RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Vital Weekly 585

img  Tobias

When I first played the Heribert Friedl CD 'Trac[k]_t' I must admit I felt a bit annoyed, a bit tired. Another one of those microsound releases of one 'instrument' recorded and then making endless computer processings, in this case the cymbalon, an instrument that was extensively explored by Friedl before on MP3 releases by Con-V, or releases on Trente Oiseaux and his own Nonvisual Objects label. But upon hearing this work a couple of times, there is some interesting things to be noted. One of them is that it seems to be more or less a live album of sorts. Perhaps I am entirely wrong, but I mean that much of the pieces sound a bit improvised, while it feeds through various stages of computer processing. Delay, reverb are perhaps common places, but there is a sine wave undercurrent to be noted in this music, which makes this somewhat more irregular in the micro-field, although he never leaves the field entirely. At times a bit more loud, more angular and less 'flowing' than his contemporary friends, this is quite a nice release, but one that gives away it's own character after a few rounds of intense listening.
Line boss Taylor Deupree teams up with Christopher Willits, who himself is also a big shot in the world of ambient glitch or whatever one calls it, for a work which they composed for two 'quiet indoor/tea spaces installed at the Yamaguchi Center For Arts and Media in Japan in June of 2004. This is ambient music in the sense that Eno intended it to be when he first thought of it. Music that wouldn't be really present but fill the ambiance in a nice way. Deupree and Willits recommend the listener to hear this in a similar situation, low background level and without headphones. Tea drinking is not too well spend on this coffee junk, and actually I must admit that I found more pleasure in turning up the volume quite a bit and listen quite carefully - quite the opposite to what they want, but I found their music more enjoyable that way. The details come out much better of course, and one hears all the subtle differences of environmental recordings, Willits guitar and Deupree's synthesizer humming. Even then things are quite textured, but quite rich. It has moved away from the old Eno sound (which I only enjoyed on 'Music For Films' in his first ambient phase) into richer musical tapestries. Quite nice, even when not entirely new. (FdW) Address:

The A in A_dontigny stands for Aime, and he is free noise composer from Canada. His name may ring a bell or two for his involvement in Napalm Jazz (not reviewed in Vital Weekly), Morceaux De Machines (see Vital Weekly 338 and 454), or his duet CD with Diane Labrosse (see Vital Weekly 384). Quite a busy man, but he never made a solo recording and 'Geisteswissenschaften' is his first solo excursion. He gets help from various people on guitar, cello and bass, but by and large it's a solo work indeed. What exactly A_dontigny plays himself then? That is perhaps a bit harder to answer, but perhaps it's safe to say that it's a multitude of precorded sources - meaning vinyl, CDs, mini discs, computer files of existing material that he treats through further computer processing, electronic effects and such like. He may add highly fucked up rhythm machines and/or samplers of any kind, but the end result is quite a fascinating journey through the world of today: we zap around, on TV, on the net, and we get a true bombardment of sound and images - here only sound. A world that would drive a lot of people crazy, or in fact it perhaps already did. Much better it would be to sit down and enjoy A_dontigny's release. Turn off the TV, switch of computers and let yourself sink back in this crazy world that is madness enough for those who really want to listen. A_dontigny crosses the world with crazy sounds, and an interesting mixture of techniques to approach the world: musique concrete like, noise based and improvised in playing. It all can be done. If the previous releases by Morceaux De Machines were something you liked, then this new release by one half will appeal to you too: it's by no means half as good; it easily matches the duo. (FdW) Address:

CÔRDAME - SAME (CD by Malasartes Musique)
The young Malasartes Musique label, is an initiative by Damain Nisenson, a composer and saxophonist from Argentina who settled down in Canada some years ago. The second release was a CD by a trio of Jean Félix Mailloux, called 'Aurores boréales'. Mailloux now returns again in trio format with Côrdame. Himself playing doublebass, the trio is completed by marie Neige Lavigne on violin and Julie Odile Gauthier-Morin on cello. Tanguay helps out on percussion, plus Guillaume Bourge on clarinet on track 8 and Anit Ghosh on Viola in track ten.
All compositions and arrangements are again from Mailloux. In many tracks there are influences of folk music to be traced, especially from the middle east as title as 'Au bord du Nil' and 'Valse hébraique' suggest. Some of the compositions lack a own face and are a bit stereotype, others however are very good. The musicians give a dedicated and warm interpretation of the pieces. Similar in mood and atmosphere is the music on "L'autre". At work is now a quartet of Jean-Marc Hébert (electric guitar), accompanied by Christophe Papadimitriou (bass), Pierre Tanguay (drums, percussion) and Marie-Soleil Bélanger (violin, ehru). All compositions come from Hébert, who studied guitar and composition in Toronto. With his group Skalène he already released three CDs. Also he participated in a project with indian musicians. Like in the compositions of Mailloux we hear influences from other parts of the world, but, again like by Mailloux, the music breaths an unmistakably francophone atmosphere. This is due to their lyric and sensual approach. Melancholy comes from the ehru, a chines violin, played by Bélanger. We first heard this instrument on the duet cd of Bélanger and Norman Guilbeault, reviewed earlier for Vital Weekly. The playing of Hébert is sober but effective, and reminds sometimes of Antoine Bethiaume. Both Mailloux and Hébert make no drastic maneuvers as composers. They are not into avant garde, rather they are engaged in an intelligent play with of all kind of influences in a music that always remains very accessible and enjoyable without becoming 'easy'. (Dolf Mulder) Address:

MATTHEW DEAR - ASA BREED (CD by Ghostly International)
Listening the new album 'Asa breed' by Matthew Dear is a real pleasure, probably and mostly because of the various styles that are successfully merged in the music on this release. It's a kind of music that can't be pigeonholed as only techno, because on 'Asa breed' there are various influences and approaches to the music that are characteristic about many different genres and styles. The most obvious and very refreshing atmosphere on the album seems to be the resonating sense of a charming idm sensibility, that's present through the whole release. Then there's the guitar sound in some of the tracks ('Give me more', 'Midnight lovers'), vocals and singing in all tracks, which inevitable associates to songwriting (sometimes even sounding like country music) and it's interesting that many of the tracks or songs on the album are done in a songwriting style, but still not in a classic way. Think more - songwriting in techno style, often not sounding as techno at all. With 'Asa breed' Matthew Dear offers a new perspective for techno music in general and for his own music, adding specific existential moments in the songs, which is another interesting moment and phenomenon, how a wide range of existential themes (characteristic usually about literature or other art) are finding their place even in some of the contemporary production of techno music. Listening and comparing the previous release 'Backstroke' with the new album, it's noticeable that now, coming out of the minimal-techno cliches, Matthew Dear likes to play more with the non-linear and not uniformed approaches to the songwriting inclined techno tracks, which is a good direction. It's interesting how on the layered and well thought out 'Asa breed', Matthew Dear manages to bring in a lot of the songwriting sense in some of the techno and club oriented songs, which is well done in: 'Neighborhoods', 'Deserter', 'Shy', 'Don and sherri', 'Pom pom'... (Boban Ristevski)

RLW - AN ARCHIVIST'S NIGHTMARE (CD by Beta-lactam Ring Records)
Some years Ben Green organized an interesting radio program, called 'One Hour As...', in which a sound artist got the freedom to make a conceptual work being something or somebody. If you read Vital Weekly for some time, you may remember the announcements and think, just as I did, 'wow, wouldn't it be great to hear them all?'. A double CDR set which acted as a kind of best of was released, and some made their way to CD/CDR, for instance the Roel Meelkop hour. Here RLW presents his 'An Archivist's Nightmare', which is, unlike Meelkop's noise music, and other more musical works in the series, a highly conceptual work. In one hour, RLW reads titles from records from his collection. He has an interesting collection, that's one that is sure. His kids and wife give a hand reading a few, and the microphone is cranked up high, so a bit of feedback occurs, but that's about the extent to which the 'musical' part goes of this. You could wonder how often you want to hear this, once might be enough, but with a clever edit on the computer you could even make your own radioplay. This is work of conceptual art, a nice one, not great. And oh, one of the few RLW solo recordings, but I think I prefer the one from last week. (FdW)

CALIKA - SEEDLING MOTHER (CD by Audiobulb Records)
It seemed like a few months that i reviewed Calika's 'Small Talk Kills Me', but it was already in Vital Weekly 494. Now Simon Keoloha delivers his second album under the banner of 'Seedling Mother', and it an interesting forward he makes here. Whereas his previous one was a bit too scattered in various styles for my taste, this new one works much better, even when it still has that wide variety of styles. We leap frog into ambient textures, post rock mathematics, techno, IDM and back again. It's a bit hard to say why it works here better than before, but I think it's partly because tracks are a bit longer than on the previous one. This room in a track is used to expand on themes and explore them better. Even when a lot things happen inside tracks, there is enough space to explore each aspect and that is what makes this into a most enjoyable CD. (FdW)

In the early to mid eighties I was a big fan of Insane Music, an indeed crazy label from Belgium. Their releases either worked around the various musical disguises of Alain Neffe, who played as or with bands as Pseudo Code (the biggest favorite here), I Scream, Cortex (which was poetry read by women, set to music by Neffe), Subject and Human Flesh. The latter was his most serious and also most open project. People from around the world mailed Neffe music and voices/vocals, to which Neffe added his own blend of music, made on violin, saxophone, synthesizer and piano. The fifteen pieces on 'Penumbra' were all recorded between 1985 and 1995, a period of silence for Human Flesh releases, but down in his basement Neffe continued to play music. There is something quite distinct about the music of Human Flesh. The way the saxophone is played, the voices (of Deborah Jaffe, Tara Cross, Nadine Bal, Anna Holmer) reciting rather than singing and the way other instruments are used. Right from the start this is easily to recognize as Human Flesh music. Maybe fifteen pieces is a bit much for what it is, but in terms of serious dramatic, melodic but also partly experimental music, Human Flesh has still an unbeatable style to it.
Related to the world of Insane Music is Daniel Malempre, also known as MAL. On many of the old compilation cassettes of Insane Music he had a track, which usually consisted of pleasant guitar music, backed with a quirky rhythm. If I remember the story correctly he had invented some system to play his guitar and control it with reel to reel tape decks to make echo. He mailed a demo to Ohr Records with the explanation how he made the music and then Manuel Gottsching did use for his famous 'E2-E4' record. As said I remember this correct. On 'Eighties' he presents a whole bunch of pieces he recorded in that decade on a 4 track cassette recorder, all but one of which were released on cassettes. MAL plays yamaha CS5, Realistic Moog, Korg Poly 800, spanish guitar, electric and bass guitar. His music is quite cheerful, with uplifting rhythms, though not fast, with the guitar spiraling around it. It's really nice, for a couple of tracks. You can easily make a great selection of ten out of the eighteen pieces, but all of them is a bit too much. Some of these pieces sound like a more or less copies of the others. That is a pity. Also it would have been nicer if they were a bit longer. The sketch like pieces that some are, is just a bit too short. Things could develop a bit more given the right time frame. I am not sure how his more recent music sounds, but it should be something to consider for him. These minor complaints aside, this is a nice retrospective release and anyone who has place in their hearts for old music released on cassettes, should get it. (FdW) Address:

Shin, a small label run by the same people as Microsuoni, has some Japanese fixation. Their first artist was one Shinkei, and now we get Koyuki. The information for these releases is non existent. 'Created using shortwave radio as source material', is the total extent of the press blurb. I must say it sounds a bit like things like this should sound: hissy, crack-like, careful, and somewhere a deep sonic rumble. A bit low in volume, but that is also something that comes free with the game. It's throughout not unpleasant to hear, but at the same time I couldn't help thinking: so what? It's also music you could easily be without (but perhaps that goes for so much music anyway). Labeled: alright anyway. (FdW)

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

Related articles

CD Feature/ Gydja: "Umbilicus Maris"
Free forms and floating cohesion: ...
CD Feature/ Amon & Nimh: "Sator"
In a spirit of experimentation: ...
CD Feature/ Monstrare, Wilt: "Graveflowers"
A split which could well ...
Vital Weekly 565
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Random Stabbings 20a
January's first round of interesting ...
CD Feature/ asher: "directions"
Words are a distraction when ...
Vital Weekly 538
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 513
Frans de Waard presents the ...

Partner sites