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Vital Weekly 674

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YOSHIMI! - MILKSHAKES AT THE PIZZERIA (CD by Tocada Records)
Music by a guy named Niek, who goes by the name of Yoshimi! was reviewed before when it was released by Esc. Rec, which has lead to singing to Tocada Records, also the home of Harry Merry. Yoshimi! brings out a big smile on my face. Music that is not necessarily for places like Vital Weekly, as its way to pop based. Niek plays all the instruments and uses recordings from various sources, such as a wedding on Mauritius, Brazilian carnival and almost his entire family singing. Nine relatively short songs, sampled together from all sorts of sources, and with Niek singing. Funny songs, sad songs, played with great care. Its, come to think of it, probably not something that would count as real popmusic, even when its probably way too easy listening for Vital Weekly. But it serves well as an antidote for some of the more serious music that we have around here all the time. Yoshimi! might become the new Dutch version of Felix Kubin, which is probably right what this country needs. (FdW) Address: http://www.yoshiminotabend.com

SISSY SPACEK - GLASS (CD by Misanthropic Agenda)
Normally I would perhaps leave music by Sissy Spacek to the esteemed Jliat for review, as they can put up quite some noise. And actually that's what they do on 'Glass' too. The sound of breaking glass is the soundsource for what Corydon Ronnau and John Wiese do. Loud, dirty but with an interesting conceptual edge to it. The first piece is recorded in Los Angeles and is noise fury. It starts loud, ends loud and was never quiet. Here the smashing of bottles and glass seems to be fed through a whole bunch of sound effects and creates the never ending noise attack. Nice! But the second version, recorded in San Francisco is the one I really like. It starts with the smashing of bottles, and then it starts dragging around like a microphone touching the surface covered with glass, and occasional feedback. A slightly more menacing piece this one, and the best of the two on offer here. Throughout a very fine release of some more intelligent noise. (FdW)
Address: http://www.misanthropicagenda.com

UNCLE WOODY SULLENDER - LIVE AT BARKENHOFF (CD by Kunstlerhauser Worpswede)
Worpswede is a never heard off village somewhere in Germany. The Künstlerhaus Worpswede is a place where since 1971 about 400 artists where invited to work for a certain period of time. In 2008 Woody Sullender was one of them. He gave a solo open air concert that is now been released on CD. Sullender is a skillful player of the banjo, an instrument that one immediately and uniquely associates with country and other traditional music. Sullender however is a solo improviser using the banjo and some electronics to create his music. Problaby he loves the traditional music that we know from this instrument, as he is inspired by traditional music from the south of the USA combined with punk, noise and freejazz manners. With this combination of banjo and improvisation the name of Eugene Chadbourne inevitably pops up. Just like Chadbourne Sullender has many of the traditional music played on this instrument in his veins. Sullender was born in 1977 in Hampton, Virginia, and now lives in New York. He works with composers like Pauline Oliveros and Maryanne Amacher, but we also find him often in the company of improvisors like Fred Lonberg-Holm. Sullenders debut 'Nothing is Certain but Death' saw the light in 2004. In 2006 a duo work followed, 'The Tempest is Over', with Devin Davis. His mission is to create a new up to date version of american folk music. The cd carries three improvisations and in the titles he preserved the place where this music came into being: "A Measure of Dasein' and 'Violence of Völk'. The first one taking about 20 minutes, the other two take some 10 minutes. In all these tracks Sullender stays close to the traditional style of playing this instrument, not exhausting himself in extended techniques. The use of electronics is functional and serves his banjoplaying. The first part of the second improvisation is very - Bailey-like - free, but halfway the music becomes more conventional, melodic and idiomatic. Also near the end of the last improvisation the music is condensed in warm and melodic musical forms. In his playing Sullender is inventive and sustained. The improvisations emerge from a constant flow that seems to come about about very easily and naturally. Sullender has set up a convincing meeting between traditional and modern musical idioms and shows that the banjo is a far from oldfashioned instrument (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://www.deadceo.com/

PRINCE CHARMING - LAPIS LAZULI (CD by Karl Records)
Illbient is a musical genre that hasn't been big in Vital Weekly, probably for reasons unknown, but its safe to say that probably the labels never cared to send many promo's this way. So I missed out on Prince Charming (Adam Ant related?) altogether, when he released music on WordSound, probably one of the better known labels in this musical field. Illbient has always been a bit hard to identify, but it usually has dub like rhythms, many 'stolen' samples and a somewhat spacious character. That is also the case with the new album of Prince Charming, but he has expanded his music a bit more towards other areas of rhythmic music. There is influences of rock music, african rhythms, exotica, and again tons of samples that he spreads around in his music. Its surely music that one hardly sees around in Vital Weekly, but its music that is actually quite welcome in the HQ, simply because its nice stuff, that will make our heads nod to the slow, dub induced rhythms. I have no idea where this stands in the illbient posse tradition, but I quite dig it. (FdW) Address: http://www.karlrecords.net

CHRISTOPHER TIGNOR - CORE MEMORY UNWOUND (CD by Western Vinyl)
A while ago I reviewed a CD by Slow Six on Western Vinyl (see Vital Weekly 592), which offered a combination of "traditional" rock with 'homegrown' computer software. Christopher Tignor is the man behind Slow Six, the man behind the computer, who expands this sound concept to the world of classical music. Violins, cellos and viola was already part of Slow Six, but here its just violin and piano, being fed through this software he made. If Arvo Part was already a point of reference for Slow Six, its certainly one for Tignor solo. More sad music at play here, slow gestures on the violin, slow moves on the piano and the computer doing what exactly? It sounds like a record without the use of a computer, unless its for some of the extra layering and sustaining on some of the sounds, but otherwise its a well kept secret, until it pops up in 'Left In Fragments' when it headlines. Eight pieces here, which last between five and eight minutes, which is a bit much for what it is. I think the album would have been a bit stronger with lesser tracks and a different running order, say minus two pieces and 'Left In Fragments' perhaps at the centre to break the album a bit up. But for late night mood music this is surely a great album, a fine wine at hand, dimmed light and a nice cigar within reach. (FdW) Address: http://www.westernvinyl.com

HEMATIC SUNSETS - AROMA CLUB PARADOX (LP by Dekorder)
Every now and then Asmus Tietchens leaves his serious self behind, like an outta body experience, and enters the Aroma Club. Somewhere in the 80s he released four synth based LPs on Sky (and subsequently recorded on CD by Die Stadt), and then in the last years of the old millennium he returned to playing this kind of music on cheesy keyboards as Hematic Sunsets, producing by now, including this one, four LPs and two 7"s, curiously the latter two being christmas singles. This new one, the first LP not released by himself, sees another thirteen tracks of this music, but with lots of variation. 'Kopf Geben' has a nice banging rhythm to it, whereas 'Tristesse Aromatique' is a modern electronic exercise in meditation. 'Eskapaden Am Tischtelefon' sounds like a Kid Baltan update. This fine pop album moves along many lines, but makes a very consistent impression. It proofs the mastership of Tietchens in U musik - unterhaltung that is, entertainment, whereas he is best known for E musik - ernste musik. This week he's doing a concert in the Ludwig Museum in Cologne if you want to have a glimpse of that. Great album, and can't wait for a fifth one. (FdW) Address: http://www.dekorder.com

VOICE OF EYE - SUBSTANTIA INNOMINATA (10" by Drone Records)
Its been a while since we last heard from Voice Of Eye, the duo from New Mexico. Bonnie McNairn and Jim Wilson were quite active in the early nineties, producing their own fine blend of ambience and industrial, but after 1995 they stopped, and returned in 2007, when they started to play concerts again, and also new releases on CDR. On this 10" in the Drone Records series of the same name, they offer three new pieces, all inspired by Buddhist/Advaitic meditation and philosophy. Its a long release for a 10", almost forty minutes (!), which is perhaps nice, but not pressed well. Voice Of Eye has left any trace of industrial music entirely behind, switched on a bunch of analogue synthesizers, some microphones to pick up their voices and the outcome is heavenly music. Strict ambient music here. The voices hum, but not in a cliche ethereal manner. Its of course that I never meditate, but I can imagine this being a perfect soundtrack to do so. Slowly evolving, always changing - pantha rhei I might say - but not as a cliched new age record. Voice Of Eye know how to create - still - something with a bite. This won't be available at any rainbow new age shop, but in the true ambient bins of alternative record stores (I hope at least), and quite rightly so. A majestic return. (FdW)
Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

BRENDAN MURRAY & MIKE SHIFLET - SENTIMENTAL GENTLEMAN (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
Probably right on time, or perhaps just a little bit too late, but since I am a big fan of Brendan Murray, I pretend not to see that this was released originally in October 2008 (hell, maybe this is a re-issue?) when he toured with Mike Shiflet. I have no idea what they are sentimental about, but they play two pieces here, of which the first one, 'Early Retirement', is a great exercise in drone based radio waves and crackles, moving, humming, buzzing and peeping. A great piece, even when as such its probably not much new under the sun. In '"How's Your Late 90's?"' things move unmistakably into a more noise based field, maybe the Shiflet influence on Murray?, with high pitched tones, being interrupted by various tones. But the piece then decides to move into more quieter corners of microsound, maybe a Murray thing?, but altogether it makes quite an intense piece of music. This is a very fine release. I have no idea where they toured, but I sure would have loved to see it. (FdW) Address: http://www.naszczepanik.com/sra

FEINE TRINKERS BEI PINKELS DAHEIM - VAGINAL ERBRECHEN (CDR by Reduktive Musiken)
Over the years Germany's Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim is perhaps one of the better kept secrets. While they never gained the fame of say Troum or Maeror Tri, they play music that could equally do well. They more or less arrived from the same scene of the late 80s, early 90s cassette underground, and moved from the more harsher angle of ambient music to the somewhat softer version thereof. These days, with the arrival of computer editing, I guess its easier to create something that is a combination of both these angles. On 'Vaginal Erbrechen' (there is room for improvement on the title front I'd say), they create some fine woven, intense music that is the best of both worlds. Ambient of course seems to be the main player in the field, but the material shows a gritty, angular side which mixes nicely with the atmospheric tapestries. To this they add some field recordings and the sounds of concrete objects. Each track opens with a few voice samples which add a nice cinematic feel to it. Throughout quite a nice release from a band that I think should have gained more recognition than they got until now. If Troum or old Vance Orchestra belong to your daily listening habit, then this is your cupper too. (FdW) Address: http://www.reduktivemusiken.de

THE TRUTH ABOUT FRANK - A BRIEFCASE FULL OF SUSPICION (CDR, private)
Only a few weeks ago I reviewed '14 Versions Of The Same EP' by The Truth About Frank, and now its time for their 'A Briefcase Full Of Suspicion', which was released earlier this year. Its not easy to pin down what The Truth About Frank are all about, but one thing we do know: they love rhythm. They sample the hell out of music and sound, and put these together into blocks of heavy weighted pieces of music. Pitch shifting techno like, chuncks of popmusic and other entertainers (Big Crosby?) and chopped up rock rhythms feed through a bunch of sound processors. It makes a strange, fat diet of sounds that is not easy to digest. The Truth About Frank have seven of these tracks in thirty minutes. Once they get a ball rolling in the tracks, things stay there in quite a minimalist fashion, such as in 'First Ask Charming Rat', which I think is the best track of the release, with its slow shifting percussive treat. Its all a bit much this music, but nevertheless quite nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.myspace.com/truthaboutfrank

CHOPSTICK - ...FORGIVENESS PLEASE (CDR by Love Earth Music)
While I leave the noise of Dog on Love Earth Music with Jliat, I find myself with their other new release by Chopstick, which is called a 'band from Sacremento', but the cover just mentioned Andrew Wayne. He creates one, thirty-six minute sound piece, built at first from a bunch of electro-acoustic sounds from the kitchen sink (olive oil splutter), but quickly moves into the land of vinyl, which are hand spun, using vocals, classical music, skipping grooves and then again a bit further down the line also with electronic, synthesized sounds and the piece seems to be moving more into noise land, which is a bit of a pity since two-third of the piece was actually quite intense, full of little surprises. That noise bit could have been easily left off and cross faded into the voice bit at the end. Throughout I thought this was quite a nice release of plunderphonic with Wayne doing a fine job. Maybe things could have been a more worked out, more composed and a bit more condensed, this was a fine one. (FdW) Address: http://www.loveearthmusic.com

KACHELTISCH - KACHELTISCH (CDR by Betong Tontranger)
Kacheltisch is Lars Becker and Peter Pawlicki using a no input mixer and subsequently editing and organizing their improvisations into this 10 track CD. (According to the promo, with no overdubs. Why would I care about overdubs? Am I to believe this is more authentic due to the lack thereof?) The sound is the minimal sort of no input mixer sound you would expect, some of the pieces are almost rhythmic while others are of a more static nature. The editing of the pieces is quite good. Nothing runs long enough to become dull. I particularly like the pieces that feature a sort of electronic version of a retarded saxophone. I would advise putting some space between the tracks and giving them titles, but I'm a bitter old man. (SF) Address: http://www.kacheltisch.org

PATRICK FARMER - APIS MELLIFERA, MOVED TO AND FRO (CDR by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
STASIS DUO - 3 (CDR by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
SYNDROMES - JUST ANOTHER DAILY BUMMER (CDR by Organized Music From Thessaloniki)
Although I don't think we reviewed music by Patrick Farmer before, he is, along with Sarah Hughes, the founder of the Compost & Height label (and blog!), and presents here a work of recordings of honey bees. In three pieces he uses either stereo microphone recordings, then one with sound processing and one with contact microphones. The release opens with the processed one, in which the recording is picked up through various means, such as cymbals or rocks. This is a pretty curious recording of low humming, drone based sounds, which is quite nice, but also a bit vague in approach. The untreated recording is great, closely miked recording and if you are afraid of bees, it won't help listening to this. The contact microphone recording holds between the previous two and sounds like a close miked affair too, but more in a mid sound range. Three interesting pieces of field recordings at work here. Three different angles to approach it, and nice to hear.
Stasis Duo have been reviewed before and is a duo from Australia of Adam Sussmann and Matt Earle. They play around with sine waves, glitches, humms, and all that jazz. Their music is throughout very quiet. I'd love to tell what things are called with the card that has the information is totally erased by accident or design, and not to be read. The first piece is a sine wave piece, which can be heard, whereas the second is more about glitches and a bit of sine waves towards the end but most of the time the sound sinks below the threshold of hearing. Which was a great gimmick in the days when we ate at Warzawa Restaurant, but these days is something that I don't think is really necessary. More glitches in the third piece, lumped together in blocks and interrupted every now and then with a louder sine wave sound. This is quite a nice piece, but perhaps, clocking in at twenty minutes also a bit long.
The name Syndromes, also known as Kostis Kiylmis, is a new one for me. He uses, sound wise, a contact microphone, loose 1/8" jack, mixing board, effects and room, as listed on the cover. At first I thought I should leave this with Jliat, since it all sounds pretty noise based to me, but there is something interesting about it. Its not the pure noise attack that is a common place for many of the noise makers, but there is something, at least that's what I think controlled about these improvisations. A static mass of hiss, with occasional crackles. I could try and say something about noise reaching for microsound, or vice versa, but that's simply not the case here. Its a firm work of noise (of work of firm noise?) and that's just fine enough. (FdW) Address: http://thesorg-noise-below.org

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