Reviews (Newest on top)
I'll upload all reviews I can here, no matter how bad they are! I love what I release, and the reviewers are entitled to their own oppinion! If you find some reviews on Ambolthue-releases that's not uploaded here, let me know and I'll ad it.
From Musikk Fra Norge Blog (Norwegian)
Torstein Wjiik - Wjiik Let Angreben Af Influenza
Det kommer mange støy/industri relaterte utgivelser, litt for mange. Desverre er en del nokkså grei og derfor vil aldri blit spilt om att en vakker dag. Wjiik har spydd ut plater siden 2005 og noen har desverre vært av nevnte kategori, men ikke "Wjiik Let Angreben Af Influenza". Her snakker vi om klassiker potensiale.
Wjiik har her laget ett tema album innen eksperimentel sound recordings og støymusikk, som går på sykdom. I dette tilfellet er sykdommen influensa og ut fra musikken må det være svin inne i bildet, for dette er sterk kost. Her hostes det blod, angstskrikende støykaskader angriper lytteren og selv en avslappende trikketur får en følelse av å være tatt fra en skrekkfilm fra øverste hylle. Lydlandskapene Wjiik fremskaffer er klokkeklare i uttrykket, men samtidig er det så mye underlagsmateriale i lyden at dette tåler mange avspillinger.
Fremføringene er satt sammen slik at man fra platens start på badet med brekkninger blir ført med utøveren igjennom sykdomens stadier i forskjellige faser. Måten dette er gjort på viser at Wjiik har lært av sine grei nok utgivelser og gir virkelig sjangeren en opptur. Skal man man ta ett første forsiktig dypdykk i sjangeren er denne og Lasse Marhaug sitt album "Alive" en perfekt start. "Wjiik Let Angreben Af Influenza" er en soleklar vinner i åpen klasse på den kommende Spellemannsprisen. Husk å kjøp nå for CDen er bare presset i 220 eksemplarer.
Musikk Fra Norge
From Musikk Fra Norge Blog (Norwegian)
Lasse Marhaug - Camellia Sinensis
Tenk deg at du er innelåst i maskinrommet på en 10.000 tonner som brøyter seg vei igjennom 6 meter høye bølger. Sånn kan det høres ut når Lasse Marhaug slipper løs sine støykaskader av LYD. Det kan også høres ut som lyden av vinden som river med seg småstein mot ruta mens platespilleren går amok utenfor rillene og til eierens stor fortvilelse over hvordan stiften sakte men sikkert maltrakteres …på en innsmigrende måte.
Selvmotsigende? Selvsagt ikke. Det er bare flere sider av samme sak. Saken heter "Camellia Sinensis" og er ikke mindre enn 4 C-30 kassetter i en spesial box med ett 64 siders kunst hefte (inkl intervju og litt informasjon). Alt utgitt i 100 nummererte og signerte eksemplarer av artisten selv. Herligheten er snart utsolgt så her er det bare å hoppe på denne linken å bestille mens det ennå er tid.
Hvorfor kjøpe stø:y, kan man nok innvende. Vel det høres kanskje enkelt ut å lage støy, og ja det er det også. Men som med all annen musikk så krever det sin lydsmed for å beherske formen. Marhaug er kjent som Skandinavias fremste utøver og her får han virkelig vist flere sider av seg selv. Fra "minimalistisk" støy til den typen man kan kalle wall of sound, alltid med ett rikt lydbilde som kan skjule og avkle nye lyder og lydlandskap for hver lytting. Skal man starte med å lytte på støymusikk er dette så absolutt en utmerket begynnelse. Dette er rett og slett noe av det bedre fra Lasse Marhaug, og det sier jammen meg ikke lite.
Musikk Fra Norge
From Fishbonery Blog
Torstein Wjiik - Wjiik Let Angreben Af Influenza
Apparently this is the debut CD of Torstein Wjiik, which is really hard to believe when you look at his discography, where you can find lots of MP3 and CDr releases. Wjiik is the alias of Norwegian experimental artist Kjetil Hanssen. Knowing that this young man has been around and producing sound since 2004, some would say it is about time he appeared on the proper CD format. However, this is usually no guarantee of a more proper listening experience.
The title suggests that Wjiik is slightly attacked by influenza, just like Ibsen was described when his health got worse 6 years before his death, and the tracktitles can certainly be a cronology of getting the flu. Firstly the “Gag Reflex” followed by “The Flu Has Come”, “Screamer”, “Headache”, and so on. Some of the titles are also descriptive. When the title is Gag Reflex, you get, yes a recording of someone gagging (I’m guessing the artist himself). And the track “Oslo Tram”, is a recording of trams in Oslo, nothing more. In between these recordings there are wonderful full on feedback and whitenoise recordings. The track “Brekninger & Feedback” is a wonderful combination of a recording of gagging or vomiting and feedback. You can barely hear the person doing it as it is brilliantly hidden in the feedback.
So, is this CD meant for the noise audience or those who like field recordings or just strange recordings? I believe neither. It seems like Wjiik here has made something he wants to present rather than point it to someone specific. A mix of the said gagging, harsh noise, low-fi recordings and outside field-recordings can seem a bit random at first, but to me the cronology and the way the tracks are mixed proved it differently. Listen to this alone on a cold dark, snowy winter night as I did, you’ll make sure to keep warm avoiding the flu come and get you.
Uncompromisingly put together it can easily be labeled as a release someone didn’t quite know what direction to choose, but Wjiik has many talents, as he has proved before in his massive amount of other releases, and here he shows but a few. Is he making fun of us or is it a well put together concept album? For me it will have to be the the latter, and in contrast to Ibsen he is certainly in good health, although the CD finishes off with the title track.
From Vital Weekly 684
ALLEIN LUDDITE - MUSIQUE POUR PERSONNE (CDR)
THE WJIIK ANIMAL PROJECT - LIVE AT NIU (3"CDR)
JON WESSELTOFT - UNDER A TROPICAL MOON (3"CDR)
Inhabiting the field - or more likely that industrial landscape of dereliction itself an all too familiar metaphor for the failure of modernity in all its guises- playing with what was once avant garde or cutting edge - if not as obvious taking their victims/muses from behind a la Deleuze these three works perhaps attempt a passing slap, Musique pour Personne is 4 long tracks of noise/drone guitar, track 1 fairly homogenous, 2 more chaotic cut ups 3 returns to longer and deeper tones, 4 is more of a mix of low pitched feedback bump and grinds.
Whereas Live At NIU has a very quiet start - splutters and gasps towards the end of loud synth improv noise, by phased industrial/electro noodlings some unidentified speech - grows and develops!!! Synth oscillator manipulation appears out of the industrial ghosts of the past- its only with the Wesseltoft a more clear re-interpretation of the past is formed or deformed in an indistinguishable single track of electric noise- occasional representations of proto-rhythms but a general denial of content/concept - excellent. (jliat)
Vital Weekly (684)
From Vital Weekly 680
PHONOLOID (7" AMBOLT-37)
BUILD A FORT SET IT ON FIRE - ACTION SONGS FOR CHILDREN (CDR AMBOLT-74)
TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN LA & LEZET - THE WIGMAKER IN 18TH CENTURY WILLIAMSBURG (CDR AMBOLT-65)
Behind Phonoloid we find the omnipresent Lasse Marhaug and one Petter Flaten Eilertsen, who work on their 7" as Phonoloid with a massive load of vinyl noise, which are layered together on the two sides here. Two big blocks of noise, probably using no sound effects, but just the vinyl surface noise. A simple idea, but it works well. Perhaps because its given back in the form of vinyl, a 7" no less, it adds to its quality. Its not the most original project in noise, but in all its briefness it works quite well.
On CDR we get Build A Fort Set It On Fire, a quartet of Lee Hooper, James Ockelford, Mark Vernon and Just Wiggan, who play unnamed instruments, but upon hearing me thinks this is a lo-fi rock combo with a strong love for improvisation. There is a drum kit, vocals, bass, guitar, perhaps a violin here and there, and they play music that reminded me at least of something that could have fitted the no wave of the early 80s pretty well. We can't play our instruments properly, but our intentions are good. That sort of thing. It seems to me that this is a live recording, not the best around (intentions are good though), which doesn't sparkle enough, but the six cuts here are nevertheless quite nice.
'The Wigmaker In The 18th Century Williamsburg' was originally a release by To Live And Shave In LA but here gets a radical (?) remix by Lezet. I didn't hear the original, so its not easy to judge this remix. Twenty-five tracks of highly collage like music, spanning almost seventy minutes, using analogue cassettes, vinyl, electronics, drum programming, stuttering, detuned piano, bass and such like. Occasionally things explode into the world of noise, but as we know To Live And Shave In LA as one of the more interesting groups in the world of noise, with weird breaks, lots of feedback, hand manipulated tapes (thus slowing down and speeding up the sound) this is very dynamic and energetic, but at this given length perhaps also a somewhat tiring excursion. It certainly left me breathless and tired after the complete trip. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (680)
From Ikecht (Dutch/English-translation under)
Torstein Wjiik - Mogleg
Waar te beginnen bij dit 3" cd'tje? Zeggen dat het ruim 18 minuten muziek van Kjettil Hanssen bevat, verdeeld over drie minuten wellicht. Dat Kjettil Hanssen ook labelbaas is van Ambolthue Records. Dat dit schijfje echter uitkomt op TIBprod. Of dat Wjiik een verbastering is van het Nederlandse "Wijk" waar Kjettil op de een of andere manier door gefascineerd is. Dat hij Torstein gewoon een mooie voornaam vindt. Dat hij ooit begon met een demo waarvan maar twee stuks gemaakt werden maar sindsdien flink productie heeft gedraaid. Dat dat vooral in het noise-spectrum zit. Of toch maar gewoon melden dat Mogleg Noors is voor mogelijk.
Hoe dan ook, dit keer tapt Torstein Wjiik wat meer uit het experimentele vat en wat minder uit het noise-vat. De tracks zijn redelijk minimaal. Deel 1 is een track waar voor ieders gehoor nog wat gebeurt. Achtergrondgerommel wordt aangevuld met een collage van geluiden, bliepjes, sweekjes en zo nog wat meer. Opgenomen met wat oppervlakmicrofoontjes en vervolgens verdraaid in de computer. Overigens nog steeds spaarzaam gebruikt. Het levert een nummer op met enige opbouw maar zonder al te veel spanning die blijft hangen. De drone-achtergrond beklemt niet genoeg en de andere geluiden leiden soms een stukje de diepte in, maar de volgende keer leiden ze af. Deel twee en drie zijn duidelijk korter, waarbij deel twee bijna alleen maar een lage drone is, die dusdanig wordt gebruikt dat hij langzaam ontwikkelt en doordringt. Eigenlijk is dit te kort om echt op te bouwen, de basis is aardig, maar verdient meer. Deel drie gebruikt weer iets meer opgenomen en vervormde geluiden, maar heeft moeite om verder te komen dan een collage.
Overall ben ik dan ook niet zo onder de indruk van dit stuk experimenteel minimalisme. Een werkje dat zeker past in de TIBprod catalogus met vaak wat obscuurdere releases, maar daar waar ik die regelmatig kan waarderen doet dit het voor mij toch niet. Voor hen die het experiment niet schuwen zullen we maar zeggen.
Where to start when reviewing this 3" disc? Mentioning it is 18 minutes worth of music by Kjetil Hanssen, divided into three tracks. Mentioning Kjetil Hanssen is the owner of Ambolthue Records, but this disc is released on TIBprod. Or that Wjiik is an interpretation of the Dutch word "wijk", that somehow fascinates Hanssen. Or mentioning he just thinks Torstein to be a nice name. He once started with a demo that was limited to two pieces, but since stated production of a large back-catalogue. Most of these releases are noise-related. Or should I just mention that Mogleg is Norsk for "possible"?
No matter what I mentioned, this time Torstein Wjiik releases a somewhat more experimental, minimal release, a bit less noisy. Track one is the one where everyone listening will still come to the conclusion that something is indeed happening. Huss combined with a collage of sounds, bleeps, tweeks and much more. Recorded with a surface-mic and then processed and processed and processed... Still used sparsly. It combines into a track that builds but doesn't succeed in keeping the listener in suspense. The drone-background misses grip and the other sounds do grap attention and drag you into the deep, but at other times they just distract.
Part two and three are considerably shorter. Part two basicly is just a very low drone that slowly evolves and penetrates. Vice of this piece is that it just is too short to realy build, it is nice, but deserves better. Part three uses somewhat more recorded and processed sounds but barely succeeds to get past the collage-stage.
Overall I can not say I'm really impressed by this piece of experimental minimalism. A piece of work that does for sure fit the TIBprod-catalogue, that often holds somewhat more obscure releases. Where I can often enjoy them, this one doesn't do that much to me. Let us say that this is one for those who like the experiment.
From The "Musikk Fra Norge" Blog (Norwegian)
Bjerga/Iversen - (Go with the Flow) Like a Twig on the Shoulders of a Mighty Stream
For en kort stund siden kunne Musikk Fra Norge melde at Bjerga/Iversen rundet 50 utgivelser og i den forbindelse skulle gi ut et samlealbum. Nå foreligger det og med 12 spor hentet fra diverse utgivelser (derav ett som ikke er utgitt før) som til fulle viser bredden i duoens musikalske univers. Platen er utgitt av selskapene Ambolthue Records, Carbon Records, Gold Soundz, Phantom Limb Recordings og TIB Prod i lag.
Platen åpner med "There`s Always A Little Light That Shines (edit)" som med sine stemninger kan vise til Brian Eno i hans mest ambiente stunder, samtidig som dette er mer lagt opp mot en mørk uværsnatt der man sitter og venter på stormen, mer enn noe annet. Dette tilsnittet av mørke er noe som går igjen i Bjerga og Iversens komposisjoner og gjør dem naturlig nok unik på lik linje som f.eks. Biosphere. Likefullt er duoen mer villig til å dypdykke ned i musikken sin å gjøre den mindre kommersielt tilgjengelig enn Eno og Biosphere.
Der noen låter er ambient i sitt uttrykk høres andre ut som en blanding av soundtracket til Eraserhead og tidlige demoer fra Suicide. Duoen er ofte blitt kategorisert som drone musikk, men det blir ikke dekkende. Til det inneholder lydbildet for mange avvikende detaljer som driver lytteren videre inn i en til tider unike komposisjoner basert like mye på arven fra Arne Nordheim som på Tangerine Dream på 70-tallet til Lasse Marhaug og noe av det Mike Batt gjorde på "Six Days In Berlin". Spennvidden er så stor og originaliteten i verkene så sterk at alle som vil mene noe om norsk samtidsmusikk må ha hørt og gjort seg opp en mening om denne duoen.
Som enkelte andre har ikke de fått den oppmerksomheten de fortjener av sin samtid men vil definitivt bli stående igjen som en av de store i ettertiden. Inntil da bør du ha kjøpt og lyttet innstendig på kanskje det mest spennende samlealbumet på denne siden av millenniet. Samlingen er med andre ord en ypperlig døråpning inn i Bjerga/Iversens musikalske univers men også en ypperlig inngangsport til de som har lyst til å finne ut hva eksperimentell musikk med basis i støy høres ut som, for dette er ikke krevende høre på som NON, Jazkamer og Merzbow i sine mest brutale øyeblikk. Denne platen er simpelthen vakker som en mørk natt bare brutt av nordlyset og følelsen av at noe holder på å trenge seg inn i livet ditt.
Musikk Fra Norge (Tore Stemland)
From Vital Weekly 654
BJERGA/IVERSEN - (GO WITH THE FLOW) LIKE A TWIG ON THE SHOULDERS OF A MIGHTY STREAM (CD by TibProd.)
In Vital Weekly 447 I wrote this: "Less enjoyable I thought was the double 3"CDR by Sindre Bjerga and Jan M. Iversen. On these two discs they layer a very thick pattern of sounds over which they perform mutations, adding more sound effects or plug ins, but somehow the material fails to grab me very much. It drags on and there is not an interesting point in sight. I heard much better material from these two." What I couldn't know back then was that this would be the start of a fruitful collaboration. Four years later they have over 50 releases to their name - eat that Merzbow! I am pretty sure I haven't reviewed them all, but quite some. Now it's time for an anthology of those releases. Of course I should compare the tracklisting with the reviews and see if they made the 'right' choice, but probably they are right when they say that 'in a way it's all the same song, the song that never ends'. A fine introduction into four years of hyper activity from two minds from the Nor-scene. Lots of guitars, lo-fi electronics, mild distortion, waving minimalism and lengthy drones, this is what their world is made off. Their selection is very fine, I'm pretty I would have picked similar pieces from their catalogue - the more quite lengthy drone pieces of buzzing electronics and fine guitars. I can imagine you can't collect all fifty previous releases, but if you need one, then why not this one? (FdW)
From Vital Weekly 643
DISTURBANCE, THE 13TH (CDR by R.O.N.F. Records)
At the end of Event Horizon the doomed inter-stellar drive sinks into the atmosphere of Neptune and is consumed the section with the gravity drive is a metaphor for post-modernity and though the horrors of the black hole appears totaling the relative insignificance of the outer planet consumes it. Also as John Lennon sang on a broken 45 we found but would still play, "nobody told me there would be days like this.." "strange days these.." And so i've been playing these disks for two weeks now and avoiding writing .. and having these kind of thoughts.. Within the genre of what can be re-named as experimentalism - which appears as The Wire's "Outer Limits" - but never made even the nearest star - Proxima Centauri, are drums and beats, water gongs, guitar feedback, synth drones, bass and chirrup, ring modulation and samples, looped, reverbed and echoed, phased and electronically panned, field recordings, geese?, gentle singing and processed screams, clips from radio and or film again processed and beautifully placed in a dynamic stereo field, such is the achievement of The 13th - a five way split TORSTEIN WJIIK (Norway), CHILDREN EGOISM (Serbia), EGO DEATH (Greece), SPOOKLIGHTS (US) & SIN SEÑAL (Ecuador). There is a considerable range of work here and what I suspect is using contemporary technology, feats of electro-recording that at one time was not even possible in the EMI studios at Abbey Road. Not that the relative low cost and range of technologies open to the MAC/PC recording artist/engineer should diminish the obvious amount of painstaking work undertaken here. (jliat)
Vital Weekly (643)
From Vital Weekly 625
TORSTEIN WJIIK - FOGGY FOREST (MP3 by Twilight Luggage)
Also as a MP3 is the latest work by Torstein Wjiik, also known as Kjetil Hanssen. So far much of his work dealt with true, loud noise, but in 'Foggy Forest' he takes matters into a new territory, and I must say I enjoyed this much more than much more than any of his previous material. Using voice and electronics, Wjiik cooks up a forty some minute work of slowly evolving dark rumble. Feeding his voice, merely producing wind sounds it seems to me, through what seems some simple audio processors and the end result is a deep dark ambient piece with some of the more rougher edges than is common in this area, mainly through some sparse outbursts in the noise end of it. Perhaps a bit too long, as I can imagine this trimmed down to a nice 3"CDR. Way to go, Torstein! (FdW)
Vital Weekly (625)
From Vital Weekly 618
TORSTEIN WJIIK - KOMPRIMERT MUNN (3"CDr by Dokuro)
Torstein Wjiik's ghostly industrial work- the pieces have not yet perhaps reached the "oneness" of minimalism and the now futile presence found in Dance, California, or yet possibly reflected on the irony of a "record"- "the trace itself does not exist"."in presenting itself, it becomes effaced" (J.D.) i.e. listening to noise - makes you deaf! (jliat)
Vital Weekly (618)
From "Smooth Assailing" Blog
Torstein Wjiik - Komprimert Munn 3" cd-r [2008, dokuro]
Torstein Wjiik is really Kjetil Hanssen from Oslo, Norway. He also runs the label Ambolthue.
A steady electric hum will bring about komprimert's inception, soon a faint drone will enter the fray, but it briefly gets interrupted by a disjointed, affected guitar riff. Hanssen will then spend a short amount of time playing around with the relationship between that sparse guitar and a minimal electronic soundscape, before the emphasis leans heavily towards layered droning. There's a somewhat odd passage featuring isolated, but multi-channel phased tones which seemed to suggest that the disc was going to veer off course into an industrial rhythm, but that will pass after a minute and a half once Kjetil gets back to the treated guitar and minimalism.
The second half of the cd is where i feel like komprimert really makes its statement. The most noticeable difference is that it's more cohesive. The best thing though, is that the track's dynamics won't take a hit because of it. As has been the case throughout, there's a gradual shift, not exactly a progression since key elements will find a way to work themselves back into the fold, but now there's none of the off-kilter sounds to detract from the glacial mood. When new musical ideas do present themselves, such as the stuttering, fluctuating tone towards the end, they join komprimert's framework naturally.
Experimental music that's made on computers isn't the most appealing thing to me, but i think Kjetil did a nice job of not making it seem so blatant. Incorporating the guitar helped to achieve a little balance with the sound and the way that it was affected bridged the gap a bit between synthetic and organic instrumentation, creating a comfortable middle ground for both. While i liked some parts of this more than others, i found it to be enjoyable overall.
From The "Musikk Fra Norge" Blog (Norwegian)
Ambolthue gjenutgir Øyvind Hellner
På måneden 24 år etter at Øyvind Hellners kassett "Wolf" kom ut på Likvider, er den nå tilgjengelig til de som er interessert på Ambolthue Records. "Wolf" blir regnet som en av de første støy orienterte utgivelsene av en norsk artist og er i dag omtalt som en undergrunns klassiker. Hellner har i den seneste tiden vendt tilbake til eksperimentell musikk i form av å være ene halvdelen av duoen Electrique Norwegique, i lag med Roar Borge. Deres debut singel finner du til gratis nedlasting her.
Av kommende utgivelser på Ambolthue er det verdt å merke seg improvisasjons strykekvartetten Laup String Quartet skal gi ut ett opptak fra årets Nødutgang festival i 20 eksemplarer. En annen som spilte på samme festival var Torstein Wjiik. Han skal i nærmeste framtid komme ut med en 4xCDr boks med den beskrivende tittelen "One Year Of Noise". I tillegg er det nærmere 15 andre planlagte utgivelser å se fram til.
Musikk Fra Norge
From Musique Machine
Norwegian Noise Orchestra - Live At Oyafestivalen [Ambolt - 2008]
As the projects title suggest this really is an orchestra with in all 22 people involved in the chaos with-in & Through it stays in the noise genre fairly squarely for it's running time there are improv, electro acoustic & junk band elements at play too.
This is as the title suggests is a live recording, but whether all the members were on stage at one time is unclear- if they were it must have been a big stage, anyway on to the sound with-in. The piece last in all just over half-an hour & starts up with firing up feed-back and slow-mo car crash tone that sounds like there derived from a mix of guitar peddle and horns of some form. Soon the sound gets dense and more manic with horn honks going against throbbing electro pluses, meeting hacking improv guitar elements, weaved in and out by percussive hits- some making sense others not. Along with bit of children?s tunes, runaway drum machines, droning horror organ textures and all manner of sound throw in along the way. There not any divining or major sonic events along the way there just new elements that suddenly appear from the chaos do a little dance then dive back in again. I guess the best comparison would be Smegma with out the use of old advert and dialogue samples.
An enjoyable and varied swim in sonic chaos which drags you all over the place through its playing time & always remains inventive, shifting and deranged.
From The "Musikk Fra Norge" Blog (Norwegian)
Nytt fra Ambolthue Records
En av de mest aktive støy/noise lablene i Norge er Ambolthue Records. Etter en rekke CD-R, kassett og online utgivelser kommer labelen nå med sin første vinyl utgivelse i disse dager, riktignok som en joint adventure med Synesthetic Records. Phonoloid er en duo av Petter Flaten Eilertsen og Lasse Marhaug som leverer de sin første utgivelse i form av 7" vinyl singelen "Phonoloid". Platen kommer i et opplag av 204 eksemplarer og koster 60,- kr og kan kjøpes fra Looop. A siden fra denne 7" er også å finne på samleren "Muxtape". Ambolthue lover forøvrig mer vinyl utover høsten.
Musikk Fra Norge
From The Wire Magazine
The Wire Magazine
From Musique Machine
Maja Ratkje - Teip [Ambolthue Records - 2007]
Teip is a twenty minute manic, deranged and often surreal pile-up of sound, noise and music by Norwegian composer and noise maker Maja Ratkje.
The 3inch disk brings together a selection of recordings from Ratkje analogue Dictaphone which she seems to take everywhere with her. It all starts up with female voice talking, noise seers, music boxes bends and twists. As the 20 minute attack on the sensors continues she throw at you; sped up easy listening, tape unfold, sped up voices, tinkling sentimental piano, weird stuck rhyming fairy tale texts, static stirs, Air plane safety announcements, weird Ratkje singing/ vocal snippets, crackly snarling tones, clapping tones, road noise and all manner of other sound matter arranged into an enjoyable chaos. It feels like dropping into someone’s head for 20 minutes as they go up and down on a speeding and hallucinogenic drug.
A dizzying and manic twenty minute ride sonic that’s scary, surreal, funny, mundane and entertaining.
From Heathen Harvest
Mystified - Instability (AMBOLT-7)
Having previously reviewed Mystified's "M" two-disc set I was expecting good things of this CD and once again I was not to be disappointed. Thomas J. Park's expertise in handling and understanding noise and sound were similarly very much in evidence as they were on the "M" release, and his unerring ability to create stories, moods and atmospheres with just a few well-chosen sounds and treatments is as strong and as well-developed as ever.
Parks works with a broad palette, utilising everything from cold icy ambience and environmental sounds, to glitchy rhythms and treated sounds, all carefully pieced together to achieve the right effect, as any artists worth the epithet does. The treatment is often minimalist, but it's the accumulative effect that brings it all together and imparts the impression of complexity. Swoops, drones, whistles, repetitive rhythmical figures, voices, birdsong, whooshes, and jet engines, in themselves mundane, familiar and unremarkable, when extrapolated from their natural surroundings and contexts, and then treated, transformed, mutilated, stretched, distorted, chopped and changed and finally layered together with sounds not normally associated with them, take on a wholly different meaning, leading us to listen anew. This is Parks' innate speciality, his sonic wizardry, but unlike the one in Oz this particular wizard doesn't obfuscate with knavery or trickery - it's a genuine magical talent.
Take the "Brannon Construct" suite - vast engines and machines defying the human scale, going about their mysterious and autonomous business without reference to mankind. Or the "Red Pink and Blue" twosome, created in conjunction with the UK's Ghoul Detail, minimalist backgrounds with highlights of even more minimalist drones and burbles overlaid, an impersonal inspection from a cold impersonal electronic gaze. Other highlights: the swirling grating of the title track like some hungry bug waiting to feed on you; the looped glitch beat of "Particles" as atoms like tiny birds gyrate and dance; and finally the quiet ebb and flow of "Chirps and Oscillations", shortwave fluxes set against a tribal rhythm, a broadcast from some far-flung outpost of civilisation.
Once again Parks has woven his magic spell, weaving tales from the warp and weft of the sonic materials at his disposal, and entrancing us with the alien, the weird, the grotesque and the bizarre. This is one story I'll continue to want to hear again and again.
From Vital Weekly 605
MAJA RATKJE - TEIP (3"CDR AMBOLT-35)
TORSTEIN WJIIK - LIVE AT STOY PA LANDET FESTIVAL (3"CDR AMBOLT-34CD)
It's good to note that Maja Ratkje doesn't think of herself to be famous not to release CDRs, let alone 3" CDRs. 'Teip' (phonetic for tape I guess) was recorded in the last three years using a dictaphone. I am not sure wether this is a collage of various sounds found on her dictaphone and to what extend she did some processing to it. The cover says it was 'randomly recorded in two different speeds and chronologically copied from the original micro cassette for this release'. On hearing the twenty minute collage, I think she hasn't done much about, other than making a nice sequence of sounds. Field recordings as pure as possible. Singing, applause, odd atmospheres and such like. Not a very refined work of course, and the recording quality isn't the best around, but it's a curious, private document.
Noise man Torstein Wjiik played the Støy Pa Landet festival in June of this year, using vocals, electronics, samples and feedback. I am not sure if these twelve minutes span his entire concert. I am not sure why it was necessary to release this. I believe Wjiik plays more concerts, and what he does isn't much different from his usual work, loud noise, screaming his lungs out, feedback and distortion, so why release this? The twelve minutes are o.k., but it shouldn't have been much longer, I think. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (605)
From Wonderful Wooden Reasons
Mystified - Mellow Utility
Mystified had previously come to my attention via his split release with Ghoul Detail this is my first experience of him on a full length release. Mystified deals predominantly in full on grinding noise attack. His sound palette is taken from the noisier end of the spectrum but he melds and folds and overlaps and attacks these sounds with a very restrained hand. Sometimes during the course of 'Mellow Utility' he may be accused of being a little too restrained in his creations as some of the sheer, uncontained and over-exuberant joie-de-vivre that is often present in the best noise compositions is missing but in it's place is a set of tightly constructed, concise noise pieces that are both diverting and an interesting 'snapshot' into what one suspects is truthfully a single part of a work in progress.
Wonderful Wooden Reasons
From Vital Weekly 598
BONEMACHINE - RIGHT NOW! (CDR AMBOLT-26)
KENJI SIRATORI - FUTURE FREEDOM (CDR AMBOLT-29)
I reviewed a collaboration of Kenji Siratori sometime back (Vital Weekly 594) in which he utilized his rather fierce voice against Federico Barabino's gentle guitar work but this CDr is nothing like - has two tracks of pure noise (yes i'm happy) - the first track could be using, field recordings, as could the second with sufficient morphing from the various effects, both tracks are walls of noise - clatter and shards of sound - perhaps cracking ice and worn machinery tearing itself apart Bone Machine has a sustained rhythm throughout its industrial reverberated wash of industrial clanking, annoying like the alarm that continually sounds at the atomic plant at windscale - now renamed sellafields - well change the name and the radioactivity might go away, anyway as long as you hear the alarm everything is OK - when it stops you,re dead, this then might be a release celebrating the infamous event 50 years ago in the reactor which was being used to make Britain's A Bomb - (hooray! And God save the Queen!) 'On the morning of Friday October 11 and at its peak, 11 tonnes of uranium were ablaze.' Hummm - kept that quiet but I digress - that might have helped my coming to terms with the piece - but this all too rhythmical work with its cinema horror voice-overs is not convincing - with the Kenji piece the alarm rhythm (of life) has stopped and we are once more returning to the chaos of atomic particles from whence we accidentally came - nice! (jliat)
Vital Weekly (598)
From Vital Weekly 597
WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED THAN A RECORDER? (CDR AMBOLT-13)
A title explaining it all: what more do you need than a recorder? Right, to be a musician, nothing much more really than a tape recorder. At least that's of course if you don't like a guitar and field recordings. All of the people on this fully loaded compilation have a recording device, some of them are mentioned on the liner notes: minidisc, dictaphone, DAT, binaural microphones and even a mobile phone. In all twenty tracks no additional processing is used. What I like about this compilation is the amount of new kids on the block like Joshua Manchester, Martin Clarke, Eldad Tsabary, Aatmaa and Ieva and also that some of the people that we only know through their music, such as Mystified, Swamps Up Nostrils and Torsten Wjiik bring something that is unaltered. It's a very nice and varied compilation. Some of the pieces could have easily been on 'Rhythm' (see last week), but the briefness of the tracks and the clarification in the liner notes make this a highly interesting compilation. Also included are HarS, Lasse-Marc Riek, Chris DeLaurenti, Bjerga/Iversen, Brekekekexkoaxkoax and Rinus van Alebeek. And at times as noisy as the usual releases on this label (which are in the hands of Jliat), in case you have any doubt about that. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (597)
BLASTBEATS FOR FREEDOM WEBZINE
MYSTIFIED - “Mellow Utility” CD-R (Ambolthue)
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Review By: FRED
Another full-length release from MYSTIFIED. Another 10 relatively short tracks of atmosphere and all around chillaxitude. This one is somewhat similair to the “Iron” CD-R on TURGID ANIMAL but way more relaxed and not as exploratory. “Mellow Utility” is a wonderfully fitting title. Rather than take you forward on an adventure, these tracks seem to hang around in their own fog not moving too much but creating space to float. Painting a picture. This is definitely more meditative than the other two MYSTIFIED releases featured above. Lots of machine-hum ambience and cavernous echo. Totally awesome relaxing ambient music. I think I could put this CD on repeat and go to bed. As a matter of fact I think I’m getting... kind of... ... sleeeeepy... ... ... Zzzz... Zzzz... ... ... Zzzz.
Blastbeats For Freedom Webzine
From Vital Weekly 593
MYSTIFIED - MELLOW UTILITY (CDR AMBOLT-19)
MOR MONSEN - LASTENFOUND (CDR AMBOLT-23)
ORIGAMI TACET - IN LOW-FLUX (3"CDR AMBOLT-13)
More from Mystified, who are a mysterious lot (or just one, who knows), who are getting more and more busy with new releases. Here is another one on Norway's Ambolthue label. It's always a bit hard to say when stuff was recorded and how new releases should be placed on a time line of development, but this new Mystiefied moves (unfortunately) away from the previous proto techno rhythms and stays along the ambient industrial lines of the releases that I heard which came earlier. Minimal soundscapes, built around samples and synthesizers, with throughout not much development, but which are throughout very pleasant to hear. Nothing exciting new, but certainly well entertaining, this more noisy version of Zoviet*France, but it would be nice to see them explore the techno side a bit more.
Behind Mor Monsen is one Peter Monsen, but the choose the surname Mor after some Norwegian cake. He played with Biologisk Helt Feil, a Norwegian freak band, but also with André Borgen, Anders Gjerde and Martin Furan and he classifies his music as noise, which is what he does here. His music is indeed quite crude and loud, recorded with lowest means, cut together in a collage like way, which is a kinda nice approach for a change, but altogether it's not much of interest. Too basic in appareance with just not enough new ideas.
The most interesting new release on Ambolthue is the one from Origami Tacet, a duo of Micheal F. Duch on violin and 'hum' and Tore H. Boe on acoustic laptop and hiss. The acoustic laptop is a wooden box with objects, which Boe plays like a laptop. This is a duet of improvised music of scratchy and squeky violin sounds combined with moments of silence, the hiss and hum part I assume. Quite a nice work, that could have been a bit more intense I assume, but nevertheless makes up an interesting work of sound versus silence. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (593)
From Eat Trash, Shit Money!
Mystified - Mellow Utility - cd-r - (ambolthue records)
Monday, August 27, 2007
Posted by dumpsterscore
Here we have another album from St. Louis artist Thomas Park who has been churning out albums under the Mystified moniker at a very high rate lately. The first track is his typical "looped riff" style, with a continuous loop being put through different stages knob twiddling. The next three tracks are in a more drawn out, droney, melodic style. I really enjoy these type of mystified tracks the best. Track 5 is a barely audible bass hum. Maybe I would have better luck listening to it if it was on my stereo and not my laptop. The next track seems to be digitally manipulated field recordings that sounds like raccoons rummaging through your trash at your new house on mars. Track 7 is a nice heady layered remix of another artist (bco) with the all mighty "waves" that I have been seeking out lately, rolling in and out like high tide. Harmonic Interference is a perfect title for the next track. It sounds like two old rusty machines sharing information that sounds computer static to most, but sounds like a sci-fi adventure to you and me. The next track has an almost throbbing gristle feel to it, with the clunking percussion and whiny synth work. The album ends with vocal samples that slowly fade into nice heavy radio static (one of my favorite sounds). The artwork is simple but works well. I would like to something more creative in these types of releases but that's just me. Just because the music is mellow doesn't mean the cover art has to be boring.
All in all this is a very nice release. I think with less loops and more of the thick drones Mystified could really make some amazing albums. A louder mastering job would do wonders as well. This is a very cool cd to listen to while relaxing or reading a good book, but with a few small changes Thomas could be making excellent minimal records that would appeal to a much wider audience.
Eat Trash, Shit Money!
From Ronf Records Reviews
"Victims Of Religion Split"
(CDr | 2007 | AMBOLT-16)
Reviewed by Manuel (2007/04/25)
This new release is credited to Cadmium Wjiik and it refers to the collaboration between Cadmium Dunkel & Torstein Wjiik.
This album starts with a peaceful melodic 30 minutes long song by Torstein Wjiik made of static, slow, bass boosted sounds called "Why Hate When You Can Love", It shocks when after 9 minutes of non-rhythm is appearing an "acid" bass which gives more originality and rhythm to the song, that's the way this works, starting slowly and more and more different synth sounds are being added but always mantaining a slow and melodic line building a whole huge structure along the song which could contain 5 songs itself. Great composition but to add some positive criticism, maybe a little slow to begin things happening.
Cadmium Dunkel takes over from this slow experimental sounds started by Torstein on 1st track with a 3 parts work called "Trenody For The Victims Of Religion", at this point not much new elements found and It's staying static and quite absorbing thuroughly with some very good background ambients and some well worked out industrial reminiscences.
So the colaboration is justified when both do their own thing in the same context and to summarize, this whole is a really serious work with some delicate elements and a great feeling to it which should be well received.
Ronf Records Reviews
From Vital Weekly 578
TORSTEIN WJIIK/CADMIUM DUNKEL - VICTIMS OF RELIGION (CDR AMBOLT-16)
TORSTEIN WJIIK - WAR (CDR AMBOLT-15)
BJERGA/IVERSEN/MADAME P (CDR AMBOLT-11)
More by Torstein Wjiik, also known to mankind as Kjetil Hanssen, who has a split release with Cadmium Dunkel and a full length of his own. His piece of the split last some thirty minutes and it starts out in a rather mellow mood; mellow, for a noise maker that is. 'Why Hate When You Can Love' is the title of the piece, and save for some noise outburst here and there, Wjiik shows he can make an interesting piece of noise related ambient. Including bird twitter. Cadmium Dunkel has been around for some time (more) and it shows in his four part 'Trenody [sic] For The Victims Of Religion', four parts, curiously named part 1, 2, 4 and 5. Gone are his days with drums and gothic undercurrents, all are now replaced by a true love of deep sonic rumbling. Somewhere there leaps a bit of percussive sounds in, but it stays through out in deep rumbling territory. Yes, perhaps like a threnody.
On Wjiik we go from religion to war, to some perhaps a short step. Here we find just one track, recorded in march of this year 'in bedroom using samples of old commadore 64 cassettes played in tape-recorder and a computer'. That does sound familiar to anybody under twenty-five? Probably not, but in the good (?) ol' days information for home computers was stored on cassettes, which, if played on a sound system, gave some incredible great noise. Here these noises are sampled and treated in the latest generation computers - time flies in the world of information technology. We find Wjiik in more common noise ground on this one, although in the fifty some minutes he takes us by the hand and lead us through various sceneries. High piercing tones, sweeping in all directions, cut ups and lower ranged sounds. If you like noise with a conceptual twist, then this is for you. For me, I wonder: war? what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
Late last year Bjerga and Iversen did a tour in the UK (marketing tool number one if you want to be famous: play loads of concerts) and on the road, part of the same tour they ran across Madame P, who herself is an active force in the world CDRs, touring and tourism. I saw her already a couple of times, but I don't think much of her work was reviewed in our pages. She sings and feeds it through various sound effects and electronica. Like it is common in these areas, on evenings like this, everybody plays together and on 'Broken English' (wasn't that a LP by Marianne Faithfull?) there are the best fragments from four different evenings around the UK. Over the course of some years now, Bjerga/Iversen are a duo that can play a subtle tune or two of an entirely improvised nature, sometimes spot on and sometimes a total miss. Madame P's own music is more like sound poetry, but sometimes with a good touch of popmusic. However the menage a trois here, doesn't always work well. First of all the recording is not really great, all done with a microphone (noisy audience, yuk!), but the sounds do not always seem to match very well. Sometimes they are banging on and on, such as in 'Newcastle' and sometimes they seem to be searching too much for perhaps anything to happen. The pieces are in chronological order here and it turns out that the final piece, recorded in Brighton is the best one. Hunted and haunted, this speeds on through a wall of noise of rhythm and feedback. Not entirely convincing, this collaboration. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (578)
From Vital Weekly 573
TORSTEN WJIIK/SWAMPS UP NOSTRILS - ØRESUS OG DUS (CDR AMBOLT-10)
Four tracks by Torsten Wjiik can be found on a split CDR with Swamps Up Nostrils. More along the lines of his 'Have A Noise Day', except that 'Hyperactive' is held together by some forceful beats. Nice but a bit superfluous after the previous release. Swamps Up Nostrils is a name we came across before, and it's the project of Arnfinn Killingtveit, the owner of Krakilsk and many other musical enterprises. I though Swamps Up Nostrils played some more wicked version of rhythmic - read: techno inspired - industrial music but here the spirit is more towards rhythm 'n noise. Heavy pieces of broken up music and sound. Still not always top stuff, as much of it is just a bit too crude for my taste.
Vital Weekly (573)
From Vital Weekly 570
LOVE HZ - LIVE AT BLÅ (3"CDR AMBOLT-8)
Petter Flaten Eilertsen is the man behind Love Hz, who 'uses old equipment to make new music', and in this case, his first live ever concert (from 2002, but recently polished into this release) he uses two Radionette Kurer Radios from the 1950s. And what else? I don't know. It's a bit hard to believe that this is it (there is electronic like processing), but perhaps it's so. If you ever heard a detuned radio, off station, then you might know that this can be fascinating thing. As such it doesn't make much different if you use one, two or twenty. I must admit I found it a bit hard to listen to Love Hz, as it sounded just a bit too simple for my taste. Drone noise but not really of a very engaging kind. Sometimes the notion 'I can do that too' plays up and this is one of them. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (570)
From Vital Weekly 563
MYSTIFIED - INSTABILITY (CDR AMBOLT-7)
KAMLOOPS - I GOT TO HOLD A HUMMINGBIRD TODAY (CDR AMBOLT-6)
Despite the fact that Mystified has a website, we don't learn much about the band, except that they released quite a lot of material, and that one of their releases has a remix by Robin Storey, a.k.a. Rapoon. I think I wish I didn't know this. The simple reason is that I was already thinking that Mystified sounded a bit like Rapoon, but even more like the old Zoviet*France, the area when Storey was still a member. But perhaps now everyone thinks I made this up after reading about the remix. Well, either way, I was and still am a big fan of the old zoviet*france stuff, and especially their longer works, I think Mystified with their somewhat shorter approach, leaps the big gap that has been there for many years now, quite nicely. Rough, sketch like, psychedelic, partly rhythmic (more techno than ethno), this is quite a nice release, stirring good memories and offering new ones.
And ah noise when we go back to the Ambolthue catalogue. Kamloops is new to me, but it turns out to be a side project of our Dutch friend Staplerfahrer, who work started out in the more noisy oriented areas of the music world, but since quite some time mellowed out. So time for a noise oriented side project. Here he presents one track of about thirty minutes, of digital noise, clipping in the high end. Highly stereo (for once I am listening of headphones, not to disturb the young one around) and highly minimal in approach. Walls of feedback float around. It's all nice indeed, but for one idea perhaps fifteen minutes too long. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (563)
From Vital Weekly 555
RED NEEDLED SEA - 4 DAYS OFF (CDR AMBOLT-5)
MASKINANLEGG - FABRIKK (3"CDR AMBOLT-4)
Ambolthue Records is a new label, run by 18-year old Kjetil Hanssen, which seeks to release experimental and noise music. Red Needled Sea is one Panos Alexiades from Greece, of whom I never heard. Apparently he had four days off somewhere and used that time to record this work. Things start out in the very soft manner, and it seems like another Francisco Lopez. But out of the shimmering mass very loose ends come forward and suddenly we recognize that all of it comes from a guitar. Red Needled Sea plays the guitar in a rather improvised manner, feeding it off through a couple of sound effects (one of them being a phaser, which I didn't expect to hear again in my life), and throughout it's quite a nice work. Sometimes it all drags a bit on without too many changes or new ideas, or, such as in 'Day 4' when we get to hear all the sound effects and their endless possibilties, but it was not bad at all.
Maskinanlkegg is Bjørn Hatterud, of whom reviewed some music before. For this new release, Bjørn uses "one Roland R77 Rythm machine from 1977, one studiomaster mixing table from 1980, cheap cables and a computer" to create a twenty minute piece of harsh rhythmic music, that sounds as gritty and dirty as in Esplendor Geometrico's early (and best) days. The rhythm is fed through a bunch of plug ins and outs and make a heavy deforming sound. It moves away from the previous Maskinanlkegg releases, which were more towards real noise, without too much rhythm. You can wonder if twenty minutes is perhaps a bit too much for such a single minded piece, but it works well. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (555)
From Vital Weekly 581
DON'T GET ANNOYED, GET INSPIRED (CD AMBOLT-3)
In the 80s when you a bit of cash and wanted to release something the first release was usually a compilation (in the 90s it would be a Merzbow CD), and Ambolthue, even they have released a bit on CDR, their first real CD follows this tradition. But unlike the 80s, when you would invite a real star to be on it (Whitehouse, Nurse With Wound, The Haters or Esplendor Geometrico) this compilation has no real stars, except maybe Lasse Marhaug. Music wise this seventeen track compilation collects people from the lively CDR scene from various musical ends. Noise is an important feature, be it of course from Mister Marhaug, but also Sun State, Maskinanlegg (who do a much better piece here than on the 3" CDR reviewed elsewhere), Andreas Meland, ENT, Torstein Wjiik, Sindre Bjerga, Ryfylke and Broetthaest/Paany. All of them play the noise card, but with various degrees of intensity and/or insanity. However there is also drone music through an excellent piece by Origami Galaktika and one by Kobi, glitch by Iversen and an interesting slab of musique concrete by Staplerfahrer. Improvisation arrives from Origami Tacet and Andre Borgen. For me the pieces that were less noise based where the more interesting ones. The best and most curious piece however was the last one, by one Isak Anderssen, with an obscure collage piece. And so this compilation serves another important goal too: it lets the listener reacquaint with people they already know, but also offers the pleasure getting new musicians a bigger platform. This one has a bit too much noise for me, but perhaps it inspired me to more myself, well, or not of course. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (581)
From Vital Weekly 573
ORIGAMI BOE - NOISE DIARY (MP3-Single MP3AMBOLT-2)
TORE HONORE BOE - ENDGAME (MP3-Album MP3AMBOLT-3)
TORE HONORE BOE - VISCUM ALBUM (MP3-Album MP3AMBOLT-4)
Three MP3 only release by the true Norwegian underground artist: Tore Honore Boe, who has been playing with Lasse Marhaug well before he was launched into fame. These three releases are quite wide apart. 'Noise Diary' is two pieces of four minutes of noise music. The title suggests that Boe recorded a piece of noise of four minutes a day, but perhaps not, and was it only an idea that never got beyond this point. Built around loops of noise this is quite a nice work, but not great.
On the other end of the spectrum is 'Endgame - Blisters In The Sun', which is a concert recording based on a remix that one Jan Bang did of the 'Serum' 10" (see Vital Weekly 265 and 389) and this may start out quite noise related, including the sound of drills, over the course of the next four pieces things get unmistakably softer and quieter and Boe enters the world of microsound, through very quiet sounds. Quite nice.
Which can also be said of the 'Viscum Album', which seems to me a round-up of unreleased pieces. In good Boe style, the tracks have remarks, like 'opus for summer rain storm + harmonika + elston gunnn' or 'opus for multiple sound clips + mieuuws + transportation', which leaves enough to guess, but also some to be sure about. All of these odd sources are mingled in the computer and served as a nice dish of microsound and drone music. There isn't much noise here, but a way more interesting mixture of field recordings, real instruments and computer generated processed sounds. Perhaps not always the most innovative musical thing, but Boe performs his stuff with great skill. If your download time is limited I suggest to download the 'Viscum Album', since it best captures what he does these days. (FdW)
Vital Weekly (573)