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Vital Weekly 679

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MICHEAL SNOW - TWO RADIO SOLOS (CD by Blackwood Gallery)
The great thing about cassette releases in the 1980s was the fact that you could do anything, then release it and still no money, no risk was involved. The radio was a popular instrument back then. Context from Germany released 'Schnitte', a collage of radio sounds cut into a thirty minute work. To mention an example not on the press text. Micheal Snow released 'Two Radio Solos' as a cassette in 1988 on Freedom In A Vacuum, and its now re-released on a CD and I may wonder why. Maybe Snow has the potential to sell CDs? Why not stick to the old cassette format - these days a hipper than hip thing? The do-it-yourself musical approach probably comes best alive when using a radio. No more three chords, or one for that matter, just dial the knob on a radio. Anyone can do it, most likely everyone should do it (impossible with all these automatic channel searching these days), but no one should release it, in its pure form on, CD anymore. That was done in a time when the format fitted the music, but not the CD. Or perhaps I have just an old-fashioned idea about CD releases; that might actually be true also. Its nice to play for the entire seventy-seven minute, but perhaps I like to hear something done with the radio sounds. (FdW) Address: http://www.blackwoodgallery.ca

TELEPHERIQUE - ZIVILISATOSE (CD by Diophantine Discs)
MOTH ELECTRET - TOCASEN (CD by Diophantine Discs)
Maybe this a bit of German humor, but Telepherique are asked by the US label Diophantine Discs and they think about US overweight and unhealthy food. It seems that 'Zivilisatose' is a concept album by the band about this, including voice samples of people ordering cheese burgers, super size (maybe from the movie with the same name, more or less? - I saw that movie, but don't remember this particular quote). The funny thing is that the music that Telepherique adds to this is kinda light, certainly in the somewhat darkened world of Telepherique, and bouncing. Sequencers and rhythms always have played a bit role in their music, but it seems it does more here. Or perhaps this is their 'work out music', music to move too, to loose that extra weight? Don't expect a full techno or house record, that's at least three bridges away from what they do here, but I was tapping feet along with this. If this comes close to anything I'd say ambient house, say at times Pete Namlook in his very early days. Ambient house with a strong political motivation, which is perhaps an odd combination, but if Herbert can do it, why not Telepherique? Very nice work here, very light yet well-thought out.
The second new release by Diophantine Discs is also the second for Stig Berg's Moth Electret project which debuted on Mystery Sea with 'III' (see Vital Weekly 571). Berg is also a member |A|A|N and Aesthetic Meat Front. Whereas on 'III' he seemed to work with field recordings, processed by the usual digital means, it seems to me that this new work is a bit more part of the world of electronic generated sound, rather than processed field recordings, but then I might be entirely wrong here. There is however, as before the influence of Tietchens, era 'Hydrophonien' and Werkbund to be noticed: the aquatic theme that was so present on 'III' is also present here. Music that moves like water - sometimes like a mighty ocean, full of storm and fear, sometimes like a mild stream in the mountains. No real big surprise here, but executed with great care. (FdW)
Address: http://discs.diophantine.net

BEFORE WE MELT (Compilation CD by IVDT)
Sitting here in the Northern Hemispheres' warm days of spring it is quite a pleasure watching the snowfilled landscape presented on the artwork of present album from the Oakland-based label IVDT. Since the opening three pieces on this 45-minutes running compilation titled "Before we melt" have a quite dark and melancholic nature, I had the idea that the titled refers to the global warming crisis but the theme on this compilation is simply the cold winter. Most tracks on the album has a title referring to the winter-time and the musical quality of the compilation is quite high. Opening with Bitcrush a.k.a. Mike Cadoo (former member of IDM-project Gridlock), the track titled "Glacial" is a beautiful and quite dark drone-based ambient-work followed by another melancholic drone-based work by the composer Electricwest. Downbeat rhythm-textures gently follows the distant drones on this IDM-based work by Electricwest. Third track is my favorite piece of the compilation: "Kontulalibrarytrack" is a grandiose downbeat piece of sheer beauty created by Lackluster running approx. 6 minutes and with the same longing melancholy of the opening two pieces. From this track forward the atmosphere changes into a slightly more light and lush with a number of IDM until the second final track by Headphone Science that moves back to the melancholy of the opening three tracks. A pleasant album that for the main part circulates in the downbeat/ambient spheres of IDM. And the best thing: The album can be downloaded for free from the the website mentioned below. I highly recommend you to do so... (Niels Mark)
Address: http://ivdt.net/

BLEEDING HEART NARRATIVE - ALL THAT WAS MISSING WE NEVER HAD IN THE WORLD (CD by Cold Spring)
Present album was originally released as a limited edition of 200 copies on Tataruga Records. One year after the original release British label Cold Spring Records now gives a wider audience the chance to get introduced to this interesting project. Behind the name Bleeding Heart Narrative, you find the London-based composer Oliver Barrett, who proves his insight knowledge in the world of acoustic sounds. Important elements on the album titled "All that was missing we never had in the world" is the sound of acoustic instruments such as cello, piano and guitar. Sometimes these acoustic sounds live their very own life in the music, other times the sounds are woven into electronic dronescapes, giving the music an ambient feeling. Musically, the album floats in-between ambient and postrock, mostly kept in trance-inducing atmospheres. A central part of the album is the excellent vocals of Alastair Bailey, that makes the overall style remind of the excellent joint venture-project between ambient-maestro Robert Rich and guitarist/bassist Rick Davies, Amoeba. As the album-title and the project-name suggest, the feeling on the album is melancholic and fragile. A beautiful and emotive experience that will appeal to listeners of dreamy postrock and acoustic based ambient. (Niels Mark)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

SISTRENATUS - SENSITIVE DISTURBANCE (CD by Cold Spring)
A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the debut release of Canadian project Sistrenatus. The overall expression on the album titled "Division one" was tense spheres of harsh industrial-noise and orchestral black ambient. The same unsettling expression saturates this third shot from Sistrenatus, where the atmospheres of eeriness are intact, but this time accompanied by distorted guitar drones and brutal swarms of power electronics, as on the piece titled "Slow wave". On the lengthy track titled "Echoes from the past" a distorted male voice assists to create the feeling of hostility. The listener won't leave this album in tranquility, the feeling of darkness and depravity saturating the album keeping the listener in constant awareness of what will come next. Dark and great work! (Niels Mark)
Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

TENHORNEDBEAST - MY HORNS ARE A FLAME (CD by Cold Spring)
There isn't much light at the end of the tunnel on this latest effort from the legendary artist calling himself Tenhornedbeast. British artist Christopher Walton is a legendary artist that started the joint venture project Abraxas with compatriot artist Stephen Pennick in the early nineties, until the twosome changed into the more well-known project Endvra. In 2004 Christopher Walton established his solo project as Tenhornedbeast, present album being the seventh shot under this name. As Tenhornedbeast, mr. Walton finds his way into the darkest caves of electronic expression, making the works of Lustmord and Inade almost sound like New Age music. Utterly dark buzz drones creates a thick fog of apocalyptic atmospheres sometimes strengthened by slow and heavy rhythm-textures. Ghoulish sounds cries from the deep holes of sonic darkness meanwhile an echoed sound production on the album adds a great grandiosity to the album. As the fourth track opens the first sign of distant melodic beauty cripples, otherwise the listener is left alone in this isolated satanic universe of the beast. Alluring and hypnotic piece of black ambient. (Niels Mark) Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

TEMPLE MUSIC - INCOMPLETENESS (CD by Shining Day/Faria)
The word 'incompleteness' doesn't refer to the music by Temple Music, but to the ideas of Kurt Gödel, who 'demonstrated that within any given branch of mathematics, there would always be some propositions that couldn't be proven either true or false using the rules and axioms of that mathematical branch itself' (I am quoting the press text here, I am not that clever myself). Temple Music used this to create their music, using Indian harmonium, shruti box, plucked and hammered dulcimers, bodhrans, mosenos, synthesizers, guitars, voices and much more, to connect old and new, past and future. I played this CD twice in a row. Not because I liked it that much but more because I was reading a nice book and the music created some nice backdrop to continue reading - perhaps not the best to do when listening to music, but it sometimes happens. Maybe some of the undercurrents of Temple Music is not for me, this I noted before. Music that is 'magickal' is usually not well spend on me, but the drone like sounds of Temple Music, the tinkling of guitars and the whispering voices, the harmonium being played and the excellent clear production of the music, makes this altogether into something I even like. Superficially listening this has not much to do with the world of Current 93 and such bands a like, but is highly melodic drone music. Very nice, the best I heard so far by Temple Music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.shiningday.pl http://www.faria.ru

CHFS - AUS(R)ASTEN (3"CD, private)
You don't see many pressed up 3"CDs these days, its all CDR. I don't think I ever heard of Christian F. Schiller, also known as CHFS, who plays bass drum and piano on 'Aus(r)asten', which I can't translate. Certainly one of the more curious records of this week. It seems to be a kind of improvised piece, or perhaps sketched out along various paths Schiller wanted to follow. Playing sustain like chords towards the end for instance (think Palestine), or the solitary bangs on piano and bass drum in the beginning, or, at the very start some low frequency sound (fast playing on the bass drum, I imagine, rather than something electronic). Like I said a most curious piece that seems to be coming from nowhere and packed as a small 'arty' release. (FdW) Address: http://in-dust.org

PICK UP - MOUTHLESS (LP by Important records)
Hot on the heels of their first album comes this bright orange-colored vinyl follow up. 'Mouthless' however was recorded prior to their first release, so this is really - with some delay - Pick Up's debut. The concept of Pick Up is simple; the music is based upon the (resonator) guitar playing by Martin Luijten, which is reworked via Frans de Waard's laptop. At times field recordings are added. 'Mouthless' contains 4 long tracks. The title tracks opens the proceedings with gentle John Fahey-ish picking. Luiten uses a resonator guitar (also known as a Dobro) on this album. The body of this guitar contains one or more metal cones, instead of wood, which makes the sound louder and gives the guitar a distinctive blues-grass sound. The style of Luiten's fingerpicking is friendly and traditional, using the occasional slide. After a while looping and gentle feedback sets in, which makes 'Mouthless' a wonderful, restrained track. In contrast, the second track 'Klemmend' is far more chaotic with dominant field recordings of what sounds like a kindergarten. In the background the guitar is fighting to be heard. Side two opens with 'Magnifying Glasses', which features reflective guitar playing by Luiten only, showing his versatile skills. Very nice. If you like this sort of guitar picking I can highly recommend any of the early Takoma LP's by John Fahey. On the second track, 'Tracing', the electronics set in again with looping. A mirror image of side two, here too the sound is less structured. As a whole, this is a very fine album (with an original combination of electronics and resonator guitar), even though you could argue that it would have been an idea to put the two more quiet tracks on one side and the more chaotic tracks on the other. But that is just a thought. Packed in two heavy cardboard sheets (like the previous Pick Up album) with a hand-colored paste-on sheet, this looks very sturdy indeed. And, if you're lucky, you will find the album in luminous orange vinyl (the first 100 of a total of 300 copies) inside. (FK)
Address: http://www.importantrecords.com

IAN MIDDLETON - TIME BUILDING (LP by Entr'acte)
Only a few weeks ago, in Vital Weekly 570 I reviewed 'Aural Spaces' by Ian Middleton, the man who was behind Remora in the nineties. Now he returns with a LP on Entr'acte, and that usually means liner notes, and that's the case here. He writes about the equipment he uses, mainly analogue synthesizer (the Korg MS10 if you must know), sound effects and some acoustic sounds in one piece. Before recording he sets himself to work to find the sounds he wants and then, when found, he will press 'record' and the piece plays itself, perhaps only changing one or two knobs. But since a certain cycle found on the synthesizer can never be easily repeated, there is lots of small changes in the sound. That's where Middleton's love of drones comes from as Middleton is a man of drone music, and the six pieces on this album sound as nice as on 'Aural Spaces', even when they are bit longer here, leaving room for development within a given set of sounds. Maybe 'Aural Spaces' at times sounded a bit more 'digital', and 'Time Building' is very analogue, there is an overlap in the two. The approach stays the same and it makes up some fine pieces of drone music. Small changes in the sound, a highly minimal approach - slow music for times that should be slow, but which aren't. Middleton plays music that is perfect remedy for fast times, but I guess not many people would be open for that. That is a pity. Again I think the young kids of jumped the bandwagon of cosmic music recently should again pay notice. (FdW) Address: http://www.entreacte.co.uk

BADUN - TANDOORI TENTACLE EP (12" vinyl / FLAC / MP3-format by Merry-X-Mas Records)
Many times the borderlands between jazz and electronica have been explored but too often the two styles doesn't seem to melt. Danish trio consisting of Aske Krammer, Oliver Duckert and Brian Møller has been working in this particular area for almost a decade by now. This long practice was easily heard on the bands debut as it was released in the early spring of 2007. The album titled S.T. was an experimental fusion of acoustic instruments and textures of rhythmic complexity. It was a demanding but rewarding experience. Now two years later Badun is ready with the follow-up to the debut. The album titled "Tandoori tentacle" stays in the avantgarde approach to jazz/electronica. The album contains of four pieces that generally floats in nocturnal sound spheres. As was the case with the previous effort the compositions of the three members are extremely organic. Multi-layered breakbeat textures swirls in nocturnal soundscapes of acoustic instruments where first of all guitar and electric piano plays an important role. Despite its hypercomplex and futurist nature integrating elements of fusion jazz, breakbeat science and cinematic ambience, the music has an interesting retrospective 70's character drawing association towards the dramatic soundtracks of Lalo Schifrin. This "hard-to-categorize" and unpredictable nature is what makes this ep such an alluring experience! (Niels Mark) Address: http://www.myspace.com/badunband

FEU FOLLET - NUAGES SUR LA NUIT (double CDR by Tosom)
CRYPTIC SCENERY - THE RADAR SOCIETY - A SONIC DYSTOPIA (CDR by Tosom)
Behind Feu Follet is Tobias Fischer, perhaps you recall this from previous reviews, but he is also a writer for the excellent Tokafi site, which is not unlike Vital Weekly, but then also with interviews. Go check that out. Its nice to see that as Feu Follet he releases this double CDR, which seems to me very uncommon in the world of CDR where more is certainly more and others would have opted for 2 releases. Feu Follet is an ambient/drone based project, that much we learned in the past, but we are pressed against that fact here, in this 108 minute lasting trip. A long ride. Long pieces of what seems to be synthesizers (analogue? digital?) waving nice tapestries of sound, sometimes underlined with a simple mechanical rhythm, as such in the 'Promesses Vaines' piece or even ambient house alike in 'Elemental'. This is great music, be it that nothing much new happens under the big Ambient umbrella. This is music to undergo rather than to get through by listening thoroughly concentrated. Great late night music to dream by, to read by or perhaps even to sleep by.
Christian H. Sötemann is someone we also know for some time with his project Cryptic Scenery. I would have probably called Cryptic Scenery 'ambient' and 'drone' too, but listening to 'The Radar Society - A Sonic Dystopia' I wouldn't be that sure. It seems that this opens up a more darker side in the work of Sötemann, with strange metallic samples, more abstract drones than pleasant ones and throughout a somewhat unsettling mood. Only in a piece like ;Glittering Figment' we recognize the music of Sötemann: sustained guitars with much sound effects. I must say that this new album is quite nice. It breaks with the 'old' work, even when not fully, and expands the musical horizon with a varied album of textures, moods, experiments and ambience. Unsettling but therefore quite nice. (FdW)
Address: http://www.tosom.de

GOH LEE KWANG - WAVER (CDR by Appel Music)
The work of Goh Lee Kwang has been reviewed before, with a variety of enthusiasm. His work for no input mixer was at times unlistenable, and at other times quite nice. Its however with 'Waver' that I can fully enthusiastic for the first time. Still there is an extensive amount of feedback used, but it seems that Goh Lee Kwang has fully mastered the potential of the sounds he is working with and he knows how to keep gentle control of what he does. Things not just buzz around like they did before, but there is silence throughout, peace and quietness, deep bass end and occasional outbursts in the mid/high range of frequencies. There is a great sense of control in these improvisations which makes it, easily, his best work to date. (FdW) Address: http://www.appelmusic.org

FILTHY TURD -COCK DOLLAR ON AMBULANCE TIME (Cassette by poor little music)
The cassette came wrapped in newspaper and fried rice which was quite disgusting, which is I suppose the general intent? It begins with a rather clichéd 50s sci fi clip about being turned into jelly, then obviously breaks into harsh noise, however after awhile there are more sampled vocals - Islamic singing noise etc. Side 2 captures more the ambience of tape with its saturated clips and distortions. (Women screaming men vomiting sex film clips chanting .violence. noise . film clip loops.noise etc) Also included was a 10000 dollar Heaven Bank Note, a bribe? Apart from having to wash the rice off the cassette and the fact I laid out money on a CD player for the Micra, and the nice metal walkman packed up so I had to nip down to argos to buy a cheap Sony Cassette player WM - EX194. this is rather a good tape. Why - well though not inventive - because it denies invention and novelty which so many seem to think possible (too many and not thinking that much) - this whole project is prolific and reminds me of the smell sound and images of an open dump of household waste- then it achieves its goals goal - in sound form content and presentation- well done. (jliat) Address: http://www.myspace.com/poorlittlemusic

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

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