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Vital Weekly 770

img  Tobias Fischer

David Borgo and Jeff Kaiser are the two players behind Kaiborg. Borgo plays the saxophone, as well as such oddly named instruments as the chalumeau, dudukophone, whistlophone, mijwiz and slide whistle while Kaiser has the trumpet, flute and voice, although that wasn't easy to tell from what I heard on 'Harvesting Metadata'. Both also play laptops and use those to process their playing through. Their laptops seem to play a major role in their music. Only at selected times we recognize the trumpet and the saxophone. The majority is reserved for a lot processed sound files, which at selected times explode right in your face: Kaiborg aren't afraid of turning on a bit of noise. This creates altogether a bumpy ride along the highs and depths of improvised music. Music that leaves the listener behind with considerable fatigue, certainly when the listener decides to raise the volume quite a bit. Powerful free stuff going on.
The complete anti-thesis of all of this improvised/constructed mayhem is the release by Kronomorfic, an ensemble with David Borgo, but also with Bill Barrett (chromatic harmonica), Paul 'Junior' Garrison (electric guitar), Nathan Hubbard (vibraphone and marimba), Danny Weller (double bass) and Paul Pellegrin (drums and hand percussion). They play jazz music. I know, I should have left this for Dolf Mulder to discuss, but since I already discussed the Kaiborg one, I decided to play this and actually liked, despite the fact that I don't like jazz and also the fact that I don't know much about it. There are some extensive liner notes to be read here, but hey are quite technical. Lots of nice jazzy drumming, soft playing on vibraphone/marimba and wind instruments that play similar tunes before one of them does  solo. Which I guess is what jazz is all about. Sometimes Kronomorfic slips into a more free jazz styled playing, usually at the beginning or the end of a piece, but throughout this all seems fairly traditional jazz to me. Not something I would hear a lot, but which gave me certainly a pleasurable time this night. (FdW)


The Mort Aux Vaches recordings, made at the Dutch radio station VPRO under the guidance of Berry Kamer, started out as gig recordings. You know, a band passes through town and play their live set in the afternoon in a radio studio, tape an interview and a program is dully made. After all those years (close to fifteen I reckon), and all those releases, a few weren't made like that. In fact only a few are 'specials', recorded the occasion, such as Pan Sonic's meeting with Charlemagne Palestine. And perhaps this one. At the core we find Rutger Zuydervelt, also known as Machinefabriek, who gathered a few of his guests from various areas to play together: Peter Broderick (violin, piano, saw and voice), both on all three tracks, and on the second piece Jan Kleefstra (words), Romke Kleefstra (guitar, effects), Anne Chris Bakker (guitar, effects, laptop) and Nils Frahm (piano), all on the second piece. I choose 'Broderick & Machinefabriek' as the main artists to headline this review. This extended line-up makes this altogether quite a more musical release, than the solo work of Zuydervelt sometimes is. Atmospheric piano tones throughout all three pieces, meandering violins, layered singing on 'Session III' (which is actually second track on the CD). Everybody join in 'Session II', the third track on the CD, although the cover might be wrong, as they are all credited to playing on track two, which clearly isn't the case, hearing Jan' Frysian poetry here, but perhaps the cover should have read not track 2 but session 2? Almost chamber music like, reminding the listener to play some older records of the Obscure label again. Partly improvised by some of the players, while the real instruments - piano mainly, violin partly - keep it together as an almost classical piece music of music. Maybe the third session could have been edited down a bit, as it meanders a bit too much, but it certainly has that great afternoon live feel to it. An excellent work throughout. It would be great to see more of these sessions of (un-)expected collaborations. (FdW) Address:


SCOTT R.LOONEY & KLAUS JANEK - 1510 (CD by Edgetone)
Five new releases by Edgetone that have in common that improvisation is the main ingredient.
McDonas presents his second solo album for Edgetone. He offers three solo piano pieces recorded at different occasions in 2009 and 2010. The first and most lengthy one accompanied some short films of Martha Colburn ('Triumph of the Wild', 2009). 'For all those who have gone before' starts very quiet and peaceful. Gradually the piece becomes more dynamic and very captivating. The closing piece 'For all those yet to come' teases you with dissonant clusters and ends with a remarkable finale. This release shows McDonas from a serious side. In all its dazzling movements this is heavy music. Like the title of the cd suggests McDonas is always reaching for something that transcends the maximum of this possibilities. And as always, in the playing of McDonas you can feel the streaming of blood and life. But life is not always easy.
The Rejuvenation Trio is Hasan Abdur-Razzaq (alto sax, saxello, tarogato, bamboo flures, cello, tongue drum, bells), Ryan Jewell (drums, vocals, special effects) and Tom Abbs (bass, cello, effects), joined by Jenna Barviski (violin) as a guest. Formed in 2007 they present now their first effort. The most traditional record if you ask me from these five releases. They play there thing very rough. Jewell is a fantastic drummer with a prolific style. Their improvisations turn out as continuous heavy streams of jazz-oriented improvisations. Fine interplay between sax and drums. Some of the improvisations fail to make any impression on me, but others really touch upon something. 'Strings and Things Suite' by far the most extended improvisation on this record, opens with a nice duet of violin and bass.
T.D.Skatchi & Company is a collaboration between Tom Nunn and David Michalak, both playing the so-called skatchbox. A newly invented electronic instrument. No idea how this instrument looks like and how it functions. But from what I hear I think there are similarities with the electronic means developed by Waisvisz. For each of the 15 tracks they interact with one other player. Along the guests are Kyle Bruckmann, Gino Robair, Bob Marsh and many others. Results are very weird: absurd soundpoetry in one piece. Dadaistic and full of humor in another.
In 2009 Looney and Janek decided for a duo project that came about in studio 1510 in Oakland. Looney plays prepared piano and electronics. Janek double bass and electronics. Their experimental improvisations are worked out in nine examples. All of them somewhere  between free improvised music and electro acoustic music. They create interesting and engaging textures sometimes mixed with melodic and harmonic elements. At other moments pure sound improvisation. They had for sure a good time and I also in listening to these focused excursions.
I felt immediately absorbed listening to 'Vanishing to the point', the opening track of the new Emergency String (X)tet release. Instantly I was thrown into a beautiful musical adventure. Alas I lost this feeling at other moments during this trip. But there are few albums of improvised music that satisfy me from beginning to the end. The instrumentation is as follows: violins are played by Adria Ott, Angela Hsu and Jonathan Segel. Bob Marsh and Doug Carroll play cello. Kanoko Nishi bass koto and Tony Dryer plays contrabass. Guest Rent Romus plays alto and soprano sax. He did his best in and adapting to an environment dominated by strings. Maybe I'm completely wrong, but from what Romus contributes in '6th Street' and 'Dark Shadows', I think he is a player who normally stays more close to the jazz-idiom, where as this ensemble moves into free improvised territories, leaving behind all conventions. As the work of McDonas this is very passionate music. (Dolf Mulder)


AURAL BOWELS (CD by Latarina Do Chifrudo)
Aural Bowels is a compilation of musicians who performed during the "MatanÁas Festival" in Porto. This is ritual, occult music from the depths of this city. This compilation shows a large variety of experimental music and it is a showcase for the musical scene from Porto. The CD is a coproduction between Latarina Do Chifrudo, Soopa and Let's Go To War. The CD contains tracks from Satan?s Zombies Paranoid, Besta Bode, New Traditional Fang Music, Pvppa, Caverna, Brutos da Natureza, Filigranas Negras, Tendagruta and Sparagmos. The CD starts with a bombastic church-organ piece by Satan?s Zombies Paranoid. It reminds me to the Sundays when I was a child. Two times a day we went to church and meanwhile my parents play organ music of J.S. Bach. And this composition is stronger and powerful, there is no way back? Just listen ! New Traditional Fang Music From Porto discovered the music of the ancient Fang culture. The track at the CD is recorded in 1954 and now remastered. The music has a high ritual sphere and has a nice balance between rhythmical rituals and high tones of bowls. Fang is an ethnic minority from Gabon, and used to be one of the African tribes known for the practice of cannibalism. The music, played with a variety of unusual instruments (glasses, balloons, saws, marbles, boxes), is the soundtrack for these long lost rituals. Most of the other tracks are like the music of Coil and Psychic T.V. in their early years. Not as a copy, but with the same sinister beats, electronics, loops and voices. Just one track I what I do not understand, Besta Bode is inspired by Black Sabbath and of course, lot's of metalbands are into death, rituals etcetera. Their music is like an experimental metal band, but for me it doesn't fit on these great aural bowels.
Two White Monsters Around A Round Table is a duo from Porto and consists of Joao Filipe on drums and Henrique Fernandes on electric double bass. The music is raw, jazzy, punky and very powerful. Just four track fill the CD-R and that is a pity, because this introduction to this wild experimental duo tastes for more. The diversity between nice beats with ongoing bass-riffs and improvisation trips flow into each other. The lay-out of the CD-R is like the music, if you push the play-button the music will come as a bomb-attack, short and effective and the only thing is to listen and experience it. Two great release of this label from Porto. (Jan-Kees Helms)


JORG - LOMEK 017 (LP by Lomechanik)
TERUGKLAP - GISTER (LP by Lomechanik)
Two weeks ago I about a compilation CD with new techno (etc.) talent from the part of this beautiful country I live in, and now its time for some more local techno (etc.) talent who gather around a label called Lomechanik. Basically a whole bunch of musicians who organize concerts and their own releases. Of these three new ones, I believe Jorg is one of the main men behind the collective. For his 12", Jorg goes through a whole bunch of old vinyl and samples whatever he likes and builds new hybrids of electronic music with those. I may have expected some techno like music, but Jorg's music is actually not like that at all. The press text raves about all sorts of dance music (IDM, trip hop, glitch, hip hop, dark ambient, techno and plunderphonics), and for once I might agree. There is indeed a bit of all of that in this music, but never together and never disturbing the album as a whole thing. There are specific styles that prevail here, such as ambient and plunderphonics, with rhythms being applied quite sparsely throughout the music on the first side, but on the second side come more to the foreground. Here the good ambient house thing comes to my mind again - The Orb with their techno rhythms and many plundered voice samples. Melodic, spacious, rhythmic (yet not always aiming at the dancefloor, or perhaps hardly): an excellent record altogether. And the blue vinyl sounds for one good too.
Terugklap also presents his first record. I never heard of him. Now, this is more like the kind of music I would expect on Lomechanik: dirty, grainy beats, created from/with glitchy beat material, with bouncing synths and occasional vocoder thrown in for robotic effect. Seven tracks (so a LP, rather than as 12" I figured) of music that may also not always be straight forward digestible on dance floors around the globe. The material has too many angles to be mixed in a steady flow of continuos dance drive, which makes it actually for me is more nicer. The comedy bit he could have left out, as far as I'm concerned.
Jelle Haagsma is behind Jellyphant. He studies music and technology and plays piano, guitar and electronics. His 'A Room Full Of Time' is a story, literally, in seven chapters - short ones, it fits on the enclosed paper - and he's also reading it, in between the musical bits. Now that for me wasn't necessary. From these three new releases on Lomechanik, this is the one that is furthest away from anything to do with electronic beats banging in 4/4 time signatures to get your feet moving. When there is rhythm, its slow and carrying the melodic piano and gentle guitar waves around. Unlike that darkjazz ensemble reviewed elsewhere, I think Jellyphant plays more the film noir soundtrack than they do, or perhaps its the alternative Twin Peaks soundtrack. Simple, sparsely orchestrated tunes for a few instruments. Singing is done in 'These Are Headaches', but I could do without. So apart from that and the talking, a pretty fine release of moody stuff. (FdW) Address:

A rock pop album of 8 tracks, despite what you may read elsewhere, dominated by a drum beat and cymbals, four four on the floor, metal guitar riffs and crescendos an attempt- only that, worthwhile of any Kerrang reader. Eight tracks of what could be just another rock and roll jam session, but angst free, the blurb says you could dance to this, and you could, even hoedown to it, slapping thighs, but tastefully, nothing to do with noise, more to do with a good session in the pub after football, Chas and Dave rather than Gilbert and George… Of course the whole thing could be a post-modern ironic gesture - 'Gertcha'!!!! (jliat) Address:


An interesting disc as it shows a drift, evolution, devolution in free Jazz towards noise, though this would be a mistake, mistakes of appearance in nature also can fool the evolutionist. Tiger Hatchery is unmistakable free jazz in the tradition and recognition that makes it hard to say why the term "free" can now be applied, as its anything but free, as specific as a Big Mac rather than a Whopper… though I suspect the term is one of difference from what was once a more tight musicology, in pushing freedom we can arrive at something which sounds like noise, Wasteland Jazz Unit's drums and reeds have almost but not quite disappeared into a miasma of sound. I say sound and not noise, just as a triceratops is no relation to a rhinoceros or a whale shark is far removed from a whale, though appearance and diet might hide the biological fact, noise is not a release from the constraints of music, even though it is free of them, its freedom is not an evolutionary step but a radical alternative… Still enjoyable listening is to be had here, but its music and musicians, all the way down, or rather still pretending that horizons can be traversed… cutting edge… etc. High Modernism at its best. (jliat) Address:


So far the Dutch Etherkreet label seemed to be releasing music from a close circle of friends, like Bas van Huizen and Ezra Jacobs, solo and sometimes together, here they expand to a foreign release. Stig Inge Oy may sound like someone from, let's say, Norway, but its the name chosen by Maciej Miskiewicz. There is besides artist name and title of the release, absolutely no information on the cover of this release (not even the label name), but on the label's website we read that the music was created using 'prepared' vinyl records and three turntables, which are used to generate sound material which Miskiewicz then uses in his music. Occasionally we hear indeed the rotations of the vinyl, but by and large loom also the electronics which are in place to transform the material. They add a vague industrial notion to this otherwise drone like affair. There are of course traces, otherwise, from people like Philip Jeck to be spotted here. The 'old', nostalgic sound of an ancient melody leaking in, among the glitch and crack of rusty vinyl. Sometimes a bit louder, such as at the opening sounds of the fifth track, which makes it altogether quite a varied disc of music. Perhaps not the most original disc in the world, but certainly executed with great care and style. (FdW)


Nico Selen, front man of ORDUC and a plethora of other bands, is getting quite busy. He's now planning to take his music on the road - good for him, I'd say, as that's where you get to make the new crowd these days - and he choose his NoNotes project to do that. I can see why: in NoNotes he plays with sounds and textures, rather than fixed pieces of music. Yet he feels its necessary to rehearse his music and that's what we find on this highly limited release (13 copies, mind you - might be a good item to sell on the road too). The music harks back to a soundtrack Selen made in 1980, and which was partly used for an exhibition of Andries D. Eker (of De Fabriek fame) in 1982. Maybe the schematics of the Korg MS-10 were kept all those years and could be repeated. I have no idea if its Selen's intention to play all of this live, because that seems all a bit long to me. There is a difference between listening at home to music and in a concert situation. In 'Train Of Thought - Consideration', Selen adds guitar like sounds to the synthesizer, but somehow its not an easy marriage - something to re-think before playing live. The core piece - thirty eight minutes - is 'Train Of Thought - Decision', which might be the sort of thing to be played live. Heavily on the MS-10 with train like sounds, oscillations, LFO's and all such like, I think a proper concert length should be more around the twenty-five mark, in order to maintain interest throughout. These start-up procedures are nice, certainly if, like me, you know a lot of the other music by Selen. I don't think its necessary to release every rehearsal though - the next one should be the real concert registration. (FdW)


Behind Cliff Bastard we find one Lee Husher, of is a member of The Mylar Blackout and Nepalese Temple Ball, both of which I never heard. Dead Sea Liner says that the music is in "isolationist mode", which I very much welcome, the term that is. I have no idea what the exact sound sources are of Lee, but they are heavily treated with an extended use of reverb. It reminds the label "of Thomas Koner's better moments but gnarlier and with more meat on the bones", but that's not something I necessarily agree with. Koner's music is far more subtle then the orchestrated nightmares of Cliff Bastard, which sound like a post nuclear attack soundtrack, but then of course the whole issue of Isolationist music was never the beauty of ambient, but the darker side of beauty. As Cliff Bastard succeeds well, I think. Maybe that last long piece is a bit superfluous.
First time around when I played the collaboration between Rune Martinsen, also known as Abhorrent Beauty and Jan-M Iversen (he of Bjerga/Iversen and of the Tibprod label), I played it relatively soft. My mistake I guess. The sound (four pieces in total) seemed very far away, almost in an early Lopezian mood. When I turned up the volume really, more was revealed to me. A likewise Isolationist approach, but in some pieces the bass is kinda distorted, which takes some of the elegancy away from whatever else is happening here. I suspect this is all a bunch of field recordings being heavily processed. The best piece here is the closing piece 'Stalking', which has a gentle flow over it, slowly moving and seemingly with small melodies lurking underneath. At some twenty-some minutes this track by itself would have made a fine release I think. The other three pieces were alright, but perhaps a bit too far away when played softly and too bass-end when I turned up the volume.
Phanton Heron Seas is the solo project of Alan Upton, the boss of the label. He has had a few previous releases and here presents a two part composition, which he describes as 'phase shifting mandolin pulses and and speaker cone manipulations from the resonant bird'. Now I didn't hear a mandolin too easily here, but of course that doesn't necessarily be the case. It continues his previous interest in applying computer based methods to layer single instrumental sounds into a vast pattern of multi-layered sound events, which can sometimes be tagged as 'drone' music. Phanton Heron Seas does that from a more digitally perspective. In 'Part 1' it sounds like stones being rubbed against eachother, while in the second part this is all more like very light spark particles spring off the sun. Both parts have an extended gentle backdrop drone setting. Two utter lovely pieces of sheer, light minimalism. (FdW)


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