Ortmann and Vida have not shared a piece of vinyl since the first Nihilist release (Pound of Flesh). Now 16 years later the two are presenting new electronic compositions using a variety of analog synthesizers. Vida has played in several projects over the years including Town & Country, Joan of Arc, Pillow, Birdshow
Due out June 2011.
Personally I remember Ben Vida best as a guitarist, from an excellent solo CD on Boxmedia, which was reviewed in Vital Weekly 239 and later on I heard his guitar playing also excels in bands like Town & Country and Pillow. And then for a long time I didn't hear a lot from him, so I don't know what happened between then and now, but on his side of a split record with Andy Ortmann he plays a modular synthesizer and computer. I can't say that he does that with the same sort of soft touch as he used to play the guitar, but its nevertheless quite interesting. Both sides, the other being by label boss Andy Ortmann on EMU modular system, Arp 2600, EML Modular system, Korg MS20, Roland SH5, Multivox MXD-5, Univox reverb, are not about cosmic music per se, although it doesn't exclude it either, I'd say, but both take their inspiration from the sixties/seventies serious avant-garde music, Behrman, Planet Of The Apes, Philips Silver Series. Of the two sides I think Vida's side is the better one, more worked out, or thought out, whereas Ortmann's pieces (five parts that form one piece actually) seem to be recorded all at once onto a multi-track and then mixed together, but with some of the unevenness left in, so its all a bit more chaotic and noisy at times, but not bad at all actually, just not as good as Vida's more refined treatment of sounds and slower development making things all a bit more spacious. Very nice. Vital Weekly -2011