Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Silvia Kastel/Ninni Morgia/Bren’t Lewiis
Fix It Again, Tony



Great, trans-continental collaboration between Euro avantists and Control Unit tag-team Silvia Kastel and Ninni Morgia and legendary musical savants Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble, here represented by Gnarols and Lucian Tielens: recorded ‘face-to-face’ in April 2012, this is a fairly wild ride, with Morgia’s electric guitar reinvented as a particularly brutal sonic reducer that works more like a ‘simple’ channel for electricity than anything tonal. Kastel’s electronics have alla the ticker-tape/nightmare appeal of Tolerance w/a heady hobbyist vibe that has an cracked LAFMS telethon feel. Gnarlos and Tielens bring guitar, voice, objects and tapes to the mix and they combine a kind Smegma-style usurpation of traditional small instruments ‘mores’ with a fully zonked Saturn records vibe, you know those weird Sun Ra fade-outs where all that’s left is the sound of some kind of strange string that sounds like a radiator being bowed in a vacuum? Well, there’s plenty of that here, giving it the feel of a Music Improvisation Company in space or a toy-town Arkestra calling planet earth. More claustrophobic and brain-searingly electronic than the mass Lewiis actions but with a nagging/eerie late night appeal that will score points with followers of Yeast Culture, Small Cruel Party et al. And don’t try to maintain that ain’t you. 

Kommissar Hjuler/Mama Baer/Ninni Morgia/Silvia Kastel
Live In Edinburgh

Ricerca Sonora RS-4


It’s no secret that at VT we dug the hell out of the live hook-up between German art terrorists Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer and Italian actionists Ninni Morgia and Silvia Kastel when they blazed a trail across the UK back in 2011. Well, here’s another document from that amazing run of shows and it’s a doozy. Live In Edinburgh comes over like an unreleased Industrial ritual brainstormed by Lisa Suckdog, with a wild exuberant atmosphere and plenty of cracked vocal disobedience. Mama takes the lead here, mis-remembering and variously dismembering pop and rock effluvia, joined by Kastel and Kommissar at points, the latter of whom barks comments and instructions via a microphone attached to a cheap keyboard. The music is feral free improvisation w/nada in terms of sophistication, just tearing guts and circuitry from various electronics while massed vocals build to peaks of mutual hysteria. Exuberant, funny, challenging and curiously life-affirming, this is another blat of whu from a buncha thinkers who don’t. Edition of only 180 copies, highly recommended!

Gary Smith/Silvia Kastel/Ninni Morgia
Brand II

L'Esprit De L'Escalier Lele-03


Second instalment of wildly outside trio playing from this inspired hook-up: Gary Smith has had a fascinating career on the fringes, playing with Bill Fray as the replacement for Ray Russell and collaborating with John Stevens, Chie Mukai, Shoji Hano, Masayoshi Urabe and more. His guitar conceptions extend Derek Bailey’s use of extreme volume pedal dynamics and microtonal string scuffles, playing a kind of muted though internally explosive/endlessly refracted form of psychedelic improvisation. Kastel and Morgia are, of course, well known purveyors of Kraut/Cold freak, and the trio combination is truly maximalist. Kastel moans and hovers over the tracks like the ghost of Joan La Barbara while Morgia brings the metal, with clanging tone-on-tone brutality combined with long passages of high-wire and intricately constructed semi-silence. Somewhere between NWW list style blat, Iskra/Music Improvisation Company tectonics and 20th century composition, this is another brutal and challenging instalment in this excellent series.