RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Vital Weekly 699 + 700

img  Tobias

Recently, in Vital Weekly 682 I was very pleasantly surprised by a LP by Sleep Whale, a duo of guitarist/cellist Joel North and violinist/sequence programmer Bruce Blay. Paul North and Spencer Stephenson also contribute to the album, but are primarily live members. This new album essentially brings what should be expected: more great songs, thirteen in total, of what started on 'Little Brite': rock like, with lots of guitars, drums and digital processing of all of these, and no doubt, more sounds from say field recordings or electronics. The joyous summer mood, now slowly fading into autumn since today, is still captured here, although it seems there is also room for some more introspective moments and sometimes more complex in their constructions. Pop meets ambient, rock meets folk, improvisation meets composition. Its all there, with considerate ease and peace. (FdW) Address:


Handwritten covers and me will never be a good marriage. I just have a hard time reading them, even when I put on my 1 euro reading glasses, which I acquired for purposes like this. I couldn't decipher the band with 100% certainty, but the label website could be read and so I learned the band is called is called Roto Visage and the CD 'Where the Mandrakes Grow' and that this "is conceptualized around autoerotic asphyxiation, forming an abstract narrative into a singular autoerotic experience." Just what does that mean? Music to masturbate by? Or perhaps generated through the act of masturbation? Or maybe this is to be understood in some Coil fashion of male sexual energy? It does sound like early Coil perhaps indeed - or maybe my mind is racing there contemplating autoerotic? Another strong point of reference, musically that is, is the work of Lustmord, circa 'Paradise Disowned' and 'Heresy'. The low end rumble in a cave of an old sound generator and some metal cluttered around: its unlikely things were done That way, but its a possibility. This is drone meets ambient meets industrial music - pitch and pitch black, like a starless night. Solo Visage is not a strict copy cat however: he does something interesting things involving electronics, acoustic treatments and field recordings, which makes this into actually quite a varied disc of sorts. Not amusing, but within the self-chosen dark corner, there is enough variation in approaches to the subject of dark ambient. Nice one indeed. (FdW) Address:

Its been a while, I must admit, since I last heard Dead Voices On Air, Mark Spybey's solo project. he contributed at one point to Zoviet*France as well as working with Cevin Key. I do have some, not all previous ten releases, and it takes a while hearing this to get into it. The first thirteen tracks on disc one are short, lasting somewhere between forty seconds and five minutes, and then there is suddenly a long, twenty-two minute piece. I must admit I had a hard time getting into the shorter bits: they were pretty much improvised, haphazard affairs, but when the long title piece came on, with its slow moving gestures, vocals, stringed sounds, I recognized the ambient music with a hint of rock (without being overtly post rock) again from yesteryear, and thought this was all most pleasant. For the second disc of this package, Spybey goes to his archive and re-issues his cassette release for the G.R.O.S.S. label from 1994, plus two more pieces from the same year that were never released. Here Spybey finds himself in something that is much more industrial (maybe fitting the world of G.R.O.S.S. back then?) in combination with some hardcore ambient. I must admit the entire second disc and that long piece from the first disc (still making up more than would fit on one CD), where my favorite. The short improvised rock pieces... well, not bad either, but perhaps not so much for me. (FdW)


Nicely packed in a Kidzbox (trademarked but I have no idea when and where they are used - I don't see them with the kids I spot every now and then), this is a new direction for Russell Haswell. "Wild track: sound recorded during production without picture' according to Vincent LoBrutto in 'Sound-On Film'. Moving away from his computer based (noise-) music, Haswell goes into the territory of field recording here: "'deliberate recordings' made with other multi media/film projects in mind". No post processing, overdubs or compression. Yet Haswell wants us also to understand that these recordings are about 'noise pollution' and recordings of sounds other people working in the same field of recording would want to avoid. We have here helicopter trips, flies (on a rotting pheasant carcass), rocket launch, Jamaican blowhole and 'exceptionally loud propane gas cannon bird scarer' - all tracks are named after what we hear. For those who love pure sound - and that includes me - its quite alright that it doesn't include the rainforest or 'nocturnal amphibian type material': this material sounds truly fascinating too. Excellent recordings (made with all kinds of different microphones and various recording machines), which hardly sounds like pollution at all. Maybe Cage was right when he said 'all sound is music'? Haswell has some pretty nice pieces going here and its a brave step outside his normal routine so far. (FdW)


"All Hail The Transcending Ghost" is the joint venture between two Swedish artists. Henrik Nordvargr Björkk is an active artist who has been part of a number of different projects and joint-ventures and with earlier releases on the Cold Spring label. Among others the excellent "Partikel II"-album in collaboration with Masami Akita (a.k.a. Merzbow) in 2007. The other artist is Tim Bertilsson who is part of the death metal-band Switchblade and founder of the metal-based Trust No One-label. Despite the fact that both artists has some experience in creating harsh sounds, this album belongs to more downbeat and tranquilizing sound worlds. The music is first of all dark ambient-based of deep buzzing drones with elements of industrial. The works are multileveled utilizing electro-acoustic sounds of among others piano and guitar-strums and others times distant voices creating a dreamlike atmosphere. Despite the tranquilizing and deep ambient-textures, the works are often sinister and threatening sounding like a mixture between Lustmord and Biosphere. A very interesting debut from All Hail The Transcending Ghost. (Niels Mark) Address:


Dream pop. Annelies Monsere is originally from The Netherlands but now lives in Belgium. Her work has been reviewed before here, although not her 2005 debut album 'Helder'. For 'Marit' she invited a bunch of friends to help out, like Jessica Bailiff, Nathan Amundsen, Micheal Anderson, Ellen Evers and the Vollmar-brothers. They add singing, violin-uke, stairwell, guitar drones and even drums. Yet all of this activity doesn't mean that the album is all of a sudden 'full' of sound. Monsere's music still plays on the border of quietness. Not in a microsounding way - there is always something to be heard here, but more in a quiet, singer-songwriting manner. Lyrics are more whispered than sung out loud and are not easy to understand. More an atmosphere is put forward but then using the format of a song. Not entirely my cup of tea, but these twelve songs are rather quite nice. Intimate music but with a nice bite. (FdW) Address:


Back in Vital Weekly 545 I reviewed C-Mon & Kyspki's 'Where The Wild Things Are', and moaned a bit about things being alternative and not really alternative, but that I quite enjoyed their hotchpotch album of hip hop beats, big band, klezmer, samplemania, rock and all that. Nice one indeed. And over the years I kept hearing their CD - used to tune up a p.a., in a bar as background music, in the disco perhaps, and on free outdoor festivals I even caught them live. The last time, merely a weeks ago, when it was announced that it would be their last show doing the old album as a new was imminent. So I contact that kind lady who does promotion for them (and who apparently wrote a book on music life in Berlin in dutch, but that's a different story) to secure a copy of that new album. A thing I hardly do, but standing there, a few weeks ago, with a couple of youngsters who dragged me along, I was contemplating various thoughts. One was they are a very good live band - no doubt the result of playing lots of concerts to promote their previous album. Also the ease which they use all those styles on a stage, which enjoyed en masse by the youngsters. That's the good thing about the music for the young people: it doesn't matter what it is, no scene, no tag to put on, simply whatever comes to mind, you throw in. A band with guitars, keyboards, live drums, scratching, vocals (by all four members) and samples. Again with the help of lots of guest musicians, though not klezmer and punk bands. More guitar based than the previous album, more speed in the songs. That's what changed, but for the rest is the 'usual' mayhem of styles, which makes this another pleasing album. Excellent songs, a complete mash up of styles, not quite sing-alongs as far as I could see, but a damn fine album altogether. Next time they are around I'll be there again, despite what the uberhip elderly say. This is great entertainment. (FdW) Address:


The announcement for this series I must have received, but I couldn't find it anymore. If I recall there will be eleven split LPs with Kommissar Hjuler on one side on all eleven records and on the other side every time an unique band. The only two names in the series, so far, will be Smegma (up next) and for now (the first) Lt. Caramel. A pity that I don't recall the other names, so I can't say anything about reviving old names or some such. Let's just wait and see. So on side one Lt. Caramel, the French electro-acoustic composer Philippe Blanchard, who perhaps did what are do in reverse: he changed back to his Lt. Caramel name. Never change a winning horse? A side long composition of manipulating sounds through the use of... oops... I was going to write tape recorders, but perhaps these days we speak about computers? Its not easy to spot those sounds, save for the extended use of voices. Furthermore there is the use of electronics - synthesizers perhaps? electronic manipulation of acoustic sounds? who knows? - which makes altogether a dark and dense piece, with some crazy wacked out melody dropping by every now and then. Hardly a traditional piece in terms of musique concrete, but in the not so vast catalogue of Lt. Caramel certainly no odd ball. All the trademarks are there, and tops it off as a fine piece.
On the b-side Kommissar Hjuler and Frau. Already they have a long discography of craziness. Small handmade editions, anti-records sometimes, art objects (to some at least), but sometimes (not always) their music is actually pretty good. Their recent CD for Intransative (see Vital Weekly 683) is a fine overview of the best musical work. Their side of the record is also quite nice. It uses the idea's of electro-acoustic soundtreatments, just like Lt. Caramel does, but it seems more direct, more right y'r face. The unfolding of adhesive tape for instance in the first part or the movement of objects over the floor board in the third part, makes this into a fine piece of electro-action music. I can vividly imagine some sort of performance going on here. Think Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock in a long form fashion, without the rapid cut-ups. Very nice side of a very nice record. (FdW) Address:


Back in Vital Weekly 582 I was first introduced to the work of Kraig Grady, of whom I thought 'Beyond The Windows Perhaps Among The Podcorn' was his debut CD. That CD blew me away, and I held it for the missing link between Phill Niblock, Ingram Marshall and Alvin Lucier. Later on I got some of his older work, which explored also micro tonalism. Grady explores the sound of metallophones, marimbas, hammered dulcimers and reed organs, which makes it hardly a surprise that he ends with a LP for Ini Itu, the label from Brussels, of whom I found out explore Indonesian music - a point I missed when reviewing their first two LP releases of this label. Grady here play percussion instruments and does that in his usual elegant manner. Working around with overtones, he plays mood music that seems to me (and I readily admit being no expert) only vaguely connected to Indonesian gamelan music. That is usually much louder and more hectic, but in Grady's hands they turn out to be sounding like wind chimes. Not music that demands a lot, but music that works well on a microscopic level. A bit like z'ev playing softly. Great late night music - very atmospheric, very controlled and ending in gorgeous lock groove on 'Ostaelo'. Damn fine record. (FdW)


The drone meister returns. Before working under his own flag, Ian Holloway was Psychic Space Invasion and had a label called Elvis Coffee Records, but under his own name and as Quiet World being a more 'serious' label he started a second career. In this new work drones and field recordings play the main role. Below the surface there is a deep rumble, of what could be synthesizers (analogue or digital? The cover doesn't tell us) or processed feedback. On top there are field recordings. What kind? Again its not easy to tell. Maybe an example of sticking a microphone out of the window? Or perhaps something more elaborate - a large empty space with some obscured action (birds flying about?). A rawer version of say Paul Bradley. Less refined than his previous release, this is a some what more heavy work of drone sounds. The differences are in the detail. A fine work as such however, expanding his horizon. (FdW) Address:


JOS SMOLDERS - THE DRONE GNOME (CDR by Moving Furniture Records)
Maybe Jos Smolders is just jealous at those musicians who concern them with drone music? Whereas he has to compose his music second by second, 'drone music is lated out and constructed with (very) large chunks of time' - and thus its done easier? Another thing Jos Smolders doesn't like about drone music is that is 'often about bass and noise. Sometimes the composer mixes subtleties over the basic layer. Sounds that are barely discernible. Others filter the basic layer so that modulations occur'. Jos Smolders, always a man to ask him a question and finding an answer, tried his hands on making a drone record. Now his comments (the longer version is at the label website) places us for a few questions too. Any particular drone, mister Smolders? By my estimation there are a variety of appearances on the drone scene, which do not all constitute of 'bass and noise' (just what is noise then anyway?). In Jos' hands there are two pieces, which I refer to as drone music from the microsound end. No analogue synths, or spacious analogue effects and bird twitter, but processed sine waves that glide carefully up and down the scale. I must say that he understands drone music quite well: long sustaining sounds, minimalist, but it wouldn't be Jos Smolders if he knew how to give the material a twist of his own and make it sound like something that is remotely drone based, but yet also more composed, bringing in some action and liveliness to the material. No doubt in a longer form than his usual compositions and certainly towards the end of 'ggrrrr' more noise based than his usual works. I think true drone heads may actually this move Smolders did, and his true fans will be delighted - as I am - with this interesting move. Despite his disqualification of drone music. (FdW)


The second live CDR by Idea Fire Company has two shows, from two different years (1997 and 1998) but from the same location: the infamous RRRecords. Idea Fire Company here are Karla Borecky on synth and Scott Foust on synth, guitar, tapes and treatments. Of 'Cycle 19' is present in both shows, but its a piece that has always been on Idea Fire Company concerts, so no surprise. Funny to see how it changes. The other nine pieces are classic pieces, I'd say, even with such a reduced line up. Classic drone music of sustaining tones, tape-loops and sound effects. Maybe a bit long to do all at once, but its an suggestion to play the first concert one night, and the second a day later.
The Pickle Factory was never reviewed in Vital Weekly, perhaps because they no longer exist. There have been an album and a CD, and 'Our Anthem', recorded in 1996 was supposed to be the second LP. The Pickle Factory we find Karla Borecky (keyboard, voice, tapes, synth), Scott Foust (guitar, synth, tapes, voice, radio, bass) and Mike Popvich (bass, voice, drums, percussion, radio, guitar, keyboard). Idea Fire Company plus a guest? Hardly. In all the various bands Foust is (or was) involved in, there is always a distinct sound of its own. The Pickle Factory might be called 'popmusic': rhythm machines, a nice bass line and additional sounds to go along in order to form a short song, rounded off like a song, as opposed to a 'piece'. True, also The Pickle Factory can play a bit of droney mood music, but not with the long curves as is usually with Idea Fire Company. A damn fine varied record of experimental music. Which brings up the question: why wasn't this excellent record never properly released on a LP? (FdW)


HIROKI SASAJIMA - MONOGENIC (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
ENTIA NON - DISINTER (CDR by Sentient Recognition Archive)
Two new names for me, on the excellent Sentient Recognition Archive label. While Entia Non has a little bit of information, there is no such thing on 'Monogenic' by Hiroki Sasajima. That's a pity, since we have to guess a bit. My best shot is that Sasajima uses field recordings, which are heavily processed into monolithic blocks of sound. His results, three in total, a deeply, what: bass shaking, rumbles of sound. Like the Holloway disc reviewed elsewhere, there is a strong influence of the work of Paul Bradley or Jonathan Coleclough. Deep, dark and mysterious and somehow all generated in the world of digital processing. Rain seems to be the main player in the second piece and motorized sounds in the third, whereas in the first I am completely in the dark. Very fine release for the music, not so much in terms of new things happening.
To spoil the end of the review: it can also be said about Entia Non, also known as James McDougall. Not much information here either, but it says that the field recordings were made at the East Coast of Australia. Here too the field recordings are heavily processed to filter out the deepest, lowest sound, and emphasize those through heavy filtering. The difference with Sasajima however is that its possible to recognize the or;.iginal sounds somewhat. Lots of sea sounds, walking along the beach, the sand in hand approach, motors and boats. Maybe a track too long this one. The best pieces, with the most variety in them - the raw sound versus the treatments - are at the beginning of the disc. 'Nearly Home', the fifth piece, seems a mere repetition of moves that were already made. Again leaning heavily on the UK drone scene - Mirror, Monos, Ora, Coleclough - but executed with the same great care, so perhaps that's fine enough. Two fine discs. (FdW)


BUNKUR - NULLIFY (CD by Displeased Records)
Metal has not been my scene since going out when I was 18 with friends to heavy metal bar, and only, on my part at least, since the beer was cheap. About this time last year I saw in Tilburg however a great band: Bunker, or Bunkur 13 as they are now called on myspace: four men with naked tops, one drummer, two bass players, a synthesizer player and vocalist playing metal. Just like 'our' scene (?) is fractured in all sorts of sub genres, so is metal, and perhaps I'm saying something utterly stupid, but Bunkur 13 play doom metal of the slowest kind. Since I know one of the bass players since... well, since my hardrock pub days (without him actually)... 1982... he gave me a copy of their second CD stating I should only hear this in its entire form, uninterrupted. Phone's off, so let's roll. Its one piece only, seventy-seven minutes of some very slow but very loud music. Play with great care and precision, in slow evolving bangs with lots and lots bass rumbling underneath - the synth is a bass synth too. The drums bang slowly and peacefully (?) with lots space in between, the singer sings (??) with the lowest howl possible. Metal is still not my cup of tea, but their concert last year I thought was impressive, and this CD is likewise massive. One firm block of concrete that weights a ton (or 2). I am pretty sure that this must be an odd-ball in the metal scene (unsubstantiated thought there). Bang those heads slowly (in). Great stuff. (FdW) Address:


TROUM - SIGQAN (CD by Transgredient Records)
In a way Troum are the masters of their scene - everything they touch seems to turn into gold, and if not the first time around, then perhaps a second time. 'Sigqan' was released in 2003 on Desolation House Records, which was a sub-division of Relapse Records, and has been out of print for a while. Now its being re-released again by Transgredient Records, Troum's own label. That might say something about what the band thought of this. The material on this CD was based on a couple of live concerts they did in October 2001 with Ultrasound. No doubt the true Troum heads have this already, but for those who arrived a bit later, this is indeed Troum music as Troum music should sound. It is one steady stream of sound that, like good drugs, float immediately to one's head. Dark, heavily atmospheric, but never a cliched form of ambient music. Guitars play an important part in the second piece (well, perhaps in all three, but I am not sure about that), which actually brings some light to the scenery. One could argue wether all Troum releases sound the same, which they don't, but its certainly not a band to change their style a lot. And why should they? There is no reasons for it, and I think their output is not that big, so its easy for them to stick around in that same area. 'Sigqan' is a nice one indeed. Good to have back in print. (FdW) Address:


ANOTHER ANOTHER GREEN WORLD (CD compilation by Narrominded)
Before I could review this compilation, I had to go back to the original. The idea is this: Narrominded invited a bunch of musicians to cover Brian Eno's 'Another Green World' - the whole album, each track by a different artist. They did such a scheme before with 'Evol' by Sonic Youth. I know 'Another Green World', but much to my regret I am not the biggest Eno-rock fan in the world. I prefer his instrumental work over his more rock oriented work. Now that I am hearing the original again, I think I should perhaps re-consider that. It much nicer than I remember, and not as rock-based. Eno here combines various styles, rock, ambient into a bunch of nice songs. Narrominded invited a whole bunch of Dutch artists, who mainly belong to the world of 'beats and synthesizers', to avoid such terms as techno, but if you know Legowelt, Rude 66 or Hydrus, you may know better. These people take the gist of a song and turn it into something else. And usually without vocals. I bet that if you'd play say Nanko's version of 'Little Fishes' a dedicated Eno fan might have a problem spotting this as a cover thereof. In some cases one may be could. Its a nice compilation however, wether or not you love Eno. Maybe it side tracks the original too much here and there, or perhaps Eno's genius is hard to passed by, but in all a nice one. (FdW) Address:


Every now and then I receive a new CD by AGF aka Antye Greie (or Antye Greie aka AGF as it says on this cover), but I'm not sure if its then the follow-up to whatever thought was the previous, in this case 'Words Are Missing' (see Vital Weekly 611), or perhaps there have been other releases, which i missed on. So perhaps 'Einzelkämpfer' (sole warrior) is her fifth solo CD, and it sees a continuation of her previous work: electronic music and poetry, voices and language. Not always easy to understand what these words are about, but I guess that is Greie's entire point. She creates images in sound, through sound and through words. I guess its like that with poetry: one can not always understand what a poem is about, but grasp the feeling. Greie's music was at one point perhaps seen as an alternative for dance floor music, and perhaps there are still faint traces of that here, such as perhaps in 'Her Beauty Kills Me', but throughout most this new work, this is something you are better off listening on your own, at home, in private. Sometimes frightenly, sometimes beautifully, full of love, easy going or difficult. I am known not always like the music that deals with a strong emphasis on vocals, or even pure poetry stuff, but for the work of AGF I'd like to make an exception. Her work is a great combination of electronic music and spoken word/singing, which seem to be in an excellent balance here. Again, maybe a bit long for an entire CD of an hour, but a very fine work again. (FdW) Address:


PIOTR KUREK - LECTURES (CD by Cronica Electronica)
Jorge Mantas, the man behind The Beautiful Schizophonic, is a romantic man - at least that's what I think, as I never met him. For the press release he wrote a long text, dealing with erotics - and thus he creates a dreamworld of his own. His music, through the years he's been active, is also of a romantic nature. String like computer sounds, a bit like Gas did, form the basis of all his compositions. Here he gets help from Yui Onodera, Sleeping Me and Christina Vantzou doing voices. Thus he carves out a fine niche of his own. Nothing abstract, nothing 'nothing', no mystery - just a plain guy (his own words) with a love for beautiful women and beautiful textured music. Ambient? Sure. Microsound? Of course. Something special? Mwah... no, not really. If you take the music face value, what is left is a beautiful woven tapestry of sound, very ambient, most suitable for long evenings near the fireplace. Nothing special. What makes it special is the context in which he brings us this music - that is a particular daring thing, to be so open about it. Nice indeed.
The other new CD is an odd-ball, certainly for a label like Cronica Electronica, who deal with laptop music and electronics. I have no clue as to what Piotr Kurek does to generate his music. Sometimes it seems like improvisations on acoustic percussion (such as in 'Part 1') but then something like 'Tripartite' could very well be a duet between accordion and laptop. The title refers to lectures given by Cornelius Cardew, who died in 1981, but whose son Walter has from lectures, performances and rehearsals. He handed them to Kurek, who used them in this work. An odd-ball, that brings up some questions, like what the relation is between the spoken word pieces by Cardew and the music by Kurek. Just inspired? Or is the music from Kurek all so spontaneous as Cardew wanted? Why not just add those as liner notes? In some cases music and talking mixes, which is nice, such as in '1963', but when the talking is 'solo', it turned me a bit off. However the music here is quite nice. A most curious mixture of laptop music (I assume) and improvisation makes this something that is not heard often. Great one. (FdW) Address:


KALLABRIS - MUSIC FOR VERY SIMPLE OBJECTS (10" by Substantia Innominata)
OLHON - LUCIFUGUS (10" by Substantia Innominata)
The latest two releases in Drone Records' series Substantia Innominata are by Olhon and Kallabris. Especially the latter is good news, as over the years I have been liking their work more and more. And the more I like it, the less I understand it, if in fact there is something to understand at all. This 10" with some cryptic text about the Unspeakable, The Unnameable, dealing with 'the grey matter", "the dark continent' is a most puzzling work. Small pieces, flowing into eachother, of field recordings, bits of music, some weird indoor sounds, cracks and all such like is brought to you in a collage form. No drone like sounds, but rather a work of musique concrete. Like the RLW release before in this series, maybe an odd-ball, but a rather nice odd-ball. Simple objects? Perhaps. Great music they bring.
In more traditional Drone Records land is the release by Olhon, which is a collaboration between Bad Sector and Where, who recorded a bunch of sounds in an abandoned large metal water tank in Italy. These recordings have been processed a bit (well, or to a large extend), and sound like something we should expect on this series. Metallic rumble, computerized overdrive moved all the way to the background, some voices humming: creepy ambient industrial music. The rattling of insects - or perhaps the death rattle of insects? I haven't seen the water tank, but its size is made audible here, that's for sure. Spooky stuff, but also with enough experiment in them, which prevent the listener from getting sucked into this maelstrom of sound. Not as good as the Kallabris one, but then I might have an opinion that belongs a minority. (FdW) Address:

ASHBERRY - RESIN (CDR by Wounded Wolf)
Only twenty-five copies have been made of this: one could ask why bother, or why not make more of them? Is the music not that good that only two hands full should be out? The website reads something about "handmade card-box in a bag of linen with natural ephemera attached to it. Leaves , birch , pieces of corks and such.", but no such thing with my copy. I do like to see the real thing ( to see how to submit promo's, which doesn't include sending an e-mail: can I send a promo?, like so many seem to be doing). I hear some string sounds, piano and natural events. Oddly I was reminded of an early eighties group called New 7th Music, which no doubt not a lot will remember, but who had the same tranquility and the same sense of using acoustic instruments. Music that doesn't force itself upon the listener, but rather sets the mood, an atmosphere is created, and a very nice atmosphere it is. A free form Arvo Part, totally uncomposed, but with the same melancholic stretch. A pity that neither Ashberry nor Wounded Wolf seems to be interested in a somewhat bigger audience. (FdW)


Not right on the list 'places I need to have seen', but Christmas Island: yeah, if I'm around, why not (Easter Island is actually on top of that list). One David Carson and Phil Mouldycliff have been to the Christmas Island where they recorded a whole bunch of sounds, all of which are carefully mentioned, per track, on the cover: Frigate birds, Red footed Boobies, Cicadas, Emerald Doves, White Eyes, Christmas Is. Trush, Abbots Boobies or the Imperial Pigeon, well, among others, actually. Also locations are described on the cover, and back home (I assume), Mouldycliff composed pieces of music with these recordings, which Colin Potter then 'processed and produced', which allows him the same front cover credit, I guess. It makes it, on the other hand, not easy to tell what is what here: what is Mouldycliff composition and what is Potter's processing and production. There is lots more mentioned on the cover, such in the 'Trajectories 1' there is a 'time stretch voice Soloist', which I must say sounds a bit like an easy trick. All four pieces use bird sounds, but the results aren't always the same. The first 'Trajectories' use this time stretched voice, whereas in the second there just bird and bell sounds and things sound rather open. In this third part drones return in a very peaceful fashion, along with the birds. With twenty-four minutes the best part of the release. In the final part there are also drones but of a much more darker nature. Four quite different pieces of music, of which the first one was the least appealing one, but the other three sounded great. Excellent drone music with field recordings - or vice versa. (FdW) Address:

TAKU UNAMI - MALIGNITAT 2 (CDR by Free Software Series)
XXXXX - IS-LAND (CDR by Free Software Series)
Its been a while since we last heard from Mattin and his Free Software Series, or perhaps we missed out on a few. The idea is simple: there is free audio software out there to generate music, and that's basically what these composers do. Taku Unami is perhaps a bit known already for his work in the field of improvised music, and he is quite a radical voice in that scene with a strong love for extreme quietness. Here he uses 'Kluppe, PD, Ardour on Debian', which I guess means a lot for the initiated, but not for me. His thirty-six minute piece is an odd one. It has various lengthy bits of silence and otherwise dwells on solo sounds. Dry sounds of electronic origin. Clicks, hiss, static - that sort of thing, but never working around using plug ins. Towards the end things explode into a noise thing, which cuts out as abruptly as they start. A radical work, I'd say, one that requires all your concentration. A strange composition, but surely a captivating one.
The cover for XXXXX's 'Is-Land' lists 'GNU/Linux, GNU Emacs, GCC, EVP, Audicity under Debian (testing)' and inside a lengthy text on magic, ghostly voices and such like. Hard to figure what this is all about. The music is pretty much based on static hiss, cable hum and perhaps other sorts of interference picked up in an empty room. The noise at work is quite nice, but in the three lengthy pieces also a bit overlong. The six other pieces seem to have the length they fit, somewhere between two and five minutes, which is absolutely fine to get the idea across (ok, so I lie here: its all a bit unclear to me what this release is about. But aside of that, I must admit its the sort of noise I like: not too loud, not always loud and maybe with some consideration. Download this software and start toying around - I believe that's also a message from this label. Do it yourself in the digital age. (FdW)


Two CDRs of improvised music from France, both from relatively young musicians. Heddy Boubaker is a musician from the south of France. He started on electric guitar playing in rock bands, but switched to alto and baritone sax doing improvised music and sound research. Soizic Lebrat comes from Nantes. Both are new names for me. But listening to their CDR one can only conclude that they already have a history behind them. Very accomplished players with an enormous vocabularies. Their improvisations are fantastic duets, very fluid and subtle. Very rich and concentrated sound improvisations, constantly moving and shifting, showing different sides of their talent and musical vision. Improvised music at its best. Chapeau! Only 100 were made of this live recording (april 2008 in Toulouse).
Petit Label has a very small catalogue. Un Rêve Nu is even smaller, with 'Running Away' as the first and only release till now. We find the CD slabbed between two parts of wood, that have photos on the inside, and handmade paintings on the outside. Both pieces of wood are held together by magnets. Nice work! The music on this CD comes from Guillaume Viltard, another young french improvisor. He played with Boubaker, Lebrat and many other improvisors. He developed already at a young age a love for improvised music (CecilTaylor). In 2003 he did his fist soloperformance. I'm not sure, but I suppose 'Running Away' is his first solorecord of doublebass improvisations. Some of the recordings were done in the open air, in the woods of Bouconne to be more precise. The other ones in some studio. Viltard proves himself as an improvisor with many extended techniques to his disposal. His music is from time to time very introspective, making it difficult to enjoy. But there are also many fantastic eruptions of soundimprovisation to be enjoyed here. The recordings that were done in the woods leave much room for the birds and environment, although it goes too far to speak of a dialogue with nature. On the other hand in my mind these outside recordings created the phantasy that the sounds produced by Viltard come from a horde of insects. (Dolf Mulder) Address:

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


Related articles

Vital Weekly 711 + 712
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 709 + 710
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 708
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 707
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 705 + 706
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 703 + 704
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 701 + 702
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 698
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 697
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 696
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 695
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 694
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 693
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 692
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 691
Frans de Waard presents the ...

Partner sites