Saturday, 4 November 2017
I finally was able to track down the last of four cassettes by Hungarian band áPolóK (The Nurses) somewhere. The other three tapes I posted before on the blog. áPolóK is one of Hungary's finest groups to rule the Hungarian underground that manifested itself during the mid-eighties until the alternative boom of the nineties after the fall of the iron curtain.
Their absurdist music displays intricate musical structures, Hungarian folklore, zappa-esque manoeuvres and alternative rock. They are comparible to the Hungarian group Tudósok. Also later bands from Eastern Europe share some of this musical absurdity like the Slovenian band Pinja Dzazna (can anyone please find those albums for me? They seem to have disappeared.)
The title of this album is Szarvasgyár meaning Deer Factory as well as Shit Iron Factory. The title makes a lot of sense since the band came from the city of Miskolc which is Hungary's main city for heavy industry. This album is probably one of their craziest, but also the one that stands closest to Hungarian folk music.
áPolóK belong to Hungary's finest experimental underground music groups. Make sure to check out their crazy video's online to get an idea of who they were. Today they still exist through other obscure bands in Hungary.
Get it HERE
Saturday, 21 October 2017
It has been a while since I posted some real noisy stuff. At the start of this blog I uploaded quite some home-taping and industrial cassettes, but I ran out of them. It all depends on what crosses my path at what time. Kind of the same way I listen to music in general.
Even though the inner part of the cover says something about a tow truck in Ontario, The Unnatural Logarithm was a highly obscure home-taping industrial project from Bloomfield, New Jersey, US. This cassette was released through Logarithmic Tapes (most likely their own label) that also released some other American industrial cassettes around the same period.
Excited Electrons is a classic 1981 time document from the DIY industrial era of the US. It's a mix of synthesizer noise, casio drum presets, the right processed experimental guitar use and provocative spoken vocals. Not incredibly exceptional, but nevertheless enjoyable: quite weird and noisy. It also reminds me of the Variëté Royal cassette I uploaded ages ago.
Get it HERE
Friday, 13 October 2017
Stan Red Fox were a band from Berlin formed by Stephan Hachtmann (who came from the GDR), Lars Rudolph of anarcho-jazz combo Kixx and Franklin D. Newmeier (later in Caspar Brötzmann's Massaker). They had multiple releases by the end of the eighties and beginning of the nineties. Their first self-released EP cassette is to be found here.
The music resembles the cross-over sound of new wave by the end of the eighties, but is also clearly inspired by the 80's No Wave art-rock and jazz-pop styles from New York. Apart from more conventional songs they also play weird Butthole Surfers-like outburst, sing German lullabies and create experimental absurd jazz sounds in almost Zeuhl-like manners. German bands like Reifenstahl or AG Geige also come to mind.
I was quite surprised that this wasn't available yet. I guess it's also a reminder of that there is so much good stuff out there that won't cost you a fortune. Don't believe the hype of today's internet music market and listen to what you like.
Get it HERE
Thursday, 21 September 2017
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.
Get it HERE
Friday, 8 September 2017
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
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
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