RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Vital Weekly 754

img  Tobias Fischer

ERIC LUNDE - MUSIC IS MEAT (CD + book by Trait Media Works)
ERIC LUNDE - LARD (CD by Trait Media Works)
This is not the first time that Eric Lunde publishes a book, 'LLND' came already in 1991 (I think), but that was a small one, compared to 'Music Is Meat'. I don't know how many pages this new one has, since it isn't numbered. Its perhaps also not a book to read back to back. Its a novel about about an obscure industrial band being filmed for a documentary. But the singer is dead and the band re-enacted by others, and then becomes popular than the original. Maybe its about the fact that noise music is now more popular than it was when Lunde started, in the early 80s. The book tells the story in a rather abstract way, cut along with drawings from the story board and thoughts about what noise is. In some ways its probably a not very accurate autobiography, but no doubt it carries a lot of personal memories from Lunde from the old days. A funny read, especially if that 'old' noise scene is part of your own experience. To listen to the 'soundtrack' (not my parentheses) at the same time is not easy, as it contains a lot of spoken word pieces (from the book?), and bits of audio. The whole package, book and CD, however is unmistakably 'noisy': a bombardment of text and sound, both in print and on the CD, creating a beautiful and disturbed image. Excellent stuff.
On 'Localized Noise-Induced Transitions' we find 'field recordings using the Short Range Acoustical Device, the portable degenerator, reduplication processing, and found/stolen recordings from the field' - a picture of the device is included. No spoken word here (except for the tenth piece), but an interesting set of eleven pieces of pretty static field recordings. No idea actually what it is that was recorded here, perhaps a bunch of heating systems or refrigerators for all I know, but it sounds quite captivating. Sometimes these sounds go a bit into feedback, but throughout it all stays on the 'acceptable' side of noise. Mysterious, intense, ambient and at the same time industrial, this is some great stuff. I could concentrate more on the book when listening to this (I know, I shouldn't say such things). Excellent.
Along similar lines we find the Long Range Acoustical Device. This is more an 'active' release: listeners are encouraged to use this material in any sort of way, including 'social situations: marches, riots, parties, parades' and military and police personal who use the real LARD systems - record the recording and repeat that for as long you want and mail the recordings to Eric Lunde. Voice material is present in all of these four pieces and throughout this is a much more noise based release, unlike the previous one discussed. The trademark sound of Lunde - the degeneration of sound - is clearly present in these recordings. A high pitched sound, distorted radio noise like sounds, and sounding like tape being fed through the heads of a machine, at some higher speed than is usual. Of these three this is my least favorite: perhaps because its too noisy and perhaps too much in common Lunde territory. (FdW)


TROUM - MARE IDIOPHONIKA (CD by Tourette Records)
Germany's Troum are among the absolute top shelf when it comes to anything ambient and industrial. Their previous band, when they were three, Maeror Tri was already legendary with pretty much everything they ever released committed to CD release, and now they release great records as Troum, a duo of Glit[S]ch and Baraka[H]. 'Mare Idiophonika' is the studio version of their concert piece they played in 2007 when they toured Europe with Nadja, Asia Nova and Voice Of Eye. At their disposal they have such diverse sound players as guitar, bass, voice, accordion, balalaika, flute, mouth-organ, melodica, gong, field recordings and sound effects, although its hard to pin down any of these specific in this recording. Computer sounds don't play a role in their work - everything is done by hand. Tis almost hour long piece is a pretty strong manifestation of their music. They want to reach for the dream state, the unconscious side of the brain and they succeed well. This piece, which clearly has various movements does just that: it sticks right into the brain of the listener and it transports him. I am not the sort of person to put any music when going to sleep, but this would certainly be worth to try out. But how would I review that then? The poor reviewer has to stay awake, but conformably drifts away when playing this. A highly refined Troum record. Perhaps not one that is very different from their previous output, but certainly one of the better. (FdW) Address:


From the title one would expect some piece of serious composed music. But that is not the case here. Although I do not want to state that this work is not a ‘serious’ one, it is very different from what you would expect from the title. It is suite in six parts, lasting for some 36 minutes. All parts are melodic and harmonic pieces of music for a small line up of strings, sax and percussion. Pulsating lazy voodoo-rhythms are at the base of this work. On top of this an ensemble of violins, bass and cello play their thing. Moondog is on the corner, who combined in a similar way this kind of rhythm with classical themes and orchestrations. Also Sun Ra and Lynn Hope may have given some inspiration. In short a very sympathetic piece of work. Strange, funny chamber music it is. Surprising even in it’s accessibility. Very pleasant music of pastoral and timeless atmospheres with warm, moody playing by sax player Enders. Oesterhelt and Enders have both played in Tied & Tickled Trio, as well as other groups. No idea if there is any continuity here with their musical past, as I do not know anything about it. Anyway, a successful hybrid work, this one! (Dolf Mulder)


SEKSTETT - SAME (CD by Conrad Sound)
Two releases from the small Norwegian Conrad Sound label, that is directed by double bassist Guro Skumsnes Moe. She - no wonder - appears on both releases. Sekstett is Frode Gjerstad (clarinets), HÂvard Skaset (guitars), Lene Grenager (cello), Hilde Sofie Tafjord (French horn), B¯rre M¯lstad (tuba) and Guro Skumsnes Moe. Members of this sextet are also engaged in Spunk, Frode Gjerstads Circulatione Totale, Art Directors, Sult, Bay/Oslo Mirror Trio, MOE, Femail, and Lemur. How abstract these improvisations may be, like the closing improvisation, they head along a strong nucleus. I never had a dull moment with this one. The opening piece has a bluesy feel in a way, with a ‘screaming’ cello who cries his heart out at the end. Acoustical improvisations that were recorded mid 2009. The improvisations are full of little details and subtleties, in a constant stream. Altogether a very fine work. Very communicative and full of musical sound explorations. Bay/Oslo Mirror Trio shares two members with Sekstett, Havard Skaset (guitars) and Guro Skumsnes Moe (double bass). To other core members are Tony Dryer (double bass) and Jacob Felix Heule (drums). This makes four members. They started in 2008 in San Francisco and decided for a fixed instrumentation of two drummers, two double bass players and one guitarist.
For the recording of their cd a second guitarist was added: Ave Mendoza plus Kyrre Laastad as the second drummer. Again a sextet, but because of the instrumentation one could also speak of a double trio. Their eleven improvisations are of a more rough nature then those of Sekstett. Their interactive playing leads to disturbing noisy climaxes from time to time, which makes their approach of improvising different to that of Sekstett. Both releases are absolutely wonderful and excellent examples of improvised music. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


URAL UMBO - FOG TAPES (LP by Hinterzimmer)
Following ten years of silence, Ghedalia Tazartes released 'Hysterie Off Music', which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 593. It isn't followed by another ten years of silence, but with merely three years and now there is 'Ante-Mortem' and like 'Hysterie Off Music' this is surely another strange thing, but then so might be his entire career, which started in 1979 and counts only nine albums and few EPs. This man is hard to pin down, but surely he is like an one-man orchestra. There is more guitar then on the previous, layered together, along with synthesizers and drum computers. And of course, the voice of Ghedalia Tazartes, which is the central point of focus. He can sing with great pathos, he can be intimate, passionate and soft. There are twenty-three pieces on this CD, all quite short, but each with its precise texture. Loops of sound, bit of ethnic music, sound collages, an opera - its all there, and this great hotchpotch makes sense: Ghedalia Tazartes is an outsider, not caring about fashion, musical trends or such mundane things. Tazartes creates his own sound world, at whatever time he seems convenient. The true one man pop band, orchestra, singer-songwriter. Perhaps not entirely my cup of tea - I'd be the first to admit that - but certainly something I appreciate a lot. The true outsider is an one-man enterprise.
Following their untitled CD on Utech Records, Ural Umbo now release a LP on Hinterzimmer, Reto Mader's, one half of Ural Umbo, own label. He gets the credit for bass, strings, organ, synthesizer, horns, kalimba, percussion, drums, tapes, electronics and edits while Steven Hess (whom we also know as playing in On, Haptic and Pan American) plays drums, percussion, electronics, tapes and edits. Apparently, so the press text offers, they have a love for doom and black metal, but fortunately its not so apparent in the music. It is dark indeed, just like the debut CD, but it has a rather cinema like quality to it. There is a great amount of reverb used on these tracks, which, I must admit, didn't like very much. Its pretty intense music, atmospheric (very!), but also carries a metallic ring to it. Its not a record of improvised music. Hess plays his drums and percussion with care and precision, filling in small details, but in a great textured way. The music owes much more the world of drone music than to say improvised music, or pure electronic music. Not every piece here is great however, as some seem to stay inside a few loops of sound, augmented with some sound effects - the at times dreaded reverb. But throughout a fine follow up to the CD. (FdW) Address:


Tommi Ker”nen  using vintage analogue synthesizers from EMS in Stockholm. Produces  a single piece of 35ish  minutes of analogue mayhem. Problematics
of writing about… about say the perfect. the perfect is both simple and difficult, like the blank sheet of paper- perfect until the first mark is made, the silence before sound. and then the great and historic background, the same old story that appears in the garden of Eden, through Greek and world wide myth. for whatever reason, laws of thermodynamics, evil spirits, id, ego, super ego conflict. Comodification of labour and theory, excess.noise is essentially easy and so difficult, or difficult and so easy, as a block of sound or sounds undifferentiated once achieved, and technically this is a relatively simple matter, even of making a mistake, e.g. the feedback loop, then once (this) nirvana is obtained what does one do, it takes a god or Buddha to do nothing, to not interfere, not offer advice, change a detail, make a mark or even suggest a game of cards. Its not that Nirvana is hard or noise is difficult, its that human nature in the main will want to interfere and impose form, feeling,  and above all meaning. I.E. a non existent god is perfect and does not do this, but at a deeper level than human nature, nature itself abhors a vacuum - or as Nietzsche points out  nature never reaches perfection as if it could it would (have). I have one criticism of this work and its that at about 16 minutes there is a break which might indicate a second piece/track, but other than this human or natural intervention, this work is and remains, a perfect work of abstract noise. The proof of my thesis is the time it took and number of words written to say just this, but to anyone with ears who can listen that is what this work is, perfect. (jliat) Address:


"Why noise from Japan was spectacularly good was that noise as miss-appropriation of western music in  post war Japan was where miss-appropriation of the west was paramount, removal of tradition in favor of day glo Elvis's Whiskey made from genuine Scottish grapes and school girls in tartan mini skirts." . discuss.. Or why miss-appropriation has now firmly shifted to China might be the explanation of the ability of Torturing Nurse to take over the incoherence of noise from the great masters of Japan, and that in there inconsequential screaming, noise and feedback is what they do so well, whether from design, pastiche or naivety, it doesn't matter, all is symptoms without any traces, illness without  disease,  psychoanalysis of sanity, this is a culture which was never part of the monotheistic religions. Judaistic calling which engendered the enlightenment and guilt, Freudian Oedipus or Marxist theory ,T.N.  is a superficial image, a simulacra of the west without foundation or introversion, it has nothing to attack or demolish, so is pointless, nothing to solve or cure, the name itself silly lacking any psychosis of western introversion, those bare chested lot who miss mommy, no this is noise as noise for noise from noise and nothing else besides, and 74 minutes which is never enough. All those blokes in Texas half drunk on Budweiser with their effects pedals, guitars and toys should take a listen and weep, no not weep, too much weeping already, maybe then get washed have a shave and get a job at HMV in the local mall, or else take up the dizi, sheng, paigu,  paixiao, guan, erhu, zhonghu, dahu, banhu, jinghu, gaohu, gehu, yehu, cizhonghu, diyingehu, leiqin, guqin, sanxian, yangqin, guzheng, ruan, konghou, liuqin, pipa, zhu????? (jliat)


IF, BWANA - ASSEMBLE.AGE (CD by Mutable Music)
Al Margolis career as If, Bwana has been going strong for more than twenty-five years now and it has making strange turns. Originally, to put it crudely, If, Bwana was an industrial group, using raw sound collage/montage techniques, but it has grown over the years in a way that not many others do. While many of his peers took the route to more musique concrete, Margolis went into the serious avant-garde direction. Working with small ensembles and soloists with various instruments, he now composes that are seriously modern and, at other times, sounding improvised. The role of Margolis is that of the conductor. Not in the traditional sense, raising a baton, but the organizer. He tapes the music and then fiddles it about using the computer. Maybe the 'organizer' is a better word, or 'assembler', to stay in tune with the title of the CD. Sometimes he receives sound material, such as by Trio Scordatura, which he then organizes into a piece of music, such as the nicely woven drone like sounds of 'Ringing The Bell', and sometimes they all team up to play live, as in 'Cicada #1: EHG Version'. Its here that the music sounds more improvised, an 'real' instruments (voice, trombone, flute) collide with a nord modular and computer. In 'Six Minus 6' and 'DTTO' it seems we are dealing with a composed piece of music and its hard to say what the role of Margolis is. His working method seems to differ within each piece he does and that's something that is surely great as it makes a very release. Different approaches to a similar working ground. A fine work, yet again, of various interests (composed music, improvisation, musique concrete techniques) merging together. Quite a unique voice in this music. (FdW) Address:


PARCSEC3 - (CDR by Insubordinations)
A new release from this very interesting Swiss netlabel. Interesting for those who have a weakness for free music and noisy improvisations. This one by Parsec3 is again a fine example of this. Parsec3 is a trio of Christian Graf (guitar), D’Incise (laptop, objects) and Filippo Provenzale (drums), all three of swiss origin. Great playing from these musicians. They carve with great care and intensity very engaging sculptures in time. There is fine playing to be enjoyed by guitarist Graf, who is a very effective player. Drummer Provenzale is constantly on the move, introducing new patterns playing in a very dynamic style. The contributions by D’Incise are more difficult to grasp but fit very well in this line up. There are moments that this music really lifts you up. They built inspired structures that have an overwhelming effect from time to time. Emotional and passionate music. Great work!! (Dolf Mulder)


ST. RIDE - CERCANDO NIENTE (CD-R by Niente Records)
Niente Recods is a small label based in Italy and run by Edo Grandi and Maurizio Gusmerini. These two men are also the members of St. Ride. The aim of the label is to release music of independent musicians and with the attitude "Nothing is music." Cercando Niente means "Looking for Nothing" but I cannot say that the music is nihilistic. The twelve tracks are created by a strong voice, percussion, synthesizer and guitar. The tracks have different musical influences like electronic punk, noise, no wave, free-jazz and experimental music. St. Ride combines all these styles in a coherent way. The voice of Maurizio Gusmerini fits well to the music. The first track is a Requiem and lot's of music-styles are mentioned. Is this song about the death of all musical style s or is it about the funeral of the barriers between all styles. For me it makes no sense, this album is a great mix between different styles. Some are harsh and massive. Others are full of rhythm and silent and sensitive. This album is a pure expression of two Italian musicians who like to experiment and that is what I like. (Jan-Kees Helms) Address:


This is the fifth release is a relatively short period (see also Vital Weekly  665, 719, 732 and 735) and one could suspect him of releasing too much music. Its the third release in succession where he just uses solo percussion. The way he plays his percussion is however great, so I am not complaining as 'Psalms' just sees a continuation of some great quality music. Hennies plays minimal music. One instrument played in a steady rhythm. On this CDR he performs four pieces of his own and Alvin Lucier's 'Silver Streetcar For Orchestra'. That piece I heard before and uses a triangle, played in a steady rhythm, but creating beautiful resonances and overtones. In 'Untitled (1918-2000)' he plays vibraphone and has strange intervals, which don't always sustain. These two pieces are used as a starting point for the other three pieces, respectively for vibraphone, snare drum and woodblock. The instruments are well explored in a steady rhythm, but with slight variation in attack, dampening of the instrument and minimum change of tempi, Hennies creates some great sonic texture. For the careless listener perhaps simple (but gentle) banging on a single instrument, but if you listen closely (and you should, really, always listen closely) some beautiful textured, minimal music arrives. The natural successor I'd say to many of Steve Reich's percussion pieces with the strict approach of Alvin Lucier. This must sound great when heard live. Excellent release. (FdW)


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

Related articles

Vital Weekly 714
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 711 + 712
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Metal Visions International 6
A planet forged of steel: ...
Vital Weekly 669
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 663
Frans de Waard presents the ...
Vital Weekly 654
Frans de Waard presents the ...

Partner sites