PUMICE
Yeahnahvienna

[Soft Abuse, www.softabuse.com]

STAFRAENN HAKON
Ventill / Poki

[Resonant, www.resonantlabel.com]

WOODEN WAND
Harem of the Sundrum & The Witness Figg

[5RC, www.5rc.com]

Pumice is one man band made up of New Zealander Stefan Neville. Very unassuming music and something that can really draw you in from beginning to its final moments, his new release "Yeahnahvienna" [title taken from Vienna - place where the record was put to tape] is a wondrous, nearly 50 minute long exploration of possibilities of graven voice and sunken guitar. Coming out of the whole New Zealand underground cassette skewed-folk scene, Neville knows a good thing when he hears it. Luckily for us, he's willing to share the results of his acid trips. Plenty of guitar fuzz enraptures the recording but the thing that most prevails is the lo-fi recording quality. Entire CD was recorded straight to DAT, which gives it this warm, fuzzy and mostly intimate feeling. One of the most interesting moments of the proceedings arrives at "Darkpark". As a pensive piano line is played divinely, some high-pitched processed noises pop in and out of the woodwork. As the track meanders through its six minutes, the mood becomes more and more drone-like. Elsewhere, as on "Brawl", Neville plays some hushed and tender guitar passages that are somewhat processed electronically. His voice is understated and filled with a longing quality to it. The guy must obviously be sad about one thing or another. Tour de force of the record is the twelve minute long "Teas Tasting Fair". Full of evened-out guitar machination and percussive elements [though these are rather minimal], Neville tries to keep afloat in his own creation. As the madness continues, we're left with a nice drone at the song's core. "Yeahnahvienna" is for those who like adventure with their song form.
Iceland's Stafraenn Hakon has been making records for the last several years, but it's only now that I've opened my ears and allowed his piercing melodies to come shining through. Yup, this is a one man band. A superhero, if you will. It's best not to draw comparisons, as these will probably take away from uniqueness of the venture at hand. It's best if you just sit back and let these sparse sounds infiltrate your brain. Repetitive to point of exhaustion, Hakon enlists a multitude of instruments - guitars, bass, keyboards, drums - to create this distinctive atmosphere that is evident throughout. By bringing in outside help [trombones, cello, more percussion], the sentiment is ethereal. Calm guitar parts intermingle with soft strokes on the cymbals, as a glistening keyboard base floats underneath. Don't mistake entire record as being an exercise in ambience. There is still punch, as on the gutsy "Eder" - where percussion is built up on thick layers of guitars. Elsewhere, on "Gorecki Magnus", Hakon creates a luscious, thick guitar wall that could pass for a more gentle My Bloody Valentine track. Best thing is this stuff is entirely instrumental, which means you don't have to worry about vocals stealing the show. Some of the tracks have an echo-like effect, which adds yet another interesting layer to the production. As with any great record, the less said, the better. To the point then, buy "Ventill / Poki" now.
James Toth [aka Wooden Wand] has a dirge of material released by smaller and medium-sized labels. His debut for 5RC, "Harem of the Sundrum & The Witness Figg" is a strangely alluring mix from pulled from his freak- folk bag of tricks. Pulling no stops, the record is a somewhat dreary mix of downtrodden vocals, along with sparse guitar arrangements. What draws you in right away is immediacy of the tunes. This is stuff you can really hum along to. Opening "Leave Your Perch..." is one such case. Delicate, pensive guitar plucking is heard, while Toth slowly unravels a multitude of choruses and starts to weave his story. Heavily based in the blues idiom, Toth is not shy from exposing his raw as meat vocal chords. They're a bit rough around the edges, which is exactly the point. Not only do the blues get a re-working here, Toth is heavily influenced by country elements. Though, then again, there's too much sophistication everywhere to call these tunes simple songs. He draws out complex imagery and intricate story-telling techniques to deliver a fully satisfying release. More than just a run of the mill freak-out folk release, though the music maybe somewhat on the sombre side, it's rich in every imaginable way. For the believers and those that have yet to see the light of day, the music is ripe for the picking. Harvest time has come!

- Tom Sekowski


<<< poprzednia recenzja  
 

RECENZJE

+ Alan Courtis - Antiguos Dólmenes del Paleolitico
+ Afflux - Bordeaux TNT
+ Tony Conrad & Faust - Outside the Dream Syndicate. Alive
+ Ohkami No Jikan - Mort Nuit
+ Hati - Hati vs. Z'EV
+ Directing Hand - Bells for Augustin Lesage
+ Glenn Jones - This is the Wind that Blows It Out
+ Birgit Ulher - Scatter
+ Sascha Demand - Plakationa
+ David Chiesa - Phonemes
+ With Throats as Fine as Needles - With Throats as Fine as Needles
+ Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood - Goodbye
+ Slomo - The Creep
+ Anthony Braxton - 3 Compositions Of New Jazz / Anthony Braxton - 8 Duets: Hamburg 1991 / Anthony Braxton and Richard Teitelbaum - Duet: Live at Merkin Hall, NYC / Anthony Braxton/Chris Dahlgren - ABCD
+ 050
+ Das Bierbeben - Alles Fallt
+ Couch - Figur 5
+ Crowdpleaser & St-Plomb - 2006
+ Cuts & Pieces
+ Boogy Bytes Vol. 2 - Mixed By Sascha Funke
+ Eddie Zarook & Casio Casino - 6Ft Dunder/Was
+ ISAN - Plans Drawn In Pencil
+ Elbee Bad - Realisty Check 4 All
+ The Gentleman Losers - The Gentleman Losers
+ Lump 200 - Dizzyland
+ Motor Soul Vol. 1
+ SCSI-9 - The Line Of Nine
+ Sinner DC - Mount Age
+ Soylent Green - La Forza Del Destino
+ Stop Disco Mafia - You Don't Wanna Know
+ Joanna Słowińska - Live in Alchemia
+ Transkapela - Sound & Shadows

- - - - - - - - -

>> PUMICE - Yeahnahvienna / STAFRAENN HAKON - Ventill/Poki / WOODEN WAND - Harem of the Sundrum & The Witness Figg
+ BABYSHAMBLES - Down in Albion
+ VENOM - Metal Black
+ ROBERT PIOTROWICZ - Rurokura and the Final Warn
+ ÖLVIS - Ölvis
+ LOTUS - The Strength of Weak Ties
+ THE CONGOS & FRIENDS - Fisherman Style
+ LIZZY MERCIER DESCLOUX - Best Off
+ NO NECK BLUES BAND & EMBRYO - EmbryoNNCK
+ WILLIAM BASINSKI - The Garden of Brokenness
+ PHILL NIBLOCK - Touch Three
+ PUB - Single - Legless
+ THE IMPOSSIBLE SHAPES - Tum
+ ORBIT SERVICE - Songs of Eta Carinae
+ GEORG GRAEWE / ERNST REIJSEGER / GERRY HEMINGWAY - Continuum
+ IZU - Going Salamander
+ SUNDAYRUNNERS - SundayRunners
+ AMPARANOIA - La Vida Te Da
+ CARL LUDWIG HUBSCH LONGRUN DEVELOPMENT OF THE UNIVERSE - Is This Our Music? 2
+ PAUL BRADLEY - Memorias extranjeras
+ MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ - Live 1984-1985
+ SAO PAULO UNDERGROUND - Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres
+ BLOOD MUSIC - Sing a Song Fighter!
+ RICHARD YOUNGS - The Naive Shaman
+ ANOUAR BRAHEM - Le Voyage de Sahar
+ THE GREASEBALLS - Tombstone Wax
+ ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE / ROBERT MONTOYA / MARCOS FERNANDES / RENT ROMUS - Reverberations from Spring Past
+ KAI FAGASCHINSKI & BERNARD GAL - Going Round in Serpentines
+ DANIELSON - Ships
+ ROBERT POLLARD - From a Compound Eye
+ CHAS SMITH - Descent
+ PUPKULIES & REBECCA - The Way We / CODEC & FLEXOR - Killermachine / TOLCHA - Gestalt / SASCHA BOOSE - Feel The Flow / COSMIC SLAVE - The Spirit of Summer / HEIDI MORTENSON - Wired Stuff

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Szaleństwo i tradycja - wywiad z Arturem Rojkiem [Myslovitz]
+ Wreszcie na swoim - wywiad z Jackiem Lachowiczem
+ Przekształcamy świadomość - wywiad z Dariuszem Wojtasiem [Hati]