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Vital Weekly 792

img  Tobias Fischer

GREAT WAITRESS - LUCID (CD by Split Records)
An off-shoot of the Splinter Orchestra, Laura Altman and Monika Brooks started to play together with their clarinet and accordion, while in 2009 they played as a trio with Berlin based pianist Magda Mayas in concert in Sydney. That was favored by all involved so now they are a trio, working as Lucid. In 2011 they played more concerts and recorded this CD. I played this CD, for whatever reason, a few times in a row and every time I did it started to grow more and more. This is some very intense music verging on the audible and the loudness. Stretched out playing of the accordion and the clarinet, carefully examining the instruments, shimmering piano tones, all three instruments used as objects and as instruments, providing with some great, highly skilled improvised music. A whole journey through the musical spectrum, requiring your full attention. It left me breathless, and I'm sure you will to. Excellent stuff. (FdW) Address: http://www.splitrec.com


THE SONS OF GOD & MATS GUSTAFSSON - RECEPTION (CD by Firework Edition Records)
Work by The Sons Of God is somewhere in between composition, performance and installation. Lots of their released output relates to performances and installations and 'Reception' is no different. This particular work involves no less than thirty-two amplified iron plates set up at Fargfabriken, Stockholm in 2006 and on the night of March 5th 2006 a concert was held with Mats Gustafsson providing live electronics. An almost fifty-four minute work of loud noise. One vague rumble of… what exactly? Thirty-two iron plates you might say, which sound like crashing, cascading storm and on top we have Gustafsson's electronics wailing more about. Think Merzbow, but then without any development or change, save for a slow building up, to an orgasmic height and then quickly taking matters to a logical conclusion. Almost like a very noisy storm, almost like ambient music taken to a very (il)logical conclusion. To confuse matters even more there is a whole text about a 18th century writer Emanuel Swedenborg about heaven and hell, and how that influenced the work of The Sons Of God. You can read that and contemplate about it when listening to the music, although I am sure it will not shed a brighter light on one or the other. I thought of the whole package as quite fascinating, but then I always admire such consistent conceptual ideas. (FdW)
Address: http://www.fireworkeditionrecords.com

 

LIM - WITH MARC DUCRET (CD by Kopasetic Production)
Kopasetic Productions is a record label focusing on jazz and improvised music. It's based  in the south of Sweden.  This is also where Lim comes from (Malm–). This trio consists of  Henrik Frisk (saxophones,  electronics),  David Carlsson (bass,  guitar) and Peter Nilsson (drums, percussion), specialized in improvised music. In 2002 their first statement was released on cd. For their newest release they are joined by swiss guitar player Marc Ducret, who is most known for his work with Tim Berne. Their collaboration started in 2006 at a festival organized by Kopasetic Production. The cd contains music recorded live in front of an audience in Malm– on two evenings in november 2010. All compositions are by Henrik Frisk. Their jazz music is very organic and dynamic. But I constantly asked myself what I was missing. No doubt fine musicians who understand their craft. But on this one it never 'happens' in my perception and the compositions are not very appealing or original in my ears.  The music is laid back and not a very challenging listening experience. Themes and motives didn't  surprise me. Nor did the saxplaying by  Frisk grab me. The guitar solos by Ducret makes this one worthwhile for me, like in 'The tranebird'.  Fantastic. (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://www.kopasetic.se

 

THEEANNOYING - COMPOSITION 1 (CD by Edgetone Records)
The cover of the debut CD of TheeAnnoying has a very nice layout. Straight forms and with minimal information. Composition 1 contains movement I - XI.  And that is something completely different than the music itself. And than is great fun! The compositions reminds to punk of the seventies, but it is not a easy copy of these intense with ongoing drums, four chord songs etcetera. The album is well composed shows the variety of this so-called experimental post-punk band. The band is formed in early 2010 and consists of Ten Ticklish Ants on noisy guitar walls and vocals, M. Mersereau on bass, vocals and samples and D.A. Leech on percussion. The trio has also played in bands like 15 Degrees Below Zero and the pop-punk band The Feldmans. The album is meant as a artistic statement of nowadays zeitgeist. And they paraphrase philosopher Baudrillard: "power in the future will be for those who know they have no nation, no home." Anyway - these album is a radical state of music, the combination of experimental punk/rock music with a extract of an early flute composition of Philip Glass and some beautiful edited samples of some voices and political statements. Of course, nothing is new, for example Crass combines their militant punk-music with recordings of speeches, but TheeAnnoying treats the listener a fresh new world with respect for the past. I hope more Composition will follow? (Jan-Kees Helms) Address: http://www.edgetonerecords.com

 

CHEEZFACE - CIRCUMSTANTIAL PESTILENCE (CD by Mind Flare Media)
Mind Flare Media is an independent label from Charlottesville, U.S.A. Cheezface is responsible for the fifth release of this label. Cheezface was started in 2005 by Bryan Stancil and he starts to create music which is hard to categorize. He combines many styles in his programming, but one thing is a continuous element in the compositions: the manic beats and abrupt breaks. The music for Circumstantial Pestilence was built on samples derived from bathrooms and truck stops across the eastern part of his home state of North Carolina. He combines these hundreds of samples in combination of live and mechanical drums, guitars, bass, synthesizers and vocal modulation. The result a fucked up mix of drum 'n bass, metal, jazz, seventies disco, ambient, field-recordings and noise. I do not know how Cheezface is all making this come true, but it fits really in the noise-tradition with so called members like Seamus Anus on voice, drum programming, sounds and diarrhea, The Great Went on cummings and goings and Fuck Norris on oral support. Anyway the album is an effective medicine against passivity and awaken all sleepy braincells. (Jan-Kees Helms) Address: http://mindflaremedia.com

 

KASSEL JAEGER - ALGAE (CD by Senufo Editions)
BELLOWS - HANDCUT (CD by Senufo Editions)
SPYWEIRDOS - TWO ANTS WERE CALLED (cassette by Senufo Editions)
More music by Kassel Jaeger on Giuseppe Ielasi's Senufo Editions, a follow up to 'Aerae' (see Vital Weekly 757). Jaeger is from Paris and works at GRM where he works with improvisation on 'real' instruments and processing of these recordings with computers. He has strong interest in the use of microphones to pick up the sounds he produces on 'positive organ, marxophone, tremoloa, turkish crescent, nfir and synthi AKS' (I am quoting from the cover here, as you might have guessed). Three pieces here, in total thirty-five minutes. The CD is mastered by Robert Hampson of Main fame, who lives in Paris these days, so I assume Jaeger knows his work. While its not entirely the same, I think Hampson is of some influence on him. It doesn't have that collage styled cut-up method, swift changes and abrupt moves, but it has a similar sonical depth. Jaeger's music is more straight forward, drone like if you, using many layers of sonic activity of clustered tones, and at the same time many layers of instrumental playing, scraping, mechanics playing strings, plucking of strings etc. That adds a nice improvised character to the music, but at the same time, with all the rest happening, it all sounds highly composed. This is an excellent CD, perhaps the best so far I heard of Jaeger.
Labelboss Ielasi has his own project with Nicola Ratti, whose solo work has been reviewed a lot in Vital Weekly, and their 'Bellows' release (see Vital Weekly 591) was a start of what became the project Bellows. They released a LP on Alga Marghen which I didn't hear, and basically 'Handcut is a re-issue if that along with twenty-three minutes of bonus material, recorded a year later. 'Handcut' is something we should take literally: they cut into vinyl records, shellac 78rpms, and pick up the sounds with contact microphones on a revox machine, and then create long loops out of that. They also use a memory man and sine waves. Quite a different release than the previous one I did hear, on Kning Disk. This is all quite experimental stuff, moody also, with these long loops slowly spitting out the same sounds again. A conceptual work also and that might be perhaps the only downside to it. Not that's conceptual, but the fact that its one idea, repeated in thirteen different tracks, in just under fifty-four minutes, which in the end may sound like a repeated idea. There is not a hell of difference between the old and the bonus material, but the idea is executed with great care, so in the end I'm quite positive about this.
On cassette we find music by Spyros Polychronopoulos from Greece, who works as Spyweirdos with twenty minutes of music, ten per side. Very dark stuff, with everything pitched down. Spyweirdos might be playing organ or perhaps an analogue synth of some kind. Maybe its a processed sine wave. I have no idea. It moves very slowly, but it definitely moves - a bit. The b-side is more complex with bell like percussive sounds and some kind of treatment thereof (perhaps) and is actually the better piece of the two (I would have switched sides when releasing this). Nothing new, not particularly great, but executed with great care: exactly the kind of music which people should release on a cassette. Black cover with silver inkt, edition of 100 copies. (FdW)
Address: http://www.senufoeditions.com

 

OLEKRANON - {ABADINA} (CDR by Inam Records)
By now I must admit I forgot what the deal was with Olekranon. Did the project of Ryan Huber stop or was it in hibernation? The previous was reviewed back in Vital Weekly 760, so me thinks not very long ago. '{Abadina}' just goes on where we left him before. Lots of guitars and drum machines again, but like with '{Bilal}' he also seems to have softened a bit, and that too goes on here, in these six new pieces. He has Sujo for his more noise/drone end, so its good to diversify into something more 'softer'. '{Abadina}' continues to explore that route and even in its more heavier moments, such as in 'Red Clover', he still aims for that bit of melody, deriving from a wall of feedback approach. Lots of fuzz is used, so we might be able to say that the biggest influence is shoegazing here. In hibernation or not, this one is actually quite nice again. The next step would be expansion: more song like structures, a singer perhaps, or real drums. (FdW) Address: <inamrecs@yahoo.com>

 

FRANCISCO MEIRINO & JASON KAHN - MUSIC FOR AN EMPTY CINEMA (CDR by Authorized Version)
It was quiet for Jason Kahn recently, but here he is again, on the revived Authorized Version label with a great live recording with Francisco Meirino. They are credited with computer, magnetic field detectors, analog synthesizer and short wave radio. Maybe, looking at the title, it was a recording made without the presence of any audience, or perhaps not many, but then surely people missed out on an excellent thirty minute excursion in the world of magnetic, static and moving waves. Static it seems, but that's only when heard superficially. If you listen closer, you'll find that this actually moves all the time. Hissy, high pitched, with occasionally a deeper end, crackling with radio waves and all such like. There are even bits of percussive sounds in there, courtesy perhaps of Kahn (perhaps) which adds also the vibrancy of the whole thing. A refined work by these masters of the finest drone around. (FdW) Address: http://www.a-version.co.uk

 

ANDREAS BRANDAL - DISTURBING THE DUST (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
BRENT FARISS - FOUR ENVIRONMENTS… COLLAPSING (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
MATAMORS - FIVE-TONED ROWS (3"CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
ALFRED 23 HARTH - MICRO-SAXO-PHONE. EDITION III (CDR by Kendra Steiner Editions)
About Anders Brandal I always have mixed feelings. Sometimes I like what he does, sometimes it annoys me a bit. Too unfocused, too easy and/or too noisy, and sometimes any of that goes well, and I think, well, alright why not. I guess it depends on the mood I'm in. This work is apparently influenced by T.S. Eliot's 'Four Quartets', which I didn't read of course, and Brandal uses for his omni present, slightly distorted drone work, guitar, violin, keyboards and loops. About this work I have mixed feelings too. I like the beginning and the end, especially the last track, 'Arriving Where We Started', with their open feel to it. In between we have a couple of more muddy tracks of distorted sound, dragging on and on. Not bad at times, not great at others.
Brent Fariss is a contrabass player with The Gates Ensemble and Sirsit, and this might be the first time I hear his solo music. These pieces all use, to some extend or another, contrabass, electronics and field recordings. Four quite long pieces that all have a certain minimalist quality, even when say 'hidden voices' (such as in 'Three Spirit Recordings') provide with something that is not ongoing or sustaining. I thought this was a pretty fine release of shifting electronics, lo-fi textures, acoustic debris and other fine rumble. 'Palestine', with its fine humm from whatever source melted with electronics, is the best piece of the lot, I think, but the other pieces are equally good. A fine production that takes care of the various details in a very dynamic range. Great release.
Matamoros is duo of R. Lee Dockery (synth, upright bass, electronics) and Derek Rogers (synth, percussion, vocals, electronics) and they have played a couple of shows in their hometown Austin, Texas. Originally 'Five Toned Rows' lasted for two hours as part of an installation by Graham Hudson. It starts out with synthesizer, which sort of shimmer throughout the whole piece, then slowly percussive bangs are added, bits of vocal like sounds but as the piece evolves things smooth out, get softer and tranquil. Its all highly improvised, but it has actually a great atmospheric quality - loose but atmospheric.

Alfred Harth I know from the days he was working with Heiner Goebbels. Together they had a very fruitful collaboration in the 80s. But this is clearly history. No idea how things developed for Alfred 23 Harth over the years, I have to admit. His solo releases are very few from what I understand, which is a bit astonishing for a musician with such a long career. 'Plan Eden' was his first solo effort, and several others followed. And now we are dealing with his newest try. "Nearly all sounds have been created by using the saxophone, its body, springs and even bowing the body. Some tracks contain early informal recordings of mine from 1972, when I was 23 years old",  explains Harth. This work is part of a project Harth started in 2008, using sax, contact microphones for feeding devices as the Kaoss Pad, plus laptop. In this project Harth's long time experience of using devices and effects culminates in a fantastic work. Yes, this is a great work. I'm totally flabbergasted at moments. Harth uses extended techniques only, so to speak. So his music is very far out, but at the same time it is very nearby. It is not losing itself in the world of technical possibilities, but Harth constructs musical buildings with a heart beating in it. Many, many musical ideas find their place in Harth's imaginative compositions. Music that is very rich and with depth. Chapeau! (FdW) (Dolf Mulder) Address: http://kendrasteinereditions.wordpress.com/


JACQUES SODDELL - FROZEN MOMENT (3"CDR by Kaon)
'Wading through Cedric Peyronnet's massive collection of sounds' is what Jacques Soddell from Australia says on the cover of his 3" CDR in the series that deal with exactly those river sounds. Ultimately he was drown to the 'icy' sounds, picked one and put that through 'manipulation/processing them heavily in my usual fashion', as he calls it. He was inspired by Tarkovsky's 'Solaris', which may count for the somewhat dark and austere nature of the piece. Like more the recent releases in this series this deals with more computerized versions of the original sound material and less on the actual sounds itself, which I think is a good thing. Soddell crafted an excellent, intense piece, or perhaps 'flow' is a better word, from small events at the beginning, then a first wave, small sounds and then a major wave, resulting in small scale events at the end. Ice does make waves, dangerous waves at that, and Soddell tells the whole story. Quite a cinematic soundscape. (FdW) Address: http://www.kaon.org

 

TELECULT POWERS - STARS ARE THE EYES OF GOD (cassette by Draft)
GREG DAVIS - STATES (3) (cassette by Draft)
ALEX BARNETT - PUSH (cassette by Draft)
Telecult Powers are called an 'occult synth duo', with custom built synthesizers. They already had a bunch of releases on labels as Deception Island, Baked Tapes, Pizza Night and their own label Temple Of Pei. Two long tracks here, both with the help of others. First there is on side one, Lala Ryan, who sings and hums through a bunch of delay/reverb pedals, which is perhaps regarded by the label as 'alchemical theatrics and kosmische music', but it didn't have that effect on me. I thought it was all pretty silly. When Telecult Powers join up with John Elliott (of Emerals fame, and also of Outer Space and Imaginary Softwoods) they are called Inner Spaced, and no humming of vocals here, luckily enough. The mood here is also rather textured, but rather 'loud' for cosmic music, which is actually a nice move. The buzzing and ringing of clustered drones has a great impact, I think. This is an excellent side, and should have come first!
Maybe its just my perception of things, but it seems a long time since I last heard from Greg Davis. Last summer he toured the west cost of the USA with his modular synth and processed voice, and as a result he released a whole bunch of things on labels as Agents Of Chaos, Ekhein, Goldtimers and Cassauna, which may seem (or not) to be live recordings of some or another. 'States (3)' is part of a series, and is more related to the world of serious avant-garde music than that of cosmic music. More 'Planet Of The Apes' than 'Irrlicht', if you know what I'm talking about. Davis uses smaller events as particles to create a larger wholeness. More composed than anything that goes with the flow of the arpeggio. A very fine tape, one that would probably gain a bit more from a CDR, with a clearer detail for sound. But surely excellent.
Also from the world of analogue synthesizers is Alex Barnett, of whom I reviewed 'Section 3' back in Vital Weekly 755. He too can play a fine tune of cosmic music, but he adds a rhythmmachine and sequencer, and more than many of his recent peers sound like a direct ascendent of Tangerine Dream, but then all just a bit darker. Great sequenced music, that is all very pleasant to hear. Where Telecult Powers is the dark side of the moon, Barnett's (albeit way too short) tape is the bright sun, shining in full glory on a cloudless day. (FdW) Address: http://draftrecords.com

 

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

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