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Vital Weekly 607

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MICHEL F. CÔTÉ - (JUSTE) CLAUDETTE (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
New great stuff from Michel F.Côté (Klaxon Gueule, Bruire, Flat Fourgonnette)!
Although the compositions are teamwork, the music carries a clear stamp from mister Coté who did the mixing and montage. Côté (drums, pocket trumpet, arrangements) is in the company here of Bernard Falaise (electric guitar), Alexandre St.-Onge (doublebass) and Jesse Levine on electric organ. Levine is the new element on this CD. A young jazzmusician from Boston, who plays some very demented and weird organ. He played in the klezmer band Black Ox Orchestar, and also with noise-rock artists Fly Pan Am and live Hip-Hop ensemble Kalmunity. With the impro-sextet Balai Mécanique he recorded an album released on No Type in 2003. Listening to '(juste) Claudette' what strikes me first is that again the music has a certain slowness and primitiveness that characterizes also earlier work of Côté. Strange instrumental rock, that moves ahead with a slow but steady groove. Within and in contrast with the simple beat or groove played by Côte and St.-Onge, we hear some very free and distorted playing from above all the guitarist and organ player. Very amusing. But from time to time I wish the drummer would also take part in the madness of Levine and Falaise, who play very aggressive, edgy and far out. One has the feeling this music has its roots in rock and blues but is never sounds like that. In the track 'Descente Central' they take a break and they show themselves from a more serious side with a rendition of Morton Feldman's 'String Quartet'(II). The CD closes with a composition of Vincent Gallo. (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://www.actuellecd.com

GUIDO DEL FABBRO - AGREGATS (CD by Ambiances Magnetiques)
A new cd by Guido Del Fabbro (1980, Montréal). He is a core member of Fanfare Pourpour, who did a fantastic program with Lars Hollmer recently. Also he takes part in Rouge Ciel and Concorde Crash. In 2003 he recorded his first solo album ('Carré de sable') for Ambiances Magnétiques. With 'Aggrégats' his second solo effort sees the light. For this one Fabbro composed and arranged a new set of 13 compositions composed between 1999 and 2007. Although they do not make up an suite, the pieces make up very naturally an organic whole. The pieces are played by an ensemble of 10 musicians playing accordion, clarinets, violin, flutes, trombone, cello, drums, percussion and some electronics and bird calls. He recruited musicians from very diverse backgrounds for this project. Postmodern or deconstructionist strategies have no grip on Fabbro. His compositions are mainly folk-influenced, with classical touches resulting in a romantic and melodramatic music with nice harmonies and melodies. Being avant garde is not what Fabbro is aiming at. Points or reference maybe be early Conventum or a belgian group like Julverne from the late 70s and early 80s. 'Moissine' is the exception, being an collective improvised interlude that is very much NOW. I wish the album had more of these moments. But Fabbro succeeds in evoking the 'old' music he is dreaming of and knows how to revive it without sounding nostalgic and without using cliches. On the other hand I must say that I hope the Fabbro's next cd will contain more daring compositions. (Dolf Mulder)
Address: http://www.actuellecd.com/

SNOLEOPARDEN (CD by Rump Recordings)
The snowleopard is a rare animal living in the mountains of central Asia. In Danish, Snöleoparden, it is the name chosen by Jonas Stampe, who likes to travel, especially India, Pakistan and Morocco. He studied with Ravi Shankar, played guitar with indietronic band Mofus and was a guest sitarplayer with various bands. The self-titled CD is his debut. Stampe uses mainly children instruments, reel to reel tape recordings and guitar pedals, I gather one of those pedals which give easy ways to loop things. Simple as that, but Stampe has made a highly varied album and it's the mixture of styles that make this album very nice. A street boy singing, xylophones playing minimal music, children singing songs, electronic bits and even a rock song in 'Water Puppet Theatre'. Stampe plays it all, and with considerable ease. You could all too easily think that the wide variety of styles and recording methods stand the homogeneity of this album in its way, but luckily it doesn't. A bit of world music, a bit alternative folk, a bit of electronics: it's all there and it makes sense, simply because it's played with a great sense of naivety. The only track that seemed out of place is 'Trance', a loop of drums with quasi ritual wind instruments playing on top - a bit of early 23 Skidoo in a demo studio, with a muffled recording. Otherwise: great album. (FdW) Address: http://www.rump.nu

BERSARIN QUARTETT (CD by Lidar Productions)
Its the time of the year of excess. Too much food, too much to drink and too much cosines. Why did I have to think of this when I heard the Bersarin Quartett? Are they a quartett? Probably not, but clever me (?), in classical music a string quartett has four people and strings. This is where the Bersarin Quartett comes in. They have strings, lots and loads of them, more than eight hands can play. Their strings are in a box, the computer (garage band? sampled?) or sampler - but a box. They played heavy sustaining sounds on those (artificial) strings and the whole sample box of orchestral sounds is opened to spice things up a bit. Then, as an extra, there is also some electronic sounds and even a whole sampled drum kit to go along these. Introvert music, most of the times, but when things explode is all big time: orchestral, jazz or even techno. Marsen Jules' influence is never far away, and Arvo Part also, when he knows how to switch on a computer. Now what about the excess? When things get kitsch in here they really get kitsch. Not a little bit, but the whole dramatic, pathetic and melancholic cupboard is open, and EMOTIONS should be felt. That can be too much, I think. The Bersarin Quartett saves the thing but throwing in the right amount of strange sounds, an off beat or a weird ending to a track at exactly the right time. Just when you think the cliche on cliche is too much, something happens which just makes it nice again. That makes it that I give this release the benefit of the doubt. The future will tell, I guess. (FdW)
Address: http://www.lidar-productions.net
Address: http://www.myspace.com/bersarinquartett

MATHIAS JOSEFSON - SUIHKULAHDE (LP by Isoramara Records)
Who, you may ask? Mathias Josefson is however not an unknown person in the realms of Vital Weekly, as he unleashed a whole bunch of recordings under the guise of Moljebka Pvlse, but for this new release he chooses to use his own name. Not an uncommon trend in the land of serious music. Perhaps it has also do with the nature of this record. One side has a found sound, the other is a reworking thereof. The found sound is not explained but it sounds to me like a fridge. I once tried to sleep somewhere next to a fridge, but the sound of it kept it me awake all night. Not a big problem, since I liked it quite a lot. Josefson's found sound side reminded me of this night. The drone of a machine, with all it's subtle varieties, the way it switches of in the end it is still a great listening experience. The 'processed' version of the track eludes me a bit I must say. Whatever there is that has been processed, I may have a trouble hearing it (and no, I am not listening on computer speakers, as a disappointed artist once suggested). The processing are done probably very subtle, but they don't seem to be adding much to the other side. Now if I had two copies and a DJ set up I could perhaps check it out, now it's a bit more of the, albeit nice, same. The work of Josefson moves away from the ambient industrial park and this piece of sound art is a most promising start. (FdW) Address: http://www.isoramara.com

JOHANN WLIGHT - ONEIRONAUTIC RECRUDESCENCE (CDR/MP3 by Sijis)
The mysterious Johann Wlight had a 'mysterious bodily disappearance', which was the reason for the long gap between 'Dauswkm' (see Vital Weekly 415) and this new release 'Oneironautic Recrudescence'. Mysterious, as nothing is known about this man, and what he writes about his work, doesn't shed much light either on this work; he is called one of the leading lights of 'narco-acoustic scene' - I like that. All deliberate mystification aside, this is another fine work where ambient meets drone in computerland. It's a pretty strong work, which displays his work quite well, ranging from softer shaped drones to more louder passages, which reminded me easily of the best of Hafler Trio work, era of 'How To Reform Mankind' and 'Mastery Of Money'. Sound sources unknown (long string installation? field recording?) and we couldn't care less, as this works quite fine. A great work. The second piece on the same release, a remix of the previous piece by Cheapmachines, who captures the mood perfectly and creates a likewise fine piece of music. (FdW) Address: http://www.sijis.com/

KIDSOK NUIT - LO SPAZIO DELLE FASI (CDR by Dotnumdunton)
MORGEN MITTAG - DIGIWATT LYDT (CDR by Dotnumdunton)
On his website we can read some interesting stuff about Giuseppe Mileti, the guy behind Kidsok Nuit. He works with soft- and hardware, does installations, studied in Zurich and New York, does live sets, DJ sets, improvisations. Am I listening to the right release then? The six pieces on his 'Lo Spazio Delle Fasi' couldn't interest me one bit, to be frank. Circuit bending sounds, noisy manipulations, distortions, CD skipping all recorded rather weak. The feedback sounds like being picked up with the cheapest microphone, but doesn't become anything even remotely lo-fi. Scrapings, scratchings, hiss and noise. It's hard to balance this music with all the supposed activity that he mentions on his website. I don't see why this should be released.
Less pretentious is the release by Morgen Mittag; at least there is no website to show off. The eleven tracks are short, in total twenty-seven minutes, and although it is along similar lines as Kidsok Nuit - noise, glitch, circuit bending - the whole thing sounds better recorded and because of the brevity of the tracks, things are much more enjoyable. At times reminding the listener of game-boy music, the pieces, concise as they are, are conducted with humor. Collage like sometimes, handmade and hand-bend circuits, this is a very funny little release. (FdW) Address: http://www.dotnumdunton.com/

The complete Vital Weekly is available at: Vital Weekly

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