A WITNESS
I am John's Pancreas

PURE SOUND
Yukon

[Euphonium Records, www.euphoniumrecords.com]

In terms of obscure independent British bands, it's hard to dig up anything more bizarre then these two outfits.
A Witness was a Manchester-based outfit that was made up of guitarist Rick Aitken, bassist Vince Hunt, vocalist Keith Curtis and guitarist Noel Kilbride. A drum machine acted as an unofficial fifth member. Having a drum machine for a partner was nothing more than a move toward technology, seeing how musical instruments can be tied in with this new "foreign" device. This choice of instrumentation worked out well for the band. While their guitar-heavy approach is reminiscent of early-day Joy Division, their repetitive, almost bored approach to song format is more akin to Wire. Repetition is used to good effect as is Keith Curtis' vocal chords. The guy sounds like he's bored, tired or pissed-off most of the time. The tunes are jagged, raunchy and full of energy. After a half-an-hour of harsh rock tunes, the album comes to its pinnacle. "4.49 Stool" is an experiment in atmospheric sounds. With a ton of alien guitar effects racing through the piece, the band was on to something good. It's a shame that with the tragic death of guitarist Rick Aitken, the band met its premature demise. There are so many places they could've gone. An absolutely essential album for die-hard British music fans. More than a decade late, A Witness' bassist Vince Hunt went on to form Pure Sound. "Yukon" is a first in a series of albums that has a goal of exploring music, words, noise and atmospherics ["Acts of New Noise" and "Submarine" are up next.] Hunt takes the listener on a journey through poetry of the Goldrush era, Texan prisoners and other events along the backwoods. All of this is accompanied with Hunt's self-serving bass playing, various tapes, de-tuned guitars and his own vocals. Texas prison songs are revived on "Happy Birthday from Texas", which features source materials recorded by John and Alan Lomax back in 1933. A couple of Canadian poems by Robert Service are read throughout the record - "The Legend of Sam Magee" and "The Men Who Don't Fit In". The latter is more or less a straight reading taken from an old record, while the former is an eight minute trek through the cold tundra, full of tape loops, sampled crackles of an old vinyl and howling winds. I've never heard a better, more life-like presentation of this classic poem [that all of us were forced to read over and over back in grade school]. In between the poems and life-changing audio samples, Hunt goes out and explores his ideas of what Yukon would've sounded like around the Goldrush era. Evidence of freight trains, rattling chains and various voices are heard throughout. His take on a freight train on "Square Thing" - where his guitar appropriates the sound of train wheels hitting the steel track - is absolutely stunning. Fantastic audio document from beginning to end.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Z'EV - Metaphonics
+ Brush - Brush!?
+ Ariesta Birawa Group - Ariesta Birawa vol. 1
+ Zipps - Be Stoned! Dig The Zipps
+ Satya Sai Maitreya Kali - Apache/Inca
+ Charlemagne Palestine / Tony Conrad - An Aural Symbiotic Mystery
+ Toshinori Kondo - Fukyo
+ Max Richter - Songs from Before
+ Esmerine - Aurora
+ Jean-Luc Guionnet/Pascal Battus - Parmakli
+ Bill Horist - :Projects
+ Łukasz Ciszak - auxin
+ Tomasz Bednarczyk - Summer Feelings
+ volcano! - Beautiful Seizure
+ TR 21 - Deceased City
+ Transforma & O.S.T. - Synken
+ Reynold - La Cite d'en Haut
+ Radical Face - Ghost
+ Patrick Pulsinger - Dogmatic Sequences 1994 - 2006
+ Phelan Sheppard - Harps Old Master
+ Oblong - Indicator
+ Milenasong - Seven Sisters
+ Kapitan DA - Kapitan DA
+ Hug - Heroes
+ Housemeister - Roadmovie
+ A Hawk & A Hacksaw - The Way The Wind Blows
+ The Go Find - Stars On The Wall
+ Gescom - MiniDisc
+ Damero - Happy In Grey
+ Console - Pan Or Ama
+ Classic Cuts: Knight Action - Single Girl / Los Angeles T.F. - Magical Body / Mike Dunn - So Let It Be House / Dopplereffekt - Gesamkunstwerk
+ Christ. - Blue Shift Emissions
+ Blue Raincoat - Everything Is A Piece Of Something
+ Bloodysnowman - Bloodysnowman
+ American Gigolo III - Mixed & Compiled By Princess Superstar
+ 7 Up! - Singles Only 1978 - 1982

- - - - - - - - -

+ loudQUIETloud - A Film about The Pixies DVD
+ BRENT FARISS / BILL THOMPSON - August - September
+ TOM RECCHION - Sweetly doing nothing
+ STEN SANDELL TRIO - Oval
+ MAGIC CARPATHIANS & LECHISTAN'S ELECTRIC CHAIR - Mirrors
+ WALTER & SABRINA - Chioma SuperNormal - The Dark Album
+ POSITIVE KNOWLEDGE - First Ones / JOEL FUTTERMAN / ALVIN FIELDER / IKE LEVIN - Live at the Blue Monk
+ ANTHONY BURR / OSCAR NORIEGA / CHRIS SPEED - The Clarinets
+ JESSE ZUBOT - Dementia
+ CHRISTIAN WEBER - 3 Suits & A Violin - Osaka Solo
+ HERIBERT FRIEDL - Back_Forward / BERNARD GUNTER / HERIBERT FRIEDL - Trans~
+ HORKESKART - Live in Solitude / CINC - Polyphonic Poetry
+ BOB MARSH / THERESA WONG / BRYAN EUBANKS - Luggage
+ JOHN BUTCHER / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - Concentric / RODRIGO AMADO / KENT KESSLER / PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE - Teatro
+ NORBERT MOSLANG / GUNTER MULLER - Wild_Suzuki / NORBERT MOSLANG - Burst_Log / MASAHIKO OKURA / GUNTER MULLER / AMI YOSHIDA - Tanker
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS / ANDREA CENTAZZO - Fire
+ RM74 - Fireproof in 8 Parts / RM74 / RLW - Pirouetten / HERPES Ö DELUXE - Kielholen
+ ÖLVIS - Bravado
+ TETSU INOUE - World Receiver / BEAUTUMN - Northing / RUDY ADRIAN - MoonWater / MARKUS REUTER - Trepanation
+ DRAKKAR SAUNA - Jabraham Lincoln
+ FLUORESCENT GREY - Lying on the Floor Mingling With God in a Tijuana Motel Room Next Door to a Veterinary Supply Store
+ HOLGER CZUKAY - Radio Wave Surfer - Good Morning Story
+ DO MAKE SAY THINK - You, You're a History in Rust
+ CLAUDIO PARODI - Horizontal Mover (homage to Alvin Lucier)
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Women of the World: Acoustic - A New Groove - One World, Many Cultures
+ BAD BRAINS - Live at CBGB 1982 - CD/DVD
+ JOHANNES BAUER / THOMAS LEHN / JON ROSE - Futch / STEVE LACY - Live at Jazzwerstatt Peitz
+ VOLCANO THE BEAR - Egg and Two Books
+ IRENE SCHWEIZER / FRED ANDERSON / HAMID DRAKE - Willisau & Taktlos
+ KOTRA AND ZAVOLOKA - Wag the Swing
+ CLINIC - Visitations
+ KUSH ARORA - Underwater Jihad
>> A WITNESS - I am John's Pancreas / PURE SOUND - Yukon
+ MONTA - The Brilliant Masses
+ SHELLEY BURGON / TREVOR DUNN - Baltimore
+ SATANICPORNOCULTSHOP - ..Aiff Skull EP
+ FRANCOIS HOULE - Aerials
+ KAZUMASA HASHIMOTO - Gllia / YASUSHI YOSHIDA - Secret Figure / MIDORI HIRANO - LushRush

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WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Laibach - relacja z koncertu w Palladium, Warszawa 10.12.2006
+ Singing is communication - wywiad z Marit Posch alias Damero
+ Something unique - wywiad z Mikael'em Stavostrandem (Bulgur Brothers)