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Vital Weekly 787

img  Tobias Fischer

ANEMONE TUBE - DEATH OVER CHINA (CD by Topheth Prophet)
Anomene Tube is a noise-project formed in the Southern part of Germany in 1996. Strong influences to the compositional approach of the project is the nihilistic rhetoric works of Michael Haneke, Hayoao Miayazaki and H.P. Lovecraft combined with buddhist psychology and concrete sounds from the real world. All tracks of this album titled "Death over China", are exclusively developed from the use of field recordings. The piece "I shall forever invoke" is the only piece where there are integrations of synthesizer. For this particular piece the synthesizers adds a nice atmospheric soundscape on the background of field recordings. The piece "Prayer walk" is an abrasive beast where the noise drones makes a pure impact on the listener. Screeching noise drills into the ears with additions of distant voices adding a great apocalyptic atmosphere to the piece. Also the piece titled "Brooding haze" drills a deep impression into the listener thanks to the monotonous high frequency noise-sounds operating on top of crushing power electronics and concrete metal sounds. "Death over China" is a part of the so-called "Suicide Series" - a series that aims to express the self-destructive tendency by the modern population due to the social and highly industrialized global development. The album comes in a beautiful art-work in dvd-sized format with early photographs and paintings from early 20th century. Excellent work of noise art. (Niels Mark) Address: http://www.topheth.com


PROYECTO MIRAGE - SLAVES OF CAPITAL (CD by Ant-Zen)
THIS MORN' OMINA - L'UNIFICATION DES FORCES OPPOSANTES (2CD by Ant-Zen)
Spanish duo Proyecto Mirage has become a legend in the harsher territories of the technoid industrial scene. Since 1999 the band has released albums, characterized by up-tempo rhythm textures and explosive techno-indsutrial. Present album, being the 8th call from the project is no exception. After a three years break the duo has now come up with the album titled "Slaves of capital". Stylish we find ourselves within an explosive turbine consisting of power noise, technoid industrial and EBM-expressions that will make even the laziest listener want to move. Dominant part of the Proyecto Mirage-universe is the manifesting vocals of Alicia H. Willen. Very nice! Another energy bomb from the technoid industrial scene is Belgium project This Morn Omina. Since the opening album "7 years of famine" in 2003, Mika Goedrijk has released a number of albums under the flag of This Morn' Omina. Stylishly the project takes its starting point in upbeat industrial textures with strong elements of techno and ambient with touches of trance. Latest album carrying the title "L¥unification des forces opposantes" is a double disc-set. On the front of the cover you find the tagline "This is ritual musik" and this is what you get! The music is repetitive in its nature giving room for hypnotic moments. This time Mika Goedrijk allies with sound explorer Karolus Lerocq to take the listener into a long powertrip of technoid industrial. Excellent (Niels Mark)
Address: http://www.ant-zen.com

 

ILLUSION OF SAFETY - FIN DE SIECLE (CD by Korm Plastics)
PSEUDO CODE - HUMAN FLESH (CD by Korm Plastics)
Behind the legendary project Illusion Of Safety, you find the two sound artists, Daniel Burke and Kurt Griesch. The two main pieces of present album "Fin de siecle", was created for an American tour back in 1995. Due to the time-limit of the vinyl-media which was the original release format, the pieces were cut and revised to fit the time-span of the vinyl. Now sixteen years later, the two pieces have returned from the historical archives to be presented on this re-issue on Dutch label Korm Plastics. The twosome has for this particular occasion composed two smaller pieces - an epilogue and prologue for the original album. After the abrasive "Epilogue"-piece, we move into first piece of the original "Fin de siecle"-release, simply titled "Part one". A 22-minutes running piece of ambient tranquility built on repetitive sound-drones until the closing moment where the piece culminates in a harsh grande finale. Second piece of the original vinyl is a lengthy work combining field recordings and trippy sound drones - a subtle piece of an almost inaudible character. Stepping to the last piece of the album, the "Prologue"-track is another recent created work for this re-issue. As was the case with the epilogue, this is a piece of a more upfront nature with long-stretched monotonous tone that because of its repetitive nature create a nice hypnotic atmosphere stretched over the 22 minutes run-time.
Next album is new issue of an earlier work. This time we take the trip to Belgium to find another collaboration this time between the two artists Guy De Bievre and Alain Neffe who operated under the project name Pseudo Code back in the early 80's. Present album titled "Human flesh" was recorded on September 11th in 1982. The album consists of one lengthy piece running 43 minutes. Instruments utilized for the piece titled "Playing with another guy" is a long line of acoustic instruments plus early electronic equipment counting rhythm box, ring oscillators and synthesizers. Another important part of the album is the spoken word penetrating and disappearing occasionally over the run-time. Stylishly "Human flesh" sounds like something in-between early krautrock (Faust, NEU!) and electro-punk (Suicide, This Heat, Legendary Pink Dots). A very interesting album that definitely belongs to the category of adventurous music. (Niels Mark) Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl

 

CHICO MELLO & NICHOLAS BUSSMANN - TELEBOSSA (CD by Staubgold)
A very untypical release we have here. Brazilian moods combined with European chamber music. Two very different musical are into dialogue here, which is in itself a interesting and worth trying thing. One of the participants is Brazilian musician Chico Mello, who lives in Berlin since the 80s, being interested in crossing borders between music from Latin America and Europe. This release is another example of this focus. Chico sings in a style that is unmistakably rooted in Brazilian music and met to be more precise in samba and bossa novas. Singing in a very fluent, smooth and emotional style. Nicholas Buschmann plays cello, some electronics, glasses and drums. He is a musician and composer from Berlin. He started as a celloplayer, and studied new possibilities that are offered by electronics and computer. Both are present on the is mini-cd. Mello and Buschmann are assisted by Werner Dafeldecker (double bass) on the closing piece 'Amoroso' and Hanno Leichtmann who adds some percussion in two tracks. They combine the evident Brazilian latin melodies with a stripped down instrumentation, relying on minimalistic chamber music and electronics. They interpret traditional Brazilian songs, plus songs composed by themselves that are also in brazilian style. The songs are soberly arranged and orchestrated. The combination of both bring forth contrasts of mixed nature. Sometimes vocals and instrumentation are going well together, but at other moments it sounds a bit like a forced marriage, like in the opening track. Throughout however Mello and Buschmann give an intense and inspired performance of their hybrid and intimate music in seven songs. (Dolf Mulder)
Address: http://www.staubgold.com

 

RAFAEL TORAL - SPACE ELEMENTS VOL.III (CD by Staubgold)
The third episode in the 'Space Elements ' series of Portuguese musician Rafael Toral. "The Space Program is a long-term project launched in 2004, for performing music  with a post-free jazz mind-set but using strange sounds from electronics instruments', Toral explains in the liner notes. For each episode Toral invites new musicians. This time the crew consists of Afonso Simoes (drums), Riccardo Dillon Wanke (rhodes piano), CÈsar Burago (maracas, tamborim, shakers, cowbell  claves, kokiriko), Tatsuya Nakatani (percussion), Victor Gama (acrux), Marco Franco(drums),Toshio Kajiwara (lap steel guitar). All of them play on just a few tracks, in duo, trio and quartet format. Rafael Toral  (electrode oscillator, modified MS-2 pocket amplifier feedback, glove-controlled computer bass sinewaves,  filtered feedback circuit, modified MT-10 portable amplifier, modulated noise, modular synthesizer, tamtam) plays of course in every track. What wondered me in earlier releases of his happens here again. Toral combines ingredients from jazz, presented by the guest musicians, with his disciplined playing and use of electronics. Each track has a very transparent outlook, even the finest and most detailed sounds and movements are not to be missed. The music is of a static nature, and deprived of the swing and drive we know from jazz.  As ever the music is intelligently composed and performed very disciplined. This makes it work! (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://www.staubgold.com

 

HARLEY GABER - IN MEMORIAM 2010 (CD by Innova)
PHILLIP SCHROEDER - PASSAGE THROUGH A DREAM (CD by Innova)
After a hiatus of many years Harley Gaber recently returned to the world of music, after being active in the artworld since 1978. His 'I Saw My Mother Ascending Mount Fuji' was reviewed in Vital Weekly 737 and was received with mixed feelings. I liked some of the pieces but not the more modern classical pieces. Apparently 2010 was a 'tumultuous' year for Gaber which resulted in all new music. The 'in memoriam' refers to the mother of Dan Epstein of the Dan J. Epstein Family Foundation, who commissioned this work. All six pieces were constructed from samples from the works of people like Philip Blackburn, Kenneth Gaburo, Verdi, Beethoven, Werner Durand, Paul Paccione and Morton Feldman. I guess of this stretched out beyond recognition. Its six parts to one piece and not six separate pieces, as they flow into eachother. This is much more like something I really like. Drone like sounds, atmospheric and peaceful, perhaps even contemplative, fitting such themes as 'Cataclysm And Threnody', 'Threnody And Prayer', 'Coalescing' and '…With Completion'. Certainly not easy listening music by any standard, but perhaps more like a modern version of requiem, or a zen-like version of it. I have no idea what was 'tumultuous' about 2010, but it surely lead to some excellent music.
Also contemplative is the music of Philip Schroeder, of whom, I think, I never heard. He played trumpet and bass in jazz and rock bands, but also composes works for orchestras and ensembles, as well as being a concert pianist. When I read all the bio stuff and what this music was about, I thought it would be one of those modern classical music CDs which I am never particular fond of. But lo and behold, its not. It opens with the title piece and I go back to the first time I heard music by Harold Budd and Gavin Bryars: 'From Brussels With Love', a compilation cassette from 1980 and Schroeder's piece for clarinet with delay and multi-tracked four hand piano and digital delay, sounds very much like that. Introspective playing, with repeating chords; minimal and melodic, but not working like raga's or sustaining sounds. This continues in the following three pieces. Only in 'Sky Blue Dreams' we have a soprano voice, which adds a Gorecki's like singing, but perhaps not as sorrowful. All in all I was quite surprised by this. This is a CD that would have fitted perfectly on Cold Blue Music: a great west-coast minimal music sound: sweet and nice. Like summer sun. (FdW)
Address: http://www.innova.mu

 

PETER STAMPFEL & THE WORM ALL-STARS - A SURE SIGN OF SOMETHING (CD by Z6)
VRIL - FILMS (DVD by Z6)
Peter Stampfel is half of the legendary The Holy Model Rounders, a folkduo that started in 1963 (!). Over the years they specialized in a deranged form of folk, similar to what Chadbourne and others were up to. In 2007 Stampfel was on a Rotterdam where a film on the Rounders was presented. For the occasion Stampfel played with Purves, Hitz and Simonis as the Worm All-Stars. This worked out well and so Stampfel invited the three to New York for rehearsing and recording songs. This took place in 2008. Now 15 of these songs made it this new cd 'A Sure Sign of Something'. They choose old american folk and country songs, as well as old songs from the Rounders, completed by compositions by Simonis. Traditional material for the most, but played in an unconventional, low profile way and catching the right spirit. Stampfel is not a great singer and probably never was. Purves uses a lot found objects for percussive purposes.  Hitz plays cello, keyboards. Simonis guitars. Stampfel wrote liner notes on all songs and how the project came into being.
Vril is musically a more accomplished project by Bob Drake, Chris Cutler and Lukas Simonis. Originally Peter Omer was part of the gang, replaced later by Alan Jenkins. Similar to the cd of Peter Stampfel Vril connects to music from the past. Vril is in love with the genre of straight guitar rock instrumentals in the tradition of the Shadows, surf music and - much later - The Raybeats. With long pauses they release an album every now and then. 'Films', their newest, is like the title indicates a dvd. Each of the 17 tracks is accompanied with a specially made video by different filmmakers, including Chuck O Meara, Stella van Voorst van Beest, Daniel Zimmer, Pieter Jan Smit & Nino Purtskhvanidze, Marit Shalem & Lenno Verhoog, a.o. The tracks are composed by themselves. I didn't recognize any old tune anyway. Some of the tracks sound as if they come literally from the past without sounding nostalgic. In most tracks however unusual things happen without stepping to far out of the guitar instrumental format. Tight and tough playing. Both releases exemplify it is possible to update 'outdated' musical formats, without being nostalgic, retrospective. Not just for the sake of updating, but out of love for this Music. (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://www.z6records.nl

 

KNURL - REACTANCE (LP by Wintage records and Tapes)
Knurl = "Harsh Noise made from found objects and constructed metal sculptures" & "Knurl's objective is to take music and strip it entirely of what we know music to be: it's rhythm, melody, vocals, even production quality"… there- I've said this before BUT NOBODY BELIEVES ME!  Sorry its very hot, and that just gotta way from me… I'll take a shower.  Its as if …. Quoting myself" Its perfectly possible to listen to and enjoy the aesthetic sound of noise- though this is not new, one can and others have enjoyed noise- sounds of fireworks, thunderstorm, waterfall, sea breakers… Its perfectly possible to enjoy noise as an anti-music anti establishment - punk - nihilist rhetoric… but again that's not new or particular to noise or punk- i.e. rock and roll… BUT a third option - which doesn't exclude the previous two - is to see how its disengaged from the "perceptual" - and is engaging then "as the turn from "appearance" to "conception" Joseph Kosuth, from the era of taste to the era of meaning - Arthur Danto, from the specific to the generic (Thierry de Duve) …" But now slightly damp and much cooler - this is an excellent "performance" of more violent than harsh, but one suspects not in an overtly politico way? Five performances which if not moving towards the conceptual will be faced with the failure of (Clem Greenberg) "Formalist art (painting and sculpture) (is) the vanguard of decoration.." which Clem has since reneged on in favor of Fantin Latour- true! - in favour of vases of flowers or Mantovani I suppose. Moral, though this is excellent Harsh Noise, practitioners should be aware of such harshness like minimalism can become-" so minimal that for all functional purposes it is not art at all, but pure exercises in aesthetics" (jliat) Address: http://www.pantarheirecordings.com/

 

YEN POX - UNIVERSAL EMPTINESS (10" by Substantia Innominata)
Some ten issues ago I reviewed a CD by Blood Box, the solo project of Michael J.V. Hensley, who is a member of Yen Pox, and I wondered: do they still exist? It has been a while since I last heard Yen Pox, but they still exist: here is a brand new 10" with two pieces, 'Above' and 'Below'. Apparently with some problems to get it pressed, since the music of Yen Pox deals with much low end. Despite the alchemical titles ('as above so below', remember), I think this music is otherwise free anything remotely 'occult', 'magick', 'gothick', which sometimes sips in with this kind of music. Two pieces of utter dark ambient music, reverberating drones from the underworld. Hard to say what Yen Pox are doing though. Are these highly processed field recordings? Lots of analogue synthesizers? Digital ones? Just sound effects? Or, and that is perhaps the most likely thing, a combination of all of this. Slowly moving, hypnotic, trance like. Yen Pox sound like Troum here, and that, I think, is a big compliment. Very fine record indeed. Why is there so little Yen Pox out there? (FdW) Address: http://www.dronerecords.de

 

IDEA FIRE COMPANY - DAYS (7" by Plinkity Plonk/Swill Radio)
Karla Borecky and Scott Foust are members of Idea Fire Company from the U.S.A. The First Days on side A is played by the Borecky on piano and Foust on synthesizer. The repetitive melody on piano is as pure and simple as it can be. The repetition is luckily not straight and the listener can hear the nuances in the touch of the piano key. The synthesizer supports the piano melody in a subtile way. The piece of music has an intimate character which is calming me down. The other composition on side B called The Last Days has been played on Borecky on piano, Foust on tapes and voice, Graham Lambkin on tapes and voice and Matt Krefting on tapes. The composition has again the intimate character because of the piano playing, but it has more layers. Noise sound layers and fire-cracking come and go. It is like New Years Eve sitting in a dark room, everyone is hanging around and the party is somewhere else and they are waiting for nothing. Just touching the piano and play around. Great 7" and it is a pity that it is so short. (Jan-Kees Helms) Address: http://www.kormplastics.nl

 

KIRCHENKAMPF & PIXYBLINK - NEVERMORE AND NEVERTHELESS (CDR by Cohort Records)
John Gore's Kirchenkampf teams up with Pixyblink, of whom I never heard and whose website is just on facebook. Its one Kyra from California, and her side projects include Winter Umbrellas, AnotherAntidote, Cave Dwellers, Saint Francis Amongst The Mortals, Starblood plus she has a radioprogram. No mentioning of any instruments, but actually none for Kirchenkampf either. Seven quite long pieces of electronic sounds, or electronically altered sounds from field recordings. Quite lo-fi also, as the sound seems quite distant and far away, but surely that's a deliberate thing by whoever did the final mix. In 'Enfant Terrible' I was reminded of the old Arcane Device sound of howling feedback, which returned in some of the other pieces but not always as clear. Sometimes the music got stuck in some endlessly playing of sound effects and then the length of tracks worked against it. Here some more editing could have taken place. It left me with mixed feelings, this one. Some of it, like the aforementioned 'Enfant Terrible' sounded pretty good, but other such as 'Viva Voce' went on too long. But certainly half of it was quite nice indeed. (FdW) Address: http://cohortrecords.0catch.com/

 

ZONNEBRAND (CDR compilation by Lomechanik)
Following nearly two months of extremely good weather in this area, it rained last weekend. No big deal, except of course if you plan an evening with DJ's on the small beach near the river, and call the evening 'Zonnebrand' - sunburn. It was organized (and cancelled) by the local Lomechanik label. I got the announced and forgot all that played, but the souvenir is something that they can't take of you and one that comes in handy when the summer will return. Lomechanik means beat music, but local youth dabbling in techno, house, trip hop, electro, dub step or whatever tagline they came up now. Many of these have more than one track, and makes a very nice showcase of local talent in this direction. There is a bit of rap, but I skipped that. Strangest tune, and out of the tune with the rest, is acoustic sampled guitars of Frenkey's 'Pigeons Of Peace'. Otherwise all of these acts use rhythm in one way or another, fast, slow (Raadsel's 'Not From Earth' in a great Gas mood) and anything in between. The more weirdo bits are the end, which is a pity for me, but then I don't have to contemplate how to DJ with this kind of music. Not a very smooth compilation and that's one extra reason why I like this a lot. And its local, pluspoint two! (FdW) Address: http://www.lomechanik.com

 

LEONARDO ROSADO - OPAQUE GLITTER (CDR by FeedbackLoop Label)
A new name for me, Leonardo Rosado, whose album 'Opaque Glitter' was chosen by listeners from votes on the labels website. Ninety minutes cut down to forty, which made me wonder who decided that. There is no mentioning of instruments, but Rosado calls his music 'wordsoundscapes', which means exploring 'the collision between sound, poetry and everyday life by using automatic expressions'. So perhaps, I was thinking, is a lot of based on heavily treated vocals/voices/reciting of poetry? Swirling and captured in a mass of electronics and likewise heavily treated field recordings? Well, actually that last '?' could go: that is what I hear. Not too outspoken, this can be best seen as a version of ambient meets computer treatments, ambient glitch but then hardly without a glitch. Friendly drones, with the rattling of forks and knives at the restaurant in 'Amidst The Crowd A Love Story', and sometimes I think there is some treated guitars, such as in 'Dancing And Falling' and 'For A Moment There'. Although nothing on this disc wasn't heard before by others, and sometimes better, but it all sounds gentle and nice, with an occasional louder bit. Great music for a quiet afternoon. (FdW) Address: http://feedbacklooplabel.blogspot.com

 

REBEKAH'S TAPE - O.O.'S FIGHTIN' BORTHDAY BEAR (DVD-R by Intangible Cat)
This DVD-R was sent to me by a fan of Vital Weekly and who edited this video of a live concert by a band called Rebekah's Tape, who also have a download release available. I was doing my quarterly accounting mess at the same time, while glancing at the video every now and then. It made me think, without hearing the music first (as I got also a copy of their download EP on CDR), if the music would make a great impression on me, if I didn't see the band play. Probably it wouldn't. Its a sort of rock band with humor, new wave like and that's sort of thing Vital Weekly may not be about. But looking at the weird theatrics, including a character called Stevell Larbjiv, that the band also employs makes up quite a bit. Included extras include Stevell Larbjiv's Thailand vacation footage, for those who care about that. Weird shit man! After which I played the download thing and all of a sudden I could appreciate that more. Still music wise, not entirely my cup of art-rock/post-rock cup of tea, but surely nice enough. (FdW)
Address: http://www.intangiblecat.com

 

FREIBAND - TRANSITION (3"CDR by Kaon)
Water inspires artists. How many drawings and paintings have been made of oceans, sees and rivers? How many musicians sing about the sea which takes the seamen? How many movies have been made about the strength of water and the life which is living in it? La riviere is an ongoing project of Kaon. Every two months another sound-artist edit the source material of the Taurion River and its valley in France, which is recorded by CÈdric Peyronnet. Transition is the interpretation of Freiband, a project of Frans de Waard. Frans de Waard has a great experience with reconstruction basic sound material and has been worked with this for long period. This composition starts which high pitched sounds which remembers me to the old Kapotte Muziek tapes in the eighties. Soon the abstract sounds develops into noise and edited water streams. Freiband surprises with upcoming dark tones with a great distance to looped sounds to noise and more and more abstraction. The concept of reconstructing reality has  been performed in many ways and has been composed in a adventurous ear walk through this area of France. (Jan-Kees Helms) Address: http://www.kaon.org


LITTLE ORPHEUS AND THE ROGUE LYONS - 7TH GRADE IS A DRAG (cassette by Auris Apothecary)
Aaron Neveu is 13 years old and not the youngest composer ever featured in Vital Weekly (see Vital Weekly 605), but surely quite young. No doubt he is Little Orpheus and the Rogue Lyons are Doug Truttle (25) on drums and Rachel Neveu (19) on Vox Jaguar Organ. Aaron plays guitar and sings. The two pieces here were already recorded in 2006 and have a great garage feel to it. Badly recorded but with a great drive. Think Suicide with real guitar and real drums. Same energy and same drive. Two excellent songs which you should leave on repeat play (despite the thirty second pause after each track): they last no more than over a minute each and would have made a great 7". And not the one that was melted to pack this tape in. Excellent naivety. (FdW)
Address: http://www.aurisapothecary.org

 

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