Eric La Casa "Stones of  the Treshold" CD Ground Fault
Former member of Syllyk Erik La Casa's solo work heavilly relies on fieldrecordings which this CD is also
based around and that to breathtaking effect. Three long pieces fills this CD, clocking in at 70 minutes
and the first is using the sound of water, stones and fire. Apart from perhaps slowing down or speeding
up, no treatments of the sounds are used, instead La Casa skillfully layers the sounds to merge into each
other;  an impossible union of fire and water togher seamlessly transforming from water to fire and back
again. The second piece adds breathing sounds and voice, imaginary pen-writings, percussion and prepared
piano to the proceedings with tibetan bowls and siamese gongs creating a more ritualistic mood early on and
later moving into more scrape & drone territories using metals and wood with some resonant bells entering
the picture towards the end. Third and last track is also the longest at 30+ minutes is a bit similar to the first
piece with it's use of water, wind and stones but is not quite as intense, the first part being like a walk in the
countryside on a rainy windy day then entering a vast resonating space then back to a small creak in the
woods where the water rises in intensity until it explodes in a thundercloud. Then we quietly sit and listen
to the wind in the distant realising that we're pretty close to the road by the sound of those cars passing by.
I conlcusion a very strong album with beautifully sculpted soundscapes by one of  the top-dogs in the genre.
Strongly recommended. RS

r.chartier "a hesitant fold" CD meme
nosei sakata + richard chartier  "0/r" CD 12k
Wallsocket soundtrack composer chartier goes even more minimal on his meme CD, and more quiet for
that matter as well.  These are stripped down minimal pulses and tones generatedon from  analogue and
digital sources. Now, some people might mistake this album for a test-tone record for your hi-fi and others
will find a minimalist extravaganza but it doesn't succeed to hold my attention throughout  (first couple of
times i played it i forgot i was listening to a CD... ) as his fine debut CD on Instransitive did. This will need time
and patience to sink in. In collaboration with 0 (nosei sakata) things get more intense. created through mini-
disc-through-the-mail exchange this CD presents shorter tracks of (around 3-7 min) of piercing highpitched
tones, digital clicks ands pops delicately arranged to more engaging and effective pieces of minimal electronica
(or 'microsound' or whatever it's called this month...) resulting in one of the more interesting release of both
artists. RS

Fennesz, O'Rourke, Rehberg "The Magic Sound of FennO'Berg" CD Mego
I was looking forward to this one... recorded on tour in Europe during 98-99 this documents the FennO'Berg
laptop trio caught in the act. Fennesz and Rehgberg seems to be showcasing their usual box-of-tricks in the
Mego school while the lesser known Chicago improviser O'Rourke seems to be feeding in more surprising
material in the mix, such as that wild woodblock(?) solo on the first track... Although i said usual box-of-tricks
this IS great improvised electronics, organic, shifting and yes sometimes frustrating but still managing to keep
the focus and being able to surprise. Favourite track is definitely the closing "FennO' Berg  Theme" where a CD
of some weird orchestral easy-listening march(?) meets almost cartoonish noises swirling around in the stereo
spectrum. great stuff. RS

Jazzkammer  "timex" CD Rune Grammofon
Lasse Marhaug is an unavoidable figure in the underground so called 'Trondheim Scene' in Norway, there's just no
way of getting rid of that horny devil. Everywhere you look you can be sure that he has one or two of his sticky fingers
in the works. Here he joins forces with lesser known Bergen improvisor John Hegre in an attempt to win the 'Worst
Band Name Ever Championship' but aside from that they make weird electronic music as well. Both composers evidently
finds pleasure in digital editing techniques and splices together fieldrecordings,turntable(?)fuck-ups, recordings of
electric static etc , to somewhat entertaining effect.The disc moves from static grey ambiances to more intense noisy collage
sections to locationrecording-extravaganzas like that of Lasse crashing on his livingroom couch while alien feedback lifeforms
are copulating in his ceiling, or another one when one of them are frying amplified crashed harddrives in a wok-pan while
the other tries to play acoustic guitar with a chainsaw. This is a varied and pretty impressive document of the one of the most
profilic members of thecurrent  'wave'of the Trondheim electronic underground and you'd be prettydarned foolhardy to miss
out on this one, and unsexy as well.....(And by the sound of those fireworks in the ending i'd guess that they probably did win
that 'Worst Band NameChampionship' , or at least made it to the finals..). RS

JKL "8.-10. December 1998" CD  Albedo
Der Brief "Volume" CD Jazzassin
Jorgen Træen seems to be a rising star on the norwegian electronic  scene, he being the common nominator for these
two discs. First out in a trio with Træen on electronic treatments, Knut Vaage on piano treatments and Lars-Erik ter Jung
on violin ditto, they work with in-studio improvisations with subsequent studio treatments as their method and the
choice of violin and treated piano is certanly bold but unavoidably gives the music a strong nostalgic feeling and is
sometimes  melodic and dreamy but for most of the time they end up sounding like a meeting between AMM and
Voice Crack, very nice indeed, the electronic cracklings contrasting beautifully with the sonorities of the acoustic
instruments.  Træen  also produced  the debut CD of improv-quartet der Brief (of which he now also is the fourth
member of) who's been  round for five years now, exploring a bit noisier realms - similar to Supersilent minus the
'jazz' flavours. But der Brief dit not have a good day (or  week) upon recording these sessions since they are not
convincing and not even Træen's post-production studio trickery can save them. Maybe you need to see them live
instead to 'get' what they're about so maybe it's a name to look out for in the future? RS

francisco lópez  "untitled #89" CD Or
francicso lópez  "untitled #91"  CD edition...
music for ants. i read somewhere that mr.lópez evidently has discovered an unknown species of ants or something and his
music sometimes feels as if it was composed for ants (if  they can hear at all) because "untitled #91" is in his barely audible
style  beginning with brief waves of deep bass tones slowly moving over to a very quiet selection of drones.
"untitled #89" seems to be composed for humans though, presenting a lovely multilayered thick drones not to far from an
Hafler-trio-trademark-kind-of-drone slowly fading in over 40 minutes from very quiet to roaming and a sudden stop and
ends with 16 minutes of (near?) silence. Easily the most accessible and definitely my favourite lópes so far. i need more of this.RS

Merzbow  "Tentacle" CD Alchemy
Satan's Tornade "live at Rough Trade" mp3  falsch
Merzbow goes powerbook! Yes it's true Masami Akita has entered the digital domain and is now using a computer to create
his noise (but don't worry - it still sounds Merzbow) although it might not be appareant in the first couple of tracks but the
center pieces in here clearly displays that there is some heavy dsp going on here, sounds like he's sampling himself and then
loops and fucks about with those samples with the use of some live-processing software, tracks 3 and 4 being the highlights,
but what's most interesting about this is to see if  this is an exceptional release or if he will continue in this vein in the future.
His live collaboration with Russell Haswell (under the name Satan's Tornade - released in mp3-format on falsch) gives an
indication to the latter, where similar techniques are being used. Lotsa loops and dsp. The mp3's alternate between direct to
soundboard and live-microphone recordings in an attempt to show  how the concert felt for both the audience and the
mixingboard... RS

Rehberg & Bauer "Faßt" CD Touch
Pita "Get Out" CD Mego
Seems like the best Mego releases are those of Mego artists released on other labels such as Touch/Or as these
two discs are a clear example of. Although the solo disc of Pita isn't exactly bad it is his duo CD with Bauer that
is the most rewarding of the two. After a brief  stumbling introduction things get pretty noisy and almost melodic
at the same time; white noise blasts are puntuated by descending strings.  This is the beginning of a journey
through the wonders of live-processing software; a few samples are being looped and layered, tweaked and
processed-to-hell and back often heading for the piercing high-end side of  things. Imaginative and amazing.
On his solo disc Pita tries to get away with a more minimal approach opening up with a track in the how-loud-can
-you-get-school of piercing feedback and after a brief interuption continues with an  11 minute overlong excursion
into the 'distorted-melodic-loop-syndrome' before presenting a bunch of shorter tracks of icy minimal textures
that doesn't seem to want to go in any direction at all reaching it's heights in the closing 8 minute track  of static
distorted clicks & droning, resembling lisetning to a raw data file. RS

Reynols/Olivieros Tape+CDR White Tapes
Reynols might to some only be known as the only true 'retard'-improv band, having a drummer /vocalist with
Down's Syndrom and all,  but with this release (and an upcoming CD on trente oiseaux) they seem to demand
to be taken a bit more seriously. The CD contains 'heavy processing' of recordings of a concert of the grand lady
of Deep Listening, Pauline Olivieros, in Buenos Aires where Reynols resides. First track on the CD starts with
distant grey clouds of sound gradually being transformed into more noisy looping areas. Second track sounds
like a treated accordion drone rising and sinking in pitch with a dark thundercloud being introduced halfway
through the track building up to a massive thick drone. Third track is very short  with some unidentifiable
sounds fed through a tremolo. Fourth and final track layers Oliviero's voice (talking about some piece at the
concert) with the sound of rain and a low bass drone. This was really a surpise coming from the Reynols but
just to remind us that they are pranksters they've included a tape with the voice of drummer/vocalist Miquel
Tomasins commenting this release and life in general (in spanish)....RS

steve roden "view" CD jennjoy gallery
Four pieces initally presented as an installation, these compostions were made using recordings of the view of
a window in the gallery at times both open and closed. Those recordings where then fragmented, processed and
looped to make up four 'possible soundscapes' from that view. In comparison with roden's last(?) full-length CD
on trente oiseaux this is a lot more lo-fi  (which makes me suspect that the raw material was recorded using
a dictaphone) but  that is also what makes the sounds more mysterious, magical and dreamy because dreamy it
is. This is a perfect CD for late night or naptime listening; in that state between wake and dreaming the gentle
loops and atmospheres slowly slips into your consiousness creating a soundtrack for your dreams. The volume
is low as always and the compositions are simple but effective in creating perhaps the most poetic of roden's
work so far. RS

shirt trax "good news about space" CD Or
Those darn English people. They won't let go of their grip on the development of electronic music, although
most of the interesting stuff in this area during the '90s came from other European countries shirt trax arrives
to let us know that the English can't yet be ruled out... This is a great CD of minimal wacky fucked up 'microsound'
textures. fractured beats, pulses and tones are tweaked, stretched chopped up and manipulated in many ways.
At first the  disc  struck me as a bit too wacky for it's own good but it  slowly  won me over because of it's diversity
and it's improvised nature and simply because it's fun. Most tracks are kinda short and there are times when they
tweak the sounds to the extent that you think they are going to burn a hole in you're head but then they shift
gear and towards the end they deliver a fifteen minute glitchy-dub thing to lighten things up and does also kind
of remind you that one half of the group also serves time in the equally excellent snd.  70+ minutes of this kind of
stuff might be overkill and yes maybe they could have skipped a couple of  tracks but the diversity and ingenuity
of it makes up for it. Simply great. RS

Otomo Yoshihide "Cathode" CD Tzadik
Four electroacoustic compositions by the greatest turntablecomposer from Japan. The first and last tracks
(Modulation#2 & Modulation#1) are 10 minutes each and recorded live in the studio  and 'focuses on the
acoustic phenomena of modulating diffenrence tones caused by the interaction of sampled sine waves,
acoustic guitar and shô - a traditional japanese mouthorgan'; the result being long stretched out high-
pitched somewhat irritating tones intermingling with each other with the addition of contrasting melodic
guitar plucking in the first track. Hypnotic or unnerving? maybe both.  Tracks two and three  are both 17 minute
compositions, the first "Cathode#1'"being a classic electroacoustic piece for large ensemble playing acoustic
and traditional japanese instruments recorded to tape and then reconstructed using analogue tape manipulation
techniques from the '50 s and the '60s. Can't figure out the motivation for using these  techniques but the funny
thing is that it ends up sounding like a NWW tape-collage piece from the '80s... "Cathode#2"  is a 'sampling
composition on hard disk recorder'  which like the previous track also reconstructs ensemble improvisations
but this time in the digital realm and is intended to be played at a low volume as a  environmental piece, not
to be listened to actively.  hmm, i'ts a very nicely executed collage and i'm not sure if it deserves to be treated
like an 'environmental piece'...maybe if he filled a whole CD with this kind of stuff but in this context it doesn't
really work. Although frustrating, a pretty interesting CD. RS