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Vital Weekly 568

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FEU FOLLET & MIINA VIRTANEN - THE ICICLE LECTURES VOL. 1 (CDR by Ex Ovo)
Music by Feu Follet was reviewed before, as Tobias Fischer, the man behind the name, is also the man behind Einzeleinheit label, sending all of their releases to here. He also writes for the Tokafi webzine and is one half of an electronic duo called Suneaters. That's a different story. Here however he teams up with one Miina Virtanen from Finland, now residing in Munster, Germany. She plays the piano and has released two albums privately of her work. She got hooked with Fischer and together they made 'The Icicle Lectures Vol. 1'. It opens with a piece by Virtanen, solo on the piano. Music of stillness. Romantic but not kitsch. Satie meets Feldman. That sort of thing. The longest piece, thirty four minutes, is a collaboration between Virtanen and Fischer, which is by far the strongest work Fischer made so far. Chilling electronics that play a highly modest role in the music, with just a refined bit of Virtanen's piano playing. A bit of reverb adds that extra ambience. I am strongly reminded of the two albums Brian Eno made with Harold Budd in his ambient series, 'The Plateaux Of Mirror' and 'The Pearl', but then captured in one long track. It's a great melancholic and atmospheric music, perfect for a late night listening session. Curious about the next volumes! (FdW) Address: http://www.exovo.org


ALESSANDRO BOSETTI - HER NAME - (CD by Crouton)
Once in a while, after listening to a new cd, I find myself exclaiming: 'this one is really absolutely fantastic! Everything is on its place here!' This happened to me while listening to Bosetti's new cd. I know Bosetti as a saxplayer, but on his new cd he also touches acoustic and electric guitars, electric piano, cello, piano, harmonium, electric organ, electronics, shortwave radio and voice. He is assisted by Koen Nutters (doublebass on track 3 and 5), Ernst Karel (trumpet on track 3) and Morten J.Olsen (drums on track 3 and 4). Plus a whole bunch of people who lend their voice. Recordings were made during 2006 on several places on planet earth. He was helped out by Guiseppe Ielasi a.o. 'Her Name' is a work that crosses many borders: music, audio play, collage, soundpoetry, etc. It is a bit of it all, but the result is more then the sum of its parts. It is evident that creative forces are at work here. Most pieces are built around the voices Bosetti recorded. He explores the musical qualities of these speaking voices and uses them with vision. Here Bosetti seems to operate in a way René Lussier did on his album 'Tresor de la Langue', where Lussier transcribed spoken voice and orchestrated it for instruments. Anyway, each piece results in a very musical collage of voices on the one hand, and all kind of sounds and playing on the other. The soundsources are not extremely manipulated by Bosetti. Also he didn't choose for an overkill of effects or heavy processing techniques. The pieces are very open and natural. Every nuance and detail can be distinguished very good. Each track shows a good sense for proportion and color. It is also a very emotional work, made with great care and dedication by Bosetti. A very enjoyable work! (Dolf Mulder ) Address: http://www.croutonmusic.com/


ILIOS - LOVE IS MY MOTOR (CD by Antifrost)
Throughout the many years that Ilios is active, the man is a little mystery for me. Having never met him is not it (he isn't the only one I never met), but his work is a bigger mystery. For his new work, with the strange title 'Love Is My Motor', he uses field recordings from Lima, London, Santander, Santiago and Asuncion, although it's hard to tell what those field recordings consist of. Wind recordings? Rain? It's all highly and heavily processed through the computer. Nikos Veliotis plays a bit of cello on 'The Sight Of You Leaves Me Weak' (all of the track titles show us a man deeply in love). Divided in eight pieces this is yet another strong piece, but hermetically closed (what is the relation between the music and the titles for instance?). Dark, moody, but very much along the lines of especially Francisco Lopez, but also M. Behrens and Roel Meelkop, Ilios leaves me once again puzzled behind. Perhaps I should just undergo this music, not look at the cover and play this at a somewhat louder volume and let the whole thing come through. Perhaps there is just nothing to understand and it's all about beauty. (FdW) Address: http://www.antifrost.gr/


RM74 - FIREPROOF IN 8 PARTS (CD by Hinterzimmer Records)
You could have fooled me: 'Fireproof In 8 Parts' is RM74's fourth solo album - I could have sworn there were more. Maybe I am just confused. Confused with the various releases he made with others, such as the recently released collaboration with Ralf Wehowsky (see Vital Weekly 555). As noted with his previous solo release 'Exkursion' (Vital Weekly 490), RM74, nom de plume from Reto Mäder from Switzerland, can no longer be lumped in with the world of microsound. The 'campy' sound of that album is also no longer part of the RM74 book. For 'Fireproof In 8 Parts' he works along the lines of Ralf Wehowsky: recording acoustic instruments and treating them with analogue and digital means. There is an organ, or a piano, a bassguitar and a harp at hand, and some of these can be recognized, but sometimes, such as in 'Part 6: Orchulence II', not at all. These days the work of RM74 is more in musique concrete territory than in microsound. It's louder, perhaps even a bit more aggressive than before, but also intense and more varied. Careful working his way through the material is still there, but it works on a totally different level. The carefulness has to do with making the composition into a composition and not a mere random bunch of sound. An even bigger surprise is 'Part 9' which comes on a separate bonus CDR. 'Concentrating on his lofi inspired songwriter drafts', it says on the info, and very much so indeed. The music here dwells more on the instruments played, piano, guitar, and lesser to processing the sounds. Seemingly recorded with a simple microphone to pinch that extra lo-fi recording quality. This could be very well a songwriter, less the vocals but on the other hand this could also be the original sounds that were used in the other eight parts. Both CD and CDR are excellent works, from someone who wants to change per release (and that's something I can applaud) (FdW) Address: http://www.hinterzimmer-records.com


ANLA COURTIS & RALF WEHOWSKY - RETURN OF THE STONE SPIRITS (CD by Beta Lactam-ring Records)
For Ralf Wehowsky the collaboration is the prime method to work. More and more, so it seems, he works with people in his home studio in Germany's Eggenstein, such a November day in 2005 when Anla Courtis of Reynols fame came, armed with coils, guitar, argentinian violin, 'stuff in a plastic bag' and sampler to do some 'quasi-live' recordings with Wehowsky (coils, guitar, cambodian violin, kalimba, cappuccino shaker and CD scratch). In the time after that some sound transformation was done. As with other collaborations of this nature by Wehowsky, this too is more a work of improvisation than of careful post production, a bit like his work with Bruce Russell. The pieces are improvised and perhaps cut short, or edited, but throughout the pieces the element of improvisation prevails. Both gentleman know how to make a fire, as their work is not really careful or detailed. Sound effects, used in real time, are applied to quite some extent, such as distortion. This makes this work into a more harsher one than what we commonly think when we hear music by Wehowsky (although the third track shows a bit of detailed sound and takes matters a bit more into control), but it's certainly a solid and strong work by the both of them. Maybe a bit of an odd ball for Wehwosky, but fans of Courtis should be pleased. (FdW) Address: http://www.blrrecords.com


HYSTERESIS - MEASURE CHAOS (CD by Spectre)
"Measured chaos" is the title of the album from Belgian project Hysteresis out on compatriot label Spectre. Hysteresis impressed a lot with their excellent contribution "Noadrenaline" to the amazing compilation "Angst" released on Spectre in 2003. This debut album continues the mission and it certainly delivers the goods if you are searching for the harsh side of Industrial. With a great atmospheric opening "Measured chaos" literally spoken opens in full throttle chaos on the opening track "Deepthroataches". The intense mixture of harsh electronics, Power Noise and bizarre sci-fi synth-lines continues on second track "Anni Liquidi", this time the mixture has been added some great guitar works reminiscent of early Godflesh (from the "Streetcleaner"-period" (1989) that later in the track continues with heavy guitar-riffs that would make any metal-guitarist proud. Hysteresis uses some excellent vocals on the album, spanning from deep mumbling to desperate screaming. On the track titled "Psychedelic knowhow" Hysteresis creates a superb left-winged club track that combines the dark electronic drones and atmospheric guitar-works with catchy rhythms that moves away from the distorted noise beats and into more danceable rhythm-textures. "Measured chaos" represents its own personal approach to the Industrial / Power Noise-scene and I advise listeners of those scenes to check it out. (Niels Mark Pedersen)
Address: http://www.spectre.be


FRANCISCO MEIRINO / TIM OLIVE - EAGLE KEYS (CD by Evenstilte)
NO NOISE (CD compilation by Evenstilte)
Grazing contact microphones raise their heads as the passing linesman for the county hums, - but not a tune to be heard across the 50htz field, along the shore line feeding pnp transistors dart in and out of the pink sea which is about to set. Crabs of corrugated mental crawl over rocks which do not rock, silica seaweed twitches, the sun comes up like thunder over a vibraphone escarpment which might be fusing the lights... this is the music of A Thousand Years 1990 Steel, glass, flies, maggots, MDF, insect-o-cutor, cow's head, sugar, water.... This is the music of Francisco Meirino (Computer & Acoustics ) who has collaborated with aritsts such as Dave Phillips, Brent Gutzeit, Tim Olive (of course), Sickness, Guilty Connector, Cindy Van Acker, Manon Bellet, Filippo Leonardi, Takashi Tsuda, Kasper T. Toeplitz ... (That's 12?) and many more. And performed in Cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tokyo, Kobe, Osaka, Geneva, Zurich, Barcelona, Valencia, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Paris, Marseille, and many more - and - Tim Olive - Electric Bass .. who has made recordings with Phroq, (of course) Supernatural Hot Rug And Not Used (Nisikawa Bunsho), Jeff Allport, Fritz Welch, Nimrod, Soap-Jo Henshi. (is this 6?)  and live action in Europe, Japan, North America with the Phroq(!) and Otomo Yoshihide, Martin Tetreault and many others. On the other CD we have even more friends - as it's a compilation! -10 tracks of various artists who collectively spiral around more electronic noodlings with 'surprising' ingredients, like Myspace pages which are all different, and surprising, yet all feel the same, animated gifs and smart stuff, yo's and respects from friends (again!), like the MacList menu which itemizes differences which are safely all the same, ultimate choice, ultimate selection, and ultimate security in the universality of life...  Even Stilte's Friend Space Even Stilte has 65 friends..  Gangpol & Mit   . norman  bambi.. Dave Phillips, Dustbreeders,  Junko et al all have 1,789 thousand friends. (jliat) Address http://www.myspace.com/evenstilte


TAKUMI SEINO - RIPPLE (CD by Voice Of Silence Records)
TAKUMI SEINO - DARK SHAPE (CD by Voice Of Silence Records)
Colleague Dolf Mulder reviewed the previous release by Takumi Seino, which he recorded with Antoine Berthiaume 'Arc Beneath The Surface' (see Vital Weekly 517), here he returns with a two solo CDs, recorded in the time span of one month (November and December 2006), in two different locations in Japan. Takumi Seino plays guitar: acoustic and electric (I assume not at the same time). Both places were this was recorded are part of the jazz scene and perhaps one could say that Seino plays jazz. I don't know as I am not really known to love jazz. 'Ripple' with it's one piece spanning almost an hour is perhaps the more jazzy one of the two. But the jazz of Seino is not really jazz of course. The tones are spun out, creating circular textures of sounds, small recurring melodies that over the hour grows in intensity. There is either hectic playing or the use of sound effects, like one of those foot pedal delay thingys to make loop the sound around. At least so it seems. On 'Dark Shape' we find five pieces, which are along similar lines, but more rounded off compositions and perhaps (I have to be careful not to run more corrections every week) a bit more electronics, certainly in 'Vague Figure' and 'Convergence'. But throughout both CDs contain silent music, not as in inaudible, but quiet, peaceful music, at times even mediaeval sounding. A highly stripped down Robert Fripp. Excellent, lonely music - both the player and the listener. Calm and relaxing. (FdW) Address: http://www.takumiseino.com/


EFFICIENT REFINERIES - EPINERVIO (CD by Menstrual Recordings)
M.B. & M.D.T. - PSALMODIAM (CDR by Menstrual Recordings)
Siegmar Fricke is a busy man these days. If not working on something solo himself, or with Maurizio Bianchi in collaboration, he works as Efficient Refineries, together with Miguel A. Ruiz. Both have a history in electronic music that goes back to the good ol' 80s with their cassette releases. They work under this alias since 1995 and have released four CDs, none of which I heard. 'Epinervio' is their fifth release and it dabbles in the field of electronic dance music. Although it goes into various directions, the main direction is that of ambient house. Deep, atmospheric synthesizer patterns lay the heavy fundament of this music, and the rhythm ticks nicely away. A voice sample is thrown in, occasionally. While techno inspired, I doubt wether this will get many feet moving on the dance floor. The music is certainly too strange for that, too angular, too hooky and too dark. But perhaps in a more daring chill out room, this might work. At home it certainly works nicely, good entertaining music with a darker edge. Nice to play when you do the dishes. Fricke's partner Bianchi converted to Jehova witness' in the 80s and still sings praise of god. Together with Museo Della Tortura (although the cover just says M.B. + M.D.T.) he made seven tracks, 'psalmodian', which on the cover is explained as an 'experimental way how to interpret the psalms'. All pieces are about psalm 63, which is when King David was alone in the desert and God was still with him. This desolation is captured quite well in the music. Sometimes it seems like a heavily processed choir singing, such as in 'During My Lifetime', but throughout there is a heavy, dark cloud hanging over this music. Dark ambient music for sure, deeply atmospheric, and if I'm not mistaken, there is a fair amount of computer processing going on. M.D.T. is credited here with 'sound source manipulation'. The music didn't bring me much closer to God I must admit, so I can only say something from the perspective of a non-believer: it works well. It's contemplative, dark and experimental. All good things mixed up to make a sincere piece of music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.menstrualrecordings.org


JLIAT - NOW THATS WHAT I CALL NOISE VOL.1  (CDR by Larks Council Of England)
The career of Jliat is an odd one. Perhaps. His first few albums were highly ambient drone works, but after that he started to do all sorts of different things, making guitar like noise, highly conceptual records about silence, snippets of war sounds and recently his love is noise. On his own Larks Council Of England he releases a purposely badly designed CDR with a rip off cover of 'Abbey Road'. '8 Tracks Of Noise' it says also on the cover. Each track lasts three minutes and thirty nine seconds (the perfect length for a popsong?). That is the sort of concepts that Jliat loves I imagine. True noise is what we get here. Feeding sounds on a loop through a bunch of effect pedals, that is the best description of the noise from Jliat - a photo on his website shows this relative simple set up: a four track, some effect pedals and a computer to record it on. It reminded me of some of the older Merzbow work, but a bit more in lo-fi territory. Not every track worked well, but throughout I quite enjoyed this little onslaught. Exactly the right length to be entertained. (FdW) Address: http://www.jliat.com


CASSETTE CULTURE COMPILATION (2xCDR compilation by Cassette Culture)
When we was young. When we were young we sat home, playing with a casio VL-tone keyboard, two cassette players and made music. Copying them to cassettes, xeroxing covers at the local supermarket and we all had our own record labels. No internet, no CDRs, no computers. Where did time go? Some people just never left the music scene and they linger in the pages of Vital Weekly. Some disappeared but returned with CDRs, computers and found their own name alive on the net. They group around www.cassetteculture.net to discuss well whatever: playing live, new gear, old cassettes and new music. Mental Anguish, who never left the music scene, compiled this lovely double CDR compilations with all the old dudes that once played on cassettes. Some of them certainly bought new gear, applied a new name but others just use their old name and old noise. What is surprising here that there is a lot of musical variety going on and the good thing is that you can skip a track you don't like (unlike the old days). Noise and techno related synthesizer music run high, but also singer songwriters, dark ambient and drones. It includes well known names as Anla Courtis, Cheapmachines, Big City Orchestra, If, Bwana and Freiband, but also Praying For Oblivion, Black Saturn, Here Be Monsters, LivingWithAnAngel (great track!), Robin O'Brien and such like. Twenty-eight tracks spanning two hours of very nice mildly experimental music. Don't miss it, this time around. Old but everything functions well. (FdW)
Address: http://www.harshrealitymusic.com


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

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