Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Andrew Chalk, Ralf Wehowsky & Eric Lanzillotta - Yang-Tul

Yang-Tul is an archive CD reissue of a vinyl album originally released in 1998 involving a sound exchange between the artists, Andrew Chalk, Ralf Wehowsky and Eric Lanzillotta. These are all familiar names from post-industrial circles when Compulsion was still a printed magazine. Andrew Chalk was a sound artist who would go on to greater acclaim both solo and as part of Mirror with Christop Heemann and as Ora with Darren Tate. Ralf Wehowsky was part of the German post-industrial group P16.D4 before striking out on his own as a sound composer and experimenter. I only remember Eric as being the owner of Anomalous, a label and mail-order outlet, who like RRRecords and Soleilmoon, were active in pre-internet days pushing post-industrial musics in all its varied formed via their printed catalogs and labels. I didn't even realise until now that Eric Lanzillotta was a recording artist. Yang-Tul was originally released on Eric's Anomalous Records label. It's been surprisingly picked up by Cold Spring and reissued on CD from the original master tapes. Was it worth it?

'Wycha', which originally comprised side 1 of the vinyl, is a 20 plus minute drone excursion composed by Andrew Chalk of material supplied by Ralf Wehowsky. Gentle and immersive, it unfolds to a multi channel approach with one featuring an undulating drone while the other part unfurls with a whoosh that is more dynamic and propulsive. It settles into this quiet sound drift for around half of the track before absorbing background activity in the form of clicks, glitches, textures and static. Mixed down and layered into the background; nothing is jarring or abrupt enough to upset the calm flow of the minimalist drones. I'm quite taken by 'Wycha' and its seamless ability to create something hypnotic from hushed, soothing drones.

The drone that opens 'Chalawy', which featured on the other side of the original vinyl release, operates in similar territory to Chalk's 'Wycha' but it quickly becomes more abstract as it draws out distinct sound possibilities from the source material supplied by Andrew Chalk and Eric Lanzillotta. Ringing pipes are cast against sudden clashes, sound textures are derived from surprising elements such as gravel and creaking doors. It's perhaps not surprising to find these contrasts and juxtapositions as Ralf Wehowsky aka RLW is now an experimental sound artist, with a vast discography, that pursues his interest in the transformation of sound. At several point it builds into a climax of berating howllike wails, abruptly cutting to abstract sound textures before closing this 18-minute piece on quiet sound drift.

Wehowsky's composition of 'Chalawy' is by far the more clever and involving but, as I'm not a huge fan of the more abstract and intellectual side of post-industrial music, it is to Andrew Chalk's 'Wycha' I'll reach out to for repeated listening.

Was it worth it though? Oh yes, Yang-Tul was originally issued on vinyl by Eric Lanzillotta's Anomalous Records in 1998 in a short run edition of 548 copies. It's pleasing to see it reissued by Cold Spring and I hope this is the first of many post-industrial releases of "experimental ambient" releases to be reissued by Cold Spring as there is a lot of music that deserves a fresh hearing. For more information go to Cold Spring