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Vital Weekly 587

img  Tobias

From Sweden is Carina Thoren and from Australia
is John Chantler, but they live and work in London under the curious banner of For Barry Ray. Thoren has played with groups such as Satellite Book and Trigger Happy & Performing Apes, whereas Chantler already released work on Room40 and playing drums on a Tujiko Noriko CD. Together Thoren and Chantler play all the instruments, even when it's quite hard to name all of them. There is a guitar for sure, drums, flutes, and organs, whereas Dom Garwood adds a bit of clarinet here and there. Despite being Australian/Swedish/Londoners, I thought it all sounded quite New Zealandish actually, even when the recording is much better and the music at times more complex. However the overall nature of the music, the free-form 'let's play and see where it ends' is very much like a lot of things from New Zealand. For Barry Ray however have much more to say, and play a wider range of different tunes here from introspective and calm to more drone and noise related work. It's a very fine work of really alternative rock, with a true keen ear for experimentalism.
Also from down under is guitarist Candlesnuffer, also known as David Brown, whom we know best from his trio work with Anthony Pateras and Sean Baxter, but who has a lot more to his credit in the world of improvisation. Here he plays acoustic guitar, prepared bandura, eukolin and banjo. He uses a little bit of sound effects, but throughout things sound nice and clean, recorded in four sunday afternoons. Unlike Andy Moor's CD from last week, this is more a homogenous thing altogether. Brown hits the strings, plucks them, let the sustain die out and presses his foot down to add a bit of electronics. Sometimes wild and improvised, but at the times, it's almost like country & western style, using slide playing and fingerpicking. More an unified whole than a display of techniques, this is however quite a fine work of solo improvised guitar. (FdW)

VINCENT KOREMAN - ANGST (LP by Bunker Records)
There was a time that I followed everything released by Bunker Records with great interest, but as time went by I lost my interest a bit, but while playing this new LP by Vincent Koreman, made me grab a few of the old ones again to be played later on. Koreman is from Tilburg (The Netherlands), but always strongly linked to Bunker (who are from Den Haag) in an esthetic way. Dark, mysterious, heavy and minimal beat music. Koreman, perhaps better known to the readers of Vital Weekly as Ra-X and to the rest of the world as a member of The Travoltas, plays music here that is only vaguely related to the world of techno - the beats are there, but I'm not sure if they invite the listener to dance, at least not all the time. 'Yuppie Funk' I can understand as a dance piece, but the slow 'Abandon Yr Goals is more difficult. There is something nasty and creepy about these six pieces. They are top heavy under the weight. Anger, fear and other less comfortable images are evoked in these pieces. A bit EBM like, but luckily only on the outside. Pleasure in discomfort. Great furious music. (FdW)

Music by biochemist Sascha Neudeck was reviewed before (see Vital Weekly 562) and of course Staplerfahrer is our own Steffan de Turck, who has had many releases so far on MP3 and CDR labels and plays around like a maniac. His music has gradually moved from noise into the field of microsound, although a certain element of noise is always present. On this release both present a solo piece, as well as a remix of a piece by the other. Four tracks in total, and if you wouldn't be looking at the cover than it would be difficult to find out who is doing what as there is a strong similarity between the various pieces. Things rumble an crack under the weight of field recordings running amok in the computer. Having said that there is nothing new under this sun, the micro sun, the four pieces are quite strong, especially Staplerfahrer's solo piece, which ends in a long, dark drone piece of shivering nature. In the terms of microsound, which is where you can lump these boys in, they deliver a fine job, nothing surprising, but it's made with care and eye for the detail. Not sure which is the different angle they mean with the title though. (FdW) Address:

Now it's official: Marc McNulty is back. About a decade ago his name came up with various releases, then he moved out of sight for a while but now he's back. These two releases on his own Earphone label are very very recent recordings. 'Code Inconnu' was 'recorded July 2007', which it still is as we write. 'Code Inconnu' deals with recordings made in Montreal and on the bridges in Boston. There is are people talking and whatever field recordings can be made on a bridge. There are similarities between this and John Hudak's 'Brooklyn Bridge' or even better the CD by Tom Hall: McNulty plays shorter pieces than Hudak, but some of the drone related material is more like Hudak than Hall's sometimes technoid rhythm pieces. He reworks the material in good electro-acoustic fashion, which musicwise was not too far from some of the recent material by Asmus Tietchens. Good sturdy work going on here, and not rhythmic as on his previous 'Asymetric Error Propagation' (see Vital Weekly 582). Quite powerful stuff, certainly not academic, but perhaps that's what I like about this kind of acousmatic music.
In 'Le L'egende d'eer [Diatope], McNulty does a 'recontextualisation' of Iannis Xenakis piece which was originally for '8 tracks of independent tapes an to be performed/played within an existing piece of architecture'. Here the space are the ears of the listeners. I am not sure if McNulty uses the same sounds as Xenakis, but somehow I think so, but perhaps he's also feeds them through his own fine blend of processing devices. There are eight voices to be detected in this work, which sort of move forward in a linear fashion. Sounds drop in and out of the mix, which could have worked very lively, but it lacks a bit of passion. Perhaps if one would hear this super loud, it could work better, but here on the average installation, the power doesn't really come across. It's good, but the other one is better. (FdW)

ERTHAD - GMA (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
One of the reasons for not doing spoken announcements in our podcast are the tongue twisting names of artists and labels. Erthad might be doable, but the name of the label Zhelezobeton is certainly less easy. Erthad is originally from Kazam and started out in the late 90s, but it's not until now that he made his first release on this for me new label. 'GMA' was already recorded in 2002, using 'voice and software noise synthesizers' as it says on the website (the cover holds no information). Very occasionally it's a bit of rhythm, but the major part of the music are built of long sustaining sounds, that are not loud enough to be real noise, but at the same it's not ambient enough to be called erm ambient. It's music that sort of falls between these categories and that's of course not something new. It's not always 'deep' but rather stays on the surface of things and one wish they had gotten some more out of it.
Jim DeJong's The Infant Cycle has been around for a good thirteen years already and he released a whole bunch of material on various media. This new release is not exactly new, since it was recorded in 2003 already an it's a kinda of conceptual release. The cover says for sound sources 'one carved-vinyl record groove, record player operational sounds (augmented by violin bow and razor blade)', which left me thinking what to see. It's now released here on this Russian label and it's quite a minimal piece of music, actually two pieces. Records are spun at various speeds and the razor blades are held at different positions - well, or some such, me thinks. 'How To Bow A Tone Arm' is a minimal, industrialized piece of music of continuos drones, which is nice but not great. 'Skinning The Platter' is more interesting, starting out with a sort of beat, and far away drones, which slowly seem to disappear, instead of increasing. It's a much more careful piece of music, with a strange development, but one that holds the attention throughout, not knowing what to expect next. A great piece going on here. (FdW) Address:

Micheal Thomas Jackson has been a strong force of experimental music for close to twenty years, and is still active. In 1996 he founded the Spool Ensemble, together with Aaron Bachelder to create free improvise music on electronic instruments. To that end they ask others to join in and as such they played with Bob Holub, Matt Smith, Eugene Chadbourne and others. I believe however that on this 3"CDR it's just Bachelder and Jackson. The latter plays no input mixer an the first does real-time digital sampling and processing. The resulting three pieces are interesting pieces of harsh noise that however have enough variation an dynamics to be interesting. A sort of violent Stockhausen, but perhaps with a bit too much improvisation for my taste.
Of more interest is Micheal Thomas Jackson's own 'Paris Au Printemps', which is not a tribute, at least so it seems to me, to Public Image's album of the same name. Jackson uses feedback going through 'multiple effect processors'. Static feedback comes out of it, but there is certainly change in there. This is music that one should not play very loud but rather soft and then move through your space: the sound waves will alter by itself. Psycho-acoustic music in the best Alvin Lucier tradition. It's a very fine disc, a short but powerful work. (FdW)

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