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Vital Weekly 748

img  Tobias Fischer

A composer of whom I never heard, who is also a poet. The booklet lists a whole bunch of festival where he presented his compositions - none of which ring any bells, I must admit, and also his text 'Expropriation and reappropriation' is a bit alien. Maybe I need some more education? It deals with 'space', I think, in a philosophical sense. But that's as far as guessing brings me today. It says 'musica elettroacustica' and that's, aha, something I do recognize. The music is based on electro-acoustic elements, being treated through means of the computer (I think). The work was already composed in 2006, and premiered that year at the Goethe Institut in Rome (which is another name I recognize!). It seems to me that Coluccino belongs to the world of acousmatics, but perhaps from a some what more adventurous kind. Of the four pieces that 'Neuma Q' consists of, I had most problems with the first part. It seems a more or less random approach towards sound processing takes place, ranging from very loud to quiet, but the whole thing comes across as a bit too chaotic for my taste. The other three pieces are more linear in approach - building from start to finish, around central themes of sound. It doesn't bounce up and down the scale, but seem to work from inside the sound itself. The best is saved until the end, the fourth and longest piece of this quartet with sounds dying out beyond their sustain, a carefully constructed building of the piece and a fine range of acoustic sounds (flutes perhaps?). Quite a great CD altogether, except perhaps that first piece. (FdW) Address:


NACHTJOURNAL 2009 (CD by  Satelita)
‘Nachtjournal 2009' is a fine compilation of a live outtakes of concerts from the experimental music events series, as they took place in Tsunami and Rakettenklub in Cologne. Fragments have been chosen and compiled in such a way that they make up one coherent continuum of very different groups and projects. Maybe for this reason the pieces carry no name. Most of the participating artists are new to me. The cd cd opens with a piece by Multibass Orchester, a quartet of four bass players from Cologne, producing a piece of deep and heavy drones. To be followed by a whirling percussion piece by overactive american drummer Eli Keszler. An impressive improvisation. On return the third piece by Robair , Hubsch and Uhler is again a very calm sound improvisation. Most of the pieces that follow keep us in the regions of abstract electro-acoustic music from Flickr, Pirx, Core of the Coalman, Adachi Tomomi & DJ Sniff, a.o. Institut fur Feinmotorik stay close to their name with a piece built of looped sounds. The fragment by Koro is the exception on this compilation. They come most close to rock music with their gorgeous kind of free (kraut)rock with the fantastic guitar players Olaf Rupp and Dr. Borg. Carefully compiled compilations like this one show that a compilation can be more then just the sum of its parts. (Dolf Mulder)

In 2008 Audio Tong released ‘Dirty Maps’ the first album of Trevonic. It contained tracks for trumpet and electronics of very spacious, a bit melancholic, delicate, moody music. This description is also very fitting for his new release ‘No Red Lights, No Red lights’. In an environment of minimalistic and sparse electronics Trever Hagen blows his trumpet or cornet, resulting in effective and moody atmospheres, very spacey and laid back music. Calm and echoing sounds that find their way through the mist of Budapest, Bristol and Prague, where he did his field recordings. In one track Hagen is assisted by another musician. On ’Moszkva Ter' Zoltan Dujisin plays the piano. This kind of music is absolutely not spectacular or demanding in any sense. The more this indicates Hagen is master of his craft, as his ambient music is absolutely THERE. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


Another artist leaving behind his old 'band' name and working under his own name: Brandon Nickell used to work as Aemae. For his first work under his real name he drew inspirations from personal experiences, extensive research with auditory hallucinations and a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. Nickell writes that his new album does not fit the 2010 trend of 'cassette revivalist culture, analog synthesizers and nostalgic aesthetics', but he uses computer based sequencers, a Sequential Circuits Pro One synthesizer, the human voice and various other digital and analog means. I believe that can be heard. The sound is raw at times, but has a great refined character, all recorded crisp and clear. Nickell joins the ranks of those artists that come from the world of noise (although in his case never that loud), that seem to be moving away from the strict noise sense and start working with a sound that is deeper, more complex and more layered than just a set of random noise bleeps. Not every moment is great however. 'Time Throne' takes too long to move away from random loops into a more organic structured piece. That is however the only downside. The other four pieces have this organic approach and make indeed a great audio hallucination. Working with quite an obscure set of sounds, Nickell creates a great world of sound. Sustaining sounds, gliding scales, part firmly rooted in the world of drones, but never too 'soft', but nicely 'present'. An intelligent and excellent release, with a great cover. (FdW)


Following three releases under his own name and one as Silver Stars Rising, Kevan Revis made the jump from CDRs to LPs and with 'Sollicitudo' he released his first one, in a limited edition of 100 copies. Not a lot of information on this one, but at least it looks better than his previous CDR only releases. There are no track titles, so perhaps its two tracks? One each per side, or perhaps its one long track, divided over two sides of the vinyl? But then, when listening to the record, one could also think that Revis uses various short bits that stand by themselves but are somehow also connected? Revis leaves us in the dark with that, but also when it comes to the nature of the instruments or sound sources used. By and large I think its a work of electronic music, using an array of synthesizers and sound effects on the first side and on the second side he ventures out in the world of sound collage and noise, mainly from what could very well be acoustic instruments. On both sides however he uses the cut up technique, which especially on the second side is set to a crude use. Here he opts for a rather noisy music on this side, but he never takes his material over the top. Revis is not a noise musician in the classical sense of the word, but rather plays some nice, low resolution music. The other side is less noise oriented, and seems to be going out in a more psychedelic field. Here too we find we occasionally acoustic samples of an undefined nature. The sound quality overall is not too great, but I'm not sure if that is due to the pressing or the recording of the record. It makes however a distinct difference, and falls in between genres. Not really noisy enough, but surely a far cry from the world of microsound. Quite a nice record! (FdW)


BEN OWEN - 05012009 FP (CDR by Winds Measure Recordings)
There is some curious line on this release: 'frying pan light ship, hudson river, new york, ny. field recordings for underfoot installation'. So there you are. There is a light ship called frying pan, and Ben Owen presented some kind of installation based on field recordings. Right? Or is there are frying pan as part of some installation on a light ship? No, I don't think so. Four sound pieces here, all dealing with field recordings. Lengthy pieces of sound, with lots of water and rusty metal , both from above as well as below the surface. Most of the time the music is very quiet and seems to be focussing on detail and minimalist movements, like the sea waves against the ship on a calm day. A very nice release of unprocessed field recordings material, but I then also think this material is layered and culled from various sources, perhaps two or three at the same time. It makes a nice ambient soundtrack as such. Perhaps not as 'new' in approach, but surely quite good. (FdW)


XNOBBQX - (LIVE IN PARMA) (CDR by Black Petal)
On the vastly expanding Black Petal label, as always with nice handmade packaging, an artist of whom I never heard: Robert Mayson. He was a member of Grey Daturas, Breathing Shrine, Whitehorse, Collapsed Toilet Vietnam, Maggoted, Bone Sheriff and EOH. All of it to be found in the world where improvised meets rock meets noise. I have no idea what Mayson plays in these bands nor what he plays here. Four tracks of sheer minimalism. Played on… let me think… either a set of connected effect boxes, creating a feedback loop, or something like that with at the beginning some ultra cheap synthesizer. A dirty sound, but a great one too. Think 'Metal Machine Music' by Lou Reed but then with a bit more variation per piece. By opening up filters and closing gates he subtly changes the color of the sound. It stays static until the moment you realize its not static at all. Mayson knows how to alter the sound input, which is probably very static and create something that is truly captivating.
Also minimal, but then entirely different, is the duo called xNoBBQx, who have had releases on Siltbreeze, Breakdance the Dawn, Root Don Lonie For Cash, The Seedy R, Palustre and Golden Lab. The duo is Matt Earle and Nick Dan, guitars and drums. '(Live In Parma)' was recorded in April 2009 in Parma, Italy and shows what noise rock meets improvisation can be: a truly minimal affair of not very coherent bashing of instruments. Its like they say: 'my four year old could do it too', and that perhaps is true, but they never fly out from Australia to Italy to perform that in front of an audience, who may have even paid to witness this. I like this free energy music, which doesn't equal speed I should add, but its a very consistent mass of sound. Now that's something a four year could never accomplish, I'd say. I am sure it doesn't beat the real thing - the concert situation - but I must say I quite enjoyed this trip. Both releases are packed in sandpaper - and that is hardly a surprise, given the musical content. (FdW) Address:

To change into a wolf, that is what this release is about. Not just a piece of music, but it comes with neatly designed and printed pocket book on the subject of wolves. In history, in military and in legends. A well researched work. I don't like wolves, or any canine descendent for that matter, but that didn't stop me from wanting to hear this. Thomas Bey Williams Bailey is someone whose work I respect  a lot. He's one of those people who think about noise and do something that is more interesting than what is regular in that field. For this release he works with a 'feraliminal lycanthropizer drone modified with "spectral shaping" plug ins', samples of black metal using the word 'wolf', processed vocals spontaneously captured during fits of rage and 'additional sonic ornamentation, of a too varied nature to list here'. This are put together into a piece of music that lasts almost thirty minutes and that has an unsettling power. Particular loud here, compared to some of his previous work, but Bailey knows how to pull back and add that much needed variation in his work. Brutally loud at times, and unsettling quiet at well chosen times. White static noise, banging metal samples, piercing drones and uncontrolled voices make this both an unsettling and pleasant work. It didn't change me into a wolf, nor did it make them appreciate more (or perhaps even less, come to think of it), but Bailey proofs once again to be a master of intelligent noise. (FdW) Address:

(3"CDR by Kaon)
And then it was all over. This is the twelfth and final part in the weather series from Toy Bizarre, based on weather conditions in Atherton Gardens in Australia. A different cover, full color and no mentioning of what the weather was like. What is also different, is that this is a some kind of collaboration, between Cedric Peyronnet (whom we know otherwise as Toy Bizarre, and who then are the mentioned Toy Bizarre Orchestra?) and one Jacques Soddell (I wonder if there is a relation with Thembi Soddell, whom we reviewed before). This is a slightly different piece again, not unlike previous releases, but with minor differences in the music. This sounds more like a live recording of a duo improvisation, using electronics (laptops maybe) and inside those electronics we find those field recordings from the previous eleven releases, but then further processed, with some very abrupt changes in the sound material, with adds a slightly disturbing character to the piece. It also ends abruptly - as to keep it in the twelve minute range (like all previous releases) - but here it sounds a bit too odd for an ending. Throughout a very fine piece of music, with some interesting moves and a fresh approach to field recordings in a live context. (FdW) Address:


BERTIN - MINI (cassette by Stenze Quo Muziek)
The bad news first: this tape is sold out. At least according to the label, but perhaps they can direct you to a place where you can get one. Or perhaps send an e-mail to Bertin himself and ask him to put it on his bandcamp site. Bertin loves plastic toys, especially when they have keys. Like produced by Yamaha and Casio. The nine pieces on this cassette are named after the instrument you hear. So there is 'Yamaha PSS 150', 'Casio SK 5 (glass sample)', Yamaha SHS-10 & Mini Pops Junior & Echo' etc. Bertin also loves a simply melody. He plays them on his tiny old keyboards. This time no vocals, just nine lovely instrumental songs. This is one of those things that came out in 2010 in a shamefully small edition and which might very well be discovered in twenty years as a lost masterpiece and be re-issued on whatever format then is the craziest thing. Now in 2010, I am more than happy with hearing it now. A grey day and no reason to leave the house: this tape is on repeat for a few hours! Happy music. (FdW) Address:


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

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