SALA "Alas" CD
(Tantric Harmonies)

English

Tantric Harmonies is one of the first russian labels, releasing the music which really deserves attention, on according to its quality level. In the beginning, the label activity was focused upon the european underground "stars" (Hybryds, Bad Sector Muslimgauze), but recently, he discovered some less known or even unknown names (even russian ones) and presents it to the wide audience. This album is debut of the lithuanian musician Adrius (a23), recorded back in 2000. Because of small edition size (limited to 230 copies) it was released not as CD but as professional printed CDR. But, in the end of it all, CDR format is even more close to underground ideology, so why not? Well, Sala is completely unknown to an absolute majority of listeners, and it's good in terms of anonymity and prevent from prejudices concerning music. What we have on this CDR, are 5 track of dark ritual trance music, mostly created with voice and percussion. In some way it's close to good old Nekrophile label production. But, despite to apparent simplicity, the music have an exclusive intrinsic quality - it bewitches and hypnotizes you, quickly ascending your thoughts and emotions, so you soon will fail to ignore it, it will occupy your attention deliberately. But how it should be else? No pre-definitions are here, like the true ritual, it afford the full concentration from you, then it will take an effect. A good example of instrumental minimum in order to reach the maximum in output.
Contact: Tantric Harmonies c/o O.le.g
or sala23@delfi.lt

 

SAMARTZIS, PHILIP/SACHIKO M "Artefact" CD
(Dorobo)

Russian

Philip Samartzis is the australian musician, who was for a while very enigmatic person for me. I knew about his old project GUM, which was found in the mid 80s with Andrew Curtis and dedicated to vinyl records extreme possibilities research. Just like famous analogue era experimentators such as Milan Knizak and Christian Marclay, they used to cut, break, scrap, scratch, coat with paint, glue and other household chemical goods, set it to fire, dilute with metals and so on. I wonder if you can hear results on their vinyl LP debut "Vinyl". And also don't forget to mention another 7" record done together with another pioneering anti-DJ - AMK ("Assemblage"). In 1990, Samartzis' name disappeared from the musical life's current shedule, I didn't heard about him at all, and no one record was published since then. I already buried my memory about GUM, but in 1998, the new Samartzis record appeared, the solo record called "Residue"! And, curiously, it was released by most famous australian label Dorobo, the home of Shinjuku Thief. (I first thought that's because of Verhagen and Samartzis neighbourhood but lately I discovered lots of electroacoustic/environmental sound albums coming from Dorobo catalogue). Both "Residue" and "Artefact" were released as the parts of "Dorobo Limited Editions" series. Samartzis is currently known as performance-artist and infatuated soundfield researcher, he is always welcomed guest in many exhibitions, installations and media-festivals, curator and organizer of various cultural actions (mostly in his homeland). His albums reflects his activity - and, needless to say, most of them are collaborations. This one is recorded with japanese electric musician Sachiko M, in the concert in Paris, and then subsequentially treated in studio. It consist of four long tracks which I'd like to call "digital textures". "Interference", "Corruption", "Rapture" and "Surface Noise" are all creeping pieces of subtle and soft noise, like homeless electric creatures initiated by man and long time forgotten. A good illustration to binary theory applications, when you see the endless perspective created through two multitudes of microscopic pixels.
Contact: Philip Samartzis, 62 Clauscen St., North Fitzroy, 3068, Victoria, Australia
or Dorobo c/o Darrin Verhagen, P.O.Box 22, Glen Waverley, Victoria 3150, Australia

 

SAT STOICIZMO "Mah 2" CD
(Artware)

Russian

"Marinetti and Russolo's futuristic noise ethic taken to it's logical conclusion." The Croatian trio 'SAT Stoicizmo' was founded in late 1981 and - after recording their main works in the period from 1982 to 1985 (including one personal change in late 1982} - split up in 1987. Both geographically and mentally remote from the centers of the music scene and practically nonexistent in public even in their Slavonian native country, they developed a unique style of futuristic music - too noisy and structurally complex for rock & pop, too 'musical for pure industrial, too rhythmical and physically offensive for modern classical music (musique concrte) but also too 'handmade' as compared to the later techno. The group itself regarded its both radical and extremly diversified approach as an attempt to combine the achievements of punk-rock-music with the classical concept of futuristic bruitism created by Luigi Russolo in 1913.
'Mah 2' pronounced 'Mach [after the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, 1838-1916] dva' - Is a four piece concept-work which deals with four main aspects of futurism: simultaneity {'9:36:57 po srednjeevropskom vremenu' - '9:36:57 in Central European Time'), acceleration ('Avionom' - 'by airplane'), power ('Nehaj' - 'levity') and machinery ('Futur egzaktni' - 'future two'). At the same time, it is probably the most consequent attempt to transform morse-code-information into music: actually, almost every structure you hear is inspired and determined by morse-patterns - some of them rather obvious, others (most of them) practically unperceptable and hermetic. The spoken poetical excerpts appearing in the first three pieces are - as far as recognizable - takc'n from works by Ernst Mach, Homer, Jaroslav Seifert, Miroslav Krieza and I.C.Zrak.
Every record is just a photograph of a certain acoustic event so don't complain about the event being too far away from you when in fact you are only too far away from the photograph: because that's your own choice." (Velimir Mostic)
One condition made by V. Mostic tor the GZ-reissue was to present 'Mah 2' in its originally intended form as a double album with four endless loops (at the end of piece 2, 3 and 4 and the beginning of 4} unfortunable not possible on the CD-version. As a result of the very problematic shape of the original C-60 tape and the extreme character of its content it turned out to be largely impossible to capture the full plasticity of the SAT-sound onto another medium. Regardless of the very fine job done by the cutters (their fuses were kicked out at least four times) a significant loss of clarity, spatiality and - most important - diversity and differenciation (as compared to the presumed original sound) has to be put up with - especially in 'Nehaj'. To still gain the full simultanistic effect it is suggested to listen both with headphones and loudspeakers at the same time. And in this case it is far more than an empty clich when we say: "The louder you listen, the more you will hear!"
Contact: Artware Audio c/o Donna Klemm, Taunusstr. 63b, D-65183 Wiesbaden, Germany

 

SCHAEFER, JANEK "Pulled Under" CD
(AudiOh!)

Russian

Well here is the groundbreaking CD - after some decided disappointments and tons of dull stuff it make me feel like a deep breath of fresh air! Definitely the best what I heard recently at least. Janek Schaefer is new name to me, I discover his music due to the marvellous french Fear Drop zine, published one of his tracks on CD-compilation that comes with the latest issue. Janek is UK resident and owns AudiOh! studio/label. His previous works were released by such labels as Fat Cat, Sirr.ecords and others. His sound work is based upon vinyl records and extensive sampling/field recordings techniques and evolving through skillfully manipulated abstract electronica layers. Music is surprisingly expressive, even minimal parts can give you unlimited impressions. Right from the start of first track your imagination bring you into the huge house, where you can easily lose your way among endless corridors and passages. The interior is always changing, it reminds museum, cathedral or even derelict catacombs. The faint light circle runs through walls, crowded images are hiding in the dark, emerging from nowhere and dissolving into each other. At that point you'll realize that this house reflects the very inner world... maybe yours own? This thought pierce your brain like a revelation: the ceiling and walls are expanding to the infinity, all events become rambling and the memories began to fade. The gloomy clouds of dense air washes your body - there's no more familiar things around, alienation and cold atmosphere wake you up... to fall asleep again in the next split second. Janek Schaefer' musical genius is transforming your reality gently but with irresistible force, pushing you into the realm of abstractions and mysteries. The best metaphor for his music is "day-dream". "Pulled Under" is the first regular CD released by AudiOh!, following to a bunch of limited CDRs and vinyl records.
Contact: AudiOh!Recordings c/o Janek Schaefer, 34 Crewdson Rd., Oval, London, SW9 0LJ, UK

 

SIX AND MORE "Do Not Open" CD
(Archegon)

Russian

Again the title speaks for itself - this is an ideological and professional extension of the older project of the some people, Neglige. The number of musicians is growing up, so the complexity of work is changing proportionally. Especially the technical part, and the conception is similar to above. "Music for the six and more musicians" makes me think about Noise Factory and Kontakta, the projects known for their multiprofile teamwork compositions/improvisations. This is the way towards free from technology restrictions, instinctive and creative musical process and open conceptions. As far as the work goes, you have a chance to witness communication between 15 musicians. Using an impressive variety of sound making electronic devices, some of which are self-built as I can assume, the music is shifting between electroacoustic and experimental electronica fields. Together they create a small model of future society, drawn by abstract tonecolours on the sheet of audible sound frequency range. Some chaotic and shrinked sounds are implemented in full-emotion and ever-changing mood which is omnipresent beneath the sound exploring and contemplation.
Contacts: Archegon, c/o Guenter Schroth, Muehlgasse 31, 60486 Frankfurt/M, Germany

 

SIX AND MORE "Oisi Voci" CD
(Archegon)

Russian

The culmination point in electronic music performance level never reached before, for the small stage at least: 47 musicians were participated in this project, and this is already third album of the crew, compiled from live recordings on various locations between 1995 and 1998, far away from the beginner steps done more than 10 years ago. The general conception is the same - improvisation with various electronic devices as well as strange and uexpected objects of household like electric pot and glasses, but moving deeper: a variety of emotions was added, what is really not typical for improvisation concentrated on more or less static mood depending on the state of musicians souls. Starting with dramatic yearning ("For Geoffrey") and ending with hilarious gently but powerful chaos ("Maximum"), in some way reminding of political manifestation and recorded with full collective input of almost all musicians. The more people the more styles are mixed together, so you can barely define the music as the entity derived from solely instrumental approach. Many well known names are mentioned in the list of participants: Y-Ton-G, Uwe Zahn, Malte Steiner (Das Kombinat), Stefan Roigk (Keim), Thomas Beck (TBC) - Six And More are becoming super-group, but anyone who is open-minded to this sort of stuff will undoubtly appreciate them!
Contact: Archegon, c/o Guenter Schroth, Muehlgasse 31, 60486 Frankfurt/M, Germany

 

SIX AND MORE "Way Out" CD
(Archegon)

Russian

First what caught my attention (except decreasing the number of copies with every new Six And More album - the fact I really adore now more than ever) is that their music is constantly moving towards the academia realms. The regular output and documentation of the same musicians live collaboration within the same conception range may be dangerous as far as subcultural attitude could control the creative activity traditionally. Keeping in mind, that there was a number of good musicians who was not able to resist the academic tendencies, I strongly hope, that their potential will help to bypass this provocative possibility. Six and More still going into history as the only band which exists only during the live-session time. Is it really the band? Better to say, it's materialized thought of allday life in the musical environment. Last three years of live performing exposed here showing more chaotic side of Six And More, but in the same time, more abstract. Nevertheless, it makes the homogeneous impression. It can be difficult to familiarize oneself within this music, but this is how the true improvisation should be - to exist only in invisible contact of people with similare interests and attitudes. Our memory capabilities seems to be incomplete to translate this contact in other ways. That's why I was evidently failed to draw attention to this album. As they said, He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Contact: Archegon, c/o Guenter Schroth, Muehlgasse 31, 60486 Frankfurt/M, Germany

 

SCHROTH, GUENTER "Barcode Music" CD
(Archegon)

Russian

The first solo album of the aforementioned "live electronic music" ensemble Six And More, which is clearly approached to the very metaphorical idea of barcodes musical interpretation. The evident links between barcodes, this property of every thing produced by mankind forces, and modern "art for masses" giving an insight in todays artificial world structure. Alltime actual, but everchanging and constantly getting more complex, this art is intended to describe current state of civilisation circumscription. As far as very special terms of information technologies applicable to the control and integration of global consumer goods redistribution system, the album investigate the world around only through the machine language. Minimum of emotions symbolized in the only natural sound, the voice of Franziska Quandt, producing contrast with dehumanized, but fine-drawn processes traced with laser scanner and two generators, decoding sheets of barcodes into sound. So the music is 100% barcode controlled, and musician's input is generally to translate technical parameters like: cycles, frequency, bytes, errors correction etc. Computer music as the subject of computer program or computer program written with music?
Contact: Archegon, c/o Guenter Schroth, Muehlgasse 31, 60486 Frankfurt/M, Germany

 

SMELL & QUIM "Your Enemy's Balls" CD
(Red Stream)

Russian

Their music is associated with films of Pasolini in my mind, because of his talent to see and value the man's entity that society hides with various taboos. The enigmatic soul is destined to fall in the grave when people die, but what can be more interesting than get known with all hidden facets and strange experiences - the more impossible, the more wanted? In the eyes of his films heroes we can see the world of pure instincts and rough unconsciousness, which is in fact much more younger than the one we are living in. The memory awakes and make us closer to our secret wishes. Well, I could speak more about the music of the album with such friendly name (the first CD of the band?) Starting with the arabian intro, the music grows in the wall of noise and dirty samples which will provokates you to more dirty thoughts...
Contact: Smell & Quim, 18 School Lane, Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD5 0JS, UK
Red Stream, P.O.Box 342, Camp Hill, PA17001-0342, USA

 

SOREN "The Dying Man" CD
(Death Rattle Records)

Russian

This one is seems to be the most pretentious project of all what I've heard recently - around easy genres, of course. Soren produced an highly archetypical image of exile, eremite, lonely hero on the path of personal disappointment and disorder. The cursed and confused soul is here, open for everyone who will take an insight of this album. Soren is still less known, and presents his debut album. Soren songs are forming the whole entity, it's the narrative story - each song is like a chapter from his life, or, more correctly to say, dark vision of his life. I believe it's sincere compassion, and if you are much into gothic and neofolk music, you'll definitely accept it right. Soren' singing manner is obviously similar to Alexander Veljanov (Deine Lakaien), even more than you can suppose! On the theme of album, there are eternal problems in relationship between people, our world far from perfection, life and death at last. Love and self-realization. A sad fairytale, tragically ended, but your life is still in your hands.
Contact: Death Rattle Records, 8547 E Arapahoe Road, #J-441 Greenwood Village, CO 80112 USA

 

STARUHA MHA "Rusali" CD
(Tantric Harmonies)

Russian

This is probably first time when my review looks like obituary notice. Roman Sidorov was the guy behind Staruha Mha one-man project, which was finally "discovered" by our well going russian label Tantric Harmonies. On 23rd September 2003, he commited suicide at his home vacation near Moscow. Being really strange person indeed, he was leading a secluded life during the last four years and had lost all connections with people around. Also he was addicted to drugs and used to take too much mushrooms recently - the very likely cause for this tragic turn. Nevertheless, all this time Roman was active and recorded really interesting and outstanding music which remained unknown to wide audience only due to his passive attitude and indifference to releasing something. "Rusali" is his first and last officilly released album, and I must admit that it's one of the best works where drone-ambient meets musique concrete. It also have an unique feature: "western" electronic music being adapted to russian popular tradition. It explores the main symbol of russian elemental entity, the forest, which is always a source of mysterious nature, embodiment of indomitable natural forces, ideal stage for fairytales, and stands for innumerable resources, profusion and strength. I was trying to remember if there were some other musicians whose works reflects the atmosphere of forest, that unforgettable mix of emotions that carries us away in these scarce moments of unity with nature. Well, maybe Controlled Bleeding were most successful, with their "Poisoner" and "Night Shadows" albums. Some single tracks of NLC, Zoviet France, Hybryds... But it seems that no one was more successful in this way than Staruha Mha. What is of great value, it makes me think about death again - after death, human life seems to be thought more complete and logically ordered. Everyone can "see" motivations and explainations... The last comments should be made about other bands of Roman Sidorov - Der Golem and Fatal (his dark wave-project with E.Voronovsky from Cisfinitum). They were also very less known and will obviously die in vain.
Contact: Tantric Harmonies c/o O.le.g
or staruhamha@iblazed.com

 

CARL STONE "Mom's" CD
(New Albion)

English

"The soul of sampler", Carl Stone is american composer who's fame is of little interest for himself. This album is mini-anthology, consisting of five pieces of music, recorded back in 1986-1991. The common point is, as I may suppose, that each piece is conceived to accompany something: videos, dances, stageplay and even a pop-song. I was familiar only with title piece which was previously released on final part of "Dry Lungs" compilation series. "Mom's" is a very interesting example of transformation: beginning with cold and bleak electronic sounds, it grows up and suddenly becomes an cheerful and daring folk dancing! This CD was released more than 10 years ago,so you'll wonder to know, what the changes are happening with the artist and his claims with the technical side of music composing. New Albion is more known as post-classic, electroacoustic and old-school avantgarde music label, Carl Stone may be a kind of outsider here. But it does no reason to skip his work, especially for those who are interested in transformation of musical experience of the past centuries into technology-based scientific approach, soften with slight irony and artistic confusion.
Contact: New Albion c/o Tom Welsh, 584 Castro #525 San Francisco, CA 94114, USA

 

STRAWBERRY "s/t" CD
(Taigkyo)
Russian

Everybody love to tear pop music to pieces, everybody love to call it stupid and bothering. Is it really so meaningless and sluggish? The army of pop musicians is always increasing, and even if their professional skills are quite satisfying for the present-day music industry requirements, the moral aspect and individuality are often simply degenerative. Sometimes, the serious and talented musicians were obliged to come down in the world of pop music in order to survive. Some of them were able to lift up the level of pop music, to ennoble it with their participation. But Strawberry is something different. It's the new band emerged from the Chicago underground music scene. All seven musicians have wealth of experience with experimental, avantgarde music. Many have they roots in free-jazz, grindcore, electroacoustic and performance art. I know but I'm not allowed to tell you the names - but be sure that you know them. The goal of this band is simple but important: to pay homage to all those music which formed their taste and continues to expand that narrow-minded concept cultivated by corporate music industry. I hope it's addressed to young people though... The music is very varying and mixed - Mouse On Marse, Cannibal Corpse, Beatles, Gary Numan and so on. Influenced also by synth-pop, electro-rock, punk, new wave and club hits of all time, this serious entertainment project can tell to anyone how the actual pop myth should be produced. I'd like to classicize them, but honestly, I don't believe in glance and glamorous future of this project. It always hard to reconcile creative and commercial aims in any form, so let's hope that this attempt will not be lost in vain. Fashionable and dynamic debut for wide audience!
Contact: www.strawberryplanet.org

 

STREICHER "War Without End" CD
(Cold Spring)
Russian

Streicher is a military unit, waging the war against humanity. Using the sound as the weapon, Streicher provokes the aggresion and misanthropy, supporting any extreme attitudes in ideology as far as in music too. Formed moreover than ten years ago, this project remained little known because of intentional isolation. The founder and solely mastermind behind Streicher is Ulex Xane, australian-born musician active since early 80s. He is also known as the main person behind Extreme (1984-1988) and Zero Cabal labels, and had a plenty of various musical projects: Zone Void, Nife Junger, Kaput Mortuum, Thule Society, Cyberzoid, Vhril, Pimp-Aktion Shotgun, The Moralunary Class Psy.Phalanx. Some of them are now defunct, but even in the past, they released just tape albums in very small limited editions, distributed by such "outsider" structures as Open Wound Artware. Streicher was the most aggressive brainchild, and it's music appealed to the european power electronics and harsh noise scene. In the early 90s, it found the way to the audience taking the part in various famous compilations: "War Against Society" 3LP (Praxis Dr.Bearmann), "Men Amongst Mice" CD (Warcomedia) and "Parasit" LP (Ant-Zen). "War Without End" - is the first full-length CD, all previous stuff appeared only on limited edition tapes. The name hints on Julius Streicher, the remarkable political figure of Third Reich, straight-out anti-Semitism agitator and with grasping sexual appetit rooted in evident sadistic motivation. Even for Hitler, many Streicher ideas were too extreme (he declared his thoughts in the "Stuermer" magazine, of which he was the editor). He was completely devoted to his ideas until he was hanged after WWII end - without killing a single person! Ulex uses this history as metaphor for the present days of underground scene, where all extreme issues are considered too formal and one-sided, and even get censored by prejudice. Being a man of great erudition, Ulex Xane is learned in history, theology, literature and philosophy, and he is a truly connoisseur of various weapons and military science. Using mostly a simple, not sophisticated but very effective gear, he recreates the atmosphere of crude battle, and it's really far from pathos of Von Thronstahl and alikes. Streicher music is inspired by the power of military machinery, tactical operations, destruction and extermination of life, absolute and never ending terror. Noise should kill!
Contact: Cold Spring c/o Justin Mitchell, P.O.Box 40, Northampton, NN6 7XQ, England, UK
or Streicher c/o Ülex Xane, P.O.Box 2627W, GPO Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia

 

SUBKLINIK "All Post-Mortem" 7"
MORTUOR "s/t" CD-R
(Hour Of 13/Waggletone)
Russian

As far I know, with this release starts the history of the new projects of Chad Davis and Robert Crusen, more can be familiar to you as members of gothic industrial band Profane Grace and black metal acts Demoncy, Raven's Bane, Mysterian and Beleth. The best epiteths for the seven-inch record are death industrial and dark ambient. Maybe the last portion of tortures before the world's end. Obscure artwork made of medieval drawings let you feel the spirit of condemned destiny, eternal war and deadly torments. As the logical conclusion we have one more project of the same people - Mortuor. Here the endless field of electric convulsions and the hellfire bring to the end the point where seven-inch single ends. You can feel only envy to half-rotten deadman who give you a wonderful smile from the cover of CD-R, because his plague is over!
Contact: Subklinik c/o C. Davis 153 Duke St.Granite Falls, NC 28630 USA











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