seem to be moving away from the previous encounters in the world of industrial music meeting up with improvised sound and moves towards a more pure minimal, drone and still highly improvised sound. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that 'Kaverna' was recorded live in the studio and lead up to their show with Phill Niblock. Some of his influence is surely there, through minimalist humming, yet Mikroknytes also throw in elements of surprise, a bit of rhythm or irregular scrapings of the violin. Still this music is pretty raw and untamed, but if these are the proceedings that will lead up to a new, more refined studio work, I am all ears. (FdW) Address:

(CDR by Drone Forest)
DRONE FOREST - .POINT. (CDR by Drone Forest)
This is not a fixed group of musicians, but rather a free floating membership, but the nucleus is one Ian C. Stewart, who collects material that people send him through the internet, and all the material must have 'no beats and no melody'. Some people are quite regular contributors such as Mike Bowman and C. Reider, and some no doubt never send their contributions, such as Aliester [sic] Crowley and Anton LaVey, but no doubt they are culled from the internet somewhere. Three releases is a bit much to digest. There are both similarities as well as minor differences. The similarities lie mainly in the statistics: each of the three releases has a collection of relatively short pieces, say between two and six minutes and in total each has about ten to twelve pieces. The differences are in the approach per tape. The most strict drone release is '.Point.' I think. Stretched out field of thickly layered sound, smeared with at times an unhealthy dose of effects (which is actually a similarity between all three). On the other side of the spectrum is 'Honey' which seems to be collecting pieces that use musique concrete as the source of the drone music. Less dwelling on stretched out sounds, this is more collage-like. 'Wormwood' seems to be in the middle of these, combining the best of both ends (if indeed there is such a thing as ends in this) and perhaps the best point to start. Perhaps it would be nicer if the use of sound effects was a little bit less, and some pieces could use a little bit more work and some extension. Otherwise Drone Forest is however quite a nice conceptual project. (FdW) Address:

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