KK.NULL "Kosmik Engine"
(Important Records/Voidstar Productions)
KK.Null is one of those pioneering japanese alternative musicians which names are always on
every noise lover's mind, just like omnipresent Merzbow or Aube. By the way, KK.Null
met Masami Akita in 1983 when Merzbow was just formed. That time KK.Null played electric guitar
at various galleries and club venues. He started playing live with Merzbow and Hanatarashi,
but soon joined YBO2 and founded his first band ANP (Absolute Null Punkt).
This time also "Dead Tech" compilation saw the world, and it was the first KK.Null
major experience in producing music. Nux Organisation, the own KK.Null's label, appeared in 1985,
started with his first album release. In 1987 KK.Null founded Zeni Geva, the most legendary
band of japanese grindcore scene. Besides KK.Null, Zeni Geva consist of musicians from Hanatarashi,
Bodredoms and Leningtad Blues Machine. In the early 90s, Zeni Geva toured USA for the first time -
during this tour, KK.Null met Jello Biafra (from Dead Kennedys) and Steve Albini (who produced such
bands as Sonic Youth and Whitehouse). All these years KK.Null's activity is on it's top:
Zeni Geva toured the world, KK.Null released a lot of solo CDs and was involved in various
collaborations, festivals etc. In 2002, he visited Russia during the 5th Sergei Kuryokhin
Interhational Fest (SKIF-5). KK.Null's interest in more delicious forms of experimental music
was evolved since 1996, when he found a new project Terminal Hz with Dawid Brown and Sean Backster
- firstly focused on jazz-rock but later converted to more electronic sounding. After all,
not forget to mention his "wild" rhythm and noise project Monster DVD, together with musicians
from Zeni Geva and Government Alpha. All recently recorded KK.Null albums are real-time
improvised and made with a single deviceboard (effects desk), controlled in the distance
via special console. KK.Null calls this systen "Nullsonic" (just like Robert Fripp with his
"Frippertronics"). Nullsonic can not only transform sound, it's also possible to play
various instruments, so this is full-functional interface. Some sort of basic synthesizer
functions allows to use it as perplexive sound generator. "Kosmik Engine" gives you a good
idea how it works. All tracks are untitled, solid and sole, like the moon grunt. The composition
is straight and strong, each track is intended to cherish raw and primitive electronic
sound. The pulsing waves of machine paranoia, the broken, cycled, async sounds... In fact,
quite natural for Japanese born people: it's neccessary to find the point of contemplation
even there is no single human left.
Contacts: Kazuyuki K. Null - website and e-mail
or Important Records c/o John Important, P.O. Box 1281, Newburyport, MA 01950, USA
or Voidstar Productions c/o Deftly-D, 102 Park Ave. West, Unit C10, Lowell, MA 01852, USA
KALLABRIS "No Bingo"
Too seriously subtitled "Reference of encyclopaedic archieve research department
for pure and applied Kallabristik", new album from this mysterious german formation
is here. It's really archive recordings from 1995-1999, but the small edition
of only 100 copies is obviously conceived for the friends and I'm the one of
those happy individuals, who got this gem. Kallabris is the unique band: it
exists since the mid of 80s, but produced only tapes and limited edition vinyl
records, and no single CD! There were years of silence after last LP, and
no news at all, except that its name was given to the festival of german
electronic music. Total weirdness is even about Kallabris label - Jazztone.
Its releases are numbered in descending order (this is number JT127), beginning
from the last record number released by this really existed, but abandoned
label. The history is going back also in music, which turn us to underwater
expeditions, unfriendly beauty of northern nature and more abstract things
impossible to describe. The omnipresence effect is taking over audiostructure,
it's rarely can be found even up to date. You can spend years somewhere across
the northern sea, but still have no idea what it's all about until you play
this record on your own. Back to this album, the things are a bit different here.
It have quite melodic approach (but the melodies are not fit to be transcribed
as notes), it vibrates and freezes your feelings, it's melancholic and objective
like a sadness reflected from the old photo with people who turned in other
state, unknown for us who is still alive. Nine short tracks are melted together
by sweet atonality, not through harmony, but through sleep taking you away in the
world full of clear and transparent energies. The last track is half-hour tribute
to Led Zeppelin, unexpected as much as perfect styled! Just try to imagine
hard-rock song which will be described well by all those words I wrote here.
If you can't, you still have a chance to found this album, but hurry up!
ALEX KELLER "The Four Hundred Boys"
A new name for me in the experimental music, with debut album - an always
interesting and breathtaking experience. Alex Keller is Seattle based
composer who has a kind of academic music education and worked with
Christopher DeLaurenti. Intrinsically atonal fragments like the back
side of the artificial, technological music around us, its contrast
with the harmony between sound and silence in the quiet parts,
careful collection of dissonantly sound events which are impossible
to hear in half-ear (as much as you can't escape the sense of reality of
definite sounding objects when feel its presence aurally) - to
follow my description, you should imagine works in musique concrete
and abstract styles of composition. Seven pieces, mostly pretty long
by duration, partly hypnotize listener with the dreamlike evolving,
and partly disturb with their uncontrolled and constantly changing,
breaking basis. Every piece demonstrate the perfect skills in the
field recordings technique, computer software & processing, electronic
treatment of acoustic instruments like piano and guitar, rhythms and
even spoken word. I can't say that this album leave some sort of
radical impression - it's quite typical for experimental music school,
as much as appealing for the mass-culture consumers. And that's the
main reason for which I can recommend it to somebody who will be interested.
Contact: www.alexkeller.net or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mictlan Recordings, 6718 12th Ave NW, Seattle WA 98117, USA
KIYOSHI MIZUTANI "Bird Songs"
Long time known as Merzbow collaborator, Mizutani recently released some
solo albums which were categorized by critics as buddhistic Zen-harsh-noise.
Sounding too abstract and complex in comparison with naked aggression
of Mizutani's most part countrymen works, they attracted attention of
well-known admirers of careful environmental recording technique, KAON Records.
Result was an appearance of Mizutani's piece on "The Sound of Nature -
The Nature of Sound" compilation as also his official webpage located in the
members area of KAON website. Supposed to continue working in the same
direction, Mizutani released this CD, which perpetuate the singing of six
birds recorded in the Tokyo area. But what a great work it is! In most parts,
recordings are taken directly from nature, without further rearrangements,
so you can hear really amazing sound of natural acoustic landscape.
Despite the strict minimalism of composer's work, it isn't boring at all,
at least I breathtakingly listened to it many times. Besides bird voices,
you will hear some standard environmental sounds like river, rain and wind,
but also lot of strange and unrecognized sounds which compel to think about
kind of orchestration. What is notable then, the accurate comments about
each track, which will make your listening not only passionate but
Contacts: Kiyoshi Mizutani, c/o Ulcer House, #201, 2-18-1, Yurigaoka, Asao-ku, Kawasaki-shi 215-0011, Japan
or Ground Fault c/o Erik Hoffman, P.O.Box 4923 Downey, CA 90241, USA
Promo by LES DEUX
(90-min tape with four 23-min fragments of albums
"Blumenfabrik", "Mecanologie Portable", "Tout Seul Sur Laplage En Hiver" and "Petit Aeroplane",
separated with test-signals)
The art is not intended to lie down in the bed with everyone,
instead, it prefer to disappear when someone spell its name.
The art really like to be incognito, and the best moments coming
when the art forget its name. French band with strange german title,
which means "Strumming on piano", doesn't try to bother listener with
complex style labels. It will shock you if you expect something certain,
because it's just natural, naive, freeform and open to every living soul.
You'll feel ingeniousness in every short piece, not depending of musical
form - ballads, waltzes, jazz improv or avant garde playing together in
such gently way, that we couldn't be sure of these cliches we knew about
it all before. Well, some unusual instruments are added to guitars, drums and
keyboard (toy piano, harmonica, trumpet and bells), but the point is
that they playing serious music with unique humorous touch, or pathetize
pop songs... Christophe and Françoise Petchanatz let us see through music
all that we had lost forever when childhood has gone.
Contact: Klimperei/Les Deux c/o Christophe Petchanatz 38 avenue Pompid
ou, 69003 Lyon X France
KLIMPEREI "Un P'tit Coin D'Ciel Gris"
This is a new CD from Fizz, sudivision dedicated to childish music -
what the aptly subtitle! Well, the musicians called this album their
sad album, but in fact this sadness goes not too far, like a child
which can be only sad until you'll take his attention in your hands.
You make him feel good, and the sadness turns to happiness!
The amateur people just can seat down, relax and remember their
adolescence, first love, deception and the anxiety of life.
The senses are slightly melancholic, joking and serious at the same
time - like the poetry, it takes new horizons every time you
return to it. The instruments like xylophon, guitar, piano, toys,
drum-machine making the music a kind of live-in-studio, the childish
synthesizers are so cheerful! The 26 short pieces are intended to
different kind of tunes - sometimes pathetic, sometimes shy, always
curiously and sincere, they are like a circus clowns. The bunch of
emotions, strange, but never getting boring. Especially the last three,
which cannot leave you indifferent even if you are really poor person.
Contact: Prikosnovenie or email@example.com, BP9423, C-44194 Clisson Cedex, France
KLIMPEREI "Big & Bang"
The music of Klimperei, barely changed over the years, now is spreading
to new territories. This is already second album-like soundtrack, but not
imaginery as "Alice in Wonderlands" appeared one year before.
"Big & Bang" is the theaterpiece directed by Patrick Dubost and presented
in Him Théâtre du Verseau (Vénissieux). It is also represented in the
program of the Biennale Théâtre Jeune Public of Lyon in June of 2001.
The whole idea of that piece is based on burlesque encounter of two
different, but real persons, Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton, playfully
renamed to Big and Bang. Their presence is overwhelming but somewhere
out of time and space, and it stands for the cause of various funny
situations, humorous events, clue fables and poetic images.
"Big and Bang are living in two adjacent flats somewhere between chaos
and the harmony. Big and Bang listen to the music of Klimperei, of the naive
ritornellos that broke free from a circus or from the fireman dancing hall,
or maybeby it is the music of vaptured spheres tat is broadcasted by a
mechanical and portable orchestra. Big and Bang are brothers: they enlighten
salad with their eyes, their hands are full of bees and are looking for
a place where time is hidden." Easy and confusing,
this epigraph give you an idea of what's going on. The friend of mine who
visited me while listening this album for a first time, told me that he
couldn't believe that anyone can listen to this music with the general purpose.
If it sounds behind the closed door, it's easier to imagine that there is
someone listening to radioshow for children, or watching cartoons, or simply
there is a sort of hilarious children birthday party. 38 miniatures, some of
them are made of just a single sound, but other are real songs, in which
sounds are like Lego-details, even being misplaced or misused still making
impression and adding some charm. At last I must to say some boring clever
words which all amateur people love to say: the references for this music
are names like Residents, Samla Mammas Manna, Ensemble Nimbus, Pascal Comelade,
Michael Nyman, Phillip Glass and Richard Pinhas.
Contact: Conapt-Sounds @ Organic or firstname.lastname@example.org, 10, rue Blériot - 38100 Grenoble, France
KOZO INADA "d"
As long as Staalplaat label exists, it always has leading position on
the independent musical scene, which was proved not once - introducing
new names, strong self-organisation, flexibility and open-minded attitude
regarding all what happen outside of that hidden place where underground
like to exist. Material Series is only a small part of huge empire of music
they presented to us through all those years, but if you are a newcomer, you
are more than welcome too! For me, the art conception of Material Series is
a kind of invitation, a lovely and nice looking stuff, colourfull and glossy,
hi-tec CDs packed in jewel case with no printwork. All information is etched
on the CD box itself. Inside special material is housed (in this case yellow
wired plastic). The CD itself is so-called AB-CD: the small ring with music,
and the outside of the CD fully transparent.
As you can imagine, such a special designed CD suggests only
extraordinary musical contents - and you are right! Microwave is described
as the combination of glitches, broken pulses and clicks, noises, minimal
structures and has huge dynamic range that varies from absolute silence to
extreme peak. It is a compromize between avantgarde and club cultures which
was reached in the end of 90s, and gained popularity for the last years as well.
For me it's difficult to say, who is the "end user" of this type of music -
it is too much concentrated within the style frame for being experimental, but
too radical for being entertainment... Kozo Inada is Japanese musician who
is using computer tools and transforming digital arrays to audio signal flow.
The four long tracks on this CD giving excellent impressions about the style
described above, and I just can recommend this album to anyone who isn't
familiar with microwave. And the other people possibly don't need to hear my
Contact: Staalplaat, P.O.Box 11453, 1001 GL Amsterdam, The Nederlands