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Vital Weekly 726

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KYRIAKIDES MOOR - FOLIA (CD by Unsounds)
KYRIAKIDES MOOR - REBETIKA (CD by Unsounds)
The press text suggests that this the second and third CD release from Yannis Kyriakides (computer) and Andy Moor (guitar), but then somehow I missed out on the first one. The two have played a whole bunch of concerts in 2009 and 'Folia' is a sort of studio version of their endless improvisations. It's based on a "famous tune from the 16th and 17th centuries called 'La Folia'" and apparently is of some influence on the music. I must admit I don't know that tune, so did I recognize it in here. On 'Rebetika', which was previously available as a download from Seventhings (but which has two extra tracks on the CD version), they 'lovingly deconstruct and reassemble their favorite rebetika music'. Rebetika, in case you don't know, is the blues music of the greek from about a century ago. On that CD it seems to me that they use original recordings, which Kyriakides samples on his computer, feeds to the plugs, along which Moore improvises on his guitar. In the nine pieces here things sound pretty coherent. The starting point always are the melancholic melodies that lie at the heart of the rebetika. Sometimes things go out more into an abstracter field, even noisy, nervous hectic parts, but it makes sense.
'Folia' on the other hand is different. Its here that these boys go out all the way and show off what they are all capable off when it comes to improvising, and brings them all over the place. From introspective playing to noise oriented bits, or even bits that contain rhythms (without becoming dance music of course). Their improvisations are not bound by any rules, the great red book of improvisation, but instead they play whatever comes to mind. Kyriakides picking up the guitar, processing it on the spot, feeding it back and Moore responding to that. It brings out seven great pieces that can be seen as a whole but also as separate entities. Excellent. (FdW) Address: http://www.unsounds.com

 

AB BAARS & MEINRAD KNEER - WINDFALL (CD by Evil Rabbit)
Evil Rabbit is a label run by Dutch pianist Albert van Veenendaal and German double bass player Meinrad Kneer. Started in 2006, they concentrate on contemporary European jazz and improvised music. Most releases concern Dutch-based projects of international line ups. Now we focus on the work 'Windfall' by Ab Baars (tenor sax, clarinet, shakuhachi, noh-kan) and Meinrad Kneer on double bass. Kneer is a new name for me. Since 1995 he lives in Amsterdam, and participates in numerous projects and groups that operate on the borders of jazz, improvised, ethnic and contemporary music. Ab Baars, a long time member of the famous Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, needs no further introduction. On two occasions in 2008 Baars and Kneer recorded the 11 improvisations that make up this CD of 46 minutes. To be enjoyed here is a fine interplay between two very skilled musicians. Their improvisations move between very raw and very subtle ones full of nuances and contrasts. Their dialogues are however also it dry and academic, which is characteristic for some sections of Dutch improvised music. This makes it is difficult to stay tuned from time to time. At the same time it is clear we witness some beautiful and disciplined poetry here! (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://www.evilrabbitrecords.eu

 

DAWN OF MIDI - FIRST (CD by Accretions)
Dawn of Midi is Pakistani percussionist Qasim Naqvi, Indian contrabassist Aakaash Israni and Moroccan pianist Amino Belyamani. A very international - non-western - line up, but they live and work in Europe and the States. Dawn of Midi is a traditional acoustic combo although the name of the band made my thoughts fist go to electronic equipment. This strong collective plays a very sensible kind of jazzmusic. Because of the backgrounds of the musicians I expected non-western influences, but I failed to notice them if there were any. The improvisations are above all very intense and coherent, delivered in a beautiful recording by engineer Steve Rusch. All timbres, colors, little movements and sounds, received equal attention from Rusch. Already from this perspective only, it is a joy to listen to this album. But the music itself is also fantastic. In most of the improvisations the music moves on very tranquil and peacefully. Subtle and warm. But at the same time there is a constant tension and concentration that binds all together. The pianist has a minimalist approach , hammering the same cluster of notes on and on, or just playing one note. The drummer is the most busy one of the three, making lots of runs, figures and crazy noises, circling around the more modest playing by piano- and bass player. There improvisations are open and challenging, and have great depth. They take you on a mysterious and hypnotizing journey. A real beauty. (Dolf Mulder)
Address: http://www.accretions.com

 

EDWIN LO - RABBIT TRAVELOGUE: CENTRAL REGION (CD by Rabbit Travelogue Edition)
The name Edwin Lo doesn't sound exactly Chinese, but he send his CD from that country, where he recorded the field recordings over a three year period in Sheung Wan and Central. The Rabbit mentioned refers to a fictional character in this story, traveling about. It starts out with a rather low end hum but soon enough the field recordings come in which he is "trying to articulate is to observe, correspond, questioning the central value by using sound and its archival and creative practice". We hear street sounds, the activity of people (at one point they seem to be arguing, which is fascinating to hear), and even a sort of talk is picked up, in English, about what seems to be a demonstration - I might be wrong here. Maybe its a political edge to the work? I am not sure. But throughout this is quite a fascinating work, even if one (like me) has never visited the region. Lo rather does a clever mix of sounds and atmospheres, which are all quite evocative. Otherwise there is not much to say, other than this work of field recordings is very nice. (FdW)
Address: http://rabbit-travelogue.com

 

DAKOTA DAYS (CD by Ponderosa)
Here I am in trouble. This is popmusic. Loaded with tons of references: public Image LTD, Fleetwood Mac, new wave, John Lennon. The latter had his Dakota Days, where he spend the last years of his life, before caught in the rye. Dakota Days are Ronald Lippock (Tarwater, To Roccoco Rot, White Tree) and Alberto Fabris (Pacifico, Masculine/Feminine), who worked on this album from summer 2008 to early 2009. They play a radical new version of 'Slow' by Kylie Minogue, or 'Love Boat' theme (just using the lyrics). Lots of guitars, piano, great vocals (which is rare with the popmusic that usually lands on this desk), drums. Fresh popmusic, good popmusic. I actually enjoyed this a lot. But then I always liked popmusic. Never as something to write about, but simply to play it. I am better, I hope, about weird music, then about such simple yet great music as Dakota Days. One to keep in rotating for all those moments I have no pressing Vital matters. Excellent. (FdW)
Address: http://www.ponderosa.it

 

ART GIRAFFEFUNGAL - BLACK PORRIDGE KALEIDOSCOPE (CD by Pointy Bird)
Pointy Bird is a small label from the UK run by Andrea and Pete Bradley. The second release of Art Giraffefungal at Pointy Bird is a recording of a live free improvisation. The sounds are electronic and the info-sheet tells that the sound generators and recordings were all made on trains and boats. I cannot hear it, but that makes no sense. The sounds are pure and with no overdub and not multi-layered. That makes this album attractive and worth listening.
The CD has 16 short tracks with the length of about 2:30 minutes. Every composition has his own atmosphere from cold white noises to calm repeating tones. The pure electronic sounds are well composed in a straight way. I reminds me to old electronic experiments, but Art Giraffefungal makes in a short period very intensive compositions. He leads you through his sound-pallett of distorted sounds and deep-dark tones. The track "Spaghetti Machine Feedback Error" is full of echoes and beats that starts like an experimental reggae-track and ends in more straight sounds. The two tracks based on radio-sounds are nice generated, not in a new or special manner, but it fits well in the concept and the investigation of the pure sounds and that is what you can find on this CD. (Jan-Kees Helms)
Address: http://www.pointybirdrecords.co.uk

 

JONAS RUCHENHEVER/PETER STENBERG - TRAUMPHANTASIE/PLATEAU (CDR by Industrial Culture)
For a label whose name is Industrial Culture one doesn't perhaps the kind of music as presented by Jonas Ruchenhever and Peter Stenberg. I don't think I heard of them before (although I might be wrong). They each have a piece here on this split release, although each piece must be seen as various pieces. Both artists use the same musical material: field recordings, guitars and electronics. Its not easy to point out the differences between the two. Stenberg seems to me the one who uses longer curves in his music. His piece has three parts, whereas Ruchenhever comes to eight. But both of the artists perform an interesting combination of improvised music on guitar that, due to the use of sound effects, grow and grow into some kind of drone music. But its not the kind of drone music that is pure drone, but a bit more daring, a bit different than what is usually labeled as such. Its more like a collage of sounds, some chopped up, some sustaining, some with crackles and hiss, and with what could be computer processing, which results in pretty good music, that works beyond boundaries of improvisation, drone and microsound/ambient glitch. Not much difference between the two, whom I expect to know eachother, although one is from Sweden and the other from Belgium, makes also that I have no preference for one or the other, but throughout a pretty strong album. (FdW)
Address: http://www.industrialculture.org

 

HERFSTTONEN (CDR by Esc Rec)
Somewhere in The Netherlands there is a place called Okkenbroek, of which I never heard. The have a festival called 'Landtonen' (tones of the land) and asked Esc.Rec to invite a bunch of musicians to come up with a piece of music especially for this festival, keeping in mind the rural aspect of the village. Paul de Jong, the cello player of whom we haven't heard much lately, but was once in the mighty The Books, has a melancholic piece of music, with a soaring piece of music on the cello, spoken word and computer manipulations. Carefully constructed and actually very beautiful. It moved some in the audience to tears, which is understandable. Mia Mia, of whom I never heard, created a video and we get the soundtrack here for it. Also a mellow piece of music, but more gentle, more musical. Floating like a leaf in the wind, with some vibraphone like tones, dark strings in the background, like autumn clouds on an otherwise sunny day. Far, far away influenced by dance music I guess, with very gentle beats lurking in the background. Gluid, being Bram van den Oever, has a real vibraphone player and a real cello player, while playing himself samples of field recordings (birds of course and more local talk). Here is where we get the closest to real dance music. Perhaps intended to be a bit folk dance like, in which the whole village cheerfully attends. Three lengthy pieces, three times spot on. Okkenbroek can be proud of the achievement! (FdW) Address: http://www.escrec.com


HARUKI - THE LAND THAT LIES BEHIND US (3"CDR by Hibernate Recordings)
Boris Snauwaert is Haruki. His first release, 'Haphazardly, While Sitting' (see Vital Weekly 652) I didn't like very much, but his second 'To Humble A Nest' (see Vital Weekly 687) I did. They sounded quite different from eachother. The first one was quite improvised on a metal string instrument, whereas the second was a collection of pieces that had field recordings, electronics, analogue and digital and that rusty saw again. It seems now, with this new release that this is a combination that suits him quite well. All the elements of 'To Humble A Nest' are here again. Haruki plays drone like music, but from within a musical context. The melodies are a bit angular and at times even a bit piercing, especially when using a bow on the saw. But the addition of say a piano takes off the sharp edge and adds a great texture to the music. Quite a nice release, short and to the point. Haruki is maturing and this new release is quite a step forward. (FdW) Address: http://hibernate-recs.co.uk

 

SUNSLIDE - FIELD PIANO (3"CDR by Field Muzick)
Nigel Simpson is the man behind Sunslide, and as such he has been experimenting with acoustic and electric sounds. Most curious thing mentioned on his CV is a meeting with Phil Manzanera in a coffeeshop which resulted in playing on two of his solo records. He lived in London but has moved to Suffolk, where he can finally play the piano again. He set up the 88 keys outside and played these improvisations, keeping in mind the music of Chopin, Schumann, Bill Evans, Arve Henriksen and also Brian Eno's 'Discreet Music'. Long sustaining sounds, carefully playing and of course country-side sounds. Its where the label name truly lives I'd say. There is some sparse electronic processing, but what it does is not exactly clear - that kind of sparseness. In the third piece there is something of mild distortion going on and a lot on the seventh and final piece, which I also didn't like: it broke up the gentleness of the previous six. Quite hissy at times. I was reminded the old great Harold Budd track on 'From Brussels With Love', but then played outside. Apart from that seventh track a lovely moody little item. (FdW) Address: http://fieldmuzick.net

 

ANDREW MARINO - REVISITING (cassette by Full Spectrum Records)
A man who creates music, design and who is into photography, beekeeping and homebrewing of beer is surely a man of many interests. He also plays guitar and that's what he does on this twenty minute cassette. The press text talks about various homes and studios where this was recorded, but it surely doesn't sound like a work of many layers, but two improvised pieces on the guitar, with lots of sound effects being used to create an eerie ambient-like texture of atmospheric music. Working fine in the world of long sustaining sounds and overtones, its hard to recognize a guitar at all. In that respect he sounds a bit like the older Oren Ambarchi, especially on some of the pieces on his early LP releases. Quite a nice cassette which I think should have been a CDR with a somewhat better sound quality. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fullspectrumrecords.com

 

STIRNER - VRIJE GELUIDEN (cassette by Skum Rex)
This is yet another example of how harsh noise marries well to the cassette medium in that it can interact with the medium's "defects" to create a new synthesis of "affect" by which Dolby (S) et. al. is rendered musicologically as opposed to technologically pointless. I.e. one labours electronics in with a fog of tape residue, including vocals in places, a long work. by which the difference between materials, thought and production disappear, and so much like the name suggests, rejects all political, economic, philosophic, psychological, thought & production, from religiosity through radicalism at its most atheistic and nihilistic. "Look at Stirner, look at him, the peaceful enemy of all constraint. For the moment, he is still drinking beer, Soon he will be drinking blood as though it were water." (jliat)
Address: c/o Tony Mulder Hoornbladstraat 194 7601 SR, Almelo The Netherlands


FILTHY SMEAR - CONSTIPATED ALBION (cassette by Total Vermin)
"traffic noise, trumpet noise, bashing and crooning. Artwork by Ms Susan Fitzpatrick" Lofi production - Voice noise which sounds like vomiting, short snippets layered with noise, movie clips, ambient noise and discernible vocals ranting on about shit. rhythmic noise bursts, this fits more into the industrial/fluxus category than noise as in HN and HNW where such thematic devices are abandoned, or Obfuscated. The second side opens with a semi tune like thing - before entering another vocal mish mash. Some may like the texture of this work, as it weaves its abstract bricolage like a walk along the shoreline at low tide, ultimately romantic which is the problem with all such work which postures the idea of creativity and comment. A piquant Gilbert and George kind of piece of work. (Jliat) Address: http://totalvermin.blogspot.com/

 

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