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Vital Weekly 691

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WANDER - WANDER (CD by Divine Frequency Records)
When Beequeen decided to stop making drones, Wander was born and since the year 2000, this duo of Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar has been producing output on an annual basis. Originally with the intent to release their music on every format only once, but apparently the choice in formats is limited with regard to their vast growing range of works (as this is a second time on CD, after 2005's release on Small Voices). But alas, words are just a temporary explanation of reality and we are not picky!
As ever the release itself is simply titled Wander and organ drones lay again at the foundation of this album. The CD is divided into two tracks and that does not live up to what it might suggest. It starts off with airy hiss and rumble, while a steady organ drone slowly rises up along the way; getting stronger in force and eventually slowly fading away into a more silent passage. After that a new movement in the piece shows it face: a fieldrecording of crickets guided by low end pulses that secretly take us into that second track and it's not before a louder organ sequence starts to play when you actually realize that you've reached yet another movement. And that will happen again... and again. So it's more like one long track instead of the earlier supposed two. With lots of dynamics to keep it exciting and a very pleasant listen at the same time. Oh yes, yet another fine example in that ever growing line of Wander releases. (Steffan de Turck)


SIL MUIR (CD by Diophantine Discs)
There has been only one previous track by Sil Muir, the collaborative effort between Andrea Marutti (otherwise known as Amon and Never Known, also responsible for running Afe Records) and Andrea 'Ics' Ferraris (also known as Ur, Airchamber3 and Ulna) on a compilation CD which didn't make much sense to me (see Vital Weekly 672), but it was a nice long ambient piece of synthesized guitar sounds. Here they arrive with their first CD. It lists Ferraris for 'all guitars' and Marutti for "all treatments". Perhaps that's already an indication where to look for the music: the darker corners of ambient music, what was once called Isolationist music. Vidna Obmana meets Thomas Köner, I'd say. Mirror meets Monos, perhaps. That sort of thing. Long stretched out dark clouds, shimmering in the almost dark night. Nightfall music. 'We Don't Need Time, We're Already In Eternity', the closing piece takes a while to get going, but once started it hoovers along the dark walls of almost inaudible sound. One might argue there is not much 'new' going on here, and that is true. Sil Muir don't change the course of musical history, but in stead they further deepen the sound carves already there in this dark ambient field, and as such they do a truly great job. A mighty fine disc of dark drones, ambient and a totally isolated feel. (FdW) Address:


Quite some time ago I coined the term microwave for a specific kind of music that involved analogue and digital processing of sounds with a slightly rhythmic feel to it - well, or a lot. I think it was in a review of music by Frank Bretschneider, so perhaps you get my drift. The term never made it big, although I have seen it used elsewhere, but I haven't used it myself in some time. However it popped right up when I was listening to the album of Francesc Marti from Barcelona. He is working as a mathematician, pianist, composer and video artist. Its quite a nice album, a bit raw, and perhaps that's why I was thinking of microwave, because at that time, maybe ten years ago, things where also a bit more 'rough' (computers not being that sophisticated, analogue synths). Marti uses with, I think at least, both ends, the analogue synth sounds and the digital processing of sounds. The result is, as said, quite raw and playful. In these nine tracks, rhythms can originate from some synths, but also, as in 'Sky, Stars And A Woman With A Battery' from sampled IDM. Marti moves into a variety of musical interests - a bit of IDM, a bit of ambient, some glitch, some Pan Sonic like rhythms - but oddly, or perhaps finely, he knows how to keep things together. A diverse album for sure, but not one that is too diverse. Moody, a with a touch of darkness over all the tracks, this is absolutely a lovely CD. Not as new, or as experimental, but maybe with elegance and pleasure. (FdW)


GOH LEE KWANG - HANDS (CD by Herbal Records)
So far we have heard Goh Lee Kwang playing no input mixers in a variety of releases, on CD, CDR and MP3, but somehow I think this new release is something a bit different. It says composed, performed, recorded between 2005-2008 on the cover, and it seems, somehow, somewhere to me, that he uses instruments here. Synthesizers perhaps, sound effects may be. I might however be totally wrong about this. You never know for sure when its not told, right. He plays these however in his usual style. Goh Lee Kwang is a man who likes his things to be forceful, present but not necessarily superloud. More direct, in your face. His approach in these nine tracks is that of stutter, stop and play. It seems (again, it seems, I know), he approaches one set of sounds and plays with them. A bit like serious avant-garde electronic music but then fully improvised. MEV solo, if that is something you can imagine - well, I surely can. This is not music that you could play 'just for fun' for a while, but something that requires you full awareness. Otherwise I think one can easily be annoyed by it. But if you set yourself to it, then it unfolds a pleasant sort of rawness. The beauty of power, and the sadness of decay. A very fine work, perhaps the best I heard from him so far. (FdW) Address:

Its been a while since we last heard from Tasty Soil Records (see Vital Weekly 614), but here they return with Cotton Museum's 'Pus Pustules', an one-sided LP. The cover reminds me of the artwork of Ultra Eczama records, and the music... well, also a bit, to some extent. Cotton Museum is Chris Pottinger, who plays solo, using theremin, synthesizer and whatever things electronic he can find. Things start out pretty mildly - a nice of drone like sounds, chirping in and out of the mix, but over the course of the twenty some minutes this piece lasts, things get nastier and nastier. Its like Pottinger is using chemicals which he inserts in his machines, which make the interior rot or melt and things become intenser and intenser. Yet it always manages to stay on the nice side of noise. This giant beast remains a friendly one. A nice, friendly beast. The other side is not left blank, but has a nice etching. The cover shows more beasts and makes a thoroughly fine, arty record. (FdW) Address:

This is the third release by North Gambier Amateur Bowers Society, who hail from the South East of South Australia and its the project of Cameron Wood, along with others. Mount Gambier is a nearby dormant volcano and none of the members are trained musicians, hence being called amateur here. That sort of explains the name. The previous two releases were on Cameron's own Winter Records, and not heard here by me. They play rock music with bows, on guitars, on violins and on cello. Perhaps the drums is the only instrument which are not bowed. A strong twenty minute session, recorded live in the studio of psychedelic free rock. Think Velvet Underground meeting No-neck Blues Band and Vibracathedral Orchestra, and you are close, but North Gambier Amateur Bowers Society are a bit more violent in their approach, a bit more distorted than their UK and USA peers, a slight more drift into noise land is approached here. Which is fine, since it sets them apart, while still having their feet in the current free rock scene. Quite a fine piece, top heavy bowing material. (FdW)


NONNON - THE ENTITLEMENT GENERATION (cassette by Automation Records)
HOPEN - THE SHARK'S WIFE (cassette by Automation Records)
You might think, and perhaps quite rightly, that world of cassette releases is inhabited by drone meisters or mentally instable noise creators, but then Automation Records may proof you wrong. They release their cassettes also as downloads, which I guess is a nice thing to do. Also musicwise this label offers something else than the usual noise. First we have Nonnon, which is one David Madden from Salt Lake City, who released 'The Death Of Convience' on Ad Noiseam (see Vital Weekly 606), which was a true glitch hop work. Here, on his new album, recorded all alone, save for one track, he continues to explore the big time rhythms of hip hop in combination with some experimental based sounds, the glitch part of this. Its difficult to see some black kids wandering and bouncing on this stuff, but surely for these pair of untrained hip hop ears, this is actually way out of Vital Weekly's daily digest (or even a private musical digest for that matter). I thought this material was actually quite fun to hear. It didn't win me over to play some more of this, or seek out others in this field, but while sweeping the floor and doing the laundry, this was quite an entertaining album.
Hopen is Childe Grangier (which is how he is called here, Bruno Gillet in Vital Weekly 647), who is still influenced by Zappa, Autechre and Luc Ferrari, and its once again a crazy mixture of sounds. Everything is thrown into the computer and served in a hectic manner. More hip hop here, but this music is less suitable for dancing around doing the household. I must admit of the two releases, I thought this was the lesser one. In all this chaos, mayhem and madness it was a bit hard to find what Hopen was actually trying to say or create, except for a maniac ride on the musical waves of the last 100 years. But perhaps its like food: you can't throw it all together and have a great meal afterwards. Not bad I guess, but perhaps not my cup of tea. Nice professional covers on both releases. (FdW)


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