Vital Weekly #842

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MARC BARRECA – TREMBLE (CD by Palace Of Lights) *
TON (CD by Granny Records) *
THE DISTRACTIONS – THE END OF THE PIER (CD by Occultation Records) *
FACTORY STAR – NEW SACRAL (CD by Occultation Records) *
ULNA – LIGMENT (CD by Karl Records) *
ASTMA & A SPIRALE – CASEMATTE (CD by Viande Records) *
ALTER 2011 (DVD-R by Toxo Records)
UN – THE FINAL QUESTION (CD by ICR Distribution) *
MICHAEL MUENNICH – ZUM GELEIT (3inch CDr by Fragment factory)
SELF/SKY BURIAL (10″ by Peripheral Records)
JESUS ON MARS (CDR by Dissolving Records) *
NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS – COMPOST (CDR by Attenuation Circuit) *
AMALGAMATED – SPARK 1 (3″CDR by Intangible Cat) *
PRAAWANDER – THE NUMBER YOU CALLED (postcard by Static Caravan) *
BARTEK KALINKA – VIOLIN & DRY LEAVES (cassette by Knife In The Toaster)

MARC BARRECA – TREMBLE (CD by Palace Of Lights)
Its easy to call Marc Barreca an ambient composer, even when that is
true. Yet his ambient music is not easily be compared to others, like
say those we know from the world of drone music or those who work with
field recordings. Unlike his previous release, ‘Subterrane’ (see Vital
Weekly 737) there is no listing of any instruments, field recordings or
even methods of producing this, but the result is something quite
different than what we usually encounter. It continues where his
previous left us and again we have a very full but spacious sounds.
Perhaps again its the use of field recordings, along with an accordion
and various other electronic sources, which move like tectonic plates
alongside each other. Sometimes one is louder, then another, then
something else, and sometimes everything seems to be in balance for a
long time, and it all stays the same. But since the sound is so richly
filled, the mind has trouble focussing on specific elements and it only
seems things are moving. A full on sound that has a strangely relaxing
atmosphere – its like being in a rainforest: it seems quiet but its
full of sound and full of liveliness. Maybe I have this strange vision
of rice fields, burning sun, eyes closed, colors washing and all of
such things? Barreca’s music also has something that is no doubt to be
called ‘psychedelic’ – hallucinating music. Its a great album. Warm,
exotic and ambient – although perhaps not always by the common
denominator of the genre. Excellent album. (FdW)

If Bwana is the solo project of  Al Margolis, a musician with a
long history. He emerged  from the experimental underground music
scene of the 80s.  In 1989 he started the Pogus label together
with composers Dave Prescott and Gen Ken Montgomery . An interesting
and profiled label that also counts releases by Margolis himself. 
Like ‘E(and sometimes why)’, a double cd presenting a magnum opus
Margolis has been working on for about three years. For the first time
in his long career he has composed a work to be performed by others.
The pieces were composed for the Amsterdam-based Trio Scordatura. This
ensemble of Elisabeth Smalt (viola d’amore), Alfrun Schmid (voice) and
Bob Gilmore (computer/laptop), is specialized in vocal and instrumental
music involving microtonal tunings and spanning a broad range of
musical styles.  A project on Harry Partch was at the beginning of
this trio in 2006. They try to encourage composers to explore further
the intricacies of microtonal tunings. No idea however they met
Margolis and decided  to work together.  Two CDs are filled
with seven compositions by Al Margolis. Some of the compositions
however are by the Trio.  For other works the Trio provided
material for  the composition. “They played with If, Bwana and
they played If, Bwana and they were played with and by If,
Bwana.”  An unique multisided collaboration.  All pieces
center around combinations of long extended notes  by acoustical
and electronics sources, mixed in a way it is difficult to distinguish
between the two.  As a consequence it is music that moves slowly
like a constant  fluid stream of sound. To say that the music
‘moves’ is not always a correct.  In another metaphoric 
attempt  it seems better to say that Margolis tries to give
duration to what is given in a moment: extensions of moments. I
asked  myself why a double cd. Some of the works do not differ
that much as they originated from an identical scope.  All of them
are similar lengthy explorations, and one cd would do for me. 
‘The Tempest, Fuggit’  is an exception.  On top of  long
extended patterns and notes dominating, Michael Peters gives a dramatic
reading on top of it of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Also the
opening piece ‘Gilmore’s Girls’ has drama.  Voices, instruments,
can be distinguished easily in this sound poem.  The piece that
did it for me, is ‘Cicada 4AA’  that is built from layers of busy
interactions on a microscopic level. (DM)

TON (CD by Granny Records)
A daring move, I thought, on all accounts. For the label to release
this in these darker days of investing in CDs on new groups, and
perhaps for this duo to create music that is hardly ‘new’ by any
standard. Ton is a duo of Dimitris Damaskos (also known as Damcase) and
Haris Koutsokstas (who apperently also works as Vokal Idiot). I didn’t
either of them before this work. I am told that they have both quite
different backgrounds. I am also told these backgrounds are quite
different and that for this collaboration they use field recordings,
analogue sound sources, lo-fi samples with sine waves and high pitched
tones. All of that is well of course and the ten pieces here vary from
forty seconds to six minutes and thirty four seconds (in total
thirty-two minutes), which perhaps makes matters nicely concise and to
the point. The music however reminded me very much of the good ol’
microsound scene of say a couple of years ago. Lots of static, lots of
crackles, the occasional low end sine wave bump or high end peep, wind
blowing down the long pipe, straight into the microphone. Perhaps the
main difference between ‘then’ and ‘now’ is the approach in how this
was recorded/conceived. No more laptops, plug in or max/msp, but a fine
combination of all things ‘low’. If indeed that is the case. You never
know with this. Maybe they have used laptops to store all those
analogue matters and present it back through laptop playing, but
somehow I suspect this is not the case. Whilst the approach of Ton
towards music is hardly new I must admit that it all sounds pretty much
alright. They do a fine, decent job and while not original, its a damn
fine album to listen to. Good, sturdy experiments take place and they
are presented as fine, small collages of sound. (FdW)

D’Autres Cordes label boss is Franck Vigroux is as a musician also a
busy guy. He is both a composer and improviser, working solo as well as
with groups as Camera and Push The Triangle, or with improvisers such
as Eliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Bruno Chevillon but also in work with
video artists, performers and writers (Kenji Siratori for instance). He
plays guitar, turntables, electro-acoustic sound sources and voice. On
his new CD he gets also help from Annabelle Playe on voice (she herself
had a CD on his label quite recently). Ten tracks here, of which the
last one takes up one third of the entire length of the CD (which is
forty-two minutes) and throughout it walks that fine line of noise and
more subdued material. Say that fine line that I like very much.
Occasionally drone like, dream like, almost then, perhaps in ‘2600’,
but bouncing, noisy, in the piece that comes straight after that ‘Ashes
IV’, followed by a collage of manipulated vinyl in ‘Bruisme’ after
‘Death In Paris’ computer voice and finally we land in ‘Traits’ a Pan
Sonic like piece. All in the space of twelve minutes. Its all thought
out carefully, although perhaps also created through means of
improvisation. Here we have someone who knows how to play around with
the notions of noise and silence, to create something that grabs your
attention, and not tries to shock you with one hour of endless noise
masturbation. Vigroux plays his pieces short and to the point. If there
is nothing more to say, you stop it and not continue: its simple as
that. This CD fits very well the current trend of things being loud but
carefully constructed. I like that a lot. (FdW)

FACTORY STAR – NEW SACRAL (CD by Occultation Records)
Now, right now, the summer is almost perfect. Good temperature, not too
hot so you can’t think anymore, but nice, a bit clouded, but lots of
sunshine. I should be out there, doing whatever people do ‘out there’,
a holiday perhaps. Pick a book from shelf that I already a couple of
times, say ‘Factory – The Story Of The Record Label’, by Mick Middles
and lie on the beach, listening to that 4CD set of all the great
moments of Factory Records. Perhaps, perhaps I would wonder whatever
happened to some of those bands, certainly when Middles’ book provides
no answer for it. But he mentions, extensively, the ‘great lost band’
of the new wave era, The Distractions. It took them no less than thirty
two years to come with a follow-up to the only LP ‘Nobody’s Perfect’
(Island Records) and the great 7″ on Factory Records. That’s something
else, like releasing thirty-two CDs in a single year. Ten songs,
thirty-nine minutes: classic pop length. With only two original members
left, but with the characteristic voice of Mike Finney, this is some
excellent encounter in the world of pop music – a world I hardly know
anything about. The Distractions play some excellent melancholic songs
(I am known not to pay too much attention to the lyrics, so I have no
idea what they are about), but with a great breezy, early autumn
atmosphere. Not instant sing-alongs, as this is not pop for the masses,
but for people with a refined taste. Sometimes wine gets better over
many years, what about The Distractions? They are surely as great in
those days, but perhaps even better? Excellent stuff.
Which can also be said of Factory Star, the new band of Martin Bramah,
a long time ago of The Fall and The Blue Orchids. I sure liked their
previous full length album ‘Enter Castle Perilous’ (see Vital Weekly
776) and their christmas single (Vital Weekly 808). A band with Bramah
at the helmet and on vocals and guitar, along with someone playing
organ, bass and drums. Simple and effective music, be it more rock than
pop, to draw a difference with The Distractions. Here are six new
tracks, spanning the length of a 10″ (in which this is also released,
for Occultation CDs are effective tools of promotion) of again mild
psychedelic music, with the organ playing that highly effective role,
remembering us again of The Doors, although Factory Star doesn’t share
the jazz like feeling of Manzarek’s playing of the keyboards. It colors
the music wonderfully well. ‘Strangely Lucid’ one of the songs is
called and that’s how one probably feels after hearing this. Great
stuff too. I am about ready to book that holiday and take with me all
those great Occultation releases and nothing else. (FdW)

ULNA – LIGMENT (CD by Karl Records)
Following ‘Frcture’, Ulna’s debut CD reviewed in Vital Weekly, it took
quite some time for the follow up to arrive, four years to be precise,
but ‘Ligment’ is finally there. Ulna is the duo of Valerio Zucca Paul
(formerly known as Abstract Q) and Andrea Ferraris (Ur, but also a
writer for various music sites), who both play laptop and synths and
further explore the edge of dance music. They receive here help from
Mark Beazley (Rothko), Barbara de Dominicis (Julia Kent). The rough
edge that some of the pieces on ‘Frcture’ had, influenced by old
Esplendor Geometrico, Sympathy Nervous or Dive, is entirely gone here
and the nine pieces here sound all quite smooth, more or less. It
covers that grey area of older Warp Records releases, with a more
daring influence of musique concrete, minimal techno and field
recordings – perhaps. Music that is surely pleasant to hear indeed and
the entertainment value of this disc is quite high. One doesn’t
necessarily hear something one has never heard before, but that should
not always be the case, I think. Somebody sheer fun and entertainment
is fine, even when Ulna is, I think, not aiming directly at the dance
floor. Their material is a bit too weird for that. So perhaps its not
easy to say what it is they are aiming for then, but play this while
driving cars/traveling on a train – and I think that should do the
trick. (FdW)

The first time I heard music by Anna Homler it was when friend Anton
Viergever played me her tape ‘Do Ya Sa Di Do’. He may have even
reviewed it in Vital, when it still was on paper. Strange that only
after a week that Anton passed away I get a CD by Anna Homler of whom I
haven’t heard in at least fifteen years – I would have loved to hear
his opinion about it. I learned that since the mid-90s she has worked
with Voices Of Kwahn, Stuart Liebig, Stephanie Payne and now with
Sylvia Hallett. She works with improvised and composed music, solo and
in duo (ao. with Clive Bell and Mike Adcock). All of which I never
heard. The strange thing about their work together is that it is
immediately familiar again, having not heard that first solo
cassette/CD by Homler in so many years. That probably says something
about the unique character of her voice. Homler and Hallett first met
in 1992 and have been playing together ever since. This album is the
result of playing together in the studio and exchange of sound files.
Besides using their voices, they use a whole bunch of other things,
such as accordion breath, walkie-talkie, wood devil, pocket theremin,
sound kitchen, bells, assorted metals, plumber’s pipe, packing tape,
pet toys, bowed cymbal, mbira, saw, jew harp, toy piano, pebbles,
bells, bowed bicycle wheel and then I have listed about 2/3 what is
mentioned. The music has something folk like, something ancient, or
even something tribal also, like we are just tapping into some ancient
culture of some kind, or, for all I know, something extra-terrestial.
The ladies use a language of their own, a personal poetry and improvise
along but then sometimes also hold what their playing for some time
(totally against the ‘rule book’ of improvisation) and create something
that we could constitute as a song, like ‘Radio Fish’ for instance with
that irrestiable jew harp. Thus they move along the spectrum, from very
free improvisation to quite tight song like structures. Maybe at times
I raised an eye-brow and thought something along the lines of ‘hippy’
but I never said that out loud. Getit? (FdW)
Address: http://www.the

If I understand well, PAS Music curates a series of releases for the
Alrealon label in France, in which a musician invites some of his
friends for a compilation based loosely on a theme. Here its Thorsten
Soltau, who runs the MM Label – ‘dedicated to plunderphonic music,
experimental and abstract audio’ – and this compilation is his first
public release showcasing his artists. As a theme they settled upon
‘tracks for non-existent movies’, which in reality could be of course
any sort of musical activity that is not directly related to an
existing movie. So they six tracks here can also be seen as just ‘six
tracks’. These pieces are by PAS (surprise?), Margitt Holzt, Herr
Penschuk, Eibinger, Nika Son and Herr Penschuck & Thorsten Soltau.
I must admit I didn’t hear something that I immediately could relate to
as a soundtrack. The six pieces here are all considerable fine pieces
of electronic music in which montage/collage of sounds is the keyword.
In some way they all sounded like the sons of Nurse With Wound, with a
fair amount of instrumental passages, either played by the artists
involved or sometimes as lifted from vinyl, cut together with some
field recordings, electronic interludes, bits of voices, cut cleverly
together. Soltau and his friends surely play some fine music, but
throughout also doesn’t stand out of what we already know – but perhaps
that’s the problem with compilations in general. (FdW)

ASTMA & A SPIRALE – CASEMATTE (CD by Viande Records)
ALTER 2011 (DVD-R by Toxo Records)
The boys from A-spirale (Mario Gabola on acoustic and feedback
saxophone, scream, amplified strings and Maurizio Argenziano on
electric guitar) seem always very busy. In March 2011 they co-organized
a festival in Naples and met up with Astma – Alexei Borisov
(electronics, guitar, voice) and Olga Nosova (drums, percussion, voice,
contact mic, effects), whom also played at the festival and went on
tour together for ten days. In the basement of A Spiral they played
together for perhaps a day or so and the result of those recordings are
now released. Seven pieces of a wild party indeed. Of course this is
all improvised music along the general working methods of both groups
solo, and combining these two beasts brings out an even larger animal.
Wild banging on drums, lots of feedback, warped vocals, total mayhem
all along and surely something that will leave the listener quite tired
behind. Improvised music but something more along the lines of free
rock, especially in the use of the drums. Quieter moments are hard to
be found around here, although they are there (‘Vozgoranie part 1’ for
instance) and there is even an attempt to a real song, in the form of
‘Wicked’. Like said, rather fruitful events down in that basement in
Along I got a DVD-R which I assume is some sort of documentation of the
festival A Spirale organized. It has one piece in which we get to see a
short clips of all those who played or, in some cases, the background
video. Its a pity that this is not indexed since it lacks a bit of
context this way. Now the whole thing comes across a sound collage.
Sometimes its interesting to see a musician work, like Jerome Noetinger
and his reel to reel recorder (solo and with SEC_), but somehow I miss
the point of this release. I think I preferred an indexed version with
perhaps longer excerpts of the concerts. Or perhaps as a friend of mine
put it recently: its quite boring to watch music on DVD. By which he
meant all music actually, and there might be truth in that. I prefer to
listen than watch anyway. (FdW)

Ronny Wærnes – electronics – Lars Nicolaysen- drums- heavy rock
pounding rhythms … from Norway…. On the first track, track two totally
different, improvised shenanigans … which slowly gets louder… track
three more wild drumming and electronics which could almost be a sax…
track five and we have some vocals pounding drums 4 4?  Track 5
more drumming  heavy rock style and sax like electronics. I must
admit I’ve had this Cd for awhile, the general promo material and title
“Nightrider” made me fearful of what might be here, my fears were
correct, and so I will pass over this in silence. If you like
punk/heavy rock you might like it, I guess Ronny and Lars do – which is
the first bad move… (jliat)

UN – THE FINAL QUESTION (CD by ICR Distribution)
Paul Bradley and Colin Potter have played together before, for instance
when they recorded ‘The Simple Plan’ (see Vital Weekly 716), but
apparently they decided to have a joint name together for their ongoing
work, which is Un. Their latest venture is called ‘The Final Question’
and its recorded in France, Switzerland and Norway, which I assume is
related to venues, rather than field recordings (the ‘thank you’ list
includes Cave 12 and Nødutgangfestivalen), but melted together into one
piece of just under thirty four minutes. Its not difficult to spot
where things are cross-faded into another part, but of course that’s
hardly interesting. I am not sure why but perhaps I expected this to be
a work of many drones derived from a series of field recordings, so
much to my surprise I hear a lot of synthesizers. I am not sure if
these are analogue or digital (perhaps another matter that is not
really interesting), and through a fine slow arpeggio Potter and
Bradley play some great cosmic, bringing us right back to that
Flowmotion compilation LP Potter released some thirty years ago. It
takes up what is perhaps the second part of this piece. Throughout
there is a whole bunch of other sounds to be noted in this, like fine
high end frequencies, low end keyboards and whatever else feeds off
through what must have been an endless bank of sound effects. It
connects very well to the current world of cosmic music, and at the
same time breaks away from the field recordings processing they are
known for, especially in their solo work. It continues where we had
them with ‘The Simple Plan’, but then in an every more spacious
(literally!) mood. Excellent release.
On the same label, another new release by Darren Tate, although the
inside also mentions ‘added to and amended by Colin Potter, IC Studio,
London’ (which is also something new for me: I didn’t know Colin moved
his studio). Tate has been producing music since 1984 and is a member
of Ora and Monos and occasionally works with others, such as Paul
Bradley and Ian Holloway. An interesting man from the world of ‘drone’
music in the UK, with a solid history in music. Tate takes credit for
electric guitar and synthesizer, perhaps just like Bradley/Potter don
on their release, but the result is quite different. Only to a smaller
extent this is ‘cosmic’, or perhaps it doesn’t walk the more easy paths
of bouncing arpeggio’s. The works falls apart in two lengthy chunks of
synthesizer sounds and a bit of guitar through a loop station (I
assume). Slow and calm drifting like driftwood on a calm sea. Drone
like and majestically moving – the fade out takes no less than ten
minutes, in which also new elements are entered. Dark and mysterious,
like an unknown forest at night. Its perhaps in the history of Tate’s
career not a release that radically alters your perception of his work,
since it continues quite in a linear way what we already know, but I
thought this release was a particular fine one. Well thought out,
carefully planned and expertly executed. (FdW)

MICHAEL MUENNICH – ZUM GELEIT (3inch CDr by Fragment factory)
Montessuis’ work (art-noise and experimental sound poetry –
collaborations with a host of artists such as Charlemagne Palestine,
Phill Niblock, Julien Blaine, David Larcher, ) of 23 tracks 35 minutes
is of processed vocals – his voice- at times cartoonish, 
guttural… at others shear noise, always in its scream like qualities of
a human voice quite disturbing. Muennich’s  (a performance in
Berlin 2011 long, electro-acoustic composition ) crackles and pops of
17+ minutes are made from springs, a tin can and tape loops, 
presenting a fairly uniform sonic structure. To paraphrase – the one
thing wrong with these sound works is the sound. Its not the sound of
the sound but its very presence. (pre!) The aesthetic of the material
is only – or is more than the material – it is a concept of materialism
– and without the concept we just have a re-presentation – not a
presentation – as in an actual object – but a representation of a
“sound object”. A good trick would be to remove the sound and so reveal
the object. Philosophically perhaps an impossibility, but not in sound
art. The first assumption should be the first point of departure, the
first thing to be questioned an put under erasure – before the event –
before the event of sound, and so the event is stalled, should never
arrive as its already announced. Its only when the sound becomes
un-important that anything can be said- even the expression of the
emptiness of all communication. Sound artists pre-occupation with
sound- here again is the pre – beforehand – the precept is already
given as a priori the material, the medium – no longer the message and
contra Harman’s recent talk – how can you “say” the medium is the
message- that is a contradiction – whereas this form of sound art its
not – but it is an a priori event – you know its concerns are sonic.
You know before you hear it, whereas it can only work if you only know
*after* you hear it- as in “what was that?”. This sound art was never a
good “ploy” as it was always a singular move – the one thing that Don
Judd didn’t like about Flavin’s work was the lights. We know what to
expect- so we expect what is already there, the work needn’t then be
created as we all know good avant garde work- sound arrives “before” we
hear it. It exists as “sound” – but sound here is so “essential” it is
no longer a surprise, it can not begin, or become because its already
here in the sense of being what it is, it needs to fail, annihilate
itself, but it doesn’t because it is good mannered “ART”. That sounds
kind of cruel, but only by such an annihilation can it remove itself
from its already presence. (jliat)

SELF/SKY BURIAL (10″ by Peripheral Records)
More than happy to leave Vomir’s LP/CD with Jliat for a closer
inspection, I half-half assumed this would be also a noise based
record, and perhaps it half-half is. John Balistreri, also known as
Self, knows his classics in the world of industrial music. Maybe a lot
of the noise kids not easily recognize the voice of Jim Jones in that
final moment of Jonestown (1978), but three decades a classic if you
need to spice up your industrial music with some Psychic TV
credentials. Self’s soundtrack is not really noise like, but rather
evolves around a set of lo-fi loops, feeding through some stomp boxes.
It curiously reminded me of so many of the old trouble makers, but
especially Ramleh in a more ambient mood sprang to mind. Michael Page,
also known as Sky Burial, on the other side taps out of the same field
of old school industrial noise, through a mean – not as in very loud –
set of low humming sound generators. A lot of those and it turned out
not to easy to press all of the frequencies into the vinyl. That’s a
pity I thought, since the track seemed like a most suitable soundtrack
to any nightmare. I thought this record, in all its retro aspects, was
a great one. (FdW)

JESUS ON MARS (CDR by Dissolving Records)
This release is ‘dedicated to P. Dick, R. Pinhas and C. Schnitzler’, it
says on the cover and its not difficult to see why. I have no idea who
Jesus On Mars, wether its a group or an one-man band, but it seems that
they have acquired a bunch of analogue synthesizers to shape up their
science fiction music, and as we know, science fiction always deals
with the past, or at the best with the ‘now’ (which has become ‘past’
once we said the word). Fuzzy music of old synthesizers, with dust
between the knobs and keys, sounding very ‘old’. Like Pinhas and
Schnitzler’s ‘non-keyboard electronics’ in the seventies. Psychedelic
music that takes the listener of an endless journey through the sky,
and beyond, up into the dark, onwards to the planet Mars – as red as
the cover of this CD. Its not that I hear anything ‘new’ in this
release, hell no, but I played this twice in a row. Alright, I was too
lazy to change the player, but also because these five pieces had
something captivating. Wild, experimental and yet close to the world of
cosmic music – a bumpy ride through the cosmic and one returns all
refreshed and bright. Like waking up from a LSD trip, almost.
Thoroughly psychedelic. (FdW)

To know when the last time was I heard something new by Nocturnal
Emissions I went to the oracle of music itself, being of course
Discogs, and I am not sure if I heard ‘Collateral Salvage’ (2003) but I
surely heard the album they list as its predecessor ‘Omphalos!’ (2000).
Except twelve years later I don’t know what it sounded like. All of the
work Nigel Ayers produced after that I didn’t hear, pretty much a lot
of what he released from his debut ‘Tissue Of Lies’ (1980) to
‘Omphalus!’, I did hear. I never was the biggest fan but always keenly
interested in hearing what Ayers was up to now, with the exception of
‘Viral Shedding’ (which my former office mates called ‘Vital
Shredding’), which I thought was a classic, and still has its way on my
ipod. So I am a bit in the dark when it comes to ‘recent’ developments.
Likewise I have no idea about his set-up these days. Maybe he moved
beyond singing and playing CDs? Maybe he uses just a synth and some
effects? If I listen to the live recording of last year, now released
as ‘Compost’, I assume its the latter. Music-wise Nocturnal Emissions
have been all over the place, but dabbled a lot in ambient electronics,
and this is where we find ‘Compost’ too. Lenghty passages of quiet
electronics moving dark but gentle about, slowly changing and every now
and then adding sound material, changing the color of the sound and all
such minor adjustments, never leaving the bigger, darker texture
behind. Only in the beginning and the end things are a bit louder but
the whole middle thirty (out of forty) minutes are quite subdued. I
think its all pretty alright. Nothing great, nothing spectacular but
altogether a pretty decent live recording. With Nocturnal Emissions you
never know what to expect but its always of some fine quality I think.
But somehow I can imagine a lot of people think: I can do that also.
But maybe that’s the whole nature of Do It Yourself? (FdW)

AMALGAMATED – SPARK 1 (3″CDR by Intangible Cat)
Behind Amalgamated we find the cooperative spirits of Cory Bengtsen
(Rebekah’s Tape on sampler, keyboards, saxophone, turntable), Bob
Newell (of Headless Ballerinas Underwater on sampler, keyboards,
percussion, drum machine), Mike Richards (also of Rebekah’s Tape, but
also the man behind Makeshift Music and Intangible Cat on guitars,
effects drums, percussion, keyboards and tapes), Phil Klampe (of
Homogenized Terrestrials on keyboards and sampler) and D. Petri &
Gus Kumo on editing and mixing. Since 2004 they have been playing
together, recording every now and then their improvisations on 4 track
cassette or 16 track digital, yet this 3″CDR is their first release. As
influences they call out for Nurse With Wound, Brian Eno, Autechre and
‘miscellaneous psychedelic/noise music across different time periods
and affiliations’. That indeed sounds all true to me. ‘Rot Makor’ has a
driving (old) Autechre like beat, but also an Eno-esq ambient backdrop.
There are bits of weirdness throughout, but the rhythm seems to be a
driving force in this music, even when you hear its not as straight
together as your average techno minded record, with odd elements
popping in and out, strange elements of repeat. I thought it was all
quite nice, even when a bit short to form an overall impression. So,
the second one should tell me more. A pity this copy had a lot of
copying errors. (FdW)

PRAAWANDER – THE NUMBER YOU CALLED (postcard by Static Caravan)
And just what is this? Its holiday season for sure and some people
still send a good old fashioned postcard, instead of facebook
greetings, instagam or whatever it is called these days. Pressed in the
carton is a short piece by the for me unknown group/project Praawander,
which finds Static Caravan in a more experimental mood than we usually
find them, with spacious synths, a fair amount of delay and reverb, but
with that low sound quality of the card, perhaps even sounding better.
There should be a remix project of this where people tape it right of
the postcard itself, I thought. A great gimmick item, not the first on
Static Caravan and hopefully not the last. There is a sound cloud page
where you can download a longer version and no doubt that sounds better
too. Craziest thing of the week. (FdW)
Address: or

BARTEK KALINKA – VIOLIN & DRY LEAVES (cassette by Knife In The Toaster)
Better known as XV Parowek, Bartek Kalinka now works under his own
name. That’s perhaps not the only change. When he worked under that
particular guise it was all rather raw and a bit noisy. The rawness
didn’t leave him, but its, at least on this particular new release,
quite minimal. Anna Kalinka provided ‘stepping on leaves as a guest
performance’ it says on the cover and that’s not just on the side
called ‘Dry Leaves’. I am not sure if there is a difference between
both sides, if in fact one track is called ‘Violin’ and ‘Dry Leaves’.
For all I know, and that’s actually based upon hearing this tape in its
entire form, its only one piece. Someone walking a bit of leaves and
some sort of minimally treated violin, which however no longer sounds
like a violin. This cassette lasts – I don’t know – forty minutes and
what is said in here might always be told in ten minutes. Or perhaps I
missed out on some finer points in the very minimalist approach Kalinka
is taking here. As an ambient sound-scape it worked rather well
however: I read a whole bunch of pages in between, fell asleep and when
I was awake again, nothing had changed. (FdW)

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