RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Vital Weekly 562

img  Tobias

RUIS VOOR THUIS/IETS MET BIETS (2CD compilation by Lomechanik)
Obviously I have to be careful when writing about this. One wrong word, and I am a dead man. Why? All almost all of the musicians are from my home-town Nijmegen. A city with 160.000 inhabitants, and yet so many musicians are on this. And even at that I can mention a few who are not part of it. Phew. Lomechanik is a collective of musicians from this beautiful city and all of them dabble in electronic music. No less than thirty-six tracks are delivered here, by at least thirty or so different musicians, or combinations. Hard to translate the title, and which is probably only funny if you speak dutch, but 'Ruis Voor Thuis' is filled with music for home listening and 'Iets Met Biets' is the uptempo rhythm, the floor music. Although I came across some music here which me thinks it's a bit hard to dance too, like the totally fucked up beats by Atiq & Enk. On both discs there is a great variety of approaches towards electronic music, with even a few a guitar song here and there, such as by Maersk. From melancholically beats, to straight forward techno, fucked up drum & bass, hip hop beats (although no rapper in sight), fat analogue synths but also digital work: even if one would only be mildly interested in one or the other, but with a keen ear to other styles in electronic music, this is true treasure to discover new names (many unsigned!). (FdW) Address:

There is no Meelkop Island or Chartier Island, but there is a Lopez Island - and to send Francisco Lopez there, armed with his microphone and recording device is a stroke of genius. Lopez Island lies in the state of Washington and is an island. Lopez is a composer of natural phenomena, which he transforms in ways we don't know (computer? analogue? filtering?), and the outcome is always something one needs to hear. The start is very Lopez like: silent. One of those, one might all to easily think. But it's not one of those. Five or so minutes into the piece (now that is the same as 95% of his releases: they have single track), it's audible and remains so until five or so minutes before it ends. In the remaining forty or so minutes we hear the falling of rain in the first part and electrical sounds (engines? ventilators? boats?) in the second part. At one point there are even audible loops used, which is rarity (but not an unknown) feature in the music of Lopez. As said everything is derived from the environment, but it's put together as a piece of music, not a documentary of the island. You don't have to be there or know the place, to enjoy this piece of music. It fits the more recent works by Lopez, which are more audible than his works of say a decade ago, and is another strong work from this undisputed master. (FdW) Address:

The name Mike Hansen was new to me, but Hansen is certainly no newcomer to the world of music. Previously known for his turntable antics, this is Hansen's first CD for Etude records, which is a brand-new label specializing on experimental, improvisational, field recordings, minimal music and sound archives. The five compositions on this 50-minute disc are made out of raw sound material using guitars and amps, cowbells, harmonicas, Vietnamese drum and of course processing from Hansen's turntable installations. Sounding both soothing and disturbing with plenty of dynamics, At Every Point is actually a fine improvisational album, with highlights like Tidying Up After and The Day Before The Day. With this first release by Mike Hansen and planned albums by Tomasz Krakowisk and Augusti Martinez, Etude records looks like to be an interesting new star on the firmament of experimental music. (Freek Kinkelaar) Address:

ANDREW LILES - BLACK PAPER (CD by Beta lactam-ring records)
ANDREW LILES - BLACK HOLE (CD by Beta lactam-ring records)
EARTHMONEY - ANGELMANS SUPERNOVE (CD by Beta lactam-ring records)
DANIEL MENCHE - DELIGE AND SUNDER (CD by Beta lactam-ring records)
Chris Mc Beth from Beta Lactam-Ring Records is a busy boy. With BLRR-albums coming out all the time, he has still found time and space to embark on a new and exiting venture: The Black Series. This is a series of CD's by various artists, all packed in neat cardboard gatefold cover with black inserts (signed in black of course) and black wrap-around obi's. Judging by the long list of proposed artists (see the BLRR website) this will be an intriguing and possibly historic series of CD's. Last week we received four CD's in the series.
Andrew Liles, Brighton's wonder man, who's quite a busy bee himself, starts off the reviews. With his CD Black Paper he kicks off his The Vortex Vault series, a series of no less than 12 CD's of both archive and new recordings plus the odd collaboration thrown in. On Black Paper he collaborates with Japanese artist Kenji Siratori, who contributes spoken word and whisperings, delivered in an urgent and dynamic fashion. As my Japanese is poor, I have no idea what he's talking about, making the voice sound more like an additional instrument, which perfectly suits Liles' collage-like style of music. Black Paper is a great CD (though at 30 minutes a bit brief), which made me want to listen to the second Liles CD in this series even more.
Black Hole has Liles all on his own. Much more contemplative by nature, this 14 track CD is less outspoken than Black Paper. The 40+ minutes of Liles-material, full of loops, found sounds and strange effects, will surely please his ever-growing army of fans. In fact, interest so far in the Andrew Liles' Vortex Vault series has been so high, that BLRR has made it possible to buy the whole set in one go at a reduced price. Highly recommended!
Earthmonkey is Peat Bog's alter ego, who previously worked with Steve Stapleton. After some successful earlier CD's for BLRR, he now presents Angelmans Supernova and, I have to be honest here, I have two problems with this CD; one objective, the other subjective. The objective problem is that this is a 20-minute album, yet it retails at the full price. The subjective problem is that this is not really my kind of music. The three songs on this "album" sound like krautrock with free form avant-garde rock thrown in. Using traditional instruments like guitars, keyboards and drums, the music is repetitive and groovy, but not as adventurous as you might want it to be.
Daniel Menche is also a busy-bee with no less than 7 CD's released or planned for release in 2006! His latest one, Deluge and Sunder, has been released as part of BLRR's Black Series. Noisy at times but by no means classifiable as "noise" his music has a distinct quality and identity of its own. Deluge And Sunder is a re-released (remastered and expanded) of Deluge (with Sunder 1 and 2 added as bonus material). Four long tracks make up this wonderful album, which is one of Menche's best (not that I pretend to know all his works, but still). Using acoustic instruments like accordion, bass guitar and melodica) Menche weaves thick layers of processed sound, often drone-like of character but more dynamic than you'd expect. The Deluge-tracks from this album have also been made available as a limited edition vinyl LP, but the vastly expanded CD version (which is also cheaper) is the best buy. (Freek Kinkelaar) Address:

Of course the joke about modern classical music is that once the orchestra is done tuning, someone applauds for it as being a serious composition. But to hear an orchestra tuning up is always nice. Apparently I am not the only one who thinks so, as Christopher deLaurenti made a bunch of field recordings of orchestras tuning up. DeLaurenti has made more work that involves social action, such as at WTO protests. He is also involved in improvised music, but here doing something entirely different. It's a bit difficult to tell how this was made. I doubt wether these are all real time recordings, unedited. Sometimes it seems that certain phrases return, or am I hallucinating. Does it take seventeen minutes to tune up in 'Holst, Hitherto'? Or is it a recording of people entering too? We hear snippets of conversations, random instruments playing random notes. It's a highly conceptual recording, six pieces in total, and I must admit I played this with some fascination, but at the same time, I wondered how many more times I would play this. Like with all great concepts - and this is surely one of them - you rather talk about it, then actually play it all the time. It may serve as an interesting DJ tool also... (FdW) Address:

The name Matthieu Saladin popped up in various past issues of Vital Weekly, most notably for his work with Herve Boghossian as Plateforms. Saladin plays bass clarinet and soprano saxophone, but these are fed through electronics, or, more precise as indicated on the cover, 'improvisations processed by computer'. I think we are to believe this to be done in real time. It's a highly interesting release. Perhaps I expected a bit too many sine wave like excursions, but that's perhaps my superstition. I was pleasantly surprised by this release. A lot careful sounds, that are sometimes not easy to trace back to wind instruments and the computer treatments sound quite interesting. Not the usual bed of cracks and hiss, but rather a deep end hum of ringing sounds that form quite an unified part with the real time instruments. Each of the nine pieces explores a world of its own and it's all throughout a highly varied work of onkyo like improvisation but taking it in the field of live computer music. Very nice indeed. (FdW)

The previous release by Naarmann & Neiteler I didn't hear, but 'Sister Thelesitis' had flutes, choral voices and spoken word. With some delay the new one 'Naarland' is now released, and seems to be moving into a new territory. Whoever Neiteler is I don't know, but behind Naarmann we find Tobias Fischer, the man behind Einzeleinheit. No more flutes, chorals or speakers, this album is entirely electronic in approach. Synthesizer, probably out of a computer and drum computers paint a melodic and harmonious atmosphere. The percussion takes hold of the atmosphere with trance inducing rhythms, and the synthesizers and sound effects forming the ornaments, but it's a bit too sweet for me. I was thinking of pseudo-ethnic music while listening, thinking of Desaccord Majeur or their various off-shoots and of ambient house of many moons ago. The two longer pieces are the more sweeter ones, and the three shorter are somewhat darker and go a bit further. Surely entertaining but no big surprises are to be found here.
Iversen needs no introduction, as he is the active man behind Tib prod (see also elsewhere in this issue) and one half of Bjerga/Iversen and an active solo force himself. He recorded 'Wiederkehrende Welten' ('returning worlds') especially for Einzeleinheit, which proved to have a keen ear for atmospheric drone music with a small dash of rhythm here and there. As such Iversen does a fine job. Highly atmospherical, mirco processing of sounds that form digital drones and the smaller left-over, the residual particles fall to earth like rhythm. In the vast catalogue of Iversen this is not a stand out release, but one that falls in his main section: quite good, nothing spectacular.
Which can also be said of 'Caligula Symphony W', even when the start of it is more noise related than we are used from Iversen. But after some six or so minutes the piece moves into more known territories of ambient and drone. Slow and minimal developments, but throughout it keeps changing shape and color and makes this into another quite good release, but not the best by him. Can't understand why this is released in an edition of 18 copies only.
 On the same label and with a slight Iversen connection are Origami Statika, which is a collaboration of Resin and Swamps Up Nostrils, whom both had releases on Iversen's Tib Prod label. Here they use the noise idiom to create five dense pieces, which start out nice in 'Buffering' and the following three pieces of digital noise assemblages, but the final 'Reading Between The Lines' is not very well spend on me. Volume goes down and nothing much is done to make this into an interesting piece, but still it takes up half the release. Just the first four would have made a nice, not great, noise statement. (FdW)

Perhaps attempting to catch up for years of no music making, Maurizio Bianchi works like a madman these days. The good thing is that he doesn't care about his star status, but likewise releases his music on CDR. Apparently having a good relationship with Tib Prod, there is a now a full length release by Bianchi, although it might be better to say 'Maurizio Bianchi remixed by Siegmar Fricke. 'Muitnelis' deals with 'concrete sounds and magnetic oscillations' - in Fricke's hands they are transformed and re-shaped, but I must say: it doesn't justify Bianchi's music very much. His harsh tone, somewhat unfixed direction of music, slightly hypnotic becomes in the no less capable hands of Fricke something else. Ambient industrial music no doubt, sampled and electronically shaped, but it stays also a bit too much on the safe side. Relatively short pieces of electrically charged sounds that are quite static, it's only a faint trace of Bianchi's original. Not bad at all, but it would be better to give more credit to Fricke when releasing this.
Behind Mil.Org is one Tor Fr�seth, who composed all of the fifteen tracks, except one with Sivert Solum who plays guitar on that piece as well. I must admit I am not very much impressed by this. The pieces are short and sampled together from all sorts of media, such as radio and TV, fed through a bunch of electronics to make a chaotic and incoherent sound that has no head or tail. Perhaps I miss the point entirely here.
Also strange and unfocussed is the release by Fisk Pa Disc, which is a duo of Willy Koperud and Roar Borge, who are both responsible for the vocals and instruments. They improvised the music, using a lot of acoustic instruments and in the next stage they did a bit of sound treatment on the computer. However unlike Mil.Org this sounded quite interesting, if you'd regard this as outsider music. Going on without a real beginning or end, this reminded me of some of the music released on cassettes in the 80s, like Paul Kelday. This free floating bunch was mind inducing and quite nice. I am not sure if the lyrics played any significant role or if the fish in band name and title had any meaning, but throughout it was very pleasant indeed. (FdW) Address:

804noise is a collective of noise musicians from Richmond, Virginia, who organize their own concerts and release their own music, all since 2001. One of the founders is Kenneth Yates, whom we came across in Insects With Tits, his collaboration with Chefkirk, and Harm Stryker. But solo he works as Caustic Castle, using the 'no input mixer' to create feedback, which is equalized and fed through pedal boxes. I could say something about 'seen that before', but I still see people strumming six strings on a piece of wood, so why not a no input mixer? Essentially there are two types of musicians who improvise with no input mixers: those who play them with care and those who play the with the love of noise (and very few with a sense of rhythm, some old Arcane Device comes to mind and Marko Ciciliani). Caustic Castle belongs to the noise types. The three pieces on this release span twelve minutes of brutal noise, feedback flies about, alongside dark tones and more crude distortion. Perhaps all
a bit too noisy for me, but the good thing is that Caustic Castle keeps things to the point, and as such as the 3" format is the right one, and that's something more people should do. (FdW) Address:

The complete "Vital Weekly" is available at: Vital Weekly

Related articles

Vital Weekly 583
Frans de Waard presents the ...
CD Feature/ Vestigial: "Aeon"
Brought to life with all ...
CD Feature/ Barry Schrader: "Beyond"
No direct answers: You have ...
Vital Weekly 557
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Random Stabbings 19
December's round of interesting records, ...
CD Feature/ Feu Follet: "Toi et le son"
Can carry you wherever you ...
Vital Weekly 552
Frans de Waard presents the ...
CD Feature/ rlw: "i.k.k. - purpur"
A remix project, of sorts.
CD Feature/ In Meditarium: "Mare Internum"
All hope is not yet ...
CD Feature/ Pawel Grabowski: "Arh"
A ritual of healing, a ...
Vital Weekly 514
Frans de Waard presents the ...

Partner sites