Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Mother Zosima (the radical nun) was a feminist avant-folk project created by Kirsten Anderberg based on performances at Seattle (night-)clubs between 1983 and 2001. She took her name from the character Father Zosima who is one of the characters in The Brothers Karamazov (1879) of Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. In the story Father Zosima is some sort of guru as well as an ideal image of an orthodox Christian saint living in a monastry. He preaches for compassion and peace, basically as a reflection of Christ. During the course of the story Father Zosima dies and his holiness is called into question by the rest of the monastry because his body starts to decompose very rapidly leaving behind a terrible smell. This decomposing process is being looked upon as a sign of God prooving that Zosima was nothing but a mortal soul.
I suppose by inverting this character into Mother Zosima not only is Anderberg opposing Dostoevsky's approach of putting the man at a literary centerpoint - The "Brothers" Karamazov - as feminist critique, she is also shaping her own mirrored performative image as a radical nun that is preaching her own ideals. By choosing the title The Greatest Story Ever Sold she shows her cleverness of creating this image but also the self-irony she puts into her personification since Zosima is being looked upon as a mortal soul. And that's why this is some incredible music criticizing the American society. It is not at all stagnated into this contemporary gender and identity poltics debate we deal with nowadays, but it shows how cleverness, self-consciousness, lots of humor and appropriating commercial culture can actually serve the cause of the actual message.
The music by Mother Zosima is straight radical feminism, criticism of politics, criticism of commercial culture, criticism of weird American morals and Christianity etc. but it doesn't directly attack its enemy. It's an approach of empowering the woman, not obeying to conformism and preaches for self-empowerment while dissecting the different corrupted aspects of American society with humor and with a lot of skill. It reminds me of the feminist beat poets of the sixties like Diane Di Prima as well as some other female protest-song vocalists from the revolutionary hippie times in the States. It musically also comes close to Care of The Cow and their singer Christine Baczewska's solo work and even of certain songs by Annette Peacock.
The songs by Mother Zosima are still so extremely relevant today. It's like nothing has ever changed. Specially when we look at this madness with Trump and the current state of the United States. To me it's really important to see how Mother Zosima's music is not some cult music stuff from the glory days of hippie hights, but music from a much later era carrying these important messages whilst not yet fallen victim to today's infinite cynical and polarised political views. We can learn from this creativity today and understand how political hyper-reality doesn't help us further by fighting it's xenophobic symptoms, but to put forward a message in a very clever package without being distracted nor doing concessions to constant exterior confirmation. This is what empowerment looks like. This is what is so deadly important about Feminism. I hope that Archaic Inventions can sometimes show the link from the past to today and provide possibilites and/or show the potentials of emancipatory power.
The Seattle scene of the 90's - aside from the birth of Grunge (an albino, a mosquito..) and stuff - was probably very very interesting and consisted of a creative diversity that was able to birth all of this legendary musical output. But yep, what a time we live in now! But we won't let our guard down. No worries. Enjoy Mother Zosima! (btw I wasn't too sure about the year of the release).
Get it HERE
Friday, 1 March 2019
Károly Binder is one of Hungary's most prominent jazz pianists. He is known for his rhythmic and unorthodox style of playing as well as for his experiments with the prepared piano. Binder takes the piano as a starting point but also uses many percussion instruments on the side. His first albums In Illo Tempore and Kontinentspiel that came out in the 80's in Hungary are great examples of Eastern European free jazz with lenghty pieces exploring rhythms while taking the listener into a world of its own. That is what usually matters: it's not just the plain exploration of sound. The sound is able to birth the existence of an own world. A bit comparable to the Pierre Courbois album I posted a long time ago.
Oriens & Occidens was recorded in the southern Hungarian cities of Baja and Szekszárd in 1995. On the album Binder works together with the Italian percussionist Federico Sanesi from Milan who was greatly inspired by oriental rhythms and percussion instruments like the Indian tabla and Javanese Gamelan. The result is an interesting musical meeting of cultures and free exploration of jazz, rhythm and non-western percussion instruments.
The music is played quite gently most of the time and tends to create an oriental background atmosphere that doesn't demand an overly focused attention from the listener. At times the music breaks loose from this atmosphere reminding me of certain moments of Embryo's Reise or of the British-Indian jazz album Cosmic Eye. Oriens & Occidens seems to fit this great European jazz tradition where Indian and oriental sounds are being combined with free jazz. Some examples of this tradition are the German project Jazz meets India, the British project Curried Jazz as well as the music of the Reform Art Unit from Austria.
In any case, this is a nice album of mid-90's Hungarian-Italian contemporary jazz meeting the orient.
Get it HERE
Thursday, 21 February 2019
*Archaic Inventions 6 Years Anniversary Post!*
Gefährliche Klons (Dangerous Clones) were a duo from Marburg, Hessen that consisted of Iggi Unpop (Exo Neutrino) and Uwe Linke. They started their musical project after a visit to legendary German Neue Deutsche Welle band Der Plan. Obviously they also took their name from the band's song Gefährliche Clowns (Dangerous Clowns).
Both members of Gefährliche Klons were very much inspired by The Residents, just like Der Plan was. Der Plan even named their first album after the The Residents concept Geri Reig. The principle that you can get best results with doing the least you can. Gefährliche Klons later also morphed into new incarnations like Little Clones, FunTastiKlons or Different Clones (VOD released some of their music as part of the German Punk Wave Box Set), but this cassette was their first output ever.
Reise Durch A Sunday Afternoon was self-released in an edition of 20 copies in 1981 and was recorded with the minimal tools of a tape-deck, toys, a mouth-harp, a xylophone, guitar and maybe some kitchenware during the course of a Sunday afternoon. It displays how the Gefährliche Klons were even more primitive than Der Plan, lacking even the implementation of synthesizers and other electronically generated sounds. It's a great example of the NDW scene of the early eighties that sometimes even used a non-music attitude in doing music anyway. More punk than punk, since you don't play punk! It reminds me of other German acts like Die Parkhaushänker or Der Ewige Musikant.
On the amazing Tape Attack blog I found a fanzine from 1981 called C.T.Z. Mainz and it includes a little review of Reise Durch A Sunday Afternoon. It's great how you can actually piece together all these different bits of obscure information. On the cover of the cassette you can clearly read that there are 24 different tracks and I started to dissect the tape into those different tracks until I found out it was impossible. So I left the tape unindexed in its two different sides (the dangerous clones got me...)
This is an amazing absurdistic Der Plan-related NDW relic from the early 80's DIY cassette culture. It contains nice primitive music, humor and maybe the best DIY cover of The House Of The Rising Sun ever. An edition of 20 hand-made copies! Don't ask me how I find this stuff, it probably finds me.
Get it HERE
Friday, 8 February 2019
After accidentally providing something that was already available the last post I return to the essence of this blog: sharing something we have been waiting for to surface, not to be found before.
Dojoji were an excellent New Wave and Funk group from Rotterdam, The Netherlands that consisted of Pien Selleger and Ted Langenbach (Bass), Ron Louers (Bongos), Ferdinand Rolle (Drums), Leo Anemaet (Guitar), Trubus (Percussion), Hans Rath (Saxophone), Rudy Zinc (Synthesizer) and Fee Arnold (Vocals).
On this Cassette EP, Dojoji meets the funky jungle (Fungle) and plays lengthy pieces of energetic funk music with a new wave attitude. Dojoji released a very nice 12 Inch EP on Plexus records in 1984 and also a cassette with live recordings a year before that one. Both of their releases were uploaded a long time ago here and here. They remind me of other Dutch funk wave groups with electronic touches on the Fetisj tape label like Richenel or Necronomicon, but it even has hints of the band Sukursaal I posted not long ago.
Dojoji furthermore resembles some bands on the Cherry Red label like Rip, Rig and Panic or Medium Medium, but it's mainly fueled by the 80's New York styles in-between like James Chance's funky no-wave sounds and many of the boogie and 'break' records from old-school hip-hop. Actually Dojoji were quite unique in Holland and I like this cassette a lot due to the use of the synthesizer additions and the percussion elements. Nice stretched out tracks full of life one just has to dance to! It once again shows how Rotterdam was always the most New York oriented city of The Netherlands.
A good remedy for your winter depression!
Get it HERE
Monday, 4 February 2019
Various Artists - The Value Of Quality - A Concise History Of West-European Folk-Art -1982- (Tape, Aerosol P&P), Belgium
The Value Of Quality is a nice early 80's DIY compilation with mostly Belgian acts that was released on the Aerosol P&P label that was run by Guy de Bièvre who was also the person behind the home-taping act One Hundred Poems From The Japanese.
Like with most Belgian tape compilations this one too has many contributions by Insane Music For Insane People protagonist Alain Neffe. On the cassette we find different minimal synth tracks by his projects Bene Gesserit, Pseudo Code, Cortex and Human Flesh. His projects have seen many reissues on a variety of labels these last years. In the past his musical output on cassettes were probably Belgium's most wide-spread home-taping sounds. I am not sure whether the tracks on here also appeared on own releases, because there is simply too much material for me to verify.
Then present on this compilation is Flemish singer and artist Claude Perwez aka Kloot Per W. Also there is an industrial noise track contributed by Angst which was a project by Flemish writer, poet and musician Erik Vloeberghs. He also had projects such as The Firing-Squad, Kwajongens In Bloei and The Parts. He was closely related to the Antwerp based industrial and interdisciplinary art group Club Moral.
Furthermore present here are British home-taper Jack Marlow (possibly based in Germany back then) and the legendary French minimal-synth and artist collective La Fondation from Paris that consisted of many amazing music acts like Nini Raviolette, Hugo Weris and Lefdup & Lefdup.
Speaking about A Concise History Of West-European Folk-Art the only non-European contribution on here (I think) is the Canadian punk band Zyklon B, although it might be a Belgian punk band with the same name. The rest of the contributions are undoubtedly Belgian and unknown and perhaps own projects of Guy de Bièvre.
In any case this is another nicely varied cassette relic of the Belgian industrial, minimal synth and home-taping scene! The Value of Quality of the cassette recording is fluctuating from white noise backgrounds to cleaner production, but hey it's quality stuff in the end that has a value.
Get it HERE
Update: I see that this was uploaded a long time ago to the No Longer Forgotten Music Blog. Escaped my attention. Anyway worth it to give this some more attention and it was fun digitizing this. More stuff to come soon!
Friday, 25 January 2019
Carwashtagnacht was a Hungarian industrial metal band from the small city of Békéscaba in the south-east of Hungary formed by Kiss Balázs (guitar), Knyihár Pál (bass guitar) and Sörös Gergö (vocals and programming). They played a Godflesh inspired style in which long-lasting repetitive metal riffs were combined with drum machine patterns with in this case gloomy distorted vocals in Hungarian and English. A band like Godflesh has had a lot of influence in Eastern Europe after the change of the political system in the 90's. Because of the lack of musical extremes in dominant music culture in socialist countries like Hungary before the 90's, many people were inspired by metal and punk bands.
Those type of foreign alternative bands were also some of the first to tour the smaller cities in Eastern Europe. At first many of these unclassifiable alternative experimental metal bands came from Italy for example, but eventually even bands from Latin America came to play. Eastern Europe became a new fertile domain after it had previously been closed for tours of such bands. This development also had its influence on locals that in turn started bands with a similar sound. I think it's also a reason why metal and alternative rock styles are still big in Eastern Europe. But aside from that: the 90's was just an insane decade for the development of any genre really. More than end results and completion, potential ruled the musical output.
In the late 90's Carwashtagnacht published a CD on the legendary Trottel Records in Hungary that together with the label Bahia was responsible for the output of alternative and experimental bands in Hungary. The label revolved around the alter-rock band Trottel that started out in the early 80's as a punk band and later evolved into an ethno-experimental-space-band.
This particular cassette of Carwashtagnacht seems to be some sort of demo tape that was self-released a long time before their official album. The musical style is somewhat different to what usually finds itself to the blog, but it's important to keep extending genres and to shed light on the Hungarian underground of the 90's that is totally overlooked and that I happen to have an access to. The term rare doesn't even qualify anymore for a cassette like this. Specially since the band comes from the countryside and not from the capital Budapest.
More obscure Hungarian tapes will be gradually uploaded to the blog.
Get it HERE
Friday, 11 January 2019
Even though 'low-key' this was already digitized I figured to rip this anyway to shed some more light on this band since the music is really good, sometimes even better stuff than some of the wave reissues that came out throughout the years.
Sukursaal were a Dutch wave band (Nederwave) consisting of Marc de Reus, Maarten de Reus, Marijke Bruggink and other collaborators. They made this one cassette that came out on the Pion Tapes label from Delft (a small picturesque city in between The Hague and Rotterdam where for example famous Dutch painter Johnannes Vermeer was born). Pion Tapes also released the new wave band La Peste that was posted on No Longer Forgotten Music ages ago.
Sukursaal played interesting poppy new wave music that displayed a classic Dutch wave sound, synthetic minimal synth tracks, but also used funky basslines and a jazzy impro sound. The Dutchness is emphasized in tracks like 'Dikes (Protect Me)' where the lyrics are: "Dikes protect me from being washed under", yep most of Holland is still under sea level and we really need those dikes.
The music reminds me a lot of the Rotterdam band Dojoji, of electro-jazz outfit Niew Hip Stilen, but also of Malice In Wonderland (just a lot less batcave style of new wave). The tracks are quite distinct from each other and also quite clean because of the studio recording production. The highlights are the tracks with female vocals and the electronic ones.
Many many more Dutch tapes from the home-taping era still to come to the blog this year!
Get it HERE