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Vital Weekly 757

img  Tobias Fischer

Johannes Riedel is the man behind Circular. I never heard of him. His debut CD is from 2006 and in 2008 he did a split LP with Inade. His background is in classical music, but his instruments are these days all about analogue synthesizers. His music is easily connected to the world of cosmic music, the current darling of underground music. However Riedel finds his own voice in there. Large walls of synthesizer drones, deep bass (from what I gather to be a real bass guitar), rumble of more deep textures of sound effects, the reverb unit being in the firm centre of such activity of course. Circular draws pictures of the sky at night: black with shining stars, cosmic fall out and black holes. He does that in nine distinct pieces of music, which have an almost song like structure. Sometimes small melodies arise from the wash of synthesizers, and things become like a song, rather than a piece, such as in 'Chromatic Fade'. A pretty dark record, especially created, or so it seems, for long winter nights. Great mood stuff. (FdW) Address:


GIUSEPPE IELASI - 15 TAPES (CD by Senufo Editions)
KASSEL JAEGER - AERAE (CD by Senufo Editions)
Following his first label Fringes, Giuseppe Ielasi now has a new label called Senufo Editions. Here we have the first three releases. The first is by Ielasi himself, and consists of fifteen short pieces (totaling twenty minutes), which, as the title already implies, is edited from improvisations on various tape machines. Like pretty much all of Ielasi's recent work, this too is a very vibrant set of pieces. Ielasi doesn't go for the long stretched out sounds, but rather for short sounds, cut and spliced together in a highly rhythmic manner. If you don't look at your CD player, which I did, then it all sounds like rather one piece of music and not as fifteen separate pieces of music. An excellent excursion into microscopic, detailed debris of sound matter. Very much alive music, very much like good ol' musique concrete.
Kassel Jaeger has his third release, following one on Mystery Sea (see Vital Weekly 611) and their sub-division Unfanthomless (see Vital Weekly 745). He is a member of the Groupe de Recherches Musicales in Paris. For this release Jaeger works with various instruments, such as koto, rebab, positive organ, Coupigny modular synthesizer and does improvisations on them. I assume that in the process of mixing he adds, subtracts and then put into some form of organization. Very much, says Jaeger, like he would do when using field recordings. The five parts blend into eachother in a rather organic way. The music sounds quite improvised, with scrapings of the koto. Things worked better, I thought when the improvised music elements are pushed away in favor for longer sustaining sounds from the electronic equipment, such in the second part of the fourth piece, or the entire third piece (all untitled of course). The mixture of both ends however works quite well and its great to see Jaeger breaking away from pure electronically field recording work here. An excellent CD. (FdW)


VOX: ONE (CD compilation by Ohm Records)
A project that started in 2001 where various musicians received a sound file with the voice of Ellen Aagaard, with the instructions to use solely these sounds, any kind of sound manipulation and that bad tracks would be rejected. Responses came from various parts of the world, such as KK Null, Wilt, Band Of Pain, Kobi, Pal Asle Petterson, Frederik Ness Sevendal, O. Melby (the man behind the label), Mourmasnk 150, Chaos As Shelter, R/A/A/N/, V.V. and John Wiese. A pretty varied bunch of remixes are delivered on this disc. There is noise, musique concrete/sound poetry like electronics, rhythmic reworkings and drone pieces. In some of these pieces its hard to believe just the voice was used, such as in the piece by R/A/A/N/. John Wiese has a very surprising piece of something that is definitely not noise. KK Null's pieces (he has four) are a bit too easy for my taste. My favorites are the aforementioned Wiese piece, Band Of Pain, the first Wilt piece and V.V.. The other pieces were alright but nothing spectacular. As things go with compilations, some good, some bad, but at least there is a nice thematic edge to this one, so the end verdict: very nice. (FdW)


A band from Vancouver presenting their third album. Fond of Tigers started in 2003 as a solo-project by Stephen Lyons, but later it expanded to an unit of seven musicians: Morgan McDonald (piano), JP Carter (trumpet, electronics), Dan Gaucher (drums), Skye Brooks (drums), Shanto Bhattacharya (bass), Jesse Zubot (violin) and Stephen Lyons (guitar). For this recording following guests were invited: Mats Gustafsson (baritone sax and live electronics on "Grandad" and Sandro Petri (vocals on 'Vitamin Meathwak'). What struck me first was the relationship of this music with that of avant rock groups from the 80s and 90s, like The Ordinaries and many groups from the Ambiances Magnetiques-label. For sure they operate in the same territory. And it is nice to come across a group that continues this line. Although it is not very hip to do so nowadays, I guess. The songs are well structured and have nice arrangements, so that everybody can make his contribution, leaving a difficult job for the producer. Incorporating many influences this is in the end pure rock music. Seven tracks, all instrumental except 'Vitamin Meathawk' that has vocals by Sandro Petri. The energy and intensity of rock are combined with a collective approach. Jumpy, noisy and melodic, bombastic and ambient. All in one and much more. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


With Frank Vigroux we enter true avant garde territories. Vigroux is a guitarist, turntableplayer, composer tapping from rock, electronic and electro-acoustic music, jazz and modern composed music. Further he is also crossing borders between music and horspiel / audio on the other hand. He leads many projects such as Push the triangle, Supersonic Riverside Blues. He recorded with musicians like Elliott Sharp, Marc Ducret, Helene Breschand, Joey Baron, Edward Perraud, writer Kenji Siratori and video artists Scorpene Horrible, Philippe Fontes, Mariano Equizzi. Just to name a few. Also he is founder of the d'Autres Cordes label. All music on this new release is composed by Franck Vigroux who plays electronics here. Texts are spoken/sung by Philippe Malone. Philippe Nahon is the conductor, GÈraldine Keller, singer. Matthew Bourne plays Fender Rhodes and electric piano and Marc Ducret electric guitar. Plus the Ars Nova Ensemble Instrumental: Eric lamberger (clarinet). Fabrice Bourgerie (trumpet), BÈnÈdicte Trotreau (violin), Alain TrÈsallet (viola) Isabelle Veyrier (cello) Michel Maurer (piano) and Isabelle CornÈlis ( percussion). It is a very powerful work that is catched here in a live performance on a Festival Extension in June 2010. Vigroux has a very eclectic style. Everything ranging from pure modern classical complexity to a simple electronic beat in the rocking finale of the last piece pass by. The classical trained voice of Keller, is combined with the electric guitar of Ducret and electronic sounds. What makes Vigroux interesting is his ability to combine these very different musical worlds, instrumentations and esthetics, in a way that is far more then an outward pastiche of different elements. His strong vision guarantees that all elements make a convincing composition and work. Chapeau! (Dolf Mulder) Address:


A few weeks I bumped into some people whom I knew for a long time, but never met. Andres Noabre from the Spanish Geometrik label and the two members of Esplendor Geometrico, and all three praised Vital Weekly. They gave me this CD, didn't mention 'review this', but I will. My first encounter with Esplendor Geometrico was their first cassette 'EG1' and their first, self-titled LP. For the young me, highly impressive music, and one of the epiphany moments (and I was surely be happy to be instrumental at a later date to get them on CD). But over those almost thirty years I didn't always keep up with their work. Probably entire my fault, but some of the more techno inspired moments which I remember from the nineties weren't perhaps my cup of tea then. Maybe it would be now. So I have no idea how 'Pulsion' fits in their catalogue so far, but it sounds pretty good. The hard industrial may no longer that much present - no less thanks to more sophisticated equipment I'd say - but the minimalist pulses still work great. It sounds a bit like Pan Sonic, with slightly more variation and certainly more 'dressing up'. One feature that is still very much present, certainly in the first few pieces on this CD: voices. Esplendor Geometrico use voices from what seems to me political rallies and add a brutal, somewhat unusual setting to the pieces. It also sets them firmly apart from many others in this field of hard rhythmic electronics. It doesn't beat, at least for me, the classic 'EG1' release, but I thought this was damn fine hard hitting album. (FdW) Address:


One of the things about lathe cut records is that they wear out more over time than vinyl. Woody Sullender, originally a banjo player, applies all sorts of methods of erosion here. He uses two (great) Nirvana songs, 'Smell Like Teen Spirit' and 'Polly' and feeds them through a series of band-pass filters, removing most of the frequency spectrum. This leaves a high end sound, in which, if you didn't know, you could never recognize the original Nirvana songs. Quite mysterious songs, these two, rendered way beyond the way they sounded. A highly conceptual approach and worked out in a great way. From the choice of music, the execution of the concept, choice of sound carrier and cover: well thought out and a great record. (FdW) Address: <>


HWAET - HWAET (CDR by Music Appreciation)
Vanessa Rossetto and Steven Flato are the two people behind Hwaet. Music by Rossetto has been reviewed before (see Vital Weekly 690), and she uses objects, electronics and field recordings. Flato is from New York and works in both composition and improvisation, using broken electronics, small objects and guitar. They have been working together in 2007 and 2008 and recently started again, culminating in the pieces on this release. Its a work of improvisation as well as composition. They tape their improvised pieces (well, that's the improvised side obviously) and then edit these into the pieces we hear - the composition aspect. This doesn't mean that things are very tight here: its quite obvious that their heart is with improvisation. A curious mixture of scraping objects (and the surface, no doubt), electronic sounds (lots of small feedback like sounds, buzzing and such like) and microphones wide open to capture the environment. It works best when they focus, such as in 'Hjubin', and concentrate the sound action into a shorter time span. Like I said, its an interesting and curious mixture of acoustic sounds, electronic sounds and has a great warmth to it. (FdW) Address:


Reductive is a new label from Spain for 'actual music' and 'reductive art'. 'I Am Scratching A CD In A Room' by Choi Joonying has a nice title of course, but scratching a CD? Isn't that not done since the days of Oval? Perhaps, but Joonying, I must admit, does a great piece of a scratched CD which actually has a build up, a compositional feel to it. Over the course of twenty minutes the action and intention grows and then slowly seems to be reducing the action towards the end. A vibrating release, a simple idea, excellently executed. Right length for such an excursion. Lucier would be proud.
The other release, not to be confused with the band Circular reviewed elsewhere is a duet for turntable (Daniel Del Rio) and saxophone (Roberto Mallo), who play improvised music, and obviously in a reduced manner. The saxophone plays like a bunch of sine waves but never really loud and the turntable 'scratches' the surface. Metallic like, scratches and hiss. Yet all of this sounds remarkably like an improvised record in the best current tradition of the scene. Lots of careful placing of sounds, a bit of silence, small outbursts, traditional playing of the saxophone and throughout done with great care. Nice one. (FdW) Address:


Every month Jan Kees Helms organises an exhibition in his home town Amersfoort and invites other artists. In November the theme was 'Geen Blad Voor De Mond', which roughly translates as 'you can say it all'. Helms produced two video's and on this 3"CDR you'll find the soundtracks, one by Jan-M Iversen and one by Al Conroy (whom we remember from a previous life as Not Half). Iversen's piece deals with sounds recorded from Norwegian woods, with the addition of some sounds of unknown origin. A nice piece of drone music. The same piece is also the starting point for a piece by Iversen with extra sound material by Helms, supposedly with voices from a heavy debate in Dutch parliament, but that was something hard to tell. The three pieces by Conroy are all short based on the voice of Geert Wilders, again something I couldn't know if I wasn't presented this information. I am not sure, although I can guess, what this all has to do with 'you can say it all', but even without the political connotations quite a nice release. Small but nice, and check out Helms' Youtube also for some excellent short films. (FdW) Address:


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