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Vital Weekly 825-828

img  Tobias Fischer

FLORIAN WITTENBURG - ARTE-FACTS (CD by NurNicht Nur)
A few years ago I was pleasantly surprised to learn that in our - not too big - town there was somebody involved in experimental and electronic of whom I never heard, Mark Tamea. Now I received another envelope from Nijmegen with music by someone who lives locally but I never heard of: Florian Wittenburg. He works at the Max Planck Institute for Pscyholinguistics, but was born in Berlin, studied in Utrecht, in Paris (at the Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis) with Trevor Wishart, Agostino di Scipio and Curtis Roads. He worked with various instrumentalists and sculptors. Perhaps no ties to the local underground, he has them right across the border, as next to Nijmegen lies the smaller German town Kleve, with an active scene of improvised music around the NurNichtNur label. But Wittenburg's own music is not about improvised music. It just finds its original sounds with such crazy inventions as the Messertisch (knives table) instrument by Stephan Froleyks and the Tompret and the Bard instrument sculptures made by Willem Fremont. Wittenburg 'uses the kyma sound design language exclusively for the electronics of all tracks' it says on the cover. Five pieces which could have found its origins in anything really, not just the Messertisch, Tompret and Bard, but whatever Kyma does, it does make things highly unrecognizable. Design wise the cover looks like a serious modern electronic music record and perhaps it is one, yet Wittenburg doesn't play the tricks of acousmatic music which its glissandi and sudden movements. In these five pieces its rather more drone like, but then from a highly digital perspective. All tracks credit Wittenburg with electronics, but 'Noise Knifes + gong' maybe indicate that a gong has been used and that reminded me of the first Thomas Köner record, which this shares a similarity with. Wittenburg's music is actually quite isolationist in approach - although he might not be aware of that, by now, forgotten term. Dark, mysterious rumble, stretched out fields, its all classic isolationist music. Interesting to read that most of these pieces were played live and were improvised with real time processing - which I guess brings him back to NurNichtNur. Quite an interesting and fascinating musical journey and an excellent musical discovery. (FdW) Address: http://www.nurnichtnur.com

 

CHRIS ABRAHAMS & LUCIO CAPECE - NONE OF THEM WOULD REMEMBER IT THAT WAY (CD by Mikroton Recordings)
A disc of improvisation with Capece playing soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, preparations and sruti box which all seems normal for him, but Chris Abrahams plays the (Yamaha) DX7 FM synthesizer, which I guess is an unusual instrument for improvisations, since its not an easy synthesizer to use (programming wise I believe). The three pieces here were recorded already in 2008-2009. Three in total, with the middle piece being the longest. Improvised music of the highest level, I think. Lots of silence, lots of tension, strong interplay between both players, which hoover closely never the edge of silence in 'Southern Passages'. This is one of those releases that forces you to listen; don't sit back and let it happen, but sit back, do nothing and listen, especially in this long track. In the closing track there is no silence as such. Here the sruti box takes the lead, and the DX7 plays careful crackles and other small tunes on top of that. In the opening track, with eleven minutes still of considerable length, its effectively a combination of both ends, but slightly more fragmented than you would expect from a combination of drone, improvisation, as apparent in the other two pieces. This variety of approaches makes this a highly enjoyable disc. (FdW)
Address: http://www.mikroton.net


MONTY ADKINS - FOUR SIBUSA (CD by Audiobulb)
Following 'Fragile.Flicker.Fragment' (see Vital Weekly 768) this is the second album of Monty Adkins on Audiobulb. Its quite a break from that album, not how things work out, but more in terms of approach. Whereas 'Fragile.Flicker.Fragment' was made with a variety of sound sources (music box, guitar, violin), here its just two clarinets, played by Jonathan Sage and Heather Roche, and Adkins doing his thing on the computer - me thinks. It also involves the work of visual artist Pip Dickens, who created the images on the cover. Sibusa refers to a Japanese concept, 'a term that describes the inherent simplicity and beauty of everyday objects'. The music, four parts, obviously I'd say,  are of a great simplicity too. Gliding scales of processed and unprocessed clarinet sounds of highly delicate music. It bridges the modern classical music of Phill Niblock and the computer warmth of Stephan Mathieu, and moves away from the more microsounding music of the previous album. If that one was 12K-like, then this new one is more Line-like, if you get my drift. From the two I think 'Four Sibusa' is the more accomplished one, following a concept, exploring that and cutting away anything he seems unnecessary. Quite a refined record, a major leap forward. (FdW)
Address: http://www.audiobulb.com

 

MACHINEFABRIEK - COLOR TONES (CD by Fang Bomb)
Besides being a highly productive sound artist, Rutger Zuydervelt, is also a designer, working not just on his own released by also for Nuun and My Own Little Label. He's someone whose music reflect is working with visuals, but not as before he did what he does here, an album of six pieces all named after a color, green, red, grey, brown, blue and the mixture of it all, mosaic. The music was composed last year as part of an exhibition, and Zuydervelt took his ideas from a series of short stories by Imants Ziedonis. Using guitars, memo recorders, looped tapes, old test records, a monotron, effect pedals and computer, plus sounds by Espen Reinertsen (saxophone), Gareth Davis (bass clarinet) and Aaron Martin (cello) (all of that it seems in the final piece), he crafts five pieces of exactly four minutes and one, the last, of twelve minutes - there is probably something about that too. Music-wise he stays close to what we know from Machinefabriek, which I guess is a lot. Delicate music, warm, ambient, microscopic, detailed. All of those keywords which we have used before, can apply to this record. In the short pieces things remain mostly abstract, but in 'Mosaic' it opens up in a very musical way. The saxophone, bass clarinet and cello provide a warm backing and on top Zuydervelt adds his guitar sounds, carefully plucking the strings. The old dualism fights here: a beautiful record no doubt, but does it add much to what we already know? I doubt that. But perhaps I am sole voice in concerns like this. Die hard fans won't be disappointed. (FdW) Address: http://fangbomb.com/

 

NORTHERN VALENTINE - FIN DE SIECLE (CD by Silber Media)
Ambient music that uses guitars: is there something more old hat than that? We have Fear Falls Burning and a whole string of isolationists. But they are usually solo projects, and so, Northern Valentine is something different. Its a quartet, of Robert Brown (guitars), Amy Brown (keyboard, violin), Jeffrey Bumiller (guitars) and Matthew Primak (keyboards). They have been around since 1998 and I have no idea about previous recordings. But apparently this album has apparently two pieces that are fifteen years old, and were found sifting through over 200 hours of recordings. Some other pieces were recorded live. if you ask me, this band likes to meet up in their rehearsal space, switch the recorder on and then start playing. The seven pieces here, spanning only (?) forty-five minutes, are very much along whatever lines you expect 'ambient and guitar' to sound, but by no means it says bad. Actually I think this is quite a good album of a more expanded ambient sound. The band line up provides more possibilities than some of the solo guitar players have, no matter how many loop stations they use. The sound of Northern Valentine isn't very smooth but retains a gritty edge, a live edge if you will. That rawness adds a certain quality to the music which I like, beyond the ordinary. It reminds you of some of the older ambient industrialists, such as Voice Of Eye or older Illusion Of Safety. Ambient through improvisation, by an almost rock line-ups. Like a rawer version of Stars Of The Lid. You could do worse, I'd say. A great album. (FdW) Address: http://www.silbermedia.com

 

STEVE RODEN & MACHINEFABRIEK - LICHTUNG (CD by Eat, Sleep, Repeat)
MINUS PILOTS - HITTING UP THE HEAVENS (CD by Eat, Sleep, Repeat)
'Lichtung' may sound like a familiar title (not just the German label Licht Ung) in the vast catalogue of works by Rutger Zuydervelt's Machinefabriek, and indeed such a thing was reviewed before, in Vital Weekly 756, but then it had the form of a DVD-R. Now we just have the music. The original work was an audio-visual installation, "a collaborative effort of Rutger Zuydervelt and Steve Roden, both responsible for the music an Sabina Burger, who did the visual component for this work. The later shows reflection of trees in water, or rain drops falling in water. The music is a duet between Roden and Zuydervelt and seems to be combining the best of both ends: the acoustic sounds of Roden (chimes, bells, cups) and Zuydervelt's careful electronic manipulation thereof. The music and film go together really well, I'd say. Poetic, silent and light. An excellent three way combination", I wrote back then. The new 'version' of 'Lichtung' is not the piece as such but rather various edits of the sound material used in the installation. Both Roden and Machinefabriek have four pieces here and the ninth piece is an edit of the concert they played at the opening of this exhibition. Its quite interesting to see what each of them brings to the table. Machinefabriek's slightly processed electronic sounds versus Roden's acoustic approach to the sound material of water, leaves and twigs, but in 'Ice Strings' perhaps also with some electronic sounds. In his pieces its less easy to hear what is going on/being done. The overall atmosphere is 'winter' and 'cold', with sounds that seem to be derived from 'cold' matter, ice, snow and such like. It makes altogether a fine addition to the previous version of 'Lichtung', this time entirely an auditive experience.
I am not sure if I ever heard of Minus Pilots. Cover and press text don't give much clues. The cover however states that 'the crackle present on our recordings is due, in the main, to the use of various analogue delay pedals, old basses, our broken four-track cassette recorder and most notably our incompetence', which I guess is nice to know. Its not easy to see the eleven pieces here as finished songs, even when they all have titles, ranging somewhere from merely one minute to four minutes maximum. They are rather like sketches, minimalist sketches. Sort of thing when you have a few lines on a piece of paper, that make out some schematic, or pattern. Once a track is set in motion it seems to stay there, a pointillist painting. Very rarely something else happens half way through, but in 'Fall From Your Stars' it does. Sounds repeat sometimes in other tracks. Overall this is all very minimalist and fits the Machinefabriek tradition, but then even more sparse I'd say, but that might also be due to the overall low volume which was used to present these recordings. Think Oren Ambarchi at his most quiet, Machinefabriek on a quiet day. Its not easy to say where the actual difference is with these artists and Minus Pilots. Like with the music, the difference lies in the details. Its a nice CD for sure, very gentle, smooth and delicate. (FdW) Address: http://www.eatsleeprepeat.org

 

FAZIO - ELEGIE (CD by Faith Strange)
A Guide For Reason is Mike Fazio and in Vital Weekly 793 I reviewed some of his material which he recorded in 2009. For reasons I am not entirely sure of, this new release is under the name of Fazio, but if I understand well, it was also recorded in 2009. The first and the third piece are just over nineteen minutes and originally intended to be a LP release, but with the second piece added, recorded a bit later, its now on CD. One reason for using another name is that the music sounds a bit different than on 'I-VI' and'VII-VIII'. Here we have no computer reworking of diesel engines, but I assume the use of guitars, lots of effects, maybe a bit of sound scapes and a repeating voice every now and then, reciting a text, which has a somewhat claustrophobic feeling - and that's just the opening track. Just like the music actually. Its all quite doom and glum here. As I look out out of the window and see the beautiful sunny, spring day, this music doesn't seem to be fitting to the occasion such a nice day. More music for dramatic occasions, grey winter day. 'Dopo Tre Mesi, Tutto È Lo Stesso, Eccetto Un Piccolo Regalo, Quando Arriva L'inverno, Più Disappunti È Dispiacere (Petey's Song)' is the lengthy title of the second piece and works around a piano and treatments, and has a likewise dark character. In the third track he returns to what he set out in the opening piece: more guitars, bit of percussion with lots of echo, bouncing in and out of the mix, but less any voice material. Good solid dark, atmospheric, drone like music, executed with great care. Different than A Guide For Reason, but equally fascinating. (FdW) Address: http://www.faithstrange.com

 

SEAMUS CATER & VILJAM NYBACKA - THE ANECDOTES (LP by Anecdotal Records)
Sometimes I think Vital Weekly gets a lot of odd things, things that somehow don't seem to belong in here, although I wouldn't know where else either. I reviewed music by Seamus Cater before, back in Vital Weekly 721, when he did a LP with Uncle Woody Sullender, who played banjo and Seamus Cater played harmonica. I wrote: "Even for non Vital like music which we receive (like this week no less than 8 CDs of heavy metal from Poland), this is certainly one which deserves the word 'outsider'. Its one of those things which you have no idea what to make of, but you feel instinctively its great and perhaps therefore all the more a great record. Odd but great." That more or less applies to his new record which he recorded with Viljam Nybacka. He's a bass player, playing with the N-Collective, but also with freejazz/mathrock group Brown vs Brown. On this record he plays drums for the first time, but also ukulele, voice guitar and pitch pipe, whereas Cater sings, plays the fender rhodes piano and 're-tuned harmonica'. Some of the ten pieces here are about persons, anecdotal, biographical, but then personal reflections by Cater himself. We have Sergei Prokofiev next to Ewan McColl, L.S. Lowry, Alexis Lapointe (a runner, running against cars, trains and horses), Eadweard Muybridge and Bas Jan Ader (Dutch visual artist who disappeared crossing the ocean). Cater has a background in folk music, which is something that is very clear when you hear this most delicate music. Cater has a great voice to recite the songs - lyrics enclosed but not entirely necessarily - and the music is sparse, guiding the listener through these anecdotes. Supporting, never taking the lead. Strange music that is folk like, blues like but at the same time also has something that is sufficiently different than what you would traditionally expect from folk or blues. That makes this record again 'odd but great'. Perhaps nothing for Vital Weekly as such, but certainly something quite captivating. Hopefully Cater brings this on the road also. (FdW)
Address: http://www.seacater.com

 

MATT CARLSON - PARTICLE LANGUAGE (12" by Draft Records)
MATT CARLSON/JASON E. ANDERSON - DISSOCIATIVE SYNTHESIS (LP by Borft Records)
One and half album by Matt Carlson. In Vital Weekly 773 I first heard his music, on cassette. Carlson is a busy bee, being a member of Golden Retriever (electro-acoustic improvisation), Parenthetical Girls (pop music), Oregon Painting Society (video soundtracks), CexFucx (freely improvised dance music) and Bonus (reductionist electronic drones), which I all still haven't heard. This new LP, which has multiple tracks but still plays at 45 rpm (so perhaps more a classic 12") all deals with the use of modular synthesizers, like that cassette, and we still find him somewhere between pop music and avant-garde music. Perhaps even more pop here than on that cassette. He builds his pieces from abstract bubbles, but then suddenly it all seems to be coming together and a song is there, which occasionally also includes vocals through vocoder, and that's just the first song 'An Entity Appears'. In the other six tracks Carlson doesn't go back to that level of pop-ness, but remains more abstract, but tries to built shortish songs from that and succeeds quite well at that. Carlson here bypasses overtly cosmic connections, but in stead makes a fine combination of pop sensibility, avant-garde electronics and elements of the more noisy end of modular synths in what becomes in his hands quite an unique sound. Excellent record.
The other record is a split LP with Jason E. Anderson, the label boss of Draft Records and Gift Tapes (releasing that earlier Carlson material). Here Carlson also plays analog modular synth, but these pieces lean more towards the abstract than to the pop side of things. The pieces here have a more improvised feel to it, with lots of modulations and bending squares and sines. There is even a dark steady beat present here in the final piece 'Medusozoa'. Perhaps the title of the album is programmatic here? Anderson on the other side has six pieces of also modular synthesizer, sequencing and digital editing. I assume he filled up his editing software with a load of improvisations on his modular synth and then started to weed out the bits he didn't like. It continues the course set out by Carlson, but its even more abstract, and throughout works on a more noisy level, but without being true noise. Its more like a violent version of serious sixties avant-garde electronics. Vibrant, bouncing electrons - this is the kind of noise I dig! (FdW)
Address: http://www.draftrecords.com
Address: http://www.borft.com/

 

SUBORNO - THE INSTRUMENT (CDR by Running On Air)
The releases I heard so far from Running On Air all seemed to be dealing with some of electricity, electronic music, but this new one is about the guitar, played by Asheq Akhtar. He recorded this in his living room, so it includes surrounding noises. From the information I gather he plays two acoustic guitars, some household items and an Ektara, a percussion instrument from Bangladesh. On 'The Star With Only One String' this sounds quite 'ethnic', whereas most other tracks sound like  finger picking, lime John Fahey, Americana, folk like and blues like. Not something indeed I would have expected from this label. Quite introspective, reflective mood music, using bits of field recordings of his native country, India, making quite a nice record indeed. (FdW)
Address: http://www.runningonair.com

 

PIETRO RIPARBELLI - THREE DAYS OF SILENCE (CD by Gruenrekorder)
When buried with a lot of releases to review for Vital Weekly, I sometimes wish to retreat to a monastery and not be interrupted by such mundane things as e-mail, telephone, shopping and just blend in with the tranquility of monastery life. Pietro Riparbelli did visit a sanctuary, Sanctuary of La Verna on top of a mountain in Tuscany, where Saint Francis of Assisi supposed to have gotten his stigmata and recorded life over there during three days. Here he has six pieces, three of them I believe are pure field recordings and three are compositions he created out of these basic sounds. Not that is easy to tell the difference, certainly if you don't play close attention to when the track ends and moves to the next. For the busy western man, non believer at that, perhaps the closest I can get to monstary life, I guess. Riparbelli captured the sounds and the atmospheres of the sanctuary pretty well - the overall idea of this release is 'silence' without being silent. The large empty spaces with a minimum of sound information, the garden and rain in it, the vaguely humming of what could be the church organ, its all there. Music that slowly unfolds and that could invoke a religious experience (government health warning not included here). In the 'Third Day' piece we have the most musical experience, with crackles and what seems to be some sort of stringed instrument, but for all I know it could be the repeated sound of the bucket in the well to get water. A very contemplative release altogether. Excellent soundscaping. (FdW) Address: http://www.gruenrekorder.de

 

TAG CLOUD - NAMED ENTITIES (CD by Zeromoon)
Chris Videll is Tag Cloud and Zeromoon doesn't have a lot of information on him on their website. The cover just like a whole bunch of thank-you's and a list of instruments: analog electronics, sk1, monotron, shruti box, gongs, tibetan bowls, bells, pedals, fx, processing, pitch pipe. No doubt he is the kind of man who wants the music to speak for itself, which is of course the thing to do, but a nightmare for a reviewer. I think this is a pretty interesting CD which combines a number of interests in a great way: its a bit noise like, but never loud or harsh. Its atmospheric but not in the strictest drone context and its rather musically electronic than static. This music seems to be moving all the time, back and forth. I think some of these instruments are used to make a steady background sound, while others are played over the top. It sounds rather like a live record than a finely composed album of various layers. Six tracks, spanning just over thirty five minutes, all of which seem to me the right length for such a work and which leaves the listener behind with an unsatisfied feel: more, more! Or perhaps this is right as it is? Six fine pieces of loudly atmospheric music or mildly noise based - whatever you prefer I guess is fine. This is certainly a name to watch out for! (FdW) Address: http://www.zeromoon.org

 

XEDH & CARLOS SUAREZ - CUCULACANTO (CD by Essentia Mundi)
Miguel A. Garcia sometimes works under his own name and sometimes as Xedh, and I am never sure when one comes into play and when the other. Maybe there is no separation? Here he works with one Carlos Suarez, of whom I think I never heard. He is from Galicia in Spain and works inside the field of electro-acoustic music. If I am well informed the pieces here were recorded through live improvisation in the studio which was then edited by Garcia. Garcia is at his best, at least for me, when he too works with electro-acoustic music, and stays away from overtly noise based excursions which he sometimes also does. Here he does stay away and together with Suarez he created five excellent pieces of electro-acoustic music which suggest lots of space between the cracks, sometimes artificially enhanced by the use of reverb. There is computer processing, analogue knob turning, field recordings of water and metallic rumble, looped and toyed around with. The overall mood of the pieces is more ambient and atmospheric than is perhaps usually the case with this kind of electro-acoustic sounds. More ambient than microsound I would say. Garcia has reconstructed the live recordings accordingly and without losing the aspect of a live recording, these five pieces are very good, well done and reshaped into the form of compositions, with heads and tails and fine structure. This is the Garcia I like and this CD is a fine addition to his rapidly expanding discography. (FdW)
Address: http://www.essentiamundi.com

 

THOMAS BEL - INNERLY (CD by Annexia)
Thomas Bel lives and works in Toulouse, France. He is born in autumn and writes and composes music and poetry. His biography tells us that he dances with birds in the night. How poetic can you be? Inspired by the german poet Johannes Bobrowski Thomas Bel created this introspective album. With minimal melodies created by piano, cello, flutes, guitar, voice and melancholic abstract drones. The music is subtile, fragile and built up with nice field-recordings, small melody-lines and repeating soundlayers. His voice has the same atmosphere as mentioned before; slowly, low, soft and searching for the right melody in combination with the musical support. Thomas Bel takes the listener to the depths of his soul and body. The mix of recognizable melodies, drony soundlayers and abstract field-recordings makes the oppressive atmosphere more open and is an invitation to travel with the musician to his search to? Anyhow Innerly is a beautiful album of a poetic musician. (Jan-Kees Helms)
Address: http://www.annexia-net.com

 

STRATOSPHERE - DREAMSCAPE (CD by Basses Frequences)
Here's a name from the past which I must admit I totally forgotten about. Stratosphere was a main player of ambient music in the early nineties, releasing an album on Amplexus and then disappeared again. The early work used analogue synthesizers and tape devices, but this new album sees him switch to guitar and bass. For a decade he didn't do any music due to a 'dramatic change' in his life. That change also counts for his music. While still involved in atmospheric music, its undeniably much louder than before. Guitars are fed through a bunch of guitar pedals and it sounds louder and darker than before, especially in 'You Will Never Destroy Me', but as 'There Is Still Hope' says, every cloud has a silver lining and so despite the somewhat darker undercurrents of this album, there is still hope somewhere through gentle melodies singing, humming over the a black sea of drone like sounds. Each of the seven tracks get a lot of time to develop, perhaps at times too much, but I guess its inherent to this kind of music to go for a slow development. From the pure form of ambient music to the post rock variation of it. Not the biggest move in the world but surely a nice one and great to see him back on track. Let's hope for some more. (FdW) Address: http://www.bassesfrequences.org

 

PAMPIDOO/TAPES (split 7" on Meeuw)
A split 7" on Meeuw. 'Ghetto Rock' is by Pampidoo, apparently a famous DJ from the 80s for his 'synthesizer voice'. A strange of a voice singing the words 'Ghetto Rock' over a crazy set of drum machines and synth loops, speeding up and slowing down, like a crazy form of dub music. Tapes are from New Zealand but currently residing in London and apparently known via Jahtari (whatever that is). Essentially he creates the dub version of the 'Ghetto Rock' piece by emphasizing the rhythm and a bit of the keyboards. From Meeuw you expect nothing less than really weird and this is a really weird one. Novelty acts? Serious matter? Who knows? Do I like it? Hell, yes, I do. (FDW) Address: http://www.meeuw.net

 

LUCIO CAPECE - ZERO PLUS ZERO (CD by Potlatch)
Best known for his improvised work with others, Lucio Capece presents here solo compositions. I assume he uses with multitrack for some if not all of these pieces. His instruments are sruti box, soprano saxophone with applied objects used as preparations, double plugged equalizer, ring modulator, bass clarinet neck, cassette, minidisc walkmans, bass clarinet and sine waves. Usually per track, and there are six of them, he explores one of these real instruments in combination with the more static sound sources. Like I think is usual with solo CDs of people from the field of improvised music, this kind of releases is a showcase of what the musician is capable of. Which in the case of Capece is a lot. He has a strong interest in the more sustaining sounds and hoovers closely to sheer silence every now and then. In the title piece, for soprano saxophone with applied objects used as preparations, this is very clear. Very quiet, never gone however, he plays his music with great care, allowing himself a fine compositional built up. In 'Inside The Outside 1' the sruti box starts but over the course the piece the music seems to die out, and pure tones remain, whereas in the second part of that piece the emphasis lies more on the drone like character, and stays 'present' for most of the time. The third part is for bass clarinet with and without cardboard tubes and has beautiful carefully build tension. This is not easy music, in terms of getting into it. You need to fully focus on what's on offer here, or else the beauty of it all gets lost. But once you do, a lot of beautiful, silent music can be heard. (FdW) Address: http://www.potlatch.fr

 

FILFLA - FLIPTAP (CD by Someone Good)
Keiichi Sugimoto is best known for his work with Minamo, FourColor and Fonica but finds time to record something entirely different as Filfla. For Someone Good's series of 10 songs in 20 minutes, he does exactly that: ten songs in twenty minutes. Someone Good is the sub-pop-division of Room40, and these ten short pieces fit the pop sensibilities of the label really well. Small guitar melodies, fine lines on the synthesizer, bits of vocals, breezy rhythms that sometimes work their way up and throughout a great summer like feeling. Maybe some of the pieces are too short, especially when they drop below one minute, but when they are, great pop like songs emerge, such as 'Pack Plus Ice', 'Syncsynth' or 'Morse Mall'. Not y'r average pop music obviously, as Filfla retains to have something odd in the chopped up sound. If you like Static Caravan releases and wonder what this is all about, you should try this. You can't miss. (FdW) Address: http://www.someonegood.org

 

ELODIE - LA LUMIERE PARFUMEE (CD by Faraway Press)
Andrew Chalk and Timo van Luijk's ongoing research in the world of atmospheric music adds another chapter through their latest album 'La Lumiere Parfumee'. Armed with a handful of acoustic sounds, rusty metal, a piano, flutes, violin, wine glasses and such like they play intimate music that sounds improvised. Which I guess is an odd thing since you could expect something more drone like, but that's simply not the trick of their trade. Through sparse notes they create a sense of emptiness, desolateness and melancholy. Electronics, when used, are only there is a very sparse way. 'Arcade Oblique' seems to me the only piece that use more of them, but it fits well with the more acoustic pieces. Very intimate music, reminding me of Idea Fire Company's 'Music From The Impossible Salon'. (FdW) Address: http://farawaypress.info/

 

STEINBRUCHEL & CORY ALLEN - SEAM (CD by Quiet Design)
A work through mail, exchanging sound files for fourteen months. 'Each sound was processed and multiplied by both artists, forming a sound archive of individual threads. The compositions were then sewn and stitched together using the collection of the archive. Connecting each composition is an in between thread which weaves the album's tracks together'. The cover is machine stitched with threads too, and looks quite distinctive. The music however is less distinctive, as it follows the patterns already set out by each of the artist before. Code words are 'warm', 'glitch', 'microsound', 'long sustaining' and it could have found its way to Line or 12K. In order words: there is nothing new under the sun. But then: should there always be something new under the sun? Perhaps not. Some people are glad to stick what they are good at and this happens the right territory for Steinbruchel and Cory Allen. All tracks flow into a short thread which takes you into the next passage of nicely flowing sounds - all seamlessly flowing into each other. There is no sign of the original sound material, which I guess is also the usual thing for this kind of music. Hardly the most innovative release, but surely of great beauty. That is worth a lot, sometimes. (FdW)
Address: http://www.quietdesign.us

 

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