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Vital Weekly 567

img  Tobias

Quicker than usual, Jim Denley returns with another duo CD, following 'Findings' with Peter Blamey (see Vital Weekly 546). Now it's the turn for one Scott Sinclair who plays guitar and objects. Both are from down under and both have a long history in improvised music, which is something that certainly can be here. The release with Blamey sounded more composed than improvised I thought, but here it's all improvised music. Although both players are aware of the techniques used these days by improvising musicians to use the instrument as an object, they only do this to a certain extent. They like to mix that particular end of improvisation with something that is more along the conventional playing of their instruments. It's hard to tell how it's divided - if that really is an interesting question, which I believe it's not. Taken face value, I'd say their interest tends a little bit more to the quiet object kind of playing, but never wanting to let go of their roots. I must say I quite enjoyed this disc, but it stayed a bit on the improvisation side too much for me, and didn't have the same quality as the previous release with Peter Blamey, but still is of an outstanding quality. (FdW) Address:

In Berlin there was the Raumschiff Zitrone, a performance space ran by Kai Fagaschinski and Christof Kurzmann, which hosted experimental and improvised music concerts. On october 26th of last year they closed their doors. But the Kommando Raumschiff Zitrone (which translates as Command Spaceship Lemon) continues. It's a duo of the organizers who first played together at the club with the same name in 2002, at the Christmas party. 'First Time...' is the first widely available CD, which was already recorded in 2004, by legendary improvised music producer Christoph Amann (I realize that I hardly mention his name, but his studio is used a lot for the recording of this kind of music). Fagaschinski plays clarinet and Kurzmann plays also clarinet (on the longest track, not on the other five), lloop (some live software thing) and devices. The cover of this release may suggest some cheesy popmusic (keep in mind the title) and certainly points deliberately in the 'wrong' direction, but it's all hardcore 'soft' improvisation. Careful and silent are the two keywords for this work. The clarinet play long sustained tones and clusters, whilst beneath the surface there is the lively activity of insect like sounds, chirping, buzzing, sometimes loaded with activity and sometimes alone humming time away. It's music to keep your full attention with, otherwise you might easily miss out on the finer subtle parts. Only then it will unfold it's full beauty. Not really a surprising new disc of improvised music, but certainly a very fine, high quality disc. (FdW)

Although based in Amsterdam and London, I never came across the name Kreepa. They were founded in 2000 by John Richard (double bass, kreepback instrument, electronics) and Hilary Jeffery (trombone, electronics, insekt synth) combining their instruments with electronics. Later on they were joined by Paul Dunmall on tenor saxophone and Cesar Villavicencio on 'erazer recorder' and the quartet released some CDRs. 'Inside-a-sekt' is their debut album, recorded for Monium, the new label by Napalm Death and Scorn member Nicholas James Bullen. Seeing this list of names I too soon assumed we were dealing with an all improvised music group, but the presence of such home made devices as the kreepback instrument, tromboscillator and inseckt synth proved me right and wrong. Both ends of the spectrum are used. The 'real' instruments are played as their teachers once told them at a very young age, and that probably doesn't appeal to me very much. But embedded in the hot bed of sizzling, sparkling and bubbling electronics, makes this into a crazy and sometimes uneasy and always unlikely marriage. It also makes things highly interesting! As said, not always blown away by the free improvisation textures they come up with, but together with the electronics this is a highly fascinating journey, with many surprising jumps and cuts. The more electronic the better things get here, but throughout this is a highly surprising release. (FdW) Address:

It's been quite a while since we reviewed the first CD by Herpes Ö Deluxe ('Havarie' in Vital Weekly 369), which by itself was strange to see. The band has been active for more than 10 years at the time, but it took ages to get around releasing anything. Plus then: nothing. Until now. 'Kielholen', released on a new Swiss label called 'Hinterzimmer', is their second release. Herpes Ö Deluxe is a four piece group playing analogue synthesizers, tape-loops, turntables and voices. Normally their pieces are 'structured sound monuments' that easily last thirty to fifty minutes. Perhaps that's the reason why they don't release much. Reto Mäder, also known as RM74, proposed to make a selection of the best excerpts from these compositions and in the process of post production he added some material of his own. It's of course unclear now how an entire sound monument sounds from Herpes Ö Deluxe, but the six excerpts are much along the lines of their first CD. Ambient industrial music. Music that is not harsh, but also unsettling enough to avoid the ambient tag. Music that develops slowly, but builds in tension through the evolution of a piece. Slow rhythms, the mumbling of voices (is that Willem de Ridder in the first piece), small melodies swirl around. These are the ingredients that Herpes Ö Deluxe work with and they do an absolute fine job, if not a bit retro. Again, like before, the name Illusion Of Safety came to mind, especially their late 80s/early 90s period, but also more musique concrete projects such as early THU20 and P.Children. But then I thought: probably not many people remember that, so let them check out Herpes Ö Deluxe for some finer harsher cross-over of musique concrete and industrial music. (FdW) Address:

DUSA - LJUNG (LP by AKultur)
Much of the website from Akultur, who released this LP by Dusa is in Swedish, a language which I haven't mastered yet. Also the myspace page is not very clear, other than a strange selection of influences, such as Andrej Tarkovskij, Deutsch Nepal but also Wordsound and DJ Shadow. If you play the record, then things fall in place, I think. The found sound work of DJ Shadow, desolate sound scapes like a Tarkowvskij movie and the spacious music of a more Deutsch Nepal. Folk like electronics, like some of the music on Häpna (also Swedish, perhaps no surprise), but dwelling more on field recordings than say Tape. Going outside, the empty land in Sweden and recording the atmosphere, rather than a particular sound event. A bird flies over, but it was intended in capturing that particular sound. Then the radio comes in and leaves without a trace almost instantly. The guitar tinkles away, and there is a violin somewhere. Highly unfocussed this music, but that is surely not its aim. That might be to create a dense, atmospheric sound that oddly enough is also empty at the same time. Whereas the Norwegians have their noise, it seems like the Swedish have their folk tronics. Dusa is a rather fine example thereof. (FdW) Address:

Yes, well, sooooooo there is a bonus 7" with the first 200 copies of this LP! The question is really if anyone would want more of Harry Merry's music after an entire LP. The disc is full till the hilt with this unique blend of Harry Merry's absurdly ridiculous music. Don't be fooled by these mere words though, it's meant in a sort of positive way, maybe. Who knows really? Some say Harry Merry is the dutch Felix Kubin, some say he's Captain Beefheart reincarnated without the band. All we know is he's probably the most deranged dutch musician alive now. His quality is basically to create intricate melodies and then playing them so totally over the top on cheap keyboards that he ruins pretty much all of it. Add to this his not very nice vocals and the result is  simple: you will love this or you'll hate it. Now that is a quality if you ask me! To compare Harry any further would do injustice to this seemingly completely autistic entity, so I'll  leave it at this. Fucked up keyboard pop by a dutch guy who seems to be on his own planet all the time. You'll love it or you won't. Address:

SCANNER - MOSKAU DISKO (12" by Bine Music)
'Where can I sign up to get one?' was the final statement from this reviewer when listening to 'Teenage Wochen' by Scanner (see Vital Weekly 528), but the follow up to that 12" is not the full length album, but another 12". Which is fine, I can wait and please myself with another 12". 'Moskau Disko' is another uptempo electro/acid song with a great groove and vocals. The keyboards sound very 80s (or even 70s like if you take Kraftwerk in account), adding a nice retro touch to this record.  And just like 'Teenage Wochen' the b-side is more atmospheric with some highly motorik arpeggio's and some great sounds popping like balloons. A colder side than the flip, but both sides are great. The full length has now four great tracks. And counting. (FdW) Address:

Rock n roll is here to stay? Probably it never goes away. In 2004 Rock N Roll became an old man of 50 and Emil Beaulieu and Jason Lescalleet were invited to do a celebration 7" (the format of rock n roll), but for some reasons it's released now, in 2007 (when sex pistols split up thirty years ago). The cover is inspired by 'Through The Past Darkly' by The Rolling Stones (of whom I never had a record, quite proud of that) and is octagonal shaped. The Beaulieu side shows him in a good mood: loud and dirty. No surprise he was once the king of noise, albeit self-proclaimed. On a good day is on par with Merzbow, on bad day he's the greatest conceptualist alive. Lescalleet on the other side goes to the attic and plays with his old toys. His rusty machines are never far away to capture the moment and provides us with a dark collage of musique concrete sounds. More to celebrate almost sixty years of musqiue concrete, which is coming soon. Quite a nice one, and with a true nice cover.  (FdW) Address:

Martin Fuhs is the man behind Seconds In Formaldehyde who plays ambient guitar drone music since about five years. His music is played on electric guitars and sometimes uses drum programming. Although more recent, there is a strong similarity with the music of Fear Falls Burning. Slowly strumming, feeding the sound through a bunch of colored sound effects to create a long sustain, and bob's your uncle. The drumcomputer, a feature not to be found in Fear Falls Burning trunk, is used on the first two tracks only, but it adds an extra flavor to the music which makes it more interesting. The final track is lengthier and sound a bit too much alike his Belgium counterpart (again: even Fuhs may play this longer than Fear Falls Burning, this is my first encounter with his music, and I believe he started to release music after september 2006), who already produced a large body of music. So: it's certainly nice what he does, and done in a really good way, but at the same time, also a bit too much of a copy. (FdW) Address:

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