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Vital Weekly 735 + 736

img  Tobias Fischer

HUMAN SKAB - THUNDER HIPS & SADDLE BAGS (CD by Family Vineyard)
ALAN LICHT & LOREN CONNORS - INTO THE NIGHT SKY (CD by Family Vineyard)
Sometimes Vital Weekly (well, parts of it) is written in the proximity of children, who sometimes curiously look up when they hear unusual music. In some cases, they start imitating the music on their toys or by singing. I admit to have made recordings of that, but never used it anywhere. In 1986 Human Skab was ten years old and released a cassette called 'Thunder Hips & Saddle Bags', of himself on pots and pans, three string guitar, a detuned piano, toy guns, bottled, along with himself singing, as well neighborhood kids and siblings. Its totally outsider stuff and its now released on a CD, and I am sure people will dwell on this as totally unique. Travis Roberts is available for interviews and 'is eager to talk about his childhood, experiences in the military and the Middle East', since he was a private military contractor in Kosovo and Afghanistan, a black market entrepreneur and pimp in the Middle East, and now a father and husband. Somehow it all smells like an elaborate hoax. A fun item for birthday parties.
More serious, dead serious, is the sixth album by Alan Licht and Lorren Connors since 1993, and the first since 2003. Two men, two electric guitars, two twenty-four minute pieces. Now its all together easy in some way: these two established voices of desolate guitar music do something that is no surprise to anyone who has heard their previous collaborations or their many other collaborations and solo works: it sounds pretty much similar to much of that older work. Now that can bring (at least) two responses. Wow that's great, since I love that kind of desolate guitar playing a lot, followed by a full stop or followed by 'but I heard that enough by now'. Either way is perfectly valid of course (not valid is: 'what a bunch of crap' - that can't be). I must admit I belong to the latter group. I really like this kind of what I sometimes call 'the empty desert' music a lot, but then I also think its also more of the same, which is perhaps a pity. (FdW) Address: http://www.family-vineyard.com

 

SEHNSUCHT - WÐSTE (CD by Cold Spring)
Sehnsucht is the Norwegian artist called Maniac. Apart from Sehnsucht, Maniac is also the brain behind one of Norway's most successful black metal-bands Mayhem. Before Sehnsucht, Maniac established the project Skitliv, that was combining elements of black metal with electronic elements of the harsher kinds. Sehnsucht use the same approach of combining metal elements with mistreated electronic equipment, though in comparison to Skitliv, this project is more subdued and introvert. Compositionally the album first of all belongs to the industrial, with ambient elements of the darker and more evil kinds. Metal-based guitarriffs and industrial, even harsh noise elements penetrates the music. Another remarkable thing is the vocals of Maniac himself, changing between black metal-screams and spoken voices. Also voice samples of women and screaming horn instruments momentarily intervenes the structures. Interesting new effort from Maniac, that takes a further step away from his early roots in the extreme metal-scene. (Niels Mark) Address: http://www.coldspring.co.uk/

 


ORIGINALLJUDET - ORIGINALLJUDET (CD by Kalligrammofon)
Originalljudet (translated to "original sound" or "odd sound") is a band consisting of musicians and artists based in Stockholm, Sweden. Five musicians to be exact: Hans J–rg Ehammer (accordion), Rosali Grankull (alt saxophone, piano), Egil Sandstr–m (double bass), Jens Peterson Berger (sough machine drum-chair, brainwave generator) and Aron Junker (baritone saxophone & bass clarinet). Three more guests assist in several of the 9 pieces on this first CD by the band. Their music is very close to Satie, even some themes that occur that are very reminiscent of Satie's work, if not interpretations of some of his theme‚s. The band makes a friendly combination of jazz and folk, an approach that is typical for this kind of music from Sweden. I have to think of Archimedes Badkar, Samla and numerous other bands of an earlier generation. Moody and very accessible music, evolving slowly without unexpected moves or twists. That is not there thing. They are deeply rooted in traditional folk musics (polka, tango, etc.), and create easy going tunes of a melancholy nature. They manage to do this without using cliches that are always very near by in these kind of operations. Their musicianship is not perfect, but altogether this is a very sympathetic release. (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://www.kalligrammofon.com

 

DEAD SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN/DYSTHYMIA (7" by Diophantine Discs)
A split 7" on Diophantine Discs. Dysthymia is Kyle Wright, also the man behind the label, whose first release was also a split with Dead Shall Nor Have Died In Vain. That is the project of Marc Benner, who started in 2000. He has a bunch of releases on RRRecords, Tape Fiend and Turgid Animal as well as his own label Pottersfield. Apparently, since this is the first time I hear his music a more noise based outing, but here with an ambient industrial tapestry, with heavily reverb on the metal sheets that rumble on top. Dysthymia on the other side is more noise based, with crashing loop of industrial sound. The sound and the fury, but Wright keeps things well under control. I like both sides actually, but this is not 7" music, if such a thing exists  (obviously it doesn't). Both sides seem to be out takes of longer sections, something that more music suffers from that is released on 7". Here a 10" would have been in place and then with a more appropriate beginning and end. Not that die hard fans of the genre would matter of course. (FdW) Address: http://discs.diophantine.net

 

ALEXEI BORISOV & OLGA NOSOVA - ELEKTROKOOPERATIV (CDR by Industrial Culture Records)
Dabbling around in many different forms of music, Alexei Borisov is best known (in the world of Vital Weekly) for his electronic music and his releases for Laton and collaborations with Anton Nikkila. Here he teams up with Olga Nosova, whom he knows from a previous band Motherfathers. Borisov uses analogue electronics and voice and Olga electronic drums and voice. The six pieces are all improvised and inspired by Dziga Vertov's documentary 'The 11th". The fact that its improvised doesn't say much about the music, I think. Borisov and Nosova try to work from a song structure, with drum machines/sequencer banging a rhythm and top a strange hybrid of electronics and voices. In the two versions of 'Low Voltage' things go off the rails a bit, but in the other four pieces it works quite well. A strange mixture of noise, improvised electronics and an odd touch of electronic popmusic. Maybe the production could have been a bit better, with more depth, but otherwise a great release. (FdW)
Address: http://www.industrialculture.org

 

RADERE - A PROCESS IN THE WEATHER OF THE HEART (CDR by Full Spectrum Records)
NICK HENNIES - LUNGS (CDR by Full Spectrum Records)
Carl Ritger from Philadelphia is our man behind Radere, and as such he has been producing music since 2003. His interest lies within 'the notions of stasis and chance'. To that end he uses guitar and field recordings. He creates loops with them and those are fed through a whole bunch of means of sound processing. When you read that it may sound like nothing new under the sun. References are made to Taylor Deupree and Tim Hecker, and they are indeed valid I think. Radere's music could have been a release on 12K, even when its less refined (or perhaps because of that). Is that to say that I don't like this release? In terms of finding something new, something unheard of, I must indeed say that this is a somewhat disappointing release. Nothing that hasn't been said or done before. That's perhaps a reviewer's opinion. If one would care to listen this without being biased, this almost forty minute single piece of music of tinkling guitars, ambient washes, bird sounds and rain drops, is a great piece of chill out music, utterly relaxing and of great beauty.
The other new release by Full Spectrum Records is by percussionist Nick Hennies, who recently surprised us with a great release of music he performed by Alvin Lucier. Here he has four acoustic pieces, all recorded in real time, using the qualities of drum skins and their resonant qualities. He places objects on the skins and tapes the skins as they resonate. Sometimes, maybe (!) he uses his hands to play them. The result is a beautiful piece - actually two of them - of drone music. Low and slow humming of sounds. In the bookend pieces, both called 'Sympathy' there is only a tiny fragment of sound, which are repeated every now and then. Here the strong quality lies perhaps in the absence of sound. Although this may count as 'drone' music to some, or maybe even 'ambient', this is not an easy to access release. One has to listen close and careful to the silent character of these pieces, but within lies a lot of beauty. Just like his Lucier release: an excellent work. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fullspectrumrecords.com


MARCUS OBST - DAY IN DWARFS CAPITAL (CDR by Gruenrekorder)
"I am not a scientist. I am a dreamer. So one morning I awake and got a field recording from a trip to dwarfs capital on tape" it says somewhat cryptical on this release. "Recorded 24.09.05 in Froent Tor, DC", wherever that may be. Marcus Obst we know best from his own label, Field Muzick, and his moniker Dronaement, but here went to Gruenrekorder, which is this fifty-three minute work. Its a strange piece, that might be entirely based on field recordings, but also has a slight electronic feel to it. Its hard to say wether these electronic sounds are also field recordings (like using some sort of transport vehicle being used here, or toy like instruments) or were added later on. A strange conceptual piece of music. Not with a lot of changes but with sounds dropping in and out all the time. Quite a nice backdrop to whatever you are doing. An odd mechanical field recording drive to it. In all its strangeness quite an effective recording. (FdW) Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

 

STORMHAT - FROM THE MOAT (CDR by Apollolaan)
"Stormhat" is the Danish word for European region's most poisonous plant - in english called "Monkshood": 3.6 mg of the plant will kill a person instantly. Using the name of such a plant, gives a clue of what to expect from present Danish sound art project. Behind Stormhat, you find Danish visual artist and composer of sound-/noisepieces Peter Bach Nicolaisen. He teaches full time at Krabbesholm College for Art, Architecture and Design and part time at the electronic department of the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus. The specialty of Stormhat is his intense use of field recordings, building up layers of found sounds sometimes transformed into abstract textures and other times concrete and recognizable sounds. Having released quite a few albums by now, this is his first album on the acclaimed British label Apollolaan Recordings. The label  was founded in February 2008 and all releases of the label comes in special CDR art editions, all hand drawn, painted or illustrated in some way, and all hand numbered. This is also the case with present album "From the moat", being the latest of Stormhat - and one of the strongest efforts by the artist. "From the moat" are divided into six intersections running 60+ minutes. Overall there is a very good structural design in the compositions, that combines strange soundscapes of concrete sounds, distant melodies and threatening ambience. Especially third intersection titled "Taking off on fragile wings" attracts. Despite the new age-kind of title, the track is anything but gentle chillout. This is a quite sinister beast built on a mixture between subtle noises and concrete sounds. Field recordings of recognizable sounds are woven into unknown sounds meanwhile manipulated voices swirl around the speakers like flying ghosts. Underneath the upper textures, whooshing drones of buzzing noise creates a raw substructure. Anyone interested in abstract sound art, field recordings or generally ambient should check this out. Limited edition of 50 copies. (Niels Mark) Address: http://www.apollolaan.co.uk/

 

KAJKYT - KRST (CDR by Cmafu Records)
Appearing in a pitch black carton box, with a cross on it, four cards with more crosses, this is also available as a 2LP set, but I think it works better as a CDR release: the four pieces should be heard without any interruption. Its not easy to say who does what here. The music is 'recorded, mixed and produced by Kajkyt', in the period 2005 to 2009. Is that a band, or just one person? There is also mention of a choir, which I didn't detect, although one of the pieces has voice. Highly atmospheric music of drones, created largely (I think) with the use of guitars and electronics. To that there is the addition of slow, pounding drums, which aren't exactly heavy and slow, but light and slow (in a sort of meditative post rock/trip hop tradition), except in the third section, when all instruments go wild and heavy, before coming down to earth in the fourth section. The second section has a voice which sounds like a Byzantyne priest. A top heavy release, both in terms of music and package. One to fit a grey winters day and perhaps less to a sunny monday filled with football and fun. Although it brings contemplation. (FdW) Address: http://www.norecords.net

 

SENSIBLE NECTAR/RJ MYATO (cassette C62 by Rainbow Bridge)
NUNDATA - ENTROPY (cassette C62 by Rainbow Bridge)
Rainbow Bridge is run by Justin Marc Lloyd, who is living in Mayo, a town in Maryland/USA. His aim is to be as DIY as possible and release tapes and CDr. The label releases music in different styles, like noise, power electronics, ambient, drone, avant-garde and all cross-over between this definitions of music. His own musical project is called Sensible Nectar. His noise is very pure and associative. Tones, distorted voices, raw-electronics and high pitch tones come and go, but still there is a great intensity and concentration and he doesn't lose himself into chaos. RJ Myato from Pittsburgh uses more feed-back in his walls of sounds. It is a pity that in one composition he uses an electric guitar with a lot of feed-back and fuzz and some weird accords. It is just for a short period, but still he added another musical approach. The other compositions are more abstract, raw and brutal. It is nice how he plays with the different types of creating noise, with voice, raw electronics and guitar. Each release comes with individually unique artwork cut out from a 1980 National Geographic book about the universe.
More artwork from the universe is covering the tape of Nundata, a noise/drone project from Japan. The repeating sounds create a drony atmosphere, but the sounds are harsh, low, high, crunchy, dark, brutal and have no mercy. Slowly he build up his strong repeating soundlayers to a big deafening silence. You will find the harsh noise at side b of this cassette. Great music for the  lovers of noise music. The track at side a is more quiet, but has the same purity as his noise. With basic long-repeating sounds he climbs from the silent tones and waves to melodic and rhythmical elements, who are destructed to noise. He experiments with all kind of combinations of sounds, but I think the composition will be much stronger when it is shorter. The second track has an ambient atmosphere which refers to meditative moments created by synthesizer/organ and electronics which are similar to Tibetan singing bowls. The music of Nundata is promising and I am looking forward to more of his combinations of his drony noise. (Jan-Kees Helms) Address: http://www.hellorainbowbridge.com/

 

KAPOTTE MUZIEK - TWENTY FIVE (10 cassette box set by Blossoming Noise)
I love history, cassettes and boxes. This box set, which documents 25 years of Kapotte Muziek, combines all those elements. Describing 25 as a mere "best of" compilation would be a serious mistake. As with most things De Waard undertakes there is a concept to 25. First a bit of history: in October 1984 Frans de Waard (then training to be a teacher) decided rather than just to listen to cassettes filled with experimental music, it would be a far better idea to start making them himself. Finding a kindred soul in fellow student Christian Nijs, Kapotte Muziek (broken music) was formed to participate in their first compilation cassette De Waard releases. The term was coined by De Waard's father in order to describe the noise emerging from his son's room. Having no previous musical experience, KM's timing was perfect; the DIY movement of the early 80s was still vibrant, resulting in a large potential audience for independent cassettes, which were the perfect and anarchistic alternative to expensive vinyl albums, then the preferred format of major bands/labels, forming the perfect two-finger salute in those days. Nijs and De Waard mostly used contact microphones, cut-up tapes, tape loops and environmental recordings to create improvised music. However, by 1987 Nijs had lost his interest in the project and KM essentially became a De Waard-solo effort. He continued to release large (some would say legendary) amounts of music on cassettes and, later, also on vinyl and compact disc. Highly recommended is the 1990 compilation LP History Is What Was, which samples the best of KM's first five years. In the 90s Kapotte Muziek became a "band" again when Roel Meelkop and Peter Duimelinks joined and a shift towards electro-acoustic music was made. Anno 2010 Kapotte Muziek has been active for twenty-five years, which is an accomplishment for any band (unless you're more like a cooperative business like The Rolling Stones), but most certainly for an independent project like Kapotte Muziek. Just imagine, twenty five years of your life, creating sound and managing to find an audience for your music! It is easy to forget how special that is. Very appropriately this release comes on cassette. Cassettes are back! The format of the DIY-movement, cassettes have proved to be a valid alternative to vinyl and even compact discs. Clearly Kapotte Muziek and Blossoming Noise feel the same way, which leads us to this box. 25 consists of 10 cassettes of (approximately) one hour each and includes an insert and a numbered slide (De Waard also having a strong interest in graphic art), all contained in a wine-bottle-like wooden box. Probably best consumed with that bottle of wine, the music documents the development and output of KM in various themes. The set starts off with the earliest (and rather noisy and loopy) Kapotte Muziek recordings Aircraft (originally released in 1986), which are, in fact, solo-recordings by Nijs. The inclusion of this cassette is of course of historical interest, but it's also a touching gesture to Nijs who passed away a couple of years ago. The second cassette contains Vier Stukken and Murmer from 1992. Vinyl works from 1989-1996 are enclosed on the third tape. Probably the most interesting cassettes are number four and five, containing collaborations and compilations. Both collaborations as compilations have always had De Waard's strong interest; enabling him to work with a (compilation) theme or collaborating with another artists. This often leads to interesting, and at times, less "confined" results than other works, adding just that little extra that makes this side of his work worthwhile. Cassette six contains Anathesia, a great solo tape from 1988 on one side and on the b-side a recycling version of that tape from the mid 90s, which was released on CDR in an edition of 2 copies! Cassettes seven, eight, nine and ten contain live recordings ranging from the first-ever live show in August 1986 to a very recent show in November 2009. Often the music is made up out of repetitive, simple and minimal sounds. At times, the music feels more like a quest, a specific research if you like of a certain idea or concept. 25 offers some of the best music De Waard has ever created. Not everything is for everybody, but it is, much like the 24 hour box set by Throbbing Gristle; an equally fascinating and valid musical document. Professionally made, highly individual and perhaps even touching (even though he won't approve of me using that word), 25 deserves to be listened to. It also serves as a source of future research and recycling (he will love you for it) and a testament of what can be achieved by one man's vision and a lot of drive. (Freek Kinkelaar)
Address: http://www.blossomingnoise.com

 

BERTIN - RANDOM SONGS 20??-20?? (MP3)
The cover for this is a rip-off/homage to R. Stevie Moore's '1952-19??' LP on Cordelia Records and I got this on CDR, but after writing much of the reviews, trying to fill in the details, I found out this is 'only' a MP3 release. Never wanting to waste time spend, I'll run the review anyway. Oh and perhaps, because I know Bertin anyway. Having produced the ultimate synth pop classic (not yet recognized as such, at least not by others) 'Videorecorder' (see Vital Weekly 658), these 'Random Songs' are his third full length album, in whatever format. If we remember Bertin as the man of casio pop then this we need to adjust this image. Guitar plays quite an important role on this new album. That's one important change. The other is that Bertin is using his voice in a more clear way now. Before it was quite transformed, but since the previous, not reviewed, album 'The Voice', the voice is more important. It makes Bertin's music even more accessible, but one of the things that didn't change is the charming naive quality of these lo-fi pop tunes. The casio is still there, such as 'Momo' and 'Blow And Whistle', some of which remind me of Der Plan, but the majority is the man with a guitar approach. True Bertin, like me, have to get used to this new approach, but I must say its a pretty strong album of sheer, true alternative popmusic. If you like, say, Weltraumforscher, and you want a new great discovery, the Bertin is your new name! (FdW) Address: http://bertin.bandcamp.com/

 

ARTHUR CANTRILL - CHROMATIC MYSTERIES (SOUNDTRACKS 1963 - 2009) (CD by Shame Fill Music)
Chromatic Mysteries is a collection of soundtracks of moviemaker Arthur Cantrill from Australia. It is a overview of tracks from 1963 till now. Arthur Cantrill has been making movies with his partner Corinne for more than 50 years. The CD is released with a 16 page booklet with a lot of information about the music of Arthur Cantrill. Arthur Cantrill himself writes about how he creates his music and his development into music. He uses fieldrecordings, voice, radio, music instruments and tape recorders to compose his beautiful music. This CD is really a feast for the ears. The sounds are pure, not dated in a specific period and varied. Lots of his compositions are filled with the sound of birds and other nature sounds. Other compositions are made by radiosounds, piano and a female singing voice. Most of the sounds are generated by equalizers, computer, tape-recorders, playing with speed and playback. I can spend a lot of words to this release, but I will not do it, because every word is too much. Chromatic Mysteries is highly recommended and one of the best CDs of this year so far. (Jan-Kees Helms) Address: http://shamefilemusic.com

 

CRANC - COPPER FIELDS (CD by Organized Music From Thessaloniki/Absurd)
The previous CD by Cranc was called 'All Angels' and released by Edo in 1999. We didn't review that CD. Cranc is a trio of Angharad Davies on violin, Rhodri Davies on electric harp and Nikos Veliotis on cello. They don't perform very frequently (hey, second CD after eleven years is pretty infrequent indeed) but stay always in touch. In 2008 they were guests of Q02 in Brussels, where they recorded this work. No doubt all generated through improvisation, but then in multiple sessions and using a variety of multi track recording, so that there was a lot to mix down in the final process. With the background and instruments of these three in mind, its hardly a surprise that they operate from the improvised drone background. Long sustained notes played with various bows and e-bows, ranging from the delicate softness to the more present loudness (although never 'noise' based). Its hardly a surprise this release, these finely woven patterns, in terms of 'drone' and 'improvised' music, but that is hardly the point of this release, I guess. I don't think Cranc set out to create something that has been tagged as Avant-garde, but rather set out to play something that is beautiful, to transport the listener to another place and an altered state. In that respect they have succeeded pretty well. This is an absolute great disc of atmospheric music, that for once doesn't seem to stem from an electric or electronic source, nor a field recording, but from acoustic sources. That at least is also great. A work in four quite distinct parts, each with its own specific character, each with its own captivating beauty. (FdW) Address: http://www.thesorg.noise-below.org

 

D_RRADIO - PARTS (CD by Distraction Records)
So far I have been a keen listener to the work of a trio from South Shields called D_rradio (which I now learn should be pronounced as 'dee-arr-radio'). Especially the early rhythm based 7" were highly appealing. Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge and D-rradio have expanded their music quite a bit, which is a great thing. I doubt wether a novice would think, upon hearing 'Parts', this would be the same band as say their first 7" (see Vital Weekly 510). This new album is a work of ambient music, which starts out as a work about mellow synthesizers and such like and one could easily think 'oh well, nice, mmmm, yeah… its the kind of thing I heard before, but definetly a nice one', but as the album progresses, it becomes strangely more and more neo classical. Long stretched bows on violins, endless sustain, a bit of soft pizzicato and that sort of thing alike. It becomes like listening to an old 78rpm record, but then without the crackles and hisses and a bit slowed down. Ballroom music but without any elements of whatever dance music. Music that is highly cinematic, atmospheric and simply great. This has nothing to do with the old D-rradio, no bouncing rhythm, no intelligent dance music, but lush long string quartet like music, divided over no less than nineteen miniature tracks, making the entire album just over thirty-five minutes. Great late night music. (FdW)
Address: http://www.distractionrecords.com

 

KEITH BERRY - THE CARTESIAN PLANE (LP by Elevator Bath)
MATT SHOEMAKER - ISOLATED AGENT/STRANDING BEHAVIOR (LP by Elevator Bath)
Elsewhere I write about David Wells and how it took him a long time to come up with a new work. In that list of the UK drone minds one name is missing, Keith Berry, and perhaps its because, alike Wells, he hasn't released much lately. He too makes up this omission with the release of a picture disc on Elevator Bath, which grows into a nice series of releases by now. As said Berry is also on one of the UK drone heads, but unlike his many peers, he doesn't opt for a single track per side, but one side has two tracks and one has three. Its hard to say what the input is for these compositions, which is the usual case with drone music I guess, but my best guess is that Berry uses some kind of heavily processed field recordings to tell his five stories. Unfortunately there is not much difference between those pieces, so perhaps we should regard them as different parts of the same piece. Each of the five pieces is a strong monolithic block of sound, with very little to no movement. The perfect guide to absolute drone music. Majestic, slow, humming, atmospheric. And nothing much new under in that area, sadly to some. Perfect late night music.
The other record is by Matt Shoemaker, who seems to be always present, with his regular releases on labels as Ferns and The Helen Scarsdale Agency. His work recently shifted a bit more towards that of working with field recordings, but on this LP it all seems to be electronic again. I have no idea wether these are the result computers working overtime or meters and meters of cable connecting one synthesizer to another, and once connected start playing themselves, almost, as it were. Shoemaker layers the results of whatever process he applies on a multitude of tracks and does some highly creative mixing with those sounds. Highy atmospheric (obviously! I'd say) of course, but Shoemaker's work is also a bit more experimental than the usual drone minds (UK, USA, otherwise). Shoemaker knows how to put in a strange angle in his work, that makes it just a bit different than the ordinary drone record. Partly based in the seventies cosmic tradition, partly drone and partly serious avant-garde, but with a long, stretched time signature. Great record. (FdW)
Address: http://www.elevatorbath.com

 

DAVID WELLS - ROJO (CDR by Siridisc)

It has been quiet for David Wells for some time. The last time we reviewed something was back in Vital Weekly 503. I have no idea what caused this silence. I guess sometimes that's the way these things go. Maybe he lost interest in music? But apparently not, as here is a new work, which says on the cover 'all materials march 2008-2010. No instruments are mentioned on the cover, but a save bet would be to say these are all guitar sounds, and lots of electronics. Like before, Wells comes from the same background as Paul Bradley and is part of that great UK scene of drone composers (Jonathan Coleclough, Colin Potter, Ora, Mirror, Paul Bradley, Ian Holloway and such like), but unfortunately, also like before, the music hasn't changed much of this period of silence. That is a pity. Like I wrote last week about Alan Licht and Loren Connors, there are two ways to approach this. Either, the objective reviewer could say, 'I like it a lot, but I heard the genre is too well explored by now', or simply 'I like that a lot'. Again, also like last week, I must say the subjective of this listener goes out to the latter. I simply quite enjoy drone music like this. These thirty eight minutes have a great captivating beauty. Its as simple as that.If you can't get enough of drone music, then the return of David Wells deserves some applause. (FdW)
Address: http://www.siridisc.blogspot.com/

 

ROD COOPER - ACCEPTING THE MACHINES (CDR by 3Leaves)
The name Rod Cooper, from Australia, sounds like a new one to me. He writes as a press text on the label's website: "The landscape is not a new theme in the arts and music is no exception. No matter what themes an artist uses to draw attention to their work and ideas to the audience, the dominant message is still about the artist." I gather from this that he is someone to work with field recordings and that, perhaps, his music should tell something about himself. There are sounds here recorded in an empty factory shell, his back yard, workshop and studios, his beach house (a well to-do person, I thought) and his approach to sounds is like that of a sculptor, using styrofoam which acts like a resonator. The music he generates from his objects and situations (which are all described with great detail on the cover of the release, and a a business card CDR provides you with some images) is actually nice, since it hardly sounds like the usual field recording artist. There are lots of looped phrases, industrial and mechanical sounds. Hardly the sort of 'careful' playing of a bunch of rain sounds, or watching the sea wash ashore. Cooper does something else, which leaves more for the listener to imagine. The rumbling of objects, falling to the surface of an empty building, with a strange background noise of other activities happening somewhere in the back of a large empty hall. Cooper seems to be combining the sound of sculptors he made and plays manually with the sound and resonances of large buildings and outdoor spaces (chirping insect backgrounds). Quite an excellent release this one. Lots of imaginative music, making something very much of his own, but also standing in a long term tradition of visual artists making music. Cooper does a refined job and sounds a like a name to watch out for in the future. (FdW)
Address: http://www.3leaves-label.com


TRIO WPB3 - POVERB (CDR by Herbal International)
The 3 in Trio WPB3 stands for the fact that this is a trio, but then so does the word trio, so, a bit too much? The Trio WPB3 is Mathias Pontevia on horizontal drums, Nusch Werchowska on piano and objects and Heddy Boubaker on alto and bass saxophones. The world of improvisation as recorded on November 21 2008 in the Christianskirche Church, Hambourg [sic]. This concert, in two parts (one being the encore, perhaps?), is a lengthy affair of slowly changing sounds. The instruments aren't always easily to be recognized, although at other times they are. The horizontal drums perhaps the best, occasionally the piano, whereas the saxophone with its lengthy and sustained tones is perhaps the most 'difficult' one to recognize as such. Trio WPB3 move from the quiet moments to the very loud notions and makes some very intense listening music, which requires full concentration from the listener, before it unfolds its beauty. But when you decide to open up for this music, you won't be disappointed. Very intense music, beautifully recorded. (FdW)
Address: http://www.herbalinternational.tk/


ZEBRA MU - ODD-TOED UNGULATE SUPERORDER (cassette by Crumbling Peak Records)
Normally I would leave such noise odds to the capable and mysterious hands of Jliat, but there is something captivating about this. First of all, its very short. Three tracks that span about ten minutes. Zebra Mu (not to be confused with the other Zebra reviewed recently here) is Michael Ridge on circuit bed and custom electronics, pedals and junk metal. The whole thing was recorded on a Tascam 4-track PortaStudio and Sony TCM 150 cassette recorder. The cover is a plain xerox on red paper. Now if that doesn't sound 80s to you, I am lost. The music is also very 80s noise inspired. Low fidelity, brutal noise, acoustic sounds blown up to the top and brutal in your face. But as said, this is short, and therefore to the point. That's what I thought was particular attractive about this release. If it would have been longer, say over thirty minutes, a lot of its power would be lost. (FdW) Address: http://www.myspace.com/crumblingpeak

 

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