Thursday, 21 September 2017

Care Of The Cow - Dogs' Ears Are Stupid -1983- (Cassette, Fame & Fortune Records), US

This is the first time that I post a tape that I didn't digitize myself and that wasn't donated to the blog. Lately I've been doing a lot of late-night searches into inactive blogs and other platforms to map obscure material that was posted on the web these last ten years but that got lost again (remember when your external hard drive crashed?). Some of this hard to find material I'm uploading to Youtube (for the time being, I'm not a fan).

This cassette that I found on Care Of The Cow's own webpage has little to do with what I wrote above, just thought that it needs more attention!

Care Of The Cow was formed in Chicago in 1974 by Christine Baczewska, Victor Sanders, Sher Doruff and Kevin Clark. From 1974-1984 Baczewska, Sanders and Doruff produced an album “I Still Don’t Know your Style” (1981) and an album length cassette Dog’s Ears Are Stupid (1983). There are many live recordings and an promo LP from 1975.

The album I Still Don't Know Your Style captured COTC's amazing eclectic musical style. With their psychedelic folk, art-rock, strange manipulations and collages with humouristic lyrics COTC remains one of those well kept secrets from Chicago's 70's and 80's underground. Some people remember them from festivals in the mid-sevnties and some remember them from a later period in the eighties. Nevertheless their music lacks attention from listeners, since it's musically too unclassifiable for many.

COTC's even more hidden cassette Dogs' Ears Are Stupid collects some other sounds than you would expect. Apparently the band began to experiment with synthesizers and drum machines in the eighties and started to poor their experimental folk-rock music into minimal synth depths. They managed to achieve their musical warmth in a cold way. A great way only real groovy people that were active in seventies could crossover with into the eighties (Daevid Allen could be another example)  What a gem! I think the track European Trains has some of the best minimal synth potential of the album, while the folk elements are still there.

Care Of The Cow ceased to exist by the mid-eighties and the members allegedly got scattered over the US and Europe. The singer Christine Baczewska released a compilation CD in 1993. Maybe someone knows more.

Highy Recommended!

Get it HERE

Friday, 8 September 2017

Ernst Reijseger - Taiming -1981- (LP, Hummeloord Records), Netherlands

Ernst Reijseger (Naarden, 1954) is a Dutch cellist and composer known for his role in Dutch improvisation and jazz music and for his scores for Werner Herzog films. At an early age he played in the Dutch jazz-rock group Banten, named after the western province of the Indonesian island Java, close to Jakarta. The jazz singer of Banten, Henny Vonk, had Indonesian roots and Indonesia had always had an important relation to The Netherlands because of the colonial exploitation since the Dutch East Indies (1800-1949). Nowadays the great Banten album (included in the NWW-list) is very rare and difficult to find.

Ernst Reijseger kept having own interest in ethnic music and did many projects throughout the decades that contained non-western music in combination with improvisation and jazz. Also he worked a lot with the unorthodox Scottish percussionist Alan "Gunga" Purves who plays a role on this album as well. This album called Taiming has a Chinese theme, obviously containing a joke reference to "Timing". On the sleeve the caligraphy doesn't just display Chinese letters, but also a cellist!

The first side of Taiming is comprised of Dutch style solo improvisation by Reijseger, minimalistically approaching his cello in different creative ways. Actually these impro manoeuvres are so distinctly Dutch that the first piece sounds like a deconstructed version of the title track of famous Dutch movie Turks Fruit (1973) with a soundtrack by Rogier van Otterloo (with a whistling Toots Thielemans). The album also reminds me of the violin improvisation of Polly Bradfield. The second side of the album is the side-long free-jazz piece Taiming played together with impro-jazz legends Han Bennink and Michael Moore.

Quite a nice privately issued impro record indeed!

Get it HERE

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Ceddo + Derschau ‎- Grüne Rose Live -1981- (LP, Saguitarius), Germany

In the early eighties punk, post-punk and new wave paved the way for new generations and created quite a musical break with the previous generations and their more (psych) rock fueled sixties and seventies. Some artists from the psychedelic era had quite some difficulties reinventing themselves in the new punk times. Daevid Allen, front man of the legendary Gong for example, made a dark album called The Death of Rock and Other Entrances in 1982. A different approach than he had before. Somewhere in the nineties when a neo-psych revival changed everything, the legends of the sixties returned fully to their spaced out selves of their prime.

But some musicians and bands were never influenced by external factors and kept making music during the eighties like it was 1972. Some real psychedelic pearls were actually made in the eighties, especially in what we could call late-krautrock. In germany there was quite a continuation of the krautrock scene and legendary pioneers as well as unknown musicians kept playing in their new or old bands. This resulted in many privately released albums, some of which are nearly impossible to find today.

Ceddo was a jazz fusion trio from Dortmund fronted by guitarist Jochen Strumpf. In 1981 they released this Live album with psychedelic jams and poetry which was recorded in Dortmund on 08.05.1981 and 9 + 10 5. 1981 im Gasthof zur Mühle, Ascheberg. They worked together with the countercultural poet Christoph Derschau. He was influenced o.a. by Bukowski and other US underground literature. The lyrics of Grüne Rose (Green rose) on this album are dealing o.a. with a corrupted state, environment, psychedelic rock music, existence and more. It's quite a good freak out album actually. If you understand German you might hear some echo's of political krautrock bands like Floh de Cologne, Von Brühwarm Theater or Ton Steine Scherben.

Grüne Rose. Das Ziel des Todestriebs ist nicht die Zerstörung an sich, sondern die Aufhebung des Bedürfnisses nach Zerstörung - Herbert Marcuse

Get it HERE

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Jana Koubková - Bosa -1985- (LP, Supraphon), Czech Republic

Somehow there always existed a relation with Brazilian Bossa Nova in Eastern Europe. Specially in times when coffee places behind the Iron Curtain flourished and nightly neon lights were flirting with western titles creating a concealed idea of a vibrant night life throughout all of the Eastern European capitals. Latin American tunes were played by jazz bands of the fifties and sixties and the particular feeling lived on all the way to the revival of the retro lounge movement around the change of the millenium, reminiscing the geometrical design imagery and nightly recreation created during the socialist times. It was a strange daily life counterpart to a political system that on the other hand ofcourse was looked upon as a system of repression and terror in many ways. Nevertheless exploring  the artists, designers and architects from the time one notices that this culture also contained something unique and refined. Besides that it coincidentally and not so coincidentally had a lot in common with modernism in Latin America.

Jana Koubková is a Czech Jazz singer that was active from the seventies in many Jazz groups like C&K Vokal and Jazz Fragment Prague. In 1985 she created her first solo album Bosa that can be viewed as a unique Czech deconstructed experimental avant-garde Bossa Nova album. Apart from the rhythms that are used, it's mainly a voice and scat album with weird overdubs, free jazz explosions and experimental repetitions. Actually it fits quite well next to the Brazilian contemporary music from the mid eighties that used traditional rhythm and melody with new experiments and unconventional instruments like Andréa Daltro or Cinema.

Bosa examplifies Jana Koubková's creativity and progressive spirit and totally exceeds a mere jazz album. This is true singing talent molded into avant-garde voice experiment art comparable to the amazing work of Russian singer Valentina Ponomareva (or for that matter).

Another one for this summer (letní)!

Get it HERE

Monday, 12 June 2017

Luna - Comment Sa Va ? -1985- (EP, Toypick, Zero Records), Japan

Luna was a female duo from Kyoto, Japan that made this jewel of an EP in 1985. Backed by other musicians they created these songs of naive wave sweetness in French, complete with the grammatically incorrect way of spelling Comment ça va? It got released on a sublabel of Zero Records that also released early Shonen Knife and After Dinner.

The EP contains four songs that remind me of other Japanese music from the eighties that used the French chanson style as their conceptual image and sound like a.o. Variètè, Ichiko Hashimoto or Corina Corrina. Actually this cultural appropriation often displays great sensitivity. Furthermore it uses a format which feels like a very honest approach to music. Let's say a toy keyboard, a synth, some simple percussion, a duo or a person by itself, broken language, childish naivety, simple melodies and timid vocals. An example of pure simplicity transformed into honest emotion and love.

Today these type of sounds are for example still to be found in acts like EYE or maybe Le Fruit Vert. Other acts from the past with a similar sensibility that come to mind are The Same, Aksak Maboul or Antena. Ofcourse they have nothing to do with each other contextually. And yeah I guess I'm a sucker for this type of music. 

So far only the main track Comment Sa Va ? was around, which is still the highlight, but finally it's here in its entirety.

Hopefully this adds to a naive, warm, healthy, and romantic summer for you all !

Get it HERE

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Niew Hip Stilen - Grüss Aus Wien & Kill Em All (Live at Pandora's Music Box Festival Rotterdam 1983, VARA Moondogs Radioshow), Netherlands

Niew Hip Stilen is one of my favorite Dutch bands. They came from Rotterdam and played an amazing style of electronic synth wave jazz with some hints towards the urban music culture of early eighties New York City (remember New Order going there which led to the Blue Monday period).  Nevertheless their sound is also very Dutch and akin to the other great electro jazz group from Rotterdam called Kiem.

Niew Hip Stilen consisted of Maarten van Gent – bass, drums, guitar, percussie & vocals; Jan Willem van Mook – bass, sax, keyboards, percussion & computer; Rutger van Otterloo – sax, drums & percussion. They had one self-released single in 1981, which came out on the label of the Quarantaineweg, the legendary artist squats of Rotterdam. On the back of the single a plan of the squats can be noticed. Other bands connected to the squats were a.o. The Black Sheep and Dull Schicksal. Niew Hip Stilen made one album on Eksakt records called Heartsounds and Murmers that still stands as one of the most inventive and interesting Dutch albums from the eighties. 

As for these two songs: this week I found some self-recorded cassettes: blank with handwriting on them. All full concerts of eighties bands that played in Holland. Some of them contain the recordings of the legendary Pandora's Music Box Festival that took place three times in Rotterdam from 83' to 85'. It was a unique festival of new wave, avant-garde and industrial music. You can find a blog dedicated to the festival here. Bands like Fad Gadget, Clock DVA, The Durutti Column, X-Mal Deutschland and SPK all played the first edition. Most of those recordings are available online. Niew Hip Stilen also played and even released a hyperrare cassette with those recordings that was uploaded here.

So as you can see the recordings are actually already available there, but here we have two of the songs in a slightly better sound quality since it was broadcasted by the VARA Moondogs radioshow. Moondogs was a Dutch radioshow from the eighties dedicated to interesting contemporary music with in depth specials around certain bands. Also you can hear the host talking about the band.

Get two rare Niew Hip Stilen live songs HERE

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Leo Cuypers - Same -1972- (LP, BASF/BIM), Netherlands

Leo Cuypers (Maastricht, 1947) is one of Holland's most inventive and important pianists in the improvisation and Jazz world. He started out as a drummer but soon moved to the piano. As a pianist he developed a unique jazzy playing style by which he improvised many songs just by feeling, mostly in a rhythmic way based on moods and imagined titles. He was frequently playing with Dutch impro Saxophonist Willem Breuker (founder of the Instant Composers Pool and Willem Breuker Kollektief).

Leo Cuypers is probably most famous for his Zeeland Suite from 1977 also with Willem Breuker and others. Throughout the decades of the last century he did many scores and other soundtracks with Willem Breuker. Cuypers was the only person Breuker would trust with his opinion when showing new scores. Their work together keeps a unique place in the Dutch jazz and impro history. On the verge of the nineties Cuypers stopped collaborating with Willem Breuker. By then he had built a decades-long reputation as an impro pianist in a 'jazz world' of women, booze and other nightly endeavours. You can see a short documentary in Dutch with Leo Cuypers here. I love when he basically concludes that he didn't learn shit(!) during his time at the conservatory. This first album he made came out on BASF in The Netherlands, just like the Theo Loevendie Consort (of which Leo Cuypers was a member) as well as the Indonesia inspired experimental Jazz prog band Banten. Also he played on the most psychedelic album by Dutch cult singer Ramses Shaffy from Amsterdam, called Sunset Sunkiss.

From the original 1972 liner notes:

"Maastricht was a beautiful city to live in. People from the Conservatory, the Academy of Arts, painters, sculptors - they all made it a nice scene. But then the hippies from the western part of Holland moved in and things changed so much that many of the artists left." This is pianist Leo Cuypers Talking. Born in Heemstede (near Haarlem) on December 1, 1947 (his parents originally came from Amsterdam) he moved to Maastricht with his family when he was about nine. And he always wanted to study at the Maatricht Conservatory. But after three years he quit; in fact he was chased away after four months of absence. "I was frightened, you know. What was going on there at the time (1962-1965) had nothing to do with making music. One was trained to play one's part in a symphony orchestra - not to play too much out of tune - not to play too well - just to do the job. And nobody was really interested in that kind of music. After lessons the kids ran to their favourite drinking place to listen to pop music, that's what they loved. And besides that, I played jazz, I wanted to become an arranger. I played drums, piano was at first only an obligatory second instrument. I started on drums when I was six. We had a piano at home, but I liked the drums better. It was only when I had learned to play enough piano that I discarded the drums. One day my set was stolen. Or rather, I hoped someone would steal it. Which they did. So I just had to go on with piano. Anyway, at the Maastricht Conservatory the scene finally changed too. Two years after I was chased away I made a guest appearance there."

As for many musicians in this country, the competition that's been held every year since 1958 at the lakeside resort of Loosdrecht meant a big change for Leo Cuypers as well. He entered the 1969 competition, playing solo. It was the percussion element, an echo from his playing the drums. As Maastricht is way down south in holland and the music scene - or anyway the jazz scene - is in the west, by being at Loosdrecht and winning this competition he was heard. Drummer Pierre Courbois liked his playing and when working at the festival of contemporary jazz in Baden-Baden, Germany, he advised Joachim Ernst Berendt to let Leo Cuypers replace Joachim Kühn, who had had a car accident. It was there that Leo Cuypers met composer and reedman Willem Breuker, founder member of the Instant Composers Pool, and it was through Breuker that Leo got his first gig in Amsterdam. Where a little later Theo Loevendie heard him and asked him to play with his consort. So, today, with Misha Mengelberg and Kees Hazevoet, Leo Cuypers is one of the three most foremost pianists in the contemporary music scene. He lives in Amsterdam. - 1972

Get it HERE