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Vital Weekly 709 + 710

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JONAS KOCHER - MATERIALS (CD by Creative Sources Recordings)
Releases like this make me think about what I like or dislike about instruments. The accordion for instance, the instrument of Jonas Kocher. I never heard of this Swiss player who has worked with Urs Leimgruber, Michel Doneda, Thomas Lehn, Harold Schellinkx and many more. Here he has a CD of his solo work for accordion and I am pleasantly surprised. That has hardly to do with wether I like or dislike the instrument. It never sounds anywhere like an accordion, which is an instrument not used a lot in this particular world (well, besides Pauline Oliveros). Kocher plays the instrument like an object that makes sound. He rubs it, plays it with a bow, thus creating ringing overtones and in 'buttons, electronics' (titles refer to objects or parts used of the accordion), things buzz around, shaking the bass ground. All in a highly improvised manner of course, but Kocher controls his instrument in a great way, but always the way he creates sounds with them. An excellent CD of partly improvised music, and partly drone based music. This musician is certainly open to keep an ear open for with future improvisations. (FdW)

To make noise is pretty a not very difficult thing, but the main question remains: is it interesting for the listener? This where lots of noise makers leap away and do an endless barrage of distorted sound and think that the more is the better, and the louder it gets adds to the fun all around. I beg to differ. There is good noise and its not always about being the loudest for the longest duration, but to actually compose with unusual sources. It needs skill, imagination and experience, I guess. Mike Shiflet (former boss of Gameboy Records) and Daniel Menche have exactly those qualities. They work here with Hammond organs (odd, just like Golden Serenades on 'Hammond Pops' - see Vital Weekly 702) and electronics an create a three piece suite of electronics that is both minimal and maximal. Minimal towards the sounds they use, the actual composition and sometimes to the volume. Maximal to some of the louder parts of this work. They use a variety of layers in this work, built them up in a great, never letting go of the idea of 'noise', but at the same time think of the listener: what do we want to create that is also interesting for him/her to hear, who is so far away? They succeed well. This is a well-crafted, thoroughly composed work, loud, menacing but a great pleasure to hear. This is the noise I like very much! (FdW) Address:


Kopasetic is a swedish label, presenting two ambitious combos with their new releases. 'Intertwined' is the debut CD of The Opposite, recorded this year in may in Malmo. This sextet was originated by Loic Dequidt (pianos) and Peter Nilsson (drums), and is completed by Marcelo Gabard Pazos (alto sax), Samuel Hallkvist (electric guitar), David Carlsson (electric bass) and Anders Vestergard (percussion). The title of their debut points and describes correctly what we hear. Especially what happens concerning rhythm and beat these acrobats weave very complex and intertwined structures. And very enjoyable not to forget! The CD opens with 'The Opposite' that has an immediately captivating and complex rhythm, making room for nice solo work for sax and guitar. Inspiration comes from the 70s (Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Weather Report and Sun Ra). This is especially evident in the playing of the piano player. It is music with jazz and rock as clear influences, but I wouldn't call it jazz-rock. Also it is far from self-satisfied fusion. The playing of guitarist Hallkvist is one of the main forces preventing this. In "Seau d'Air" he opens with a mean and distorted guitar solo, making a meditative moment in the middle of the cd possible this way. Also on other moments he adds interesting twists. What defines their music most is the rhythmic complexity for which they took inspiration from the musical traditions of Cuba, India and Africa. Like "By no means!", that reminds very much of Cuba. Because the idiom of this piece is so recognizable, it is also not very surprising. The closing piece "Switch Foot Pogo" is one of the stronger pieces of this album. With its pushing moves it brings this promising cd to a worthy end.
Carlsson and Nilsson are also members of the Aorta Ensemble, a joint venture between Malmo-based Aorta and the Fulminate Trio of New York. Guitarist Anders Nilsson, leader of this initiative lives in New York an tries to combine the best of both worlds he lives in. This cd offers some proof for this undertaking. The ensemble is completed by Mattias Carlson (saxes, clarinet, flute), Cennet Jonsson (saxes, clarinet) Ken Filiano (contrabas) and Michael Evans (drums, percussion). The cd opens with "Soundfear". The first half of this 15 minute track is very thoughtful. Slowly and gradually this piece unfolds itself, moving towards a cacophony climax and closing as it started in a pastoral mood. with a nice melodic line in the centre. In "Tuning In, the ensemble comes quickly to business. With his rumbling electric guitar Nilsson abducts his mates for a dazzling ride. In 3D, we are in the beginning for a substantial part witnessing the deep grumbling bass playing by Filiano. Only after 6 minutes Nilsson takes over and gradually others start to communicate. What stroke me most in this release are the unusual roads along which they structure their music. There are the energetic free jazz outbursts, as in "Vortex", on the one hand, and the lengthy and controlled walks on the other hand. Also the way how they play with dynamics is remarkable. It all sounds familiar in one way, but Nilsson knows how to bend it in unexpected and alienating directions. This makes this release a very fascinating and satisfying one. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


IDO GOVRIN - MOREINE (CD by Interval Recordings)
From Israel hails Ido Govrin, who co-runs the
Interval Recordings label, and who is one half of Duprass, of whom I never heard. For some of the pieces on this release he gets help from Kami Postel who plays cello on the opening piece 'Ground' and Carmel Raz on violin on "Medial'. I type this after I heard the CD already and was playing it again. I saw the cello being mentioned somewhere already, and perhaps I sort of assumed this whole album, all six tracks were created by using cello and violin sounds. It sounds just so. But upon a closer inspection of the cover and the press text, I see there is also mentioning of 'pure computer generated work' - I am easily fooled I guess. The six pieces here are nice affairs of glissandi for strings (or electronics imitating strings) and owe perhaps more to the world of modern classical music than the world of microsound, although maybe a piece like 'Lateral' may proof you otherwise. I am remembered here of the work of Arturas Bumsteinas or those on Bedroom Community, or maybe even the current direction of 12K. Highly delicate mood music here, with great care for the smallest detail. Excellent stuff. (FdW) Address:


I (compilation CD by Zelphabet)
Its been a few months since the release of 'G' and 'H' in the Zelphabet series, but here's 'I', the latest addition to the great encyclopedia of noise and related music. Of the four If, Bwana and Incapacitants may need not much introduction, even when the latter didn't get many reviews in Vital Weekly. Their piece is a twenty minute live recording from August 2000 at 20000V of heavy noise. A long howl, this feedback thunder that flies low over in your living room. Piercing electronics, chaos and mayhem. Long perhaps but essential listening. If, Bwana on the other end, placed before this noise, created a computer generated piece of voice material being transformed. A minimal piece of small changes in the various layers that are running at the same time and that gets his idea from Steve Reich and Phill Niblock, but If, Bwana uses it entirely to its own end and by different means. The CD closes with Irene Moon, which sounds vaguely familiar and I may have seen them/her/him live, but I am no longer sure. I somehow expected noise, but the piece seems to be some analogue synth doodling that responds to activities or changes in temperature (me thinks). An odd piece but I quite enjoyed it. The CD opens with IDX1274, of whom I never heard and they have a live track from some radio show and its a pretty noise based piece, low to to mid end range. Not a bad piece, but also not one I particular liked very much. Maybe a bit too long and a bit too standard in the vast kingdom of noise. Fine addition to a great series. (FdW)


The third LP in the series produced by Kommisar Hjuler and Mama Baer has just Mama Baer on one side and on the other side we find the highly respectable Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock. This originally Swiss project has moved to Japan ages ago, and there (and most likely anywhere else) he performs his pieces, aktions as they are called in the best performance tradition. Here a piece from April 2009 in Osaka and its quite a surprising one, if you know their previous work. Much of that older work consists of tape collages of voice material. Cut ultra short and very loud, but with great chuncks of silence also. Presented in a ultra-vivid collage of sound and silence. This new piece however is something different. An ongoing sound being the strangest thing so far. There is bell like sounds, a bend violin and voices sighing, like they have an orgasm or some other form of exhaustion. Its quite an extraordinary sound approach for Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock, one that I didn't expect but also one that actually works quite well. I haven't seen them performing but once again the music makes me curious about this.
The Mama Baer side has three parts of 'Words Are Crying But Don't English' (whatever that may mean) and its quite an interesting piece of sound poetry. Though not easily to access, as this is all quite low in volume. From what I could make out of it, this is based on loops cuts from reel to reel tapes of voice material that is soft. Singing perhaps, crying maybe? Slightly altered through rusty tapes, this is rather a nice record. A total outside approach of course, but then pretty much everything else they do is alike that, but this one I thought was particular good, perhaps even one of the best works to come out from their home so far. (FdW)

Cocosolidciti always release music and video as one package. Usually by one musician on both formats, but not necessarily the same music. On the first one we have music by Andrew Coleman (also known as Animals On Wheels, who are quite well-known, but not around the VW HQ). He works with Canadian film and video maker Patrick Doan, also known as Defasten. He shot some images of the city and presents his film as a documentary, with spoken word, but I must admit I was too distracted to give it all my attention, and thus I can't tell very much about it. I am just honest: I don't know much about this. It looked good actually. The music by Coleman both on CD and DVD is actually quite nice. It fits the images: melancholic, quiet most of the times, but with some strong angles towards experimental sound, even a bit of noise. Piano, guitar, field recordings, bits of loops and rhythm: a great diversity in all of the music used around here, but it works surprisingly well.
I am just not very good at video art: on the video that goes along with this, we see a man rowing in the canals of Helsinki. No doubt some animation. Its divided by various chapters, eight in total, with each their own music, by Olivier Blank. The meaning as such eludes me. Visit Helsinki in the summer. But its all a bit too haphazard for me, both the visuals and the music. Maybe as a background this video works well. The music is by Olivier Blank, who is the former guitarist of the Jim Noir band, of whom I never heard. His music is (modern) classical in approach: highly melodic, quite minimal, using guitars, piano's, a variety of wind instruments, drums (that add a somewhat post rock character to the music). Melancholic music of the highest Icelandic order. Again Bedroom Community comes to mind, but also Sigur Ros. Music for long evenings, cold days and warm homes. Nice stuff actually. (FdW)


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to see a concert by Jan-M Iversen and Sindre Bjerga, which was, besides a great concert, interesting to see. I heard a lot of their releases, although perhaps 50% of the entire output. In the small UK label Striate Cortex they have a found a big fan of their music, who now release an one-off recording they did with Terje Paulsen, recorded live at Hjem Coctailbar in Kristiansand, Norway in March of this year. Paulsen plays contact-microphones, bowed metal and strings, Iversen electronics and Bjerga tape recorders, contact microphones and sampler. So far the statistics of this release. This piece lasts almost twenty-six minutes, which also seems to be the average length of a Bjerga/Iversen concert, and the music doesn't differ much from the usual duo recordings, although its a bit more dense and a bit more subdued. There is throughout this piece a low, menacing drone to be spotted, with a minimal amount of acoustic objects being gently touched, scrapped and rubbed. Slowly things unfold, get a bit louder, but never turns into 'noise'. Everything is kept well under control. Over the years Bjerga and Iversen (and now here with Paulsen) have gained a lot of experience in creating finely woven electro-acoustic music from an improvised music end. Excellent work, and hopefully a trio form that is to be continued in the future. (FdW)
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Of these three artists we came across two before. Philip Sulidae released two 3"CDRs on his own Dontcaresulidae label (reviewed in Vital Weekly 692) and hails from Australia. Here he has full length release of his work with field recordings that are crafted into drone like textures. Its a continuation of his work released earlier. Very dark drone like material, with slow, peaceful gestures, that however bear little light in them. Its hard to say if its just field recordings or wether there is any use of instruments to accompany the field recordings. I'm sure it doesn't matter very much. The music is quite nice in all its minimally varying subtlety. There is nothing new as such under this dark night, not compared to the previous two releases of Sulidae, but also its part of a tradition of dark drone meisters, such as Mirror, Ora and that particular UK scene. Sulidae however crafts pieces that are as equally good and 'The Cause Of Others' is damn fine release.
Then there is James McDougall, who, when working as Entia Non did a nice release on Sentinent Recogntion Archives (reviewed in Vital Weekly 699). Here he works with one David Velez - the new name of the three - and they exchanged some sound material, and then concentrating solely on the work of the other - create a new piece. The starting point was to create sounds from industrial zones - hence the title. McDougall got his from South East Queensland and Velez traveled in Orlando, Florida where he got his. I am not entirely sure about this, but I think the first is by McDougall and Velez did the second one. The differences between the two pieces are minimal yet definite. 'Pieza Primera', the first piece is a continuous affair of field recordings, crackling away. Like a vast open, concrete space, recorded in the middle of the night. It changes only a minimal way, and the sound never drops. In 'Pieza Segunda', Velez opts for various sections that are also likewise minimal, but they change throughout. Sometimes very low and bass heavy, then working high end with static crackles. Of the two pieces the second one sounds more composed and is more engaging, but both are quite closely related. Maybe the first could have been a bit shorter, but throughout its an excellent work of processed field recordings. (FdW)


AMP2 + TIM HODGKINSON - HUMS (CD by Bowindo Recordings)
By the time, as a youngster, when I discovered new music, Henry Cow was a well established name. Dolf Mulder - our long friend of all things improvised - must have played me Henry Cow, the Art Bears, the Work and Fred Frith, but I never got out to get it myself. Maybe it was a bit too much for a young student with hardly any money. So I missed out much of Tim Hodgkinson's career, although I believe he has strong ties to Italian's finest experimental musicians. He has a CD with Martusciello, if I am not mistaken. Here he teams with a group called AMP2, which stands for Advanced Music and Mixed Media Pool Palermo, of which the core unit (there is more then!) consists of Dario Sanfilippo (laptop, live electronics), Marco Pianges (laptop), Antonino Secchio (percussion), Gandolfo Pagano (prepared guitar) and Domenico Scianjo (laptop, live electronics). Hodgkinson plays lapsteel guitar, electronics and clarinet. During a two day session in Palermo in April 2009, they recorded the pieces on this album. No doubt they recorded long sessions of all of them improvising together which was later on edited together, or rather separated into seven pieces. Unlike the improvisation of Hearts Of Palm reviewed elsewhere, this is the sort of improvisation where people actually listen to what the others are doing and try and find an appropriate response to it. A very dense layered work this is. The laptop/electronic part play the leading part in forming this mass of sound, and on top there are bits of the 'real' instruments scattered around, trying to find a place of their own, so it seems. Highly improvised, with lots of bleeps and blobs of all instruments involved, but it makes a strongly coherent sound. A fascinating journey all around, but one that requires your full attention. Which I guess is not uncommon with music like this. (FdW) Address:


If Machinefabriek is the Dutch master of endless releases, then Franz Fjodor is the man of endless concerts. In the last month I bumped into him on two different locations, once at Extrapool and once in the train. In both cases he was moving from and to concerts. In the last three years he has played over 400 shows, all around the world. Maybe that's why he has a lot less releases out. Behind Franz Fjodor is Wouter Jaspers, one of the driving forces behind Vatican Analog in Tilburg (The Netherlands), but who currently lives in Berlin. 'Glorious Days' is his second full length 'Exhibition' (see Vital Weekly 632). Field recordings play an important role in his music. The ones used on this album are recorded during his many travels, and sometimes he meets people that are guests on his CD. People like Bram Stadhouders (guitar), Tom Smith (samples), Koen-Willem Toering (vocals) or Sten Ove Toft (vocals). Fjodor adds electronics to this, some acoustic objects, maybe an instrument here and there, and melts it all together in a densely layered cake. Drone music is not the word that applies to Franz Fjodor, although its were his music is partly based at. Long sustaining fields of sound, created by analogue sound effects, are intercepted by acoustic sounds or pure and clear field recordings. There is also a musical element to it, or I should rather say a melodic element, like the humming voices on 'The Fitzgerald Passage' or the synthesizers and drums of the title piece. That makes that Fjodor bypasses the whole notion of being either pure drone music, pure ambient, pure field recordings or pure anything, but even, dare I say it, an element of popmusic comes in, maybe folk tronic, without any clear vocals that is. That makes this a particular nice record I think. A daring move, but one that works well. A fine combination of styles, makes a fine combination of music, and 'Glorious Days' a fine album. No doubt Franz Fjodor anywhere you all sooner or later. (FdW)


KASHATRIY - SLEPOK SOZNANIYA (CDR by Zhelezobeton/Muzyka Voln)
I.M.M.U.R.E. - THE NEW CIRCLE (CDR by Zhelezobeton)
Of these three, the name Sister Loolomie was the only one I heard before. Muzyka Vlon is a kind of sub division of Zhelezobeton, which releases CDs, not CDRs, like the main company does. 'Slepok Soznaniya' is the first album by Kasatriy, who are active since 2004 and who had a couple of CDRs out. This new work is 'based on the concept of consciousness of a warrior, a galatic warrior of light, bringing to world pure knowledge, infinite silence, perfect balance, a moment of power and might, a flight of freedom, love, serenity, joy, light, unified time, eternal life, simplicity and bliss', which is indeed more than a CD could carry, me thinks. To that end they use synthesizers, field recordings, acoustic echoes and rhythmic loops. Dark ambient music is the result. At the core of the proceedings is the almighty reverb unit. Every sound they produce, it seems, is fed into the reverb, trying to achieve that gloom and doom sound. I must say that is a pity. It kind of blurs the music quite a bit, making it into one uniform mass of sound. Everything is pitched to grey and black. I assume this would be a popular item among those who love all things ambient and industrial, but I thought it was just alright. Nothing great, nothing bad either. Quite alright.
About I.M.M.U.R.E. we don't learn much. They are from St. Petersburg, and are part of a musical foundation called Forbidden Sounds Group. They have performed a couple of times live and 'The New Circle' is their physical release. They are not easy to pin down I thought. There are pieces in which a keyboard plays a melody, but with somebody else playing some electro acoustic music on top. What is a consistent feature here on this release, is the use of reverb. Its used a bit too extensively for my taste and used to create that creepy atmosphere they deem necessary for their music. If there is an influence to be mentioned for them, then I'd say Coil comes close, and when they use vocals there is someone who tries to sound like David Tibet. Throughout the music is mostly instrumental, meandering into experimental electronics, sometimes spiced up with bouncing rhythms and sounds borrowed from the world of techno, sometimes losing themselves a bit too much in the experiment, such as in the piece 'Casket Full Of Dreams', but throughout this was a very nice psychedelic ride.
Sergey is the man behind Sister Loolomie. He's also responsible for the music of Five Elements Music, Exit In Grey and his labels Still*Sleep and Semperflorens. This I believe is his second release as Sister Loolomie. Much of his music deals with the almighty drone, and as Sister Loolomie it is not different. However there is one major difference, and that is that here he uses only digital means. For one reason or the other, this album was already recorded in 2004, but only finished this year. At his disposal are a guitar, electronics, radio and all of that goes into the computer for some further processing. Distinctly digital it is. Sergey down-samples the material into a gritty, grainy sound, using many loops that phase shift around. Its not the world of dreamy drones, but that of angular electronics. Not really warm glitch music, there is however something captivating about this work. The sheer minimalism of revolving dark, grey sounds make this is into a great album. (FdW)


A SPIRALE - AGASPASTIK (CD by Fratto9 Under The Sky/Deserted Factory)
A combined release from two experimental labels, the italian Fratto9-label and the Japanese Deserted Factory. A Spirale is a high energy trio of Maurizio Argenziano (feedbacks, electric guitar), Mario Gabola (feedbacks, acoustic sax) and Massimo Spezzaferro (drums, little things). Obviously they have a background in punk, and they still have the freshness and spontaneity that often belongs to this music. But punk is no longer what they doing here. There music developed into a very energetic version of improvised rock music, since the release of "Come Una Lastra" in 2004. Playing on stage stimulated them a lot taking this direction. Listening to the CD what stroke me first is the crystal clear recording of this trio from Naples. This helped me al lot in enjoying this release. "Black Crack", the opening track, is a fantastic Brotzmann-like eruption of noise. The beautiful "Sriciorbu" and "Kaluli" prove the trio is not afraid of improvising in softer and quieter regions. Especially "Sciciobu" is a nice exploration into sound and texture. Needles to say they are contrasted with explosions of noise like again in "Tersicore", a Naked City-like concentrated scream. This way they shaped their ideas in a nice collection of seven radical pieces. Never losing themselves in useless musical excursions, but always very down to earth. Punk, remember! Nice work. (Dolf Mulder) Address:

This new label is focussed on "new music and sound without consideration for genre esthetics". With the CDs by Grenager and Giertsen we step into the world of contemporary norwegian music. Lene Grenager studied composition and the cello at the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo, and she participated in many seminars with composers like Louis Andriessen, Brian Ferneyhough, Iannis Xenakis, Trevor Wishart and many others. Besides her work as a composer she is also member of improv group Spunk. The "Affinis-Suite" was composed for the Affinis Ensemble, an ensemble specialized in new music from Norway since 1990. Grenager and ensemble work together already for ten years. The suite is made up of six parts, composed between 2004 and 2007. As a whole the suite was premiered in 2008 on the Borealis Festival. The opening part of the suite "Attitude" starts with whirling manoeuvres of all players, playing like a mad fanfare. Part two is a solo for oboe and it is an exploration of the theme of the first part. "Redolence" is for piano and marimba, to be followed by "Intermittent Interplay" for sax, trumpet and guitar. "Fumblemumble" is for bass clarinet and the closing piece "Effect without Cause" has the complete ensemble at work. Her music is strongly based on the playing with rhythmical patters. Using unexpected intervals, crazy jumps, etc. her music is funny and very lively. A good example evidencing that composed new music can be accessible and enjoyable for less trained ears. In the case of her colleague Ruben Sverre Giertsen this is different as we will see. He is another young composer from Norway who studied composition at the Grieg Academy in Bergen. He has also followed master classes with guest composers like Brian Ferneyhough and Helmut Lachenmann. His work has already been performed throughout Europe. Giertsen cooperated with the Oslo Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, as well as other orchestras and festivals. On "Grains" we find five of his works. All them show that the use of extended techniques have become a common thing nowadays in modern composed music. The CD opens with "Fluente" performed very disciplined by cello player Friedrich Gauwerky. In the other pieces soloist from the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the Oslo Philharmonic give a great performance. "Contradiction, is for violin, bass clarinet and horn", an intense dialogue through a series of sequences. In "Duo for Viola and Contrabass" the instruments are beaten, plucked, etc. A very physical experience. The piece has a surprising almost melodious end. "tReMbLiNg" is for 14 musicians and performed by Ensemble Ernst. It is an example of a piece that I experience having a strong narrative, as if it telling a story. The cd concludes with the title piece "Grains, (for percussion, viola and harp)". Giertsen shows he has strong hand in writing down notes, meaning that is able to write with a clear musical vision in a vocabulary we know from other contemporary composers. He compositions have well-dosed arrangements and are multicolored by the use of all kinds of playing techniques. Giertsen proves himself as a very disciplined and focussed composer. To conclude I want to make mentioning of the beautiful cover art of both CDs, but alas the letters are very tiny and it is difficult to read them. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


'Ferran Fages: feedback mixing board, pick-ups-Alfredo Costa Monteiro: objects on electric guitar' - @ which the address below can be found mp3s but for the lazy it would be difficult to guess a guitar was involved, high pitched noise and feedback mainly staccato sounds recorded over a four year period- another attempt at research (into - about?) noise, which one could take issue with, but the offering here is well produced and surprisingly delicate, maybe the long gestation period accounts for such intricacy of form. Which generates the question regarding the idea of noise research, as noise can be - and is - defined as the detritus of existence (and or culture), not its careful constructs, so this work falls more in line with the genre of modernist avant-gardism than the flagrant ignoring of culture of the more recent work of others. Even the harsher sections are carefully located like jewelry manufactured from junk and found objects. (jliat) Address:

Just as I was to watch this DVD, the main light bulb in the front room broke down. I could of course watch this DVD in darkness, or perhaps take Elggren's advise from the booklet: 'put the DVD in the player, make sure that the DVD is running and is visible on a monitor or so. And then leave quickly the room and don't look back". There would be a problem doing so. There is no 'play all' here, so it would only play the first video, 'As If I Was My Father'. We see Elggren on a chair in his underwear, making gestures. No sound. In the next one he goes to bed. 'Ventillation' has a ventillation with its sounds. Static image for fifteen minutes. A sewing machine in 'Celebration Of A Revolution', making on and off sound. Etc. Much of the work of Elggren deals with mysteries, dream and subconsciousness. There is a lot to think about while watching these video's. I don't know what they mean. I have no clue at all. Maybe there is no meaning? Maybe one is free to find a meaning for oneself? Maybe its just (?) visual poetry? I don't know. Just any or all, I assume. Quite compelling. Quiet disturbing. (FdW) Address:


VIDNA OBMANA - 1984-1986 [TESTAMENT OF TAPE] (3LP by Vinyl On Demand)
Someone mentioned last weekend that the only thing that sells in 'underground' music is re-issues and not new releases. And somehow I think he was right, sadly so. Close this Vital Weekly for now, and open it in 15 years and see what you missed and re-issue that. Maybe that's the way to go about? I hope not, even when I like re-issues actually. I don't have the resources, nor the space actually, to indulge myself with all the releases by Vinyl On Demand, but occasionally one reaches me, and that makes me happy. Maybe, so I was thinking, we should regard this 3LP by Vidna Obmana as the vinyl companion to 'Noise/Drone Anthology 1984-1989' (reviewed in Vital Weekly 480)? Though there is one overlap (as far as I can see), its otherwise a coverage of Vidna Obmana's earliest work when he was involved with noise music. Back then I wondered wether it would have been nice to hear the entire archive of old works, which is still not covered with this 3LP set - which brings me to the fact that there is no booklet with handy information with this release, which makes the box merely a box with one normal record sleeve and one gate fold and apparently nothing else - as I know there is more. Using a minimum of equipment (Korg MS20 + m1, Dr. Rhythm 110, tapeloops, effects, turntables, shortwave radio and vocals), Dirk Serries, the master mind behind Vidna Obmana, creates powerful noise music. Music that is actually more musical at times then we would have expected, especially when Vidna Obmana incorporates minimal beats, some form of melody and even tries his hand at singing. Of course there are also the walls of feedback, screaming, oscillating noise to be found here. It struck me that a lot of this material was more varied than I remembered from the early tapes. Vidna Obmana uses various approaches to the idea of noise, and he does a great job. Yes, this is the perfect companion to that previous CD, and perhaps it will convince Vidna Obmana to re-issue the rest of his oldest work too. (FdW)


O.R.D.U.C. - 107 (LP by Motok)
In the immediate past I expressed my delight that the One O Seventh Royal Dutch Underground Company, long for O.R.D.U.C. is back. Back in 1981 he released the LP 'Pink & Purple' a most charming collection of electronic popsongs. After almost thirty years this album is still available (and I urge to get one, while they still last) and while never entirely gone, since this year Nico Selen is back in full operation modus. Recently he released the 'Auto' 7" (see Vital Weekly 694) and now there is a whole new album. Nico send me some extensive liner notes, about all the ins and outs of the various tracks on the album, which quite nice (it should have made it to the insert I think). What was charming about the first LP, the absolute non-vocalist Selen, is pretty much absent here, and yet it still has that great quality of electronic pop. Or rather minimal wave, as Selen calls it himself. Songs that represent a feeling, and usually those feelings are a bit sad. There is some pleasantly charming music here. Intimate playing, always within the structure of a song. Tinkling keyboards, minor keys, sampled drums from earlier works, but also, such as in 'Excerpts' a cymbal and a putty knife, which add a nice ethnic feel to the song. Today's its snowing here and inside O.R.D.U.C. play melancholic songs; what a perfect combination. A great record, one to cherish in these short, cold days. (FdW) Address:


A good old fashioned lo-fi released record with one band per side, with two xeroxes for the cover. On side A we find James Fella, who plays saxophone, electronics and guitar in this piece that was captured live on May 14th 2009. I am not sure how you could play a saxophone and a guitar at the same time, maybe the piece is split in two and now first have the saxophone in a noise session. Sounding like a less heavy Borbetomagus, but still with great fury and power. Then he slowly moves out of that and starts playing the guitar. Here he uses a more minimal approach, carefully plucking the strings in a highly atonal manner. There is only a minimal amount of electronics here, and its almost a melancholic ending here. Nice one.
On the other side Timeload Fowl. I am not sure if this a group or just one person. There is credit for loops, electronics, amplified materials, guitar, synth and vocals. The lengthy piece 'Intro' is a very fine ambient electronic music piece, whereas 'Untitled' (I admit they don't have original titles) is a more noise based piece of howling electronics, the total opposite to the other piece. The third piece is called 'Collaboration w/ James Fella', which takes the noise edge a bit further, a bit too far if you ask me. Throughout however this is quite a pleasant album of improvised noise, with some surprising results. (FdW) Address:


A heavy duty collaboration between the old master Maurizio Bianchi and Maor Appelbaum, a younger player in the field of noise music. Although both get a credit for writing the music, it is mixed by Appelbaum, which is not uncommon. Many of the current Bianchi albums feature him as a musician, but never as the person to finish the collaboration. Its a bit of a mystery what his role is. Does he send sound files to the other who then remixes them? It seems so. Two pieces here of some excellent noise drone music. Whatever the input - either some sort of synthesizer sounds or perhaps the recordings of a washing machine - it used to trigger a whole bunch of sound effects that makes the work top heavy. There is constant change running through these pieces, always something going on, without making many new directions, more a further deepening of the various themes in the sound material available. Crashing, cascading sounds, like thunderous storms wail upon the listener. This is noise indeed, but this is noise that I like. The drone element is amplified, neh exploded to the very top end, and this is a perfect example of industrial music. It cleanses your ears and refreshes your mind. Better than the real neurotransmitters. (FdW) Address:


TOY BIZARRE - KDI DCTB 216 [DATA #6] (3"CDR by Kaon)
Following the surprise of the fifth installment in his twelve part series, I must admit I was more than curious to see what the sixth would be like. The first four were typical Toy Bizarre works: an excellent and personal form of musique concrete, the fifth one however his own take at sound poetry. For this one he moves yet in another direction. Again one piece of twelve minutes that is basically one long drone building over the course of just over eleven minutes and then slowly fading out. Sounds leap in very carefully, chirping birds towards the end I thought. Another fine surprise here, following that great fifth part, and for now something completely different again. (FdW) Address:


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

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