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Vital Weekly 805

img  Tobias Fischer

The composer and pianist 'Blue' Gene Tyranny played with both Iggy Pop, Carla Bley, John Cage, Robert Ashley, Laurie Anderson and David Behrman, and his own compositions were released by Lovely Music, New World and Nonesuch. This new album on Unseen Worlds, a label devoted to interesting old and new minimal music, was recorded between 2004 and 2010, and has four pieces of principally piano music. It draws its inspiration from a longtime friend from San Francisco, a chance visit to a Quaker meetinghouse, a dance piece and philosophical intuition. I remember from years and years ago that I heard a record by him, I think one on Lovely Music, which I remember dismissing as to jazzy (and I really don't know which one, sorry), so with some suspicion I started to play this. I must say I am pleasantly surprised. The first two pieces are for solo piano and sound wonderfully beautiful. Very much Satie like. In 'George Fox Searches' there is a melody recurring which sounds familiar but I can't place it. In 'She Wore Red Shoes' there is a looped rhythm, simple yet effective which goes nicely with the music which was made for a dance piece. In 'Intuition' there is the sound of fireworks, slightly processed and the piano in a very contemplative mood. Quite a CD to enhance melancholiac states! (FdW) Address:


M.B. - HIBERNUM (CD by EE Tapes)
Odd. That is, in one word, the career of Maurizio Bianchi. Its perhaps about time someone did a book on him, or a decent website. Apparently he is now for the second time in hibernation, releasing no longer new music, but sometimes I wonder to what extend he actually did release new music in the past years? The information on the covers is not always very clear either. Take this 'Hibernum'. It says: "devised and decodified between the years 1995-2022" on the outside, which seems a bit strange to me already, but on the insert we read 'frozen granularity treatments and mastering by Siegmar Fricke 2011'. Now the name Fricke popped up on a lot of the second coming releases of Bianchi, and its never really clear what his involvement is. Just mastering or is it also additional composing, or perhaps even more? Maybe that's why a book would be a great idea to clarify all of that. On 'Hibernum' we find three long tracks of chilling electronics, of which the first is 'Primaveram/Aestatem' quite a drone piece, and much of the second one also, but it ends in quite a chilling highly processed rumble of metallic sounds (the 'granularity treatments' I wondered, and for much of the music anyway I was thinking to what extends computers play an important role for Maurizio Bianchi in his second life?). The title piece sounds like a mass of humming frogs, which are slowly being eaten by a giant killer machine - more drone like again, a bit static, and like the first a bit over-long, before moving into a different cold field of electronics - as cold is indeed the keyword for not just this release, but for pretty much a lot of the music composed by Bianchi in the last thirty years, with or without the help of who-ever. Throughout 'Hibernum' was a bit long I thought but nevertheless one of his better works of recent years - actually like so many! (FdW)


Daylight Saving Time is now effective meaning long dark nights, even in The Netherlands, and although I am not particularly fond of wintertime, its stay inside, next to heather, sip coffee, read and listen to music. Get introduced to someone like Hior Chronik, who is from Greece and of whom I never heard. But apparently people know him, since he gets help here from Roger Doering (of Dictaphone; clarinet, saxophone), Zinovia Arvanitidi (of Pill-Oh; piano), Natalie Tba Beridze (lyrics, vocals), Akira Kosemura (piano), Takeshi Nishimoto (of I'm Not A Gun; electric guitar), Nao Pon (vocals) and El Fog (vibraphone). Now some of these people may ring a few bells and it might give you a sense of direction. Beauty. That's the word that comes to mind here, shameless, naked beautiful music, for no other sake than being beautiful. Music that fits that whole scene of vaguely modern classical music with a strong melodic musical edge, of the quoted Nils Frahm, of Hauschka, but also that of releases on Western Vinyl, many of the releases on Spekk, Flau, Mu-nest, music that draws inspiration from Erik Satie and Claude Debussy, mainly in the world of acoustic instruments, although sparse electronic and even a synthetic drum beat in 'You Are A Bright Star' are not hidden here. Pleasant dream music, the real modern classic music as far as I'm concerned. A truly fine album. (FdW) Address:


At my first listening of this CD I put the cd in my player without taking much notice of the information. While listening to the sympathetic melodies and songs that passed by, I wondered as they sounded very familiar. No wonder when I inspected the cd more carefully. This is a CD with a selection of Moondog songs.  Moondog, Louis Hardin, that strange loner, who played with Charlie Parker, worked as a streetmusician, recorded  works with a complete orchestra, and recorded records for organ, or poppy songs like on 'H'art Songs'. This reworking by the italian Hobocombo shows that this music is still very enjoyable and worthwhile. Hobocombo is a trio of Rocco Marchi (guitar, voice), Francesca Baccolini (double bass, voice) and Andrea Belfi (drums, voice). Their Moondog-project was born in April 2010 at the Verona Risuona Festival  that  took place on the streets of  Verona,  Italy. They selected 7 compositions for this tribute. Four of them (' Theme', 'Stamping Ground' ,'Birds Lament' and 'Witch of Endor') are taken from "Moondog" (1970). 'Be a Hobo' and 'All is Loneliness' ares from "Moondog 2"(1971). The closing piece, 'Enough about human rights' comes from "H'art Songs" (1978). They do a very inspired job and stay close to the atmosphere of the original recordings as far as I know them, which says something of their capability to rearrange these compositions for this trio format. Well done! (Dolf Mulder)


Brains is Drew Ceccato (winds) and Chris Golinski (percussion). Two short and two more extended improvisations fill this cd, all recorded live at the beginning of 2010.  Golinski is a drummer, percussionist and composer from San Francisco, moving between experimental rock, improvisation and contemporary composed music.  On this cd  we learn more from him as a drummer. By the way, he studied percussion with William Winant.  Ceccato comes from Ann Arbor, where he started woodwind studies. Like Golinski he works in many different musical contexts.  And like Golinski he received studies at Mills College.  Maybe it is here that they met. Their studies didn't prevent them from playing a very fresh and aggressive kind of improvisation, showing  a good interplay.  The music is very expressive. Both gentlemen know how to use their skills and vocabulary in function of a very vibrant improvised music. This is all music is about. A completely satisfying and rewarding listening experience. (Dolf Mulder)


A meeting of two German brass players here, the tuba of Carl Ludwig Hubsch and the trumpet of Roland Spieth and a trio of percussion players from France who call themselves Suboko: Pascal Gully (drums), Regreb (drums, electronics) and Bouto (turntables, electronics, percussion). One day two years ago, to translate the title of the five pieces, they met up in a studio in Karlsruhe to record this record. They had played together before, of course concerts only: this is improvised music. For Schraum I thought this was quite an interesting move as a label. Up until now I had this label down as a fine home for improvised music, which didn't really step out of the mainline. Good, solid but sometimes also a bit conservative releases. This new one however seems to be a bit outside that strict program and into something. Here we have a player. Hubsch, who knows all the techniques inside-out of improvisation and using an instrument as an object. I don't know the other musicians that well to make a similar statement, but surely they know too. This makes that these five pieces are quite vibrant. Not always easy to recognize any instruments, and at the same time all of them, in what is sometimes very quiet music (parts of 'Vor'), very noisy ('Zwei') and what seems downright purely electronical ('Tag') or which sometimes seem to happen all within the space of one piece ('Jahren'). Quite an exciting release this one, one that grows every time you play it. Its away from the more usual acoustic improvisation on Schraum, and one of the best releases so far on this label. (FdW)


COH FEAT LOTTLE ANNIE (7" by Tourette Records)
In Vital Weekly 788 we reviewed the first 7" in a series of seven, all held in Greece, curated by six d.o.g.s ( and Angelos Petroutsas (Prince of Poverty). Each 7" deals with a color, the was silver by Cindytalk, and now its yellow, the turn of Coh. He choose yellow since Olaf Bender, his boss at Rastermusic, once referred to his music as warm yellow. He could in help from Annie Anxiety, or Little Annie as she is called now, with whom he collaborated on 'Vox Tinnitus', which was not reviewed in Vital Weekly. She wrote a text in which she referred to the "rather famous and somewhat controversial Swedish film from 1967 called I Am Curious (Yellow)" and sings this. Coh adds piano, or so that is what he leads us to believe. Annie more recites her text than actually singing it, with that very characteristic voice. There are also bits of electronics, but Coh uses it quite sparsely. Sine wave like sounds mingling with the piano and Annie's voice make this a very pastoral piece of music. To stay along with his 'Vox Tinnitus' release, Coh reworks on the other side a track from that release, throwing in new bits that come from his work with Eel. The voice snippets deal with a sense of decay, just like yellow leaves from autumn trees, but has a remarkable light touch, again due to the piano. A bit short perhaps, but a mighty fine 7". (FdW)


A popular first name for Dutch experimental musicians. Following Wouter Jaspers and Wouter van Veldhoven, there is also Wouter Veldhuis. He writes that 'The Endless Now' is his second album, following 'Satumaa' in 2009 (on and that he doesn't use any electronic sources or keyboards, just found and 'borrowed' sounds which he edits and filters on the computer. He could have fooled me. Without that bit of information I could have as easily thought he would be using synthesizers and electronics to create this chilling ambient music. We know winter is coming, but not quite. This music however is the perfect soundtrack for such a cold winter's evening. Moving slowly like glacier like patterns of frosty icebergs colliding on a cold night. Quite nice, if not something that we haven't heard before. Isolationist music - if anyone cares to remember that particular phrase. Not the warmest of music, but actually quite alright. Maybe it could have used some additional mastering. Some of these tracks could do with more bottom-end and sonic depth would enhance the record quite a bit. Maybe it would have a bit more warmth also. Perhaps this is all for a next album. If you like Machinefabriek particular blend of ambient and electronics, then certainly Wouter Veldhuis is a new name to watch out for. (FdW)


Blake Edwards' Vertonen project seems on the move, always. For a while I thought he got stuck in the world of drones, but last year saw also a bunch more noise based releases. Here on 'Le Coeur Mecanique' he continues to explore noise more than drones, but its the kind of noise I like. It doesn't say on the cover, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this album is a kind of tribute to Vivenza, the French industrial musician from the 80s who actually didn't use machine sounds, but artificial/synthetic sounds to create machine like sounds, often mistaken for the real machine thing. Perhaps also a mistake made by Vertonen, as he uses real machine recordings here - or perhaps an attempt to correct Vivenza? The French title at least hints at a tribute. Either way, I must admit I love machine sounds, especially when you hear a lot of them at the same time. Your ears need time to adjust themselves and sort out all the little variations of the machines which make quite a hypnotic, dense play of sounds. I am not sure if Vertonen did anything with the recordings, but somehow I don't think so, despite the fact that the cover says 'audio processed'. The eight pieces here are all pretty much straight forward recordings in various industrial facilities, and the cover lists per track what we hear: 'recycling facility', 'generators, vents, engines (diesel and gas), hydraulic press' and such like. Tracks are quite long, between seven and ten minutes each, but they need this amount of time to fully display their industrial quality. Excellent music, the best noise is that you hear out there, rather than made with no input mixers and feedback. I think. Oh and that made me wonder why Vivenza's old records never made it to CD? (FdW) Address:


Following 'Arkinoid', reviewed in Vital Weekly 801, here is the fifth release by Violence And The Sacred of historical recordings. 'Lost Horizons' was originally released on two different cassettes, one for Corrosive Tapes and the other for Harsh Reality Music. The line up on this 1987 recording, all from one concert at The Fallout Shelter in Toronto, is still a quartet, that is voice, beatbox, synth, tapes, cello, guitar, but here, this particular concert is even more chaotic than the previous one (from March 1987) it seems, in that it is all quite a racket of sound from pre-recorded tapes and voices - St. Deborah reading from 'Les Chants de Maldoror' (just like anybody from the 80s it seems). Apart from being more chaotic, it also seems a bit more harsher and denser than the previous. And longer. I have no idea if 'Arkinoid' was in anyway trimmed down, but here we have some seventy-five minutes of free improvisation within the context of rock meeting electronics, and, while cut into twelve separate tracks - which you won't notice if you don't pay attention, all tracks seem to run into each other - this is all a bit too much to take in at once. A certain amount of fatigue sips in, at least with me, after a while, and I wished it had some more quiet moments, like 'The Rivers Of My Viscous Sperm', which is ninth track, but seems to be the first tranquil(er) moment. The evening had, according to the cover also slides, films, video and projections - I wonder if anyone survived this flood of image and sound? Take this in bits and I'm sure you will like it more. (FdW) Address:


ZARASAI - PLACE MUZIK (cassette by Anglopiasmo Records)
The Kankles is a Lithuanian instrument, related to the zither, to pluck the strings. It is played here by one Anton Lukoszevieze, while Arturas Bumsteinas plays synths. With a pinch of salt we take the credit that the music was recorded between 1965 and 1982 - Bumsteinas is not that old. Zarasai is the name of a small village in the Southeastern part of Lithuania, surrounded by lakes and serves as an inspiration for the music Perhaps this set of Kankles is played like some people play the zither these days, that is with ebows to create a beautiful set of overtones, as there is hardly any plucking going on here. But even so, even that is not what this tape is about, or so it seems. Its much more about the synthesizer that can be heard. Quite a lo-fi release if you ask me, but this seems all a bit intentional if you ask me: a lot of effort has been made to make this sound (and look) like an early 80s tape of experimental music. All a bit improvised, but all quite nice actually. Exactly the kind of music that fits on cassette, and such this captures the quality of the medium very good. Excellent all around. (FdW) Address:


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