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Vital Weekly 756

img  Tobias Fischer

PUIN + HOOP - DOOR (CD by Narrominded)
Sadly I missed out on the local appearance of Puin + Hoop (sorry guys), but I was told it was quite good. I am not surprised. Following a string of small scale, private CDR releases, its now time for a real CD, by the ever expanding Narrominded label. Now we learn that Puin + Hoop is a trio of Roald van Dillewijn, Remco Verhoef and Etik Uittenbogaard. At their disposal is a wide array of electronics, self-built instruments and real instruments. I think I may have spotted a guitar and a piano in here - I might be wrong of course. Its hard to say what their working method is: is it 'just' improvisation, or do they edit their improvisations? I am inclined to think its the latter. Especially here more than it was before, it seems that Puin + Hoop have organized their improvisations, through meticulously editing. That brings a point of rest in their music, it gives the music time to breath and develop in a more spacious manner, especially in such pieces as 'Ceci N'est Pas Une Puin + Hoop' and 'Zuurstof III', with its extended percussive sounds, tinkling electronics and sparse piano sounds. This CD is a major step forward for Puin + Hoop. By the time you read this you missed the two hour CD presentation, but you could invite them for a party yourself. (FdW) Address:


LARVA 108 - 99.09 INSIDE THE STONES (CD by Greytone)
Greytone is an Italian label with a keen interest in 'artists in the deepest side of contemporary music expression'. They only release CDs and vinyl. The latest two are on CD and are by Moljebka Pvlse, no stranger in Vital Weekly, and Larva 108. That's the new name here, and behind it we find one Guido, who started to create music in 1999 using a PC and an ancient bit of software called Fasttracker. He finds his inspiration in nature and uses his music for abstract visual productions. Twelve pieces here on this release, which takes over an hour. That, I must say, is a bit long, even when Guido tries to take the listener on a varied trip. Throughout he plays atmospheric music, which branches out to the world of 'real' ambient at times, sometimes a bit more noise based and sometimes with a firm dash of rhythm. Maybe its this variation that is a bit in the way of an unified album? I am not sure. I like it best when the mood is subdued and spaced out, like in 'Snowstorm and The Number 8', in the percussive 'Larva P11' or the dark menace of 'Radice Nebbia Gole'. Some of the shorter tracks were more sketch like, which I guess was nice, and some of the longer tracks certainly needed a bit more editing and could have been trimmed down. Throughout however quite a nice record, which is perhaps overlong.
Three long pieces on Mathias Josefson's album 'Zojo', which he released under his moniker Moljekba Pvlse. Its been quiet from my end of the telescope for Josefson in recent years, but its good to hear his music again. Not that there is much change, I must admit, as Moljekba Pvlse still does what he does best: creating drone like music, based on metal sheets, with contact microphones and played with bowes. Perhaps the sound was enhanced with the use of electronics, but I am not entirely sure. The odd, new, element thrown in now is the use of voice (by Michiko Kashiba), which adds some wordless singing to the music. The sounds ring in the world of overtones, and it all happens in a rather gentle manner, which sometimes goes a bit up the scale, such as in 'Daylight', when it all sounds a bit like a violin played inside the motor of an airplane. Maybe all three pieces are a bit too long, and could have been say five minutes per piece shorter. But throughout however a very refined album of textured drone music. For those who like Organum, I'd say. (FdW)


From the ever so vibrant music scene of Italy (or
so it seems from the outside) two musicians with a background in experimental (and) ambient music, Andrea Ferraris and Matteo Uggeri, who receive help from Mujika Easel and Andrea Serrapiglio (I must admit to have never heard of them). The cover lists extensively the various sound sources. Lots of field recordings and electronics (Uggeri), but what can be noticed here is that the acoustic instruments, mainly the guitar (played by Ferraris) but also cello (Serrapiglio) and piano (Easel) play an important, if not crucial role. Like the title suggests, the music seems to be in slow motion. To me the whole thing sounds played like a few nice afternoons of improvisation. 'Let's sit together and play a few sounds from the computer and add some instruments'. In the subsequent mix this intimacy is saved, which is a great thing, I'd say. A not too difficult album with elegant ambient pieces, lots of acoustic instruments and an overall laidback atmosphere. Excellent dream music with a nice edge.
Mark Harris took part in 'Birmingham Sound Matter', organized by Francisco Lopez, but he has a background in visual arts. He created some software applications himself and feeds it with samples from bowed guitar, saxophone, violin and some field recordings. Its good that Hibernate mentions this, because otherwise it would not be easy to note this. Harris stretches his sounds out a bit and creates some finely woven ambient music, with an almost classical music feel to it. Its that Gorecki died last week (and hence I played that symphony again), but Harris' music reminded me of the slow built up of the first movement of the famous Gorecki piece, but its not as dramatic nor does it burst out at any point. Harris' music stays on the gentle, meandering side of sound. Perhaps in terms of ambient music - like happens so often with this kind of music - there is not much news going on, but it surely is a very fine record. Excellent mood music, with a nice edge by itself - the classical connection (although not entirely new either of course). (FdW) Address:

Three years after the first volume of Artefacts, which spanned the years 1930 to 1973, we now get the second volume, continuing in 1974, leading up to 1983. Here we bump into various names that got big (Severed Heads, with a very early recording), legendary (The Loop Orchestra (a recording of their first performance), Primitive Calculators) or just very serious (Warren Burt). It spans the whole range of what we could consider avant-garde music - from the serious electronic (Ros Bandt, Paul Turner and most of the pieces found on the first CD), via post-punk to industrial music and more low key sound collage like music. There is a whole bunch of people I never heard of (or perhaps didn't recognize from the old days). Odd pieces are by Essendon Airport and Tsk Tsk Tsk. Perhaps the mystery here is the absence of SPK, although other early industrialists are there such as Voigt/465 and Purple Vulture Shit. Throughout a pretty varied compilation, which I guess is not easy to like if you happen to like only genre. However, and I hope that's more 'Vital style' to have an open mind and like the sheer variety on offer. I know I did like it a great deal, as it learned me - again - a great deal of new (old) music.
Humor comes in with a release by Tangerine Nightmare, 'Synthicide'. Gettit? To play on a bunch of analogue synthesizers cosmic is dead easy, but of course, and that's perhaps the whole point of Tangerine Nightmare the idea of this excursion, you can also play noise music on those machines. So while not entirely a bunch of pure noise outings, things are a lot harsher than one probably associates with the world of cosmic music. If anything to compare it with, I'd say it's getting towards the old sound of C.C.C.C. or Astro. Loud obviously, but with a strange psychedelic quality to it. A full on synth based sound, but with some odd melody shimmering here and there in this static wall of effect loaded sound. Five heavy nightmares indeed. A good take on the idea of cosmic music. (FdW) Address:


If you are in Tokyo right now, this week, then you can catch Piiptsjilling live and when I first heard about that, I was amazed. This quartet, with Romke Kleefstra, Rutger Zuydervelt and Mariska Baars on guitars and Jan Kleefstra delivering poetry in the Frysk language (which to us Dutch is like from another country) seems like an odd thing to bring to stages in Tokyo. Friesland, a part of The Netherlands, has their own language and even here it sounds strange. I couldn't say what Kleefstra's poetry is about (although I could guess sometimes), but 'moody' is certainly a word that springs to mind. Thank god the cover provides translations in English. You should not think of Piiptsjilling as a continuos reading of poetry, but its 'merely' an instrument that is used every now and then. The way the voice is used recalls the same wide open space as the surroundings in which these words were written and which is used in the music also. Drone like guitar patterns, dreamy wide open guitar music, depicting not a dessert. Its not a road movie. The music is more about green fields up to the horizon, with a lighthouse at the end. The land of Kleefstra I'd say. In the opening 'Unkršd (Ill Weeds)', Baars (whom we also know as Soccer Committee) adds her voice. A great follow-up to the debut (see Vital Weekly 627), with perhaps not a lot of changes, but with the same expanded textured music. I really wonder what they make of this in Japan.
This work contains excerpts of an audio-visual installation which you can actually still visit, up to December 5th at the Galerie Vayhinger, Radolfzeil, Germany. The work is a collaborative effort of Rutger Zuydervelt and Steve Roden, both responsible for the music an Sabina Burger, who did the visual component for this work. The later shows reflection of trees in water, or rain drops falling in water. The music is a duet between Roden and Zuydervelt and seems to be combining the best of both ends: the acoustic sounds of Roden (chimes, bells, cups) and Zuydervelt's careful electronic manipulation thereof. The music and film go together really well, I'd say. Poetic, silent and light. An excellent three way combination. (FdW)


Probably there aren't many groups on Hypnos: this ambient label usually releases albums by artists who work alone on their electronic, ambient music, but Herion is a group, a trio from Italy, with as its members Emanuele Errante, Enrico Coniglio and Elisa Marzorati (the latter of whom I never heard). Two firm names from the strong Italian ambient scene. The instruments at their disposal includes not just things with keys and knobs, but also field recordings, guitars, harmonica, bells, gong, rainstick, piano plus a guest role on some of the pieces by Piergabriele Mancuso on viola (or perhaps all tracks?). This gives the album a great quality, breaking away from the traditional ambient music, and expanding into the world of classical music with all these acoustic instruments. Especially the violin plays a strong role in defining that classical sound. The music here is pretty strong. Definitely moody and atmospheric, but also quite warm and acoustic. I was reminded of the CD by Modern Institute on Expanding Records (see Vital Weekly 518), which was also, curiously enough, Italian. A highly refined work.
On CDR we find the second re-issue of work by Seren Ffordd, just like 'Stellar Nurseries' (see Vital Weekly 712), which was also first released by Umbra. Like before the instruments are listed here: singing bowls, chimes, voice, gourds and Korg 016. The idea behind the release is about cycles, patterns and rhythms, but do not expect some beat related music, but simple patterns that slowly evolve and revolve. The fourth part of this has rhythm 'as we know it', but in the other four pieces Ffordd uses loops of varying lengths which he cleverly layers together in ever changing patterns. Not just some isolationist droning experience, but an always changing pattern of a wide variety of sounds. Streetsounds, bells being strum with a bow, rhythmic playing of chimes and such like gives us five examples of how this relatively simple idea is worked out. Quite a different album than 'Stellar Nurseries', but throughout a very fine album of changing, cyclical mood music. (FdW) Address:


Somewhere else we look into a solo CD of Andre Foisy but here is a CD by his band Locrian, a duo of himself and T. Hannum. They played guitars and electronics. Seeing this release on Bloodlust! its hardly a surprise that it contains noise. A slow menacing sound of pounding drums, piercing electronics (derived from guitar playing? I am not sure here) and more loud guitars. That is the opening track 'Inverted Ruins', which includes Mark Solotroff, head honcho of Bloodlust, on vocals
but Locrian has more to offer than just that. Each track seems to be recorded with the help of other people, so that's why things are probably more varied, beyond the boundaries of pure noise. 'Between Barrows', the second piece on the CD, is a much more subdued piece of music, carefully improvised. Although Locrian don't return to the careful style in this album again, its not said that every piece is one of loud noise only. The closing statement, 'The Columnless Arcade' is a finely driven motor like rock song, bursting out half way through, full of energy. 'Ring Road' sees the burning of a guitar (metaphorically speaking of course), like a giant dark beast bursting out, while 'Antediluvian Territory' is an almost ambient like guitar tune. The epic 'Procession Of Ancestral Brutalism' is then the noise centre of this album. Locrian delivered a great album with this CD. Here too we are dealing with the notion of noise that is varied, like we have discussed more recently: not that endless walls of feedback and distortion, but a varied bunch of pieces, some of which happen to be very loud and some not. But Locrian does all of that outside the world of pure electronics and that is a great achievement. An excellent CD! (FdW) Address:


HUSERE GRAV (CDR by Small Doses)
Nicholas Szczepanik is someone whose work in the field of dark ambient music has been reviewed before. He created 'American Gothic' together with Jenks Miller, whom we could know as Horseback. Not a lot of information is otherwise forthcoming to go by, say as to sound sources used etc. This release sees, at least for me, Szczepanik moving out of his dark ambient textured music and go out in the land of more 'intelligent noise'. It has the usual suspects of sine waves, rattling of contact microphones and piercing electronics, but also moves along finer lines of organ like sounds, both to in the mellow end of the sound spectrum and the harsher sounds. The most surprising aspect is probably that the whole is more musical than I probably anticipated. The organs sometimes split into small melodies, the drums occasionally bang a rhythm and all along hiss and burn the electronics underneath. It fits the more recent trend of creating noise music that is engaging to listen to and doesn't dwell in just sonic overload. These two gentle men created a work of sonic richness, embedding a great deal of detail and love of sound. Its hard to see where the 'gothic' comes in, except perhaps in the Grant Wood like image on the front cover of this CD, but throughout I thought it is a great CD and thank god it's a real CD and doesn't come in a small dose.
I am not sure if I ever heard of Husere Grav, or what he does. Not much information to go by here, but some of these pieces are collaborations with other people such as Franklin Teagle (Anathema Sound, Meditations), Ryan McGill (Bones Of Seabirds) and Metal Rouge. The label describes this as a mixture of dark ambient, black metal and drones, and I guess that is very much true - no sense in arguing there. Its music that is hard to define in some way, simply because the music is not very defined. Clusters of dark sounds, played on guitars (perhaps), organs (perhaps) and electronics (surely), but the recordings aren't very well defined. Sometimes indeed a bit noise based, I count that as the black metal influence, and at other times more ambient. A marriage of two ends that doesn't always work too well, I think. Some of this I thought was alright, but overall I have a problem with the muddy sound - that is no doubt part of the aesthetic of this.
Likewise I don't think I ever heard of Will Gresson, who also plays the drone/ambient card, while using the guitar. There is an experimental edge to this, or so it seems. In the opening piece, 'Learning To Sleep In An Adult World' there is some of sort of distortion, which I am not sure if part of the deal, or a fault in the recording. It has a sine-wave like quality that could be nice. The elements of distortion return, in one form or another, also in the other tracks. I am not convinced that this is the right thing to do. Some of the ideas are pretty much alright, although perhaps a bit too simply in their execution, but the added elements of noise seem to do no justice to that. It has its moments for sure, but as a whole not entirely my cup of tea.
Andre Foisy is one half of Locrian, a more noise oriented band, but here the true ambient music comes out. Foisy plays guitar and adds a bit of electronics. The music is very mellow and relaxed. Foisy uses e-bow or other bows to play his guitar, adds a substantial dose of reverb to create a great textured sound, but keeps the effects within a fair, controlled state. Over the course of the piece things are build up, but not extensively and never in a hurry. A delicate and refined release. (FdW)


One my all time favorite compilation LPs happens to be 'Flowmotion', with Chris & Cosey, The Legendary Pink Dots and David Jackman, but also music by Ian Boddy, Paul Nagle and other cosmic synthesizer artists from the UK. That album is from 1982, and something of that album re-sounds in this new work by Steve Moore. One half of 'synth-rock' duo Zombi and also working as Lovelock, he uses exclusively synthesizers and drum machines here, harking back to those synth masters of the early 80 but of course also Tangerine Dream or Jean-Michel Jarre from the seventies. Arpeggio's fly over low, sequenced rhythms tick nicely and it makes five wonderful pieces of music. Totally and utterly retro kind of music at work here, and I should slag it down for having no imagination, but I won't. Simply because I love it so damn well. Now I don't care about this being 'old fashioned', but this spacious trip is just excellent. The best record of this week, for being so uncool and yet so warm and great. Topped off in a great cover too. (FdW) Address:


MOHA! - KRIISKAV VALGUS (7 inch+ booklet by Le Petit Mignon)
I will try to be as least obscure as possible. The Le Petit Mignon label has produced some remarkable material bringing together graphic art and extreme music in beautifully crafted and presented 7 inch vinyl releases, and this current release is no exception. Moha! A drum guitar duo pour out a stream of high octane sounds of beats and noise which is both harsh, alarming and beautiful. Anyone interested in extremes of musical production which pushes playing into noise or noise into playing would find both sides of the white vinyl a delight. And now sounding like one of those daytime TV sales shows - 'It doesn't stop there!' because as well as the sonic gem, hopefully a fitting crystalline metaphor for the sound, you get a 12 page screen printed book by of Bongozt. (Berlin based graphic artist duo). It's a perfect match, I love the wonderful transparent layering of rich screen ink in vibrant florescent reds, dull black and greens of photomontage and abstract imagery. That together with the white vinyl and its caustic rhythms and sound washes makes the whole production into a beautiful object. I should say art object, it's a pity when so much mediocre 'stuff' is to be found these days that these releases don't get more credit. Anyone from musician to graphic designer should check out this and the rest of the series, because I'm sure they will one day be seen as something significant in whatever the future will call this period in art history. I can't say it any simpler than that can I? (jliat)


ISA CHRIST CRUUDEUCES - HUMAN ERROR (7inch by Idiotunderground)
Cruudeuces, as I'm in descriptive mood, sounds like seagulls and drone synth, low key and is not surprisingly called "gull slang", my best put down would be '40 years ago and a ton of L.S.D. this wouldn't be half bad… ' ouch!… moving swiftly on…Isa Christ is next up. More sound effects, distorted car crashes against the sounds of the Martians from the old War of the Worlds film, some submarine noises, and disco cows in a dentists, actually when it all gets jamming this sounds very good, kind of The Clangers do Bob Marley (for non UK residents & youth oh and the soup dragon, escaping in a motor boat - or is it the Queen Mary, being attacked by a U boat - manned (or whatever cows do) by above mentioned cows some of whom are stampeding whilst playing saxophones. Brilliant, simply brilliant! Absurdity unlike the other material pushed to the extreme becomes literally ecstatic and *does* creative bizarre stupendous new worlds. Bravo! (Jliat)


MECHA/ORGA - 40:49 (CDR by Echo Music)
Although the name Mecha/Orga, the project of Greek Yiorgis Sakellariou, pops up in the announcement section every now and then, it has been quiet with releases for a while. This new one, which lasts forty minutes and forty-nine seconds and is divided into eight sections, was created from field recordings that took place in Abeliona village in Greece. I couldn't find anything special about this place, but maybe its the rural aspect of the village that attracted Sakellariou to create this music. Mecha/Orga is, to be put it somewhat crudely, one of the laptop guys. He treats his field recordings inside the computer and puts it back out in the form of musique concrete like sound collages. Not in a way of cut 'n paste, but usually as ongoing, drone like, sounds, with highly minimalist changes appearing throughout every now and then. Quite hypnotic music, and Mecha/Orga is not a shy man, i.e. not entirely just working with the notion of microsound. If anything, Mecha/Orga, derives his interest from the world of musique concrete in combination with the field recordings of Luc Ferrari and Xenakis. The pieces on this new release are forcefully elegant and mildly noise based. Quite great, like usual with the work of Mecha/Orga. Moving between a variety of field of music and making his own mark. (FdW) Address:

NULA - 55505 PAREIDOLIA (CDR, private)
The latest project of Lloyd Dunn is called Nula. Dunn is perhaps best known as The Tape-beatles (one of) and Public Works, both taking their work from other sources and re-combining these sources into an original new work. Plagiarism as we used to call it (how long was it since I last used That word?). Now Dunn is back and it seems that he continues his search for sounds to 'steal' on the internet. Although this was delivered on a CDR, I strongly believe that all of this can be downloaded for free also. Dunn uses sounds, images and/or words which can be downloaded and expanded further upon, and in that respect I have no idea at which stage the four pieces on the CDR are. The music doesn't sound at all like that of The Tape-beatles or Public Works, but much more abstract, and perhaps less politically inspired. Or perhaps it moved to another level. Of the four pieces, three are a bit long. '55510 Locomotive', for instance, deals with sounds of trains and moving about. Nice for sure, but not the entire sixteen minutes. I thought these pieces were all pretty interesting however (if not a bit long), of minimalist sounds layered together and mixed with microscopic small changes between them. A sort of Steve Reich 'Come Out' quality was found among them. Nice enough, although perhaps a bit unclear what it is all about. Time to investigate. (FdW) Address:


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

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