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A GUIDE TO THE MUSIC OF THE 21TH CENTURY   REVIEWS


A Guide to the Music of the 21th Century (Acid Soxx, XX333) von PERFECT VACUUM seltsam zu nennen, wäre lachhaft untertrieben. Als Reiseführer in das bizarre Tulpenfeld, das demnächst als Musik erblüht, fungieren erneut Lukas Simonis und Nina Hitz, hier zusammen mit Dave Marsh, jener multiplen Persönlichkeit, die umhergeistert mit einem Rattenschwanz von flüchtigen Identitäten von Amos über Xentos Fray Bentos und Harmon E. Phraisyar bis L. Voag und Jim Whelton in Projekten von einst The Homosexuals, Amos & Sara oder Milk From Cheltenham bis Die Trip Computer Die. Die Zeitreise zweier VW-Käfer-beschwingter Barockkomponisten, die in ein Sonic-Fiction-Studio gebeamt wurden, um sich beim nächsten Schritt ans Tageslicht inmitten einer Hippiekommune wiederzufinden, Freaks an Viola, Tuba, Banjo, Synthies, Percussion etc., ermöglichte eine Sammlung von Songs to come. Die, überwiegend von Marsh mit hoch gepitchter Stimme gesungen, lassen vermuten, dass die Zukunft freakish sein wird, sehr bunt und kraus, ganz Do-it-Yourself, sehr blödelbardisch-poppig. Ein ‚Kosmisch Mechanischer Mann‘ begegnet Bonzo Dog Doo-Dahs Urban Spaceman in einem ei- oder pilzförmigen Universum ohne rechten Winkel, dafür aber unerschöpflichen Witz- statt schrumpfenden Ölreserven.

Rigobert Dittmann bad.alchemy

 

Perfect Vacuum "A Guide to the Music of the 21th Century" (Acid Soxx Musicks, VÖ: 03/2009)

"A Guide to the Music of the 21th Century" - und nicht weniger. Klar doch! Dave Marsh und Lukas Simonis kennen sich schon eine Weile, haben einige abgedrehte Projekte betrieben, sich aus den Augen verloren, wieder gefunden, was Neues geprobt und erneut das Weite gesucht. Mittlerweile sind sie schon wieder auf getrennten Pfaden unterwegs - zwischendurch jedoch haben sie diese 13, ja, Songs eingespielt, mit weiteren Gastmusikern, wer mag, kann das bunte und besonders schlecht nachvollziehbare - das Konzept ist bis ins Detail durchgedacht - Booklet studieren, Schrift- und Untergrundfarbe wechseln stetig und zwischen Informationen gibt es allerhand Nonsens, Ulk und köstlich dickbackene Lügengeschichten. So wie der "Pressetext", der immerhin in feinem Englisch abgefasst ist und auch auf den dritten Blick noch durchaus ohne Humor nachzuvollziehen ist, ganz ernst sozusagen.
Jedoch - es geht um Musik. Nonsens-Folk-Songs transportieren anarchischen Humor, komische Rock'n'Roll-Nummern mit einer Spur Captain Beefheart im Blut (und den Gitarrensoli) rattern ihre Arrangements aus, avantgardistische Elektrosongs mit Weggeschlossenen-Gesang von der Station, daneben ausgefallene, musikalisch plötzlich anspruchsvolle Töne im Stil moderner Klassik - und noch viel mehr Ulk und Jux und Dollerei - die hatten Spaß bei der Einspielung, und zuvor viele exzellent eigensinnige und heftig schräge Ideen. Eingespielt ist das Ganze natürlich technisch exquisit, hier düsen keine Dumpfbacken blödes Zeug unters Volk, sondern besingen ausgesprochen begabte und radikale Musiker falsch gesungene, schräg arrangierte Tracks mit bisweilen zappaeskem Charakter.
Kurz gesagt: die machen Musik, die so tut, als sei sie Nonsens, dabei ist das Ganze clever komplex, feinsinnig und tiefgründig auf abgefahrnem Humorlevel. Keine schwere Unterhaltung, trotz der ständigen falschen Töne und lustvollen Disharmonien. Sondern ein bunter Reigen hübscher Songs.

volkmar mantel ragazzi


Perfect Vacuum
A Guide To The Music Of The 21st Century
(Acidsoxx Musicks)

Finding strange-looking CDs sporting quirky, unusual, even bizarre images and pictures, most of the time released by artists who are completely unknown to me, filling my mailbox is something that happens with a certain degree of regularity; nonetheless, I had to admit that the cover of this CD by Perfect Vacuum is something else: on the front cover we can see two guys wearing 18th Century wigs and clothes, which I assume to be a reference to the cover of the world-famous album by Wendy Carlos, Switched-On Bach; while the picture in the back recreates the one on the back cover of the Gong LP Camembert Electrique. So I had to ask myself who those guys were - and what kind of music could possibly be featured in an album titled A Guide To The Music Of The 21st Century?

Having a look at the album credits showed somebody I know: guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Lukas Simonis, whom I had last listened to more than a year ago on an album titled NEWS, co-released with Takayuki Kawabata; another look at the credits showed Nina Hitz on cello, whose work on the aforementioned album I had enjoyed quite a bit. Perfect Vacuum is an album that Simonis co-leads with singer Dave Marsh, who's also the co-writer of all lyrics and music. About the lyrics, I don't really know: they are not featured on the album cover, and listening didn't help me much. But what about the music?

Those who like making things appear difficult would probably define A Guide To The Music Of The 21st Century as "a meta-exercise on the very concept of 'genre' according to a post-modern approach". Me, I'd file it under "intelligent fun": in some ways it reminded me of Frank Zappa's first few albums (for instance, Freak Out!, even if the spirit here appears to be quite different), while other traits reminded me of early-period 10cc (Sheet Music, say; but again, intentions appear to be different). As it's always the case with such operations, meaning and "quotes" will fatally differ, depending on listeners' knowledge.

The album has a nice "rétro" sound, panned "hard right/hard left", with a few noises and sounds channel-tripping. The instrumentation is of the colourful 60s type: acoustic guitars, banjo, tuba, vocals, synths, piano, viola, cello, all make for a lot of timbral variety.

Gutter In The Sun is a ballad featuring banjo, tuba, and funny vocal intermezzo (Ike Turner?). Satanic Man/Average Man has slide and strings, almost a mix of Lovin' Spoonful and Kinks, with a Beach Boys vocal fragment. Glamour Addict has a drumset quite à la Drumbo and a very Beefheartian-sounding set of vocals. Strings, bass, and drums are featured on The Good Neighbour, which for mysterious reasons reminded me of The Beatles' Fixing A Hole. Kosmisch Mechanischer Mann has Neu! drums and a Kraftwerk keyboard melody. Meaningful has what to me sounds like a Russian group of the Points East variety singing over the riff from You Really Got Me.

It's So Great To Be Me reminded me of John Lennon, circa "Semolina Pilchard", it also has a fine keyboard intermezzo. Stories Of The American Civil Wars had me (unsuccessfully) trying to guess where I had previously heard it. Plumbing is a ballad. Multi Media Bookstore has a B-movie organ, and a guitar coda off 10cc's first album (the one of the same name). True Believer features a nice rhythm section and a vocal interlude that almost sounds like doo-wop. Lake Geneva sounds like a bizarre combination of two Kinks tracks, Dead End Street and Sunny Afternoon; it's banjo and arpeggio guitar again, the piano reminding one of Nicky Hopkins. White Blood Of My Bride, with a tense-sounding guitar, brings the album to its close.

I have to admit I was quite surprised that the album still sounded very good after many listening sessions. Timbral variety and imagination in the arrangements make for the tracks - and also the album as a whole - sounding longer than they really are (this is obviously meant as a compliment!). While I noticed that - day after day - songs sounded less like "quotes", and more like "individual creations", which is not bad, I suppose.

Beppe Colli 2009/CloudsandClocks.net | April 23, 2009

Perfect Vacuum is a project by Dave Marsh (vocals, recorder) and Lukas Simonis (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals, tight drumming), assisted by a few others. An album of songs with nice harmonies and melodies, bringing back the 60s. But there is more to say about these songs. They are constructed and orchestrated in a way we know from groups like the Residents, Homosexuals, Only a Mother, etc. But above all we know these procedures from earlier work by Simonis and his mates. Superficially these songs may sound very accessible and even catchy, and that is what they are. But they are very cleverly arranged and coloured with strange sounds in a very fanciful way. A very enjoyable and full-grown album.

Dolf Mulder, Vital weekly

 

Perfect Vacuum

Pod wodz? niestrudzonego Lukasa SIMONISA, o którym trzeba b?dzie przygotowa? odr?bne s?owa, bo przecie? to tak wa?na posta? i ameryka?skiego wokalisty Dave MARSH. Okres zarejestrowania nagra? podany pod ok?adk? nie zawiera b??du. Lukas w sposób nieco pogmatwany przedstawia, ?e na rok 2012 ma by? gotowe 169 piosenek, z których wi?kszo?? jest ju? podobno nagrana. A Te wydane na Tym CD s? zapowiedzi? i jakby pierwsz? cz??ci?. Znaj?c Te piosenki bardzo mnie cieszy, ?e b?d? nast?pne – o ile b?d? takie jak Te. A Te to koronkowe piosenki przewrócone. Popl?tane, ale wyra?ne w napi?cia emocjonalne i nami?tno?ci oraz kreuj?ce konsekwentnie histori? oraz buduj?ce dramaturgi?. Poprzewracane, poskr?cane, wirtuozerskie i urocze. Bez ?adnych zahamowa? formalnych. Jakby kabaretowe, ale przecie? awangardowe, k??liwe, z?o?liwe, zabawne, ilustruj?ce, komentuj?ce, wulgarne, ?mieszne, majstersztyki i wygibusy. Mieszaj?ce w tym samym momencie wszystkie wypracowane przez muzyków dot?d formy oraz zacieraj?ce pomi?dzy nimi granice, od porywaj?cego popu a? po wyrafinowane formy muzyki eksperymentalnej, nie omijaj?c muzyki dawnej, klasycznej i plemiennej. Realnie ekscytuj?cy, zniewalaj?cy, przewodnik po muzyce 21 wieku.

Henryk Palczewski, ARS 2

PERFECT VACUUM / A Guide to The Music of the 21st Century (Acidsoxx Musicks)

En voilà un étrange! Collaboration entre le guitariste Lukas Simonis et le chanteur (?) iconoclaste Dave Marsh. À classer sous “pop/rock”, mais c’est dire bien peu de choses. Il y a de l’americana aussi (sous la forme d’un banjo folichon), et de la psychédélose, et de l’avant-garde, et du ridicule consumé. C’est coloré, voire bigarré et franchement rigolo (déroutant aussi, pour les âmes qui ne soupçonnent rien de tordu à l’entrée), mais est-ce que ça tient debout? À voir au fil des écoutes. Pour l’instant, c’est un joli divertissement pour amateur de rock déjanté et d’avant-prog. Quelque part entre Condor Moments et un Bob Drake clownesque plutôt que morbide. [Ci-dessous: Un extrait de l’album provenant du site d’Acidsoxx.]

Now, here’s a strange one! A collaboration between guitarist Lukas Simonis (AA Kismet, Vril, etc.) and singer(?)/iconoclast Dave Marsh. File under “pop/rock,” though this leaves a lot wanting, because there’s also some Americana in there (silly banjo), and psychedelia, and avant-garde, and a healthy dose of ridicule. It’s colorful (extremely so at times) and pretty funny (disorienting too if you walk in unsuspectingly), but does it hold up? We’ll see with the next few spins. For now though, it makes fine entertainment for a fan of avant-prog and silly avant-rock like me. Somewhere between Condor Moments and a silly Bob Drake. [Below: An excerpt from the album, taken from Acidsoxx’s website.]

François Couture, Monsieur Delire


Opnieuw schrikt Nederland op vanwege een afrekening in het muzikale circuit. Ditmaal gaat het om de definitieve afrekening met onze “global musical heritage”. Op “The Music of the 21st Century” zijn Lukas Simonis en Dave Marsh een verbond aangegaan om eens en voor altijd alle muzikale conventies over boord te gooien. Verzuipen die hap? Natuurlijk niet! Perfect Vacuum komt met “the guide to…… The Music of the 21st Century”. En laten we dan maar gelijk met de 21ste eeuw in huis vallen; het is een spektakel der herkenning geworden om de vingers bij af te likken. Een groot deel van ons muzikale erfgoed wordt namelijk door Perfect Vacuum in de Rotterdamse Maas schoongewassen, om daarna door de ecokoustisch verantwoorde muziekmolen te worden gehaald. Hedendaagse spielerei met een knipoog naar de art-rock, zoals die ons in het verleden ter ore is gekomen. Zo tippen we van zoetsappige koortjes naar platte fanfare muziek, worden “Neue Deutsche Welle” schlagers geweven door “Recommended progressive music” fragmenten, horen we country-folk getokkel overgaan in Klaus Wunderlich hammondpartijen en worden strijk kwartetjes afgewisseld met experimentele riedels. In de bijsluiter van “The Music of the 21st Century” valt het woord rock-opera. Het voelt bij beluistering meer als een reeks knap gearrangeerde composities, die elk op zich een stukje hedendaagse muziekkunst laten horen. Het onvoorspelbare karakter en de verfijnde textuur van zowel tekst als muziek zorgen voor een lange houdbaarheidsfactor. Met als gevolg dat “the guide to……The Music of the 21st Century” de komende eeuw het vacuüm van de perfecte herinneringen op mag blijven vullen. cd Perfect Vacuum

oktober 30, 2009 by ycreate
My Mind Experience weblog

 

Tonio van Vugt, Zone 5300


Artist: PERFECT VACUUM
Title: A guide to the music
of 21th Century
Format: CD
Label: Acidsoxx Musicks [ erika {at} acidsoxx {dot} com ]
Big Boys had a song titled "fun fun fun", this band instead is mostly based on fun without using a song title, it's quite explicit from the band pics and both for the music. Somehow this music has reminiscences of Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa, but that comparison would end being just too reductive. The ironic element is really present in the concept as you can judge both by the layout and from the music but I think I've to underline despite the ironic approach of the songs and the production are not superficial at all. Ok, honestly that's not exactly my cup of tea but I've to recognize most of the tracks present and interesting amount of bizarre elements and while there's some unconventional ironic taste that links most of the tracks they change considerably style here and there. Odd, funny but at the same time we're still dealing with an unconventional recording. Sometimes you may think they probably put together most of the tracks whole they where drunk but the result is overall good so thumbs up to whatever they took to put together such a goofy-spacey release. How can you comment music like this, it's out of time, of space and shows the musician skill of these guys is great but at the same time it makes you think these people has escaped from some sort of madhouse.
Review by: Andrea Ferraris
http://www.chaindlk.com/reviews


Perfect Vacuum / A Guide To The Music Of The 21st Century
Album: A Guide To The Music Of The 21st Century Collection: General
Artist: Perfect Vacuum Added: 05/2009
Label: Acidsoxx Musicks

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2010-01-31 Pull Date: 2010-04-04

Album Review
Red West
Reviewed 2010-01-26
Ensemble of friends performing mostly acoustic weird indie-pop, folk, psych- listen in. This is so much fun. Real goofiness. Understated home production, clean "in the room with you" feel. In addition to the usual acoustic psych-folk combo I hear tuba, ukulele and moog. If you trust the spiral liner notes, this is a communal effort, emphasis on the commune.

++1.Psych folk mid-slow
+2.mouthsounds, wordless vocals over a simple bassline (feel free to talk over first minute). Then song with real lyrics and great pop-music chorus.
3.unfortunate intro. inauspicious middle. troublesome end.
+4.mid-fast and mid-quiet w/strings and strummed guitar. About being a bad neighbor, despite the song title.
+5.Downer. Lyrcs in Dutch (I think) & English, and the music sounds like the Residents
+6. fast and a little off-kilter
++7.Bluesy psych. Channeling Syd-era Floyd! (or Flight of the Conchords, if you're paying attention to the lyrics)
+8."Normaler" pop (relatively speaking), bit with abrupt tempo speed-up & jazzy guitar about a minute in. Then back to slower tempo. Odd noises appear after. Nice 3/4 waltzy end w/out of tune piano.
9.Not a bad mid-tempo jam. Pretty cool, pretty weird. Kinda quiet/private. Just nothing too exciting about it to recommend it.
10.drum machine and basic synths, close-mic vox, could be off a 80's euro cassette release
11. Cool coffee-house. I'd snap my fingers to the beat if I heard it live.
+12.Heavy-handed in bits though catchy. Good banjo/guitar interplay, a little piano. Simple playing. One portion could be a Sufjan cover.
+13.Beefheart-ish rock with thick-Brit spoken story

Zookeeper Online (radio review)

 

PERFECT VACUUM – A Guide To The Music Of The 21st Century

This writer considers himself lucky when receiving obscure releases containing excellent works by many friends all over the world, and hopefully Lukas Simonis will forgive me if I dare to enclose him in the “friend” category, given that we never met personally (sure enough, this kind of relationship is much truer than counting on Facebook or MySpace’s “friends”. Incidentally, anyone noticed yet that Facebook is your way to being snowed under an avalanche of spam? End of parenthesis). The music of the 21st century – if you respect Simonis and Dave Marsh’s view – is still something to embrace very warmly. This 13-song cycle is absolutely exquisite, to the point that calling these little jewels “songs” doesn’t do a favour to their quality. They’re flawlessly trimmed but, at the same time, radically altered, definitely including large doses of improvised melange. Easy melodies get intertwined with dissonant crisscross, deviated New Orleans-style arrangements meshed with Beatles-derived acoustic simplicities, gentle choirs and fiendish rasps swapped according to the necessity of a particular section. The seaming of the different parts – because a single three-minute piece can contain up to a dozen of them – is so well executed that one would be almost justified in thinking “Zappa” during the quirky itineraries of selected fragments. A series of infringements of compositional rules that, absurdly, generate a music obeying to other imperatives: those of quick-minded entertainment informed by unadulterated musicianship. Rare commodities in today’s stereotyped “art”. Honourable mention to the extraordinary players who flank the main characters: Nina Hitz, Noortje Köhne, Colin McClure, Trend Watkiss, Ingeborg Muller, Nazmiya Ibrahim, Pascal Tabarnac. Keep’em coming, Lukas. (Acid Soxx)

TEMPORARY FAULT
Posted by MASSIMO RICCI at 06:47

 

RADIO STUFF

maandag 4 mei 2009
23:00 - 00:00 Pakrammel
Onder de titel ‘A Guide to the Music of the 21st Century’ wordt u dit uur iets voorgeschoteld dat pretendeert een theoretische verhandeling te zijn over muzikale moderniteit, maar in de praktijk komt het geheel meer over als een hippie-rock-opera over een troep losgeslagen communebewoners op een eiland die een dodelijk virus over de wereld verspreiden, zodat zij in alle rust zich aan hun kosmische bewustwording kunnen wijden.
Perfect Vacuum, het nieuwste project van Lukas Simonis en Xentos ‘Fray’ Bentos nemen u bij de hand in ‘A Guide to...’.

Perfect Vacuum
CD: A Guide To The Music Of The 21st Century.
1. Gutter In The Sun.
2. Satanic Man/Average Man.
3. Glamour Addict.
4. Good Neighbour.
5. Kosmische Mechanische Mann.
6. Meaningfull As Advertised.
7. It's Great To Be Me.
8. Stories Of The American Civil Wars.
9. Plumbing.
10. Multi Media Bookstore.
11. True Believer.
12. Lake Geneva.
13. White Blood Of My Bride.

Marriette Groot 'Pak Rammel' for 'De Concertzender'

10th May 2009 : Live Session Emmanuel Miˇville & Nicolas Bralet

Luc Ferrari/ Labyrinthe de violence / Alga Marghen / 2009
Malcom Goldstein / Early electronic. tape collage Music / Alga Marghen / 2008
Joshua Burkett / Ultra Eczema / 2008
Sudden Infant / La bamba / Ultra Eczema / 2009
Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase / La bamba / Ultra Eczema / 2009
The Sperm / HeinŠsikat / O records / 2009
Hildur Gudnadottir - Without Sinking (Touch)
Randy Greif - War of the World (Soleilmoon)
Carl-Michael Von Hausswolff - The Wonderful World of Male Intuition (Oral)
Murcof - The Versailles Sessions (Leaf)
Robert Henke - Atom/Document (Imbalance)
Meczup ö Bite Oneâs Nail (Demo, 2009)
Cheer Accident ö According to the Spiral (Cuneiform, 2009)
Perfect Vacuum ö True Believer (Acidsoxx musicks, 2009)
Eddie Ladoire ö Les Rites Funˇraires (Optical Sounds, 2008)
Christophe Bailleau ö Rˇsistance (Optical Sounds, 2009)

23th April 2009 : Focus on Colin Johnco records + Live Session Colin Johnco

01 ö Colin Johnco Ç Tremola phone È
02 - TFG VS Timothy Leary ãSo trill, so party ã
03 - Agoostus ãScrape meltä
04 - King Rhythm, Tracy Lee Summers ã20th Century Turmoilä
05 - Prison Food Sucks, Colin Johnco ãDetroitä
06 - HOPEN, Colin Johnco ã02ä
07 - Peter Percept ãMain streetä
08 - Chevo Lˇgˇ ãRˇcit ethnologiqueä
09 - Cicerobuck Ç1889 Moon baseÈ
10 - Olelˇ Brut Ç Cristo on the on È
11 - DR(DR)ONE ãLive @ rue de S¸vresä
12 - Lezet, plan koren iz 9 öã Innuendoä
13 - Andrew Howes ãCarrion hors dâoeuvresä
14 - The Stuf, Ogniqualvolta, ãRencontreä
15 - Colin Johnco, Thomas Petit, Nicolas Laferrerie ãDef LEEPä- ãAnother
electric girlä
16 - The Advanced Antennas ãVaraderoä SPAIN, Alejandro Remeseiro Fern‡ndez
17 - Aka_Bondage ãShav/ke my soulä
18 - SzbutŠ Soršh, Monobloc Sound Fidelity ãInto the light of the eye of the
snakeä
19 - Portradium / Posters / PPT Stembogen / 2009
20 - Perfect Vacuum / Plumbing / Acidsoxx musicks, 2009

Epsilonia; Radio Libertaire