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Vital Weekly 784

img  Tobias Fischer

A month ago we discussed the latest and finest Fovea Hex album, and we noted that one Michael Begg has an important role, but yet who is he? He is also the man behind Human Greed, of whom we reviewed 'Black Hill: Midnight At The Blighted Star' back in Vital Weekly 654. A duo of Begg and Deryk Thomas and a collaborator with Colin Potter on 'Fragile Pitches' (Vital Weekly 733). There are various musicians who lend a hand, such as Julia Kent (Anthony & The Johnsons) on cello and Jean Marie Mathoul (48 Cameras) on singing bowls. If you like Fovea Hex and the various remix CDs that came with releases so far, then Human Greed might very well your cup of tea. Its lesser based on singing than Fovea Hex, and more in ambient textures, but it comes with a wide addition of acoustic instruments, wether or not electronically treated. Besides the cello of Kent, there is also violin, piano, dulcimer, autoharp, guitars, glass and gamelan. That's one side, the other is represented by electronics, synthesizers, field recordings and processings. This is excellent mood music, highly atmospheric, in minor keys with lots of melancholy throughout. A rich release full of hidden drama. Excellent. (FdW) Address:


For about a week or so I am caught in some manual labor: cutting bits of paper, folding, glueing: exactly the kind of work I like when working on reviews. I can concentrate a lot, and every now and then I can take a rest and ponder about the review. I never heard of Dakota Suite and I must say the press text is a bit odd. It talks about a 'band' led by one Chris Hooson and 'completed by David Buxton and previously also Richard Formby'; but also that all compositions here are 'performed by David Buxton with a perfectly sparse instrumentation'. And oh, its jazz. Maybe that helps not understanding this. Relaxing music on piano, uptight bass and drums plus a bit of electronics, which makes this walking a fine line between acoustic and electronic. Not my cup of tea at all, but I must admit that I actually, secretly quite enjoyed this. Maybe, I don't know, because I was caught up in doing my 'other' work, that these nice mellow tunes worked so nicely; I didn't realize it was that jazzy until I played it again and then decided to enjoy it full stop. Summer's music on summer's day. (FdW)


Sven Kacirek (1975) lives since  2001 as a freelance musician and composer in Hamburg. He studied drums and marimba at the conservatory in Arnhem, at the Musikhochschule in Hamburg and at the Drummers Collective in New York City. Besides his cooperation with musicians and bands like Hauschka, F.S. Blumm, Jan Dvorak, Jan Plewka, Martin Bisi, Alexander Schubert and Uwe Haas, Sven has composed and performed music for modern dance theatre pieces and contemporary ballet. He worked with choreographers and composed the soundtrack of the movie "Five Ways to Dario" by Dario Aguirre.  In 2005-2006 he recorded his first solo-album "The Palmin Sessions". Early 2009 Kacirek made a trip to Kenya. In the eastern and in the western regions of this country he worked with traditional singers and musicians. The live recordings and field recordings served as material for the album that he created back home in the studio. With his studio and electronica skills, combined with his percussion playing, he constructed charming and convincing songs and impressions. The results are 15 miniatures painted around the varied characteristics of the originally recorded music in Kenya. In most pieces vocals and melody are in the centre. As said Kacirek took his recordings into the studio for further treatment. But in these treatments he walks the other way around. His respectful additions, etc.  are placed in the context  of the original recordings. Because of this the tracks sounds as if everything is played and recorded on location, resulting in a constructed world music that is equally accessible for african as western listeners. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


United Scum Soundclash is the name Portuguese producer Jonathan Saldanha and American producer Scott Nydegger use for their project. 'Machine Gun' is their second work. The sound of machine guns occur immediately in the first track that makes use of the recording of a US military operation.  For this project 15 musicians were invited. They recorded sessions separated in time and place. These recordings delivered  the ingredients for the sonic construction work that was done afterwards by Saldanha and Nydegger. The music  is very cinematic, producing pictures and dramatic situations in your head. Saldanha already proved in earlier work that he knows how to evoke a psychedelic  trip, intermingling rock, dub, jazz, electronics, field recordings into one extended  and organic musical work. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


SISSY SPACEK - DASH (LP by Gilgongo Records)
As you know - John Wiese, Corydon Ronnau - here with Lasse Marhaug and Will Stangeland. "41 tracks of scathing sound"!!! Pubs (public houses) in England once sold beer, and that was about it, now they sell mostly food, some gastro pubs at exorbitant prices, fine wine and imported Lagers.. the second rate will if you order a sandwich give you a plate of iceberg lettuce and other salads, a pile of crisps (US chips) and somewhere on brown bread made with gravel and dirt a thin slice of ham encased in Mayo. So I was once in a Pub which boasted a Michelin Star, and ordered a sandwich, what and how, I wanted Beef on White bread. What did I get, Beef (very nice beef) on white (very good) bread. Moral, it takes a lot to spoil things, its why the Rolling Stones are simply the  best Rock and Roll Band, Mick is a Michelin league pop star- keeps it simple, and of course the same applies everywhere. Keep it simple stupid... this is a very complex way of saying Dash is excellent pure noise music.  If you don't believe me there is "an audio sample here: Hear what I mean? Michelin grade noise.! (jliat) Address:


From the world of dust and dirt, the basement of
music history… perhaps… we find Nostalgie Eternelle, a duo of Stefan Heinze and Dieter Mauson. In the second half of the 80s they were active in the world of cassettes. The small photo on the insert shows a whole bunch of them, presumably compilations in which they took part. Labelboss Eriek van Havere, himself around from the same years, hand picked four pieces from four compilation cassettes by this band. 'Minimal synth' is to some a word of magic, and I might be one (more from the 'hearing' department, then investing in obscure vinyl from those years). I do remember them pretty well, and quite enjoyed their bleepy rhythm machines, synthesizers, bass, cheap sampler and a voice that is not the best around. That last aspect belongs to 'minimal synth': a dark voice, not always in tune, angst ridden lyrics. I think Nostalgie Eternelle are/were at their best when they keep their tunes with voice, such as here in 'Too Late To Be Sad' and 'Just Darkness', although the other two pieces are almost as nice. Synthi-pop with dark edge. I have no idea where they stand in the picking order of forgotten bands but judging by these four tracks, I think someone should do a LP by them. I am sure they have plenty of good stuff in the vaults. (FdW) Address:


CONSTANTLIGHT - OBSERVATIONS/1 (CDR by Second Language Records)
On one release they are called Constant Light and the other, a bit older (from january this year), its Constantlight. Constant Light, I agree, sounds better. A duo simply announced as 'S' and 'J', with a ton of equipment, all listed on the cover of the CDR. Mouth watering for gear freaks I suppose. All of this equipment stems from the world of synthesizers and other things with keys, such as a Estey pump organ, Farfisa Bravo and Super Bravo. There is also a guitar. On both releases they have guest musicians, although on 'Mag-Amplititude' it is said what it is: live drumming. The music they play is largely based on cosmos - not in the new age sense of the word, but in the cosmic sense of the word. Lots of arpeggio's from their keyboards, bouncing, jumping around, small melodies and that always ticking rhythm - the motor of krautrock. But Constant Light is a bit more than just another cosmic band. On 'Mag-Amplititude' we find also traces of electro-pop - even when it all stays instrumental - and very occasionally a bit of noise. Those are however small excursions, as the main road leads them to the sky, to the cosmos, and to the sequencer driven motoriks. Think Neu meets Cluster. Of the two releases, I preferred the more recent one, 'Mag-Amplititude', for its variation and throughout what seemed to me a better production. On 'Observations/1' things aren't always as worked out, but the experiment prevails. Its where Constant Light is in search of a specific style, whereas on 'Mag-Amplititude' they seemed to have found it. Very nice. (FdW) Address:


Andrew Walker worked two months abroad on a ship in the cold South Atlantic Ocean. He spent every spare moment of work to create music in his little cabin. He worked with the pre-recorded voice of Crispin Lee. His voice was already great mixed at the album Closedown (Vital Weekly 775) with drony sound layers. For now Andrew Walker mixes the voice with less abstract music. Every track has it?s own rhythm and beats which supported by dark tones and basic melodies. The music is dark, ongoing, melancholic and atmospheric. The minimal melodies take care for open moments in the compressed mood. The music refers to Electronic Body Music, like Front 242, but less industrial and aggressive. The strength of Paranoid Foundation is that they know how to create an strong atmosphere in a short moment. The albums have a straight idea and they work it out in the time they needed it and no minute longer. Great album! (Jan-Kees Helms) Address:


A new release from the productive Canadian Vincent Bergerond. In five works, carrying titles as  'Werner Herzog's Wife',  and 'Etre un Oiseau en Novembre'  Bergerond demonstrates once more his unique art.  Using recordings of classical music mostly, Bergerond gives this material a new life in his typical, elastic compositions.  His collaborators this time are Marco Oppedisano ( electronic guitars on 'Le gouffre, l'horreur et puis plus rien d'invisible') and Charles BarabÈ (drone guitars on 'Temple Grandin's Cuddle Machine').  What is new on this release is that he uses up to 20 instruments in each composition. As usual Bergerond  takes most instruments from classical music. Because of this one immediately 'identifies' his music as some sort of neo-classical music. But in the end I tend to classify it as a new branch within the world of tape music, to use an outdated word. I guess, although he uses modern technical procedures, the pieces are composed in fact along more traditional lines. Repetition for instance is one the main principles Bergerond makes use of.  Also there is a unique drive and speed in al his compositions. On first hearing one may become seasick from his unheard music and collages. But fore sure, gradually you will find points of reference and experience stability. After listening to several of his releases in the last few years  his chained samples  also begin to reveal  compositional limitations. But above all, this new release is again essential listening for those who are very keen on the new and unheard. (Dolf Mulder) Address:


We find two works by Kuntz on this new release. The title piece 'Sonic Flares' is for solo saxophone, recorded in 1998.  During the 20 minutes of this solo Kuntz kept my full attention. I experienced emotional depth, humor, expressive and communicative playing.  Great piece from a very advanced player! The other track on this CDR is '6 Track Angels', is of another nature. It is a fascinating piece that came about by multi tracking. It has Kuntz playing on a wide range of eastern  instruments. Originally recorded in 1995, Kuntz re-mastered it in 2007 and now it is here on cdr. Concerning the instrumentation let me quote Kuntz. The piece "includes instruments from two types of Balinese and two types of Javanese orchestras, each one wit hits own scale and idiosyncratic tuning… To the four Indonesian instruments, I added Chinese musette, drums and percussion - played with sonic and formal allusions to Thai classical music." The music makes the impression of a swirling complexity. Seemingly individual sounds swirl down into your ears. As if they happen to make up a harmonic whole by accident. In the background we hear Kuntz improvising on some wind instrument. Improvised and multilayered music in Eastern tonalities. Another intriguing piece! (Dolf Mulder) Address:


23 SECONDS OV TIME (VOLUME 2) (2CDR by Autonomous Individuals Network)
In Vital Weekly 761 I reviewed the first part of this, which now expanded into a two CDR set. I wrote before: "The (thee?) invited a bunch of people to supply music that would last 23 seconds long, which was then mixed into a collage of thirty seven minutes, a 23 second track of all the sounds at the same time, and the rest of the disc has 97 individual samples. A nice playground for adventurous DJs no doubt, or simply to be used as intersections in your radio show. The thirty-seven minute collage seems to be a mere playing of all the pieces in one row and without much overlaying of sounds, which is a pity. Or perhaps I just have different expectations when I hear the word 'collage'? A pretty long of guests, of which GX Jupitter-Larsen seems to me the most known one. Perhaps the digital equivalent of a locked groove record?" Now we have no less than 118 23 second submissions, placed in order of arrival and mixes of these pieces, along with one CDR 'all at once' mix and a mix in reversed order. I played all of this, and there are way too many names to mention here, but I must say I quite enjoyed this. It had a radioprogram like quality to it, a station that plays all sorts of weird alternative music, noise, electronics, spoken word and all such like move by in great speed, but it makes there its very entertaining. And once again a great tool for daring DJs. (FdW) Address:


VELAS_REC CONCERT SERIES 2010 (CDR by Cmafu Records)
The idea behind this release is quite complex, so I have to rely on the information of the website, or else I will say something wrong: "'zero and one' is a binary, mathematically defined composition for x musicians (in this case for four musicians). It iterates through all possible duo-parts and solos, starting and ending with everyone playing. The performers are placed in between the audience, not on a stage. There is no p.a. system, but every musician is a selective soundsource. Each musician uses a light which is placed beside him/her, that is turned on only when he/she is playing. These are the only lightsources within the concert room. this way, the partitur is also made visible in form of a constantly changing light-pattern. The concert starts and ends in total silence and darkness." If I understand right this sort of thing has been performed with various quartets, which are (more copy -> paste): Tamara Wilhelm, Steffi Neuhuber, Ye Hui, Gabi Teufner, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Burkhard Stangl, David Schweighart, Matija Schellander, Katharina Klement, Wolfgang Fuchs, Rossi, Dieb 13, Philip Leitner, Klaus Filip, Veronika Mayer, and Noid. Looking at the cover is solving a small puzzle, as to find out who does what. The second piece has only the first player from group A, which is Tamara Wilhelm, who also plays in the seventh piece, along with the third person from the group which Ye Hui. Maybe its all of lesser importance as to who did what here? That might very well be the case. Throughout this is a matter of careful playing, solo, duo, trio and quartet. As such its not easy (once again!) to find out who is doing what here, perhaps also since no instruments are mentioned and there is a curious continuity on this compilation, almost like it is taped in real time. Many of the players treat their instruments as objects, add a bit of electronics and spice with silence. Very elegant playing of improvised music. (FdW) Address:

PATAPHOR - THIS IS FOR SLEEPING (cassette by Ydlmier Records)
"I hope the project continues" wrote Jliat back in Vital Weekly about Pataphor's first release. Since then two more tapes have been released, of which one is 'This Is For Sleeping'. Shannon Smith, who is behind Pataphor, learned the guitar from Roger Miller of Mission Of Burma and that's something I couldn't have told you from listening to the music. Two pieces, each around fifteen or so minutes, sound like synth pieces. Very minimal, with bubbling oscillations on one side and more stretched out, but likewise minimal synthesizer sounds. Although of course this might all very well be guitars. Spacious, but then in a pretty raw state, but never in a through noise way. I had this tape on repeat for a couple of hours - too lazy to move about I guess - which means I didn't have enough for a while. I agree with Jliat and hope it continues. (FdW)


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