CHILDREN OF THE STONES
The Bright Day is Gone

[Deserted Village, www.desertedvillage.com]

JOHN BUTCHER / CHRISTOF KURZMANN
The Big Misunderstanding Between Hertz and MegaHertz

[Potlatch, www.potlatch.fr]

FELIX WERDER
The Tempest / Electronic Music

[Pogus, www.pogus.com]

ARTANKER CONVOY
Cozy Endings CD/DVD

[The Social Registry, www.thesocialregistry.com]

ROB BROWN TRIO
Sounds

[Cleanfeed Records, www.cleanfeed-records.com]

THE CHROME CRANKS
Diabolical Boogie (Singles, Demos & Rarities: 1992 B.C. - 1998 A.D.)

[Atavistic, www.atavistic.com]

MATHON
Muntsulej

[Everest Records, www.everestrecords.ch]

FERGUS KELLY
Material Evidence

[Room Temperature, www.roomtemperature.org]

TAO G. VRHOVEC SAMBOLEC / TOMAZ GROM
Tilt

[L'innomable, www.linnomable.com]

WALKING BICYCLES
Walking Bicycles

[Walking Bicycles, www.walkingbicycles.com]

UNITED BIBLE STUDIES
The Shore that Fears the Sea

[Deserted Village, www.desertedvillage.com]

The only common thread to all of these releases is that I'd found them in my mailbox on April 11th. Any other connections are incidental and a work of pure fiction. If these reviews seem brief, it's only because I'm trying to conceptualize the meaning of the music in as few words as possible in time to finish packing for my trip.
Stealing the title from a late 70s British series for kids, Children of the Stones debut is an awfully spooky affair. Take equal parts Robert Wyatt circa "Rock Bottom", strip away some of the instruments down to bare minimum and add a truly haunting 12 minute drone track [scrapes on cymbals?] that sounds like people screaming out for mercy and you've got this band nailed. Sombre and genuinely moving, "The Bright Day is Gone" is freaky spook fest. Steering away from psychedelics and straight into eai, the latest duo that saxophonist John Butcher is involved in is one with laptop artist Christof Kurzmann. Despite generous amounts of electronics that may be thrown his way, Butcher always retains his own unique style. The gasping breath, the slow, locked tongue on the mouthpiece and the self-restraint he shows are phenomenal. Standout track is "Redwood Second", where Butcher employs feedback tenor. While Kurzmann hurls some even-lined pitches his way, Butcher shows off self-control and restraint like rarely before. In other places his tenor and soprano don't come anywhere close to resembling instruments he's actually playing [well, maybe with exception of bird calls on "Shilling"]. Kurzmann's contribution is varied enough to keep things interesting at every turn. Thick drones turn into high-pitches which then become highly recognizable crackles. It's all good. Alien, yet strangely inviting, if you haven't been converted to Butcher's way of thinking, this is your perfect opportunity.
Moving into the world of composed music, Felix Werder's opus "The Tempest" is a rare find. Mastered from old vinyl copies [original masters were lost] by Warren Burt, four pieces offered here represent what is best about electronic music. Fast-moving edits, glitches, what could pass for radio waves, analogue synths. Laser beams shooting straight into the sky and hitting their target right no mark. At times, words fail me with enormity of what goes into my ears. It's at times like these; I'm brave enough to declare "The Tempest" a clear winner in the rat-race. Absolutely brilliant and essential piece of work in its scope and its overwhelming dexterity. Coming straight from New York's psychedelic-drone scene, Artanker Convoy delight with their second release. "Cozy Endings" is in fact a real bargain as the package contains a full length CD along with a DVD of all original materials, films [some done by the MUX art collective]. For those unfamiliar with their sound, it's thick, yet loose. It's full of drone, but allows a prevalent feeling of looseness and relaxation to come about. No doubt, Artanker plays a profound role in the scheme of things. His percussive madness is front and centre on every one of the six tracks. Guitarist Art Lavis also adds some tambourine beats, while Jon Warren plays percussion and tabla as well. Jake Oas's alto and tenor sax colouring meshes nicely, while Chris Seeds is excellent at providing bluesy moments with his pedal steel, but also does nice grooves on the piano and organ. The grooves are heavy, while the progression is logical and music flows naturally. If anything, this is an organic version of psychedelia, spruced up with dub and rock elements. Turn in, drop out and blow up your head. After a number of very strong efforts in the last few years, saxophonist Rob Brown continues to go from strength to strength. His latest trio features cellist Daniel Levin and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. Their common effort is jazz that swings, excites but mostly challenges. Levin uses the cello much of the time as a bass. In plucking the strings incessantly, he creates a counterpoint to which Takeishi can refer to. Takeishi's drum rolls are often sparse allowing the other two members much need breathing space. Brown goes from melodic to jagged and angular lines in a flash. He's not afraid to stretch things as he sees fit. If I were to say this is simply a lovely album, then I'm not telling the whole truth. In fact, "Sounds" is another essential piece in the puzzle that is Rob Brown.
I've got to admit, at the time The Chrome Cranks were reigning supreme in NYC, I was too busy checking out bands from other parts of the US - Rhythm Pigs, Straw Dogs, Scratch Acid. With a vocalist/guitarist [Peter Aaron] that looks like a vision of hell, along with guitarist, bassist and drummer that look only slightly better, on the 2 CD set "Diabolical Boogie" the band ravages through more than 30 tunes that rock, roll and show the level of disgust with life, current political system, social condition and what not. Blues, rock and plenty of trash-o-punk, these guys rock solid. Inject only a few tunes at a time. May be lethal if dosage is overdone.
Muntsulej is a mountain in the Swiss town of Mathon. Album by the collective known as Mathon is also entitled "Muntsulej" and it appears the release received some funding from the local Kanton [region] to make the album a reality. The music perfectly encapsulates what it's like in the Swiss Alps in the dead of winter. The slow, machinating lulling rhythm. The ponderous and ominous, bass-driven "uuumph". The trickling coming down from the melting icicles in a dark cave, deep underneath the mountain. The howling winds that create an atmosphere of doom and gloom for the alpinist who'll never return from the trek up to the peak. The jittery static that may be coming off crackling vinyl?but I digress. Seriously, this is ambience that should be taken as such. Lulling, peaceful with electronic elements of danger and spookiness, "Muntsulej" is an audio soundtrack to the mountain climb you'll most likely never have the guts to make.
Travelling northbound to Ireland, we find composer Fergus Kelly who decided to make "Material Evidence" in an abandoned Guinness site in Dublin. [My mouth is dry just writing this.] Much of instrumentation used by Kelly remains a mystery. All I can say is a large portion is certainly percussive in nature. Chains? Metal attractions? Rusty tools? Blocks? Steel cans? It's anyone's guess really. Random noise or something that was prepared ahead of time, I'm not really sure. Three pieces move in a jiffy [this is a 3" CD-R] and before you know it, 20 minutes have collapsed and the whole thing needs to be repeated all over again. "Material Evidence" is a great start into an abundant catalogue of Fergus Kelly. This is definitely someone I'll have on my radar from now on.
"Tilt" is an interesting duo of electronics guru Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec and bassist Tomaz Grom. Half of the record was recorded in Alicante, while the other half was done in Ljubjana. Once again, Grom does everything in his power to mask the fact he's playing the bass, while Sambolec uses a massive array of tools to come up with blurts, bleeps, crunchy bits and tasty bites. Their interaction shines as with each track they move inches closer to a common ground that helps both musicians define their true duo identity. The closer they reach that ultimate pinnacle, the more satisfying their common musical mass becomes.
"Tilt" is an interesting duo of electronics guru Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec and bassist Tomaz Grom. Half of the record was recorded in Alicante, while the other half was done in Ljubjana. Once again, Grom does everything in his power to mask the fact he's playing the bass, while Sambolec uses a massive array of tools to come up with blurts, bleeps, crunchy bits and tasty bites. Their interaction shines as with each track they move inches closer to a common ground that helps both musicians define their true duo identity. The closer they reach that ultimate pinnacle, the more satisfying their common musical mass becomes.
Chicago-based Walking Bicycles is a band that in some way returns to the past. This is not the distant past, but hell, 15 years isn't an immediate past either. Part late 80's British wave of guitar rock [remember those people who used to stand at the front of the stage and stare at their own bloody shoes!], part pop and part angry mosh-pit assault, they end up finding the perfect balance between all sides of the musical spectrum. Vocalist Jocelyn Summers has a sneering set of vocals that can turn on a dime and become quite sweet and tender at once. The tunes are short enough to keep everyone's interest at a peak. The jingly guitars and a sense of urgency make this album a joy to listen to. Velocity Girl comes to mind, but that was a distant time, far, far away. What I love best is the prevailing sense of humour which the band displays in just about ever tune. "Let's play king of the mountain / I'll push you over and then I will laugh / Haha", Summers sneers on "King of the Mountain". Twenty minutes that go by in a flash. The EP only begs for the auto-repeat to be pressed. More on the folk side of things, Ireland duo United Bible Studies still preserve a sombre façade in their music. At times their sound gets dangerously out-there - as on the screechy "Tributaries of the Styx Under Dublin" - but largely, this is a psychedelic-folk-acid outfit that is comfortable in expressing the sadness of the sameness of everyday coarseness of life. With its lovely flute and acoustic guitar motif and roaring sea waves crashing on the shore, the title track is absolutely brilliant in passing on the essence of the band. Stunningly played, sung and prepared, this is a release that I'll be returning to often.

- Tom Sekowski


<<< poprzednia recenzja następna recenzja >>>
 

RECENZJE

+ Anthony Braxton - Sextet (Victoriaville) 2005 / Roscoe Mitchell - Compositions/Improvisations Nos. 1,2 & 3
+ Älgarnas Trädgard - Framtiden ar ett svavande skepp, forankrat i forntiden
+ Henry Kaiser/Charles K. Noyes/Sang Won Park - Invite the Spirit 2006
+ My Cat Is An Alien - Il Suono Venuto Dallo Spazio
+ V.A. - Jukebox Buddha
+ Casio Casino Vs. Neville Attree - AAcid Code 8
+ Matthew Dear - Asa Breed
+ Vladislav Delay - Whistblower
+ Brian Ellis - Free Way
+ Thomas Fehlmann - Honigpumpe
+ Filewile - Nassau Massage
+ Andreas Heiszenberger - Ah
+ Kiko - Tragolta
+ Lawrence - Lowlights From The Past And Future
+ Hakan Lidbo & Alex Van Heerden - Simple
+ Montag - Going Places
+ People Press Play - People Press Play
+ Phonique - Good Idea
+ Porn Sword Tobacco - New Exclusive Olympic Heights
+ Rancho Relaxo Allstars - The Answer Is Yes
+ Rother Vs. Beliayeva - Roses Remix/Don't Worry Remix
+ September Collective - All The Birds Were Anarchist
+ Throbbing Gristle - Endless Not
+ Tied & Tickled Trio - Aelita
+ Death Vessel - Stay Close
+ Apparat - Walls

- - - - - - - - -

+ COR FUHLER - Stengam
+ MAD JUANA - Acoustic Voodoo
+ MARISSA NADLER - Songs III: Bird on the Water
+ AXEL DÖRNER/LUCIO CAPECE - Axel Dorner / Lucio Capece
+ SPOOKY - Open
+ DAVID S. WARE QUARTET - Renunciation
+ JUNE TABOR - Apples
+ PETER SCHARLI SPECIAL SEXTET - Hot Peace
+ BUFFALO AGE - Buffalo Age
+ JACKSON HARRISON TRIO - Land Tides
+ SYLVIE COURVOISIER - Lonelyville
+ RAN SLAVIN - The Wayward Regional Transmissions
+ ANTHONY BRAXTON & FRED FRITH - Duo (Victoriaville) 2005 / WOLF EYES & ANTHONY BRAXTON - Black Vomit
>> CHILDREN OF THE STONES - The Bright Day is Gone / JOHN BUTCHER / CHRISTOF KURZMANN - The Big Misunderstanding Between Hertz and MegaHertz / FELIX WERDER - The Tempest / Electronic Music / ARTANKER CONVOY - Cozy Endings CD/DVD / ROB BROWN TRIO - Sounds / THE CHROME CRANKS - Diabolical Boogie (Singles, Demos & Rarities: 1992 B.C. - 1998 A.D.) / MATHON - Muntsulej / FERGUS KELLY - Material Evidence / TAO G. VRHOVEC SAMBOLEC / TOMAZ GROM - Tilt / WALKING BICYCLES - Walking Bicycles / UNITED BIBLE STUDIES - The Shore that Fears the Sea
+ PRIVACY - Without Mercy
+ PURE SOUND - Submarine
+ YABBY YOU - Deliver Me From My Enemies
+ TEXT OF LIGHT - Rotterdam.1
+ ENT - Fuck Work / URKUMA - Rebuilding Pantaleone's Tree / (ETRE) - A Post-Fordist Parade in the Strike of Events
+ GUTEVOLK - Tiny People Singing Over The Rainbow
+ ENRICO RAVA QUINTET - The Words and the Days / JOHN ABERCROMBIE - The Third Quartet / PAUL MOTIAN - Time and Time Again / FRANCOIS COUTURIER - Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky
+ MICHAEL FAHRES - The Tubes
+ ZMF TRIO - Circle the Path
+ GIANLUCA BECUZZI & FABIO ORSI - The Stones Know Everything
+ OV - Noctilucent Valleys
+ JIM DENLEY & SCOTT SINCLAIR - Gleanings
+ ADAM LANE / KEN VANDERMARK / MAGNUS BROO / PAAL NILSEEN-LOVE - 4 Corners / (((POWERHOUSE SOUND))) - Oslo / Chicago: Breaks
+ ANTONY MILTON - The End of This Short Road
+ DAVID LIEBMAN / RICHIE BEIRACH / RON McCLURE / BILLY HART - Redemption - Quest Live in Europe
+ KLIMA - Klima
+ ERSAHIN / TRUFFAZ / MADSEN / RUECHERT / PENMAN - Our Theory / WAX POETIC - Copenhagen
+ WILLIAM PARKER & HAMID DRAKE - First Communion & Piercing the Veil - Summer Snow
+ TILOMO - Soft Lunch / SECRET VOICES - No Time For Silence

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Techno dekathlon master - rozmowa z Hakan Lidbo