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Vital Weekly 637

img  Tobias

Only last week I said something about Marko Cicilliani, and that he seems to be one of the few 'no input mixers' would sounds different from Nakamura and this week I received a new work from him. And luckily I was right: it's still different from the 'others'. '81 Matters In Elemental Order' is not about elemental order, but all about disorder. Even when its hardly a new concept - the CD which you can play in any, random order (Freundshaft, Jos Smolders and Kapotte Muziek did this more then a decade ago), it's still something that is fun (or get two copies and play on shuffle!). Cicilliani uses the chemical elements and has translated them into very short tracks, somewhere between thirty seconds and one minute. His playing technique has, as said, not changed. Hectic, nervous, not always the controller of feedback, quick moves and drone like sounds - they are all present here. Its of course an impossible task to say anything substantial about this, as such things as 'composition' doesn't count here. I can say that this is a nice toy to play with, or even one could try to actually compose with the 81 small elements a whole new composition - if only I had the time... (FdW) Address:


Of course I could investigate why a label wants to call itself Boring Machines, but surely it's nothing of a program anyway, so I didn't bother. They have bands like Satan Is My Brother, My Dear Killer, Be Invisible Now and Whispers For Wolves which sound like awful band names (silly label names is o.k., but a silly band name? get real). You could add Punck to be a silly band name, and surely it is, but I happen to know Adriano Zanni as a serious man of serious music, so things are forgiven at the start. In 1964 Michelangelo Antonioni made Red Desert, his ninth movie, in the industrial area of Ravenna and in 1964 Zanni was born in Ravenna. This album is a tribute to Antonioni and to Ravenna, a place I haven't visited, so all I can do is believe his words about the 'huge, cold factories and the polluted river'. But no doubt these are mentioned on the cover as to indicate the nature of the field recordings used on this album. Its a long work (seventy-one minutes) of slow moving sounds - perhaps like an Antonioni movie. Perhaps the strangest element thrown in is the acoustic guitar. Its a bit hard to see why its there, other than perhaps to provide us with a counterpoint with the field recordings. I guess that might be it, as the field recordings part of this is water running, metallic pipe rumbling and birds - field recordings of a rather 'industrial' kind - present in your ears - unlike the microsound posse who would need lots of plug ins to hide this. In Zanni's soundworld this is not necessary. The wind produces the drone, metallic sounds the far away factories and water adds a melody, or spoken word provide a narrative aspect. When this is done, the acoustic guitar comes back in, forward, backwards, slightly processed. It makes a rather odd combination, which my ears had to get used to. Somewhere half way through the album, the thing gets more and more minimal, with a lot less sounds and more spread out over the disc and no more acoustic guitar. Its almost if it's a second piece of music, although its indicated as one really. I have a bit of a problem with that. The first say thirty-five minutes things were nicely in tune, but the second half is like a different world. Why not make two distinct pieces then? Both are nice, but both are different. Otherwise I think this is a very fine work of field recordings and electronics, and oh, a bit of guitar. Certainly something a bit different! (FdW)


Earlier this year I reviewed a release by one Predrag Nedic from Serbia (see Vital Weekly 616), which was a pleasant surprise, not because it was so unique musically, but because it was so outside of Vital Weekly and yet so nice. Filled with new wave like pop music but created for the new millennium. Now Nedic returns with a new banner Keep Away From Heat. Again with some help on vocals by Thanos Vavaroutas, a.k.a. Housework, but musically finding new ground, and hence a new name. The new ground doesn't mean new ground for Vital Weekly, as he comes here with music that has been reviewed before and in all sorts of degrees: the rhythmic, melancholia techno inspired music, touched with a bit of rock music. That last bit is what sets him a bit aside from the musicians that linger around labels such as Highpoint Lowlife or Boltfish. It seems to me, but I admit to not being an expert really, that the popmusic oriented background of Nedic helps creating tunes that are a bit more popmusic, and less confined in the somewhat structureless music of his peers. What seems to be counting for him is the form of the song, rather than the piece - do you get my drift? Nedic seems to be interesting in creating songs, largely instrumental of course and I would be certainly interested to see how it would with a singer in every track and exploring that alley more than just the instrumental part of it. His tracks are strong enough now to keep the attention, but he could set himself really outside the flock and expand more into the song area. Very nice debut album, certainly different than PNDC, and certainly as entertaining. (FdW) Address:


It's curious to see how often things get re-issued: the more mythical the status of the musician, the more re-issues, or so it seems. And Maurizio Bianchi is surely one hell of a mythical musician. 'Mectpyo Bakterium' was already released in 1982 as a LP on the DYS label and it was part of the first major re-issue campaign 'ArcheoMB' in 1998, when two 5CD box sets were released. Now it becomes available again, and it's hard to think for whom, since I guess many have this already? But since Bianchi re-launched his career, it might of course very well possible that he won over some new fans all along the watchtower and then I haven't said a word. The original LP is a great one of not too piercing electronics, slow rhythm and distorted sounds: cold music, a soundtrack for the post nuclear world. Especially in the two long (LP only) tracks it shows Bianchi at his best - not the perfect composed, but rather loosely played/improvised pieces of industrial music. Here on CD joined by the two bonus tracks that were also part of ArcheoMB CD set. Perhaps the more interesting item in this package however is the second CD, which contains seven tracks that were all issued on extremely limited pieces of vinyl in the 90s without Bianchi's permission. Two of them were on a 7", one is from Japanese LP version of Leibstandarte SS MB (not on the original Come Organisation version) and four more from a LP called 'Anthology 1981-1984', with pieces culled from previous compilation LPs and cassettes. Of course the real die-hard has those, but the less fanatical collect-all miss out (like me), so it's good to see them on CD. Here too, MB uses a similar approach to composing his music, but there seems to be a more extended use of scratchy vinyl and tapes that keep running at the wrong speed, which I always assumed was a separate interest for MB in the early days - synthesizer and delay based on one hand and tape/vinyl manipulations on the other. This double CD shows both sides and are all very fine examples of the unique sound world of MB. If you are new to his music, this is a good place to start, and if you know the man's vast output, then especially the second CD is a good addition for some very rare pieces. (FdW) Address:


Should you be in Berlin this summer, it might be worthwhile to seek out a new gallery called Luettgenmeijer where there is an exhibition called 'The Magnetic Headache' by Karen Constance and Dylon Nyoukis, who have also a new CD out on Bottrop-boy with the same title. Dylon's name has been around for some time, perhaps best known as Prick Decay. I have no idea what the exhibition looks or what kind of art they produce - real art for sure otherwise it wouldn't have been in this gallery, but their music can be best described as 'noise - but not over the top'. Its a bit hard to say what exactly it is they are doing here, but me thinks that the six pieces were generated through improvisation with electronics, with no apparent instruments, besides some voice stuff. Everything has a solid lo-fi touch to it, which is alright, even if some of the pieces are a bit long, i.e. could have used a bit more editing, or glued together like 'The Broken Line Recorder', which they recorded with Neil Campbell, but which seems to me to be several tracks stuck together in a rather somewhat crude manner. But in its genre of lo-fi noise not too loud music this is certainly a very nice work. I had good time listening to it, which is sometimes the only thing one needs. (FdW) Address:


OVRO - REVISITED (CD by Some Place Else)
Maybe Some Place Else also struck a pot of gold somewhere, seeing doing three new CDs and one new CDR release. The first is a new work by Ovro, one of the few female laptop artists. Since 2003 she has had some releases, mainly on Some Place Else, but also (not reviewed here) on Kning Disk. For 'Revisited' she uses field recordings made during a 2006 tour through Russia. The seven pieces which result from this are dark, spooky affairs of ambient/drone music. All generated through (lots of) processing on the computer, stapled together into some nightmare like music. Hauntingly dark stuff, but I must admit not always the greatest around. Very fine, very solid work, but sometimes one wished there was happening more in a track and that it somehow didn't seem like one is hearing some very obvious time stretching sounds. The dark trip doesn't fit the mood of summer day entirely, but would do well at night, I think. Not bad at all, not great either.
Labelboss Niko Skorpio has been around since a decade, also from Finland, from where he releases his darkest nightmares as audio parcels to the world. He calls his music 'Hermetic Fusion Musick', which might give you a clue as to where this goes, the world of magick and 'ov' and all those nice things Psychic TV invented. However I must say if you take Niko Skorpio's music face value, i.e. as music, then its actually quite nice. It's also, like Ovro, dark atmospheric drone music, based on synthesizers and field recordings, bass guitar, sound effects and voice. The latter elements, when used to invoke, chant or speak makes this less enjoyable, but luckily its not done a lot. Throughout I thought that the more ambient pieces were much better, with lots closed spaces, cold and frozen landscapes and other such things. No summer music either, but quite nice.
Niko Skorpio can put on another hat, which reads Metaorganism and then he plays different kind of music, although I must admit these differences aren't the biggest in the world. One day he found himself in a studio with sinewaves, oscillators and feedback, and with these elements he constructed the 'I:Baphomet' release, which indeed is different than his Skorpio hat. More electronic, more 'clean', no real instruments and no voice material. Machines that interact with eachother, slowly change color or shape or both, and which actually makes a very fine listen. Less hovering in the 'ritualisk' side of life (well, except for the title of course), this is something that I enjoyed even more than the Skorpio release. Dark, atmospheric, drone ambient - nothing new under the sun there, but he does a very fine job at this.
Not released but distributed by Some Place Else is a CD by no Xivic, the musical project of Henkka Kyllonen. The title of the CD means 'the quality present in a thing of person that gives intense pleasure and deep satisfaction to the mind, arising from sensory manifestations', which of course one has to keep in mind when reviewing the music. No Xivic has had a couple of releases before, on Drone Records, Taalem, Onyxia, Tinnitus, Milk, and this is his second real CD. His pieces are long - the seven span almost the entire length of this CD. Here its hard to tell what he uses. I think I could detect voices, field recordings and synthesizers - be them analog or digital. Also his music sits stylistically close to that of Niko Skorpio and Ovro - stretched out ambient pieces, with occasionally a bit of sound that leaps out of the fog. Like with Ovro, I thought that some of these pieces were a bit long for what they had to offer musicwise. As a composition things could have been shorter, tighter or have a little bit more variation, but no doubt these are objectives that do no fit the world of no Xivic, who rather aims for darker notions in music. The good thing is the extended use of field recordings in this music, which sets it apart from much else in this field. (FdW)


SUN STABBED (7" by Doubtful Sounds)
You could wonder if the format of a 7" is suitable for the music of a band like Sun Stabbed. Its a duo of Pierre Faure and Thierry Monnier from Grenoble, France and exist since 2005. Both members play guitars, effect pedals, electronics, amps and objects. The two pieces here are from 2006, and on one side, 'De L'ambiance sonore dans une construction plus etendue' is an ambient piece, using a large empty room with sounds from outside (cars, people, birds) coming, mingling with the feedback like rumbles of the two and other sonic events happening. An atmospheric recording, due to the use of microphones. The b-side is taped from the mixing board and results in a more clearer sound. Here they play a more nervous, hectic and a more noise based piece of music called 'Toute L'Eau De La Mer Ne Pourrait Pas...' which shows a good combination of improvisation within given limitations. Both pieces, though very different, are quite good, but both may have lasted a bit longer too. Perhaps next time a 10" or LP? (FdW)


BLACK CHEER BLUE SABBATH (7" by Static Caravan)
Not much information on these new Static Caravan releases and from one I even doubt its by Static Caravan but they mailed it, so I take that into account here as well. Two 7"s by Cheval Sombre, 'produced by and featuring Sonic Boom' it says on the promo CDR of both 7"s, of a man singing, playing guitar and a bit of electronics. Its not a joyous product here as the singing is quite sombre. Nick Drake alive, but it's certainly not my cup of tea. Sunshine all around today so no time for a depression.
Now Black Cheer Blue Sabbath is no fun either - but the big fun here lies in the fact that the music doesn't sound like anything I heard before on Static Caravan. Both pieces on this otherwise untitled 7" are pretty noise based - distorted guitars, a howl, bangs on metallic percussion and is nothing the curious music this label usually releases, but hey it's a sunny day and I could do with some noise right now.
The CDR by Bronnt Industries Kapital looks like a Static Caravan release - nice carton sleeve, nice paper insert - but it doesn't say Static Caravan. The twenty-seven short electronic pieces are used in the film 'Haxan' - the cover says that the rest of soundtrack is available by Static Caravan. I have no idea what the film is about actually but the music as an independent soundtrack sound nice enough. Now its time to sit back and enjoy a cold glass of something on the balcony and enjoy the at times light tunes of Bronnt Industries Kapital, mixed with some darker shades. The pieces are short and more sketch like, and its best be enjoyed as a whole rather than the separate parts. (FdW) Address:


Essentially these 'bands' contain the same musicians, but the concept is different, so hence the names are different. Lydhode is a sort of open membership band, which one this new release is Roar Borge, Terje Paulsen (whom we met last week) and label boss Jan M. Iversen. Their 'Fjordgap' is one fifty minute long piece of low rumbling ambient/drone sounds. It starts out with a spoken word thingy, but quickly moves into long stretched ambient patterns in which smaller bits come alive, take shape and disappear. Even at one point there is small rhythmic features to be spotted. Maybe the piece, overall, is a bit long and it could have been trimmed down a bit, but the long textured piece works rather well. Easily one of the more interesting that Jan M. Iversen is engaged in.
TheBy means The City and besides the three from Lydhode, there is also Kjetil Hansen (also known as Torstein Wjiik) of Ambolthue label) and Willy Kopperud (from Fisk Pa Disk). The concept is thought of by Roar Berge who has an extensive archive of field recordings from the city of Oslo, which he gave to his compadres to work out some music out of it. The very few occasions that I visited Oslo, I thought the city looked nice and clean, but seemed also a bit boring for a capital. There is no big tourist attraction, a must see to go to. Apart from the opening and closing pieces by Kopperud/Borge, which are short and use 'vocals' (?), the pieces are quite long. Iversen made a slot of short samples, but his track is way too long for what it is. Paulsen has a track that is even longer, about half too long, of even lower sounds which hardly makes sense. Hansen is much shorter and lives up to his noise reputation and makes a nice piece of deep end city rumble. Perhaps the best track, but not great either, is the solo piece by Borge of drone like sounds and sampled noise from a construction site. Here the sounds of city are treated around to create an interesting piece of music. Altogether not really a great compilation, even when the idea behind it is quite nice. (FdW) Address:

The complete Vital Weekly is available at: Vital Weekly

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