Dense Promotion News

Dense News 088. Click For Infos.

Guten Tag et bonjour.

Great, raster-noton, the label from Chemnitz, is new in our programme. The two albums by Frank Bretschneider and Signal are already out for a few weeks but the vinyl hasn’t come out yet (and that’s what we’re after, aren’t we?). I also expect raster’s coming release by COH each day. Preorders are welcome.

Read you soon & Best wishes,


@C & VITOR JOAQUIM – de-tour CD Feld
AVAGAMI – Metagami CD Lens
EXTRA GOLDEN – Hera Ma Nono 2LP/CD Thrill Jockey
FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER – Rhythm LP/CD raster-noton
KAPITAL BAND I – Playing By Numbers CD Mosz
MARCUS SCHMICKLER – Altars Of Science DVD/CD Editions Mego
OREN AMBARCHI – In The Pendulum’s Embrace CD Touch
SAWAKO – Madoromi CD Anticipate
SIGNAL – Robotron LP/CD raster-noton
V.A. – Elffriede CD+Book Transacoustic Research


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@C & VITOR JOAQUIM – de-tour
CD Feld Records 005
Distribution: A-Musik

@c (MIGUEL CARVALHAIS and PEDRO TUDELA) and Vitor Joaquim have been collaborating regularly for a few years in different settings as a trio or in larger improvisational ensembles (as the ongoing project Naja Orchestra). Along the way @c started the Crónica label and Vitor has been one of the first musicians they released.

By 2005, we planned a tour in Germany, during which we always performed two acts and sometimes merged for a third (occasionally adding a fourth collaborator as in Cologne or Stuttgart). This was an ideal setup for free improvisation. In Frankfurt, Bernhard presented us his label and showed his interest in collaborating with us. After having Vitor’s participation in two of the @c releases by then, we thought it was the time to produce a full-length collaboration between @c and Vitor Joaquim and upon returning to the studio, we started working on the recordings of those sessions in Germany (and one is Lisbon, the previous year), using them as the prime matter for building this CD.”

De-tour is not composed by but rather composed from live recordings. Not being an exact documentation of the performances in Germany, it is born of those, following what has become our modus operandi: excerpts of variable length were extracted from the recordings and recomposed through digital processing, editing and collage. Therefore, these tracks are not improvisations anymore, but their improvisational genesis is still present over the entire CD. A CD that is not “live” but much more of a concrete composition.


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AVAGAMI – Metagami
CD Lens Records LENS0018

Hailing from Chicago – Avagami began writing music in 2005 after meeting through a rather peculiar Craigslist posting. Eric (vocals, saxophone, electronics, see: unusual drawings) wasn’t quite what Matt (drums, electronics, see: Atombombpocketknife, The Reputation) was expecting but a musical connection was made none the less. Both were looking to push the pop envelope, and incorporate improvisational techniques into a song structure. Their music combines elements of Prog, New Wave, Noise, and Krautrock, as well as Burlesque, Lounge, and Psychotherapy (Gestalt). Metagami marks Avagami’s debut release on Chicago’s Lens Records.

“Their album is an absurd delight, like a Super Soaker filled with Cool Whip.” Critic’s Choice – Chicago Reader

“Fucking weird indie electro pop that somehow works, real nice.”


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CD Thrill Jockey thrill187
Streetdate: October 19

Hera Ma Nono is the exhilarating sophomore effort from Kenyan and American cooperative Extra Golden. Kenyan benga music and American rock first met with a friendly handshake on the group’s 2006 debut, Ok-Oyot System, and are now fully integrated in a union that represents the vanguard of both styles and transcends the very notion of authenticity.

The group’s future was uncertain after the unfortunate loss of singer/guitarist/co-founder Otieno Jagwasi in 2005. However, an invitation to perform at the 2006 Chicago World Music Festival presented an intriguing opportunity for a US concert debut and a chance to return to the studio. The group called on OPIYO BILONGO to fill the void, a singer/guitarist who has been a dangerous presence on the Kenyan Benga scene for over a decade. Guitarist IAN EAGLESON had helped Bilongo record two albums with his group Bilongo Golden Stars back in 2004, sessions that are highlighted on Bilongo’s debut U.S. release, What Do People Want? on Kanyo Records. Onyango Wuod Omari, whose singular drumming punctuated Ok-Oyot System, would also make the trip.

For several months and through almost interminable hassles, Eagleson and guitarist ALEX MINOFF worked feverishly with ONYANGO JAGWASI (brother of the late Otieno) to make Extra Golden’s concert debut a reality. After countless international phone calls, a great deal of hustling, and some help from people in high places (the office of Illinois Senator Barack Obama helped the group clear their final visa hurdles), Opiyo Bilongo and Onyango Wuod Omari got their visas just a few hours before their scheduled departure. This would be the first journey outside of East Africa for both benga stars.

Six weeks of memorable performances followed at both rock venues and private Kenyan functions, then Extra Golden retreated to an isolated location on Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. As with Ok-Oyot System, the band recorded using their “Nyathi Otenga Flying Studio,” but the session for Hera Ma Nono couldn’t have been more different. Instead of three hours in an open-air Nairobi nightclub, the group had five days in a private house. They had access to a variety of guitar amplifiers and effects, and perhaps the biggest difference was the drumkit. The set that Onyango used on Ok-Oyot System was, to be kind, broken. In Pennsylvania, he had a fully-functional kit with a large assortment of tom-toms. These new amenities helped to take the band’s sound in a new direction.

With the loss of Otieno Jagwasi, new voices have also contributed to Extra Golden’s new sound. Bilongo, revered in Kenya for his singing and composing, penned and sang lead on “Obama”, “I Miss You” and “Love Hijackers.” Onyango Wuod Omari, while still a sought-after session drummer in Nairobi, has moved into the role of lead vocalist, and can be heard on “Night Runners” and “Hera Ma Nono.” And while he didn’t make the trip this time, Onyango Jagwasi penned the lyrics and sang lead on album-opener “Jakolando,” a tribute to his brother that takes its title from a nickname shared by both. Hera Ma Nono also features some special guests. Austin-based Dennis Rathnaw played percussion on several tracks, and David Egan, a renowned songwriter from Lafayette, Lousiana, played the piano.

Hera Ma Nono is Luo for “love in vain”, a theme that reverberates throughout the album. While on “I Miss You”, “Love Hijackers” and the title track, it refers to the love that exists between two people, this same theme applies in less traditional ways in other songs. “Jakolando” and “Brothers Gone Away” illustrate the cruelty of prematurely losing family members and friends. “Street Parade” praises the citizens and culture of New Orleans, who despite a passionate allegiance to their home are punished by its harsh ecology. In a more upbeat lyrical turn, “Obama” thanks the Senator and others who helped Extra Golden reunite to make this recording. Such songs of praise are benga custom, and in keeping with that custom, Obama’s wife and mother receive thanks too. Finally, “Night Runners” contemplates the jajuok, the creepy, nocturnal creatures of Luo folklore.

Through it all, Hera Ma Nono shows that, while the defining element of Extra Golden may be its cross-cultural cooperation, styles like Rock and Benga are not quite as disparate as some may believe. Both arose from people cranking up electric guitars and singing melodic songs over propulsive rhythms in an attempt to entertain an audience. Though they may have to cross seas and petition governments just to play a few shows, the members of Extra Golden go about their work with a few simple goals in mind: to write songs that tell stories of life, love and loss; to praise people and places that are dear to their hearts; and, most of all, to create a sound that people of different backgrounds and generations can enjoy.



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LP/CD raster-noton R-N082

rhythm is neither pop nor avant-garde, but simply deals with the basic principles of any modern music: rhythm.

frank bretschneider takes his, never simple, but all the more heartfelt relationship to rhythm and it’s complexity, to an intense inventory and, this time, works less out of suspenseful abstract sounds, than out of grooves. the terseness and precision of previous works remains, as well as a preference for high-voltage sounds halfway between noise and tone. new is the assemblage of the material. a combination of programming, composition and construction, which draws a clear distinction to his preferred loop-based work on foregone albums, is connected with bretschneider’s very idiosyncratic aesthetic of digital sound: controlled and objective. the whole follows simple mechanical states: on/off, forward/backward, up/down, slow/fast, loud/quiet, dull/brilliant, soft/hard and is characterized by the absence of any romanticism. still this return to the elementary, the fundamental, does not diminish the music to dance-floor functionality, instead bretschneider always stays emphatically musical and manages to generate sophisticated and complex rhythm-structures, which respectively induce minimal deviations in frequency and timing relationships to generate a surplus of funk.

in all, rhythm is probably bretschneider’s most direct, clear and concentrated work yet.

frank bretschneider works as a musician and composer in berlin. since 1996 he has published a number of albums for raster-noton, mille plateaux and 12k. the music for rhythm was created between june 2006 and march 2007.

08/09 IT – Trento, Transart
21/09 NL – Den Haag, Todays Art
29/09 BE – Brüssel, Nuit Blanche


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CD 12k 1044
Streetdate: September 24

12k presents the latest solo work from Italian composer Giuseppe Ielasi. August is the 4th full-length cd from Ielasi following his critically acclaimed debut Plans (Sedimental, 2003) and the stunning  Gesine and s/t (Häpna, 2005, 2006).

August takes a more linear approach to Ielasi’s composing with sounds stretched like like layers of gauze forming a thick, soft blanket. Utilizing piano, hammond organ, guitars, dobro, synthesizers and shortwave radio, Ielasi creates deep, warm drones and suspended, scratchy melodies with a hint of despair and melancholy that make this a very introspective album. His trademark guitar and live approach to instrumentation are in the forefront yet set behind an expertly processed veil of subtle electronics. The textures are unabashedly acoustic but buried and moody enough as to question their origin.

August is a haunting, but beautiful album that falls neatly between the starkness of Gesine and the scattering rhythmic complexity of s/t. LIke music for a farewell, an ending of ends, August is moody, static, slow and emotional.

Ielasi, Born in 1974, lives near Milan, Italy. He started playing guitar in 1988, and worked for many years in the area of ‘improvised music’ (long term collaborations with Renato Rinaldi in the duo Oreledigneur, Alessandro Bosetti, Michel Doneda, Ingar Zach, Dean Roberts). He has performed live with Taku Sugimoto, Jerome Noetinger, Mark Wastell, Martin Siewert, Nmperign, Brandon Labelle, Nikos Veliotis, Gert-Jan Prins, Phill Niblock, Oren Ambarchi, Thomas Ankersmit and many others. In recent years his main interest has been in site-specific solo performances, still using guitars as primary sound sources but integrating microphones and multi-channel speaker systems in order to create complex networks for sound diffusion in relationship to space. In 1998 he founded the Fringes Recordings label.


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KAPITAL BAND 1 – Playing By Numbers
CD Mosz 017
Streetdate: November 16

You are only allowed to walk on the sidewalk segments. Whoever steps on the cracks loses, and is eaten up by the crocodile. If the segments or stones are too small, or the path is paved, you must walk on the curb of the sidewalk. If this is also not possible, the game is interrupted and everyone may walk as he or she likes, until the necessary terrain resumes. Suddenly you notice that one of the stones has an exeptional structure, your view focuses, and all its details drop into your mind.

All of the pieces have a form underneath, which is, depending on the piece, colourized and restructured. For example, the 2nd piece is a reorchestration of a nocturnal streetscene in vienna. A recording we did of an urban street scene one night in vienna became our score: a distant sound, hidden between all the other noises, as if someone was hearing a symphony playing far in the distance. We picked out this detail and began reorchestrating it… recolourizing it and all the washes of sound coming from the street. These 22 second became our world. We played along with the sounds of passing cars, and the sonic spectrum of the city’s night.  Driven by the illusional fascination that we can zoom through foreground layers until background sounds fan out in all their subtle details… moving in the recording as if walking through the street toward a single sound having caught our attention… finding out how it sounds up close.
Of course it is a recording, a picture, of a limited dimensionality. Through instrumentation we give greater depth to this recording–  substituting, shifting, reassembling… that’s the main principle of this album.

kapital band 1 are NICHOLAS BUSSMANN and MARTIN BRANDLMAYR. After their first release 2CD from 2004, there was a second album in the works already nearing completion, which the musicians decided to trash completely and go a step further. Playing By Numbers is the result- the third album. Now electronics have been set a bit aside; in the foreground are acoustic instruments- cello, guitar, vibraphone and marimba, voice, flute and of course drums. The three parts of the composition play around with playing by numbers. All instruments are played by Martin Brandlmayr and Nicholas Bussmann, except the flute which Erik Drescher contributed. For our release tour in spring 2008 we will play these compositions, as well as some compositions dedicated only toward live performance. On tour we will play in an extended formation, being joined by: Clare Cooper  – harp, Werner Dafeldecker – double bass, Andrea Neumann – inside piano and Tony Buck – drums.


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DVD Editionns Mego eMEGO082
Streetdate: October 22

The work of Cologne based Marcus Schmickler has over the years crossed the boundaries bewteen classical and pop, improvisation and techno. Active as a solo artist under his own name, as well as working under the PLURAMON moniker with Julee Cruise, plus countless collaborations in the filed of electronic improvisation.

‘Altars Of Science’ is Schmickler’s first purely electronic release since 1998’s prize winning ‘Sator Rotas’. A fascinating ‘tour de force’ of modern computer music composition. Intense in its outlook, yet polished in its execution, making it an essential addition to any serious collection of 21st century audio.

This special DVD+ contains two versions of the same piece; Stereo Mix playable on all CD playing devices, and the mind blowing Multi Channel Mix, playable on DVD players set up to 5.1.

DVD side: Altars Of Science 1-8 (Multi Channel Mix) 38’50
CD side: Altars Of Science 1-8 (Stereo Mix) 38’50

31/10 DE – Dusseldorf, Heinrich Heine Institut (w/ Thomas Lehn)


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LP/CD A-Musik A33
Streetdate: October 29

H.O.N.D. is the first joint release of Hamburg-based all-around artists Felix Kubin (music, sounds) and Mariola Brillowska (lyrics, vocals). For Brillowska’s 2006 theatre play of the same title, Kubin composed a soundtrack in order to mess up this infamous musical by twirling colourful little building bricks around in it. This then became an album in its own right, where constructivist orchestra- and plunderphonics-collages meet Gameboy-disco while melancholy-laden chansons rub against Weill/Eisler-like hymns.

On H.O.N.D., the artists demonstrate in an original way, how music today can work with and without lyrics on an analogue was well as on an electronic level.

The songs tell the story of a bastard between dog and lolita, which in ever-changing costumes haunts the House Of National Dog (H.O.N.D.). “I turn into a grown-up hairbrush” sings Gloria Brillowska, the young protagonist of this national dog drama and daughter of Mariola with the voice of a broken youth.

This album is folk art and art folk, tristesse and absurd humor. The garish and poetical world of Kubin and Brillowska is constantly disrupted by joyful barking.

The dog is the leitmotif of the House Of National Dog, where it serves as substitute lover, national symbol, fashion model, guinea pig, hairy Tamagotchi, fighting dog and agent of free sexuality.

The CD includes two bonus tracks. The first is about the “Liebeskrankenhaus” (“love hospital”) in which the “wound chambers” of the “forsaken lovers” are being repaired. This is accompanied by the sounds of dental drills, bats, sirens and breathing.

The second bonus track is a film, which advertises products of the Snupiehond cult (such as bottled barking or pacifiers in holders) as well as Mariola’s deeply idiosyncratic cartoon art. “H.O.N.D. AEROBIC”, the music video she produced for the album, received the 2007 MUVI award.

Kubin’s daring musical arrangements are dynamic, energetic and full of vitality, combining electronic sounds with acoustic recordings.

Brillowska’s lyrics regale the listener with their knowledge of human nature, misanthropic nonsense and onomatopoetic dog-speak (an English translation of the text is included in the booklet). “That must be. Barking. Woof woof! A cordial welcome to the House Of National Dog!”


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OREN AMBARCHI – In The Pendulum’s Embrace
CD Touch # TO:78
Streetdate: September 17

Oren Ambarchi continues his otherworldly investigations with “In The Pendulum’s Embrace”, a dark twin to his landmark 2004 album “Grapes From The Estate” [Touch # TO:61]. Returning again to the hallowed halls of BJB Studios in Sydney, Ambarchi expands the scope and range of his unique musical language, incorporating an even broader pallette of instruments and sensibilities. Despite the use of glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, percussion and guitars, it’s startling that the world created is still unmistakably his own, and that there is such a cohesion of vision throughout the albums’s three lengthy pieces. With this record there’s an even more tenuous coexistence of fragility and density; sounds as light as air mingling with wall shaking low-end. The converted already know the kind of trance-inducing euphoria of Ambarchi’s music. Newcomers will be scouting the back catalogue.

Australian Oren Ambarchi is a sound artist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, “re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation”. (The Wire, UK). Ambarchi’s work on harmonics and resonance has led him to define serene spaces of fluid, shifting sound, both fragile and physical. Ambarchi has numerous releases on influential international labels such as Touch, Southern Lord & Tzadik. His solo releases “Suspension” and “Grapes From The Estate” have transcended the guitar into a zone of alien beauty and sonic impossibilities to critical acclaim. In 2003 his live release “Triste” received an ‘honourary mention’ in Prix Ars Electronica digital musics category. He has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Sunn 0))), Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, John Zorn, Voice Crack, Keith Rowe, Masonna, Phill Niblock, Toshimaru Nakamura, Evan Parker, Keiji Haino and many more. Ambarchi was the co-organiser of the What Is Music? Festival, Australia’s premier annual showcase of local and international experimental music and has recently co-produced a television series on experimental music called Subsonics.


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SAWAKO – Madoromi
CD Anticipate Recordings 003
Streetdate: October 15

On Sawako’s third full-length album, Madoromi, (a Japanese word which loosely translates to the state of being between sleep and waking) she presents a narrative universe of spacey, dreamy in-between-ness. Working through the woozy  shift of the album’s arc one emerges at the other end with a return to a physical world decidedly of the present tense. Filled with contrast and dynamics, Madoromi firmly places Sawako at the forefront of the softly colliding aspects of the digital and organic – showing that she manages to hang in the fold between these worlds, and access each with aplomb.

Subtle electronics frame abstracted instrumental source material (vibraphone, guitar, cello, music box) and a variety of real-world sound (random objects, distant, disembodied voices and the occasional presence of Sawako’s faintly  whispered vocals). With tracks like “Uta Tane” and “Far Away,” she highlights the acoustic elements, where editing, bending and stretching – rather than obscure the natural beauty of the sound for the sake of finding something new – help to further bring out the qualities that were quietly hiding beneath the  surface. On songs like “Kira Kira” and the album closer, “Tiny Tiny,” Sawako uses chimes and tones that twinkle and pop, reminding one of hazy memories recalled  through developed and reconfigured memory banks.

Existing somewhere between the art gallery, the headphone commute and the bed-time ritual, Sawako’s sound traverses boundaries such as digital minimalism, ambient and electro-acoustic – arriving at a singular approach which feels both  mental and tender – restraining itself from going too far in either direction. Finding the melodies within the melodies, the fragments are assembled into soft, resonating compositions that combine all the fragility of a lone person playing toy instruments in their room with the technological prowess of skilled DSP processing. These qualities add up to a warm, moody, forward-minded balance, which defines Sawako’s music.


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SIGNAL – Robotron
CD/LP raster-noton R-N069

raster-noton’s flagship signal – OLAF BENDER, FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER and CARSTEN NICOLAI – is something like the reference group of one of the pivotal labels of new minimal electronic music. although only having released one cd so far, their sessions and concerts have been very influential until today. some of those tracks of the past years now result in a compilation that joins the work of the three masterminds of raster-noton, but not like a simple aggregation of egos, much rather like a conversation in which every discourse modulates the other and in the end it is not possible anymore to distinguish between each individual contribution. in this sense, signal would be a superego that serves a process in which the rule, coincidence and interaction play equal parts. this blends into an open and democratic music that has some of kraftwerk’s melancholy in it. thus, signal are their spiritual heirs.

robotron was recorded at voxxx studio/chemnitz, unit/tokyo, palast der republik/berlin between 2001 and 2006.
post production was done at villa massimo/rome and raster-studio/chemnitz.


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V.A. – Elffriede / Soundrawing
CD & Book Transacoustic Research tres007
Streetdate: October 17

elffriede, a vienna-based visual artist, has sent drawings to 34 musicians in different countries all over the world and invited them to compose 2-minutes sound-pieces inspired by the drawing.

the artists worked with with various instruments (computer, field recordings, electroacoustic instruments, violin, saxophone, voice, typewriter and others) and thus the styles of the sound pieces are miscellaneous:

soundscapes (grzinich, kaiser, murmer, niblock, ruhland/behr)
electroacoustic music (goncalves, grünrekorder, prlic, raffaseder, troyer)
remixes (brandstifter, fuchs, gansterer, roisz)
beats, clicks & cuts (incite, mohntau, piringer, raffeiner, splinks)
acoustic instruments and songs (homolka-list, reiter, wohnzimmer, zemmler)
… and other styles and genres.

these 34 pieces have been mastered by martin siewert and are now published on the CD ‘soundrawing’ on together with a booklet, which elffriede produced in cooperation with knust/extrapool (nijmegen): 36 pages in the size of a 7′-inch single cram-full with elffriedes fascinating drawings and poetry in german & dutch.

elffriede is now working on internet animations of her drawings, which will be presented on her webpage:


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Thanks for reading & best wishes

Dense Promotion