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Friday, January 30, 2015

Reviews in Vital Weekly


ARVO ZYLO - FALLING TOWER, TERRIBLE FOUNTAIN (cassette by Side Of The Sun Recordings)
Before playing all of this I read the press message, typed on an old fashioned typewriter, and was charmed by the fact that No Part Of It, 'does not operate as a merchant on the worldwide web. Money orders and mail boxes only'; there are 200 copies of this record, one hundred available by No Part Of It and the other hundred from RRRecords, all with handmade covers of collage like material. It looks all a bit noisy, but here's the more interesting part: 'the debut LP finds five people (Bruce Lamont, Dave Purdie, Brian Klein, Andy Ortman and Arvo Zylo) in a neat locker with mostly untrained brass instruments (I am copying here - FdW) and a 15 foot long tube, with directional recordings happening in each corner. The recordings were then cut into hundreds of layers and loops, and juxtaposed to 

excessive degrees' - now that's something I find interesting. The insert says - printed - that one side is to be played at 45 rpm and one at 33 rpm, but handwritten, maybe because someone later on suggested such a thing, 'playable at any speed', always something I like very much. There are no blood rhythms to be found on this record, but the two sides are quite different. Of the two, 'Cutter Magnolias' is the louder piece, with recognizable, shorter loops, which seems to be amass to a lesser extent than the piece on the other side, 'Coarse Land'. This means that 'Cutter Magnolias' is the noisier piece, and 'Coarse Land' is very quiet. The latter is an almost Phill Niblock exercise in slow monotone sounds, swarming around like a giant mass of drone like sounds. An excellent piece of music. 'Cutter Magnolias' is a fine one, though, perhaps, a bit lesser of the two but it had an interesting, direct in your face approach, even a rhythmical aspect to it all. A great record by all accounts, and you should get at least two copies so you an spin them at the same time at different speeds, and further enhance the mass aspect of this. Great 'noise'.
It made me all the more curious about the two cassettes. The first is by Arvo Zylo solo and has two sidelong pieces. Here we find him in a more much noise mood, noise in the traditional sense of 'harsh, unpleasant, machine like' music, at least much of the tape. 'Falling Tower' starts out interesting with tape manipulations before landing in noise land, while the other side does this in reverse. It starts out noise based and then goes very quiet. Now, I don't mind a good bit of noise, and the LP already convinced me that Zylo has some fine tricks up his sleeve, but maybe this noise goes on too long, without an interesting interjection. The quieter bits are much more interesting and show an interesting way of manipulating sounds using the same crude techniques, but without exploding necessarily into a wall of power electronics. A somewhat crude tape with some fine moments. 
The other cassette is a split channel release (again! See also the top of this weekly) with in one channel sleep/dream recordings from a lung infected Bryan Lewis Saunders (who by now has a lot of releases which include his dream material) and Zylo on the other. The inside cover has a transcript of these dreams. This is another of those more conceptual recordings which you can easily dismiss as 'rubbish I can do too', but which I think are pretty fascinating all together, especially as there is some sort of electronic manipulation going, which effectively ruins any good night sleep: a motor like onslaught of sound effects takes place, but sometimes these effects are also kept to a minimum. Here I'm lost about the split channel thing. Maybe this is only for the opening section and when the transformations come in the same some process takes place for both channels? Curious enough to know how that worked out. I liked this tape even more than the other one, perhaps because the noise seemed more spaced out and it worked in quite a captivating manner. Great release! (FdW)
Address: No Part Of It - 1002 W Montrose Ave - Box 130 - Chicago, IL 60613 - USA

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