Monday, 11 June 2018

Arigret - Se Una Notte D'Inverno Un Viaggiatore... -1995- (CD, CMC Records), Italy


Continuing the blog on the track of improvisation CD-only releases from Europe's alternative 90's we have Arigret from Italy. Arigret was an adventurous Italian improvisation group that had a strong contemporary jazz foundation but also used some kind of Rock In Opposition approach with the great transitions in their compositions that were created by sax player Massimo Rossi (who would carry on with a contemporary Italian jazz outfit called Actis Band).

Se Una Notte D'Inverno Un Viaggiatore... was the only album by Arigret released through CMC records from Turin. It has great titles that are somewhat reminiscent of Zappa's. The vocals by singer Rossella Cangini contain nice eccentric lyrics and are a constant highlight when the jazz-patterns make way for the poetical absurdity on the album.

This is another great release from the 90's, specially for the more (free-)jazz-oriented music fans. It reminds me of Italian 80's groups like Ensemble Havadià, Mamma Non Piangere or the stricter impro-jazz releases one can find on Materiali Sonori records.

Get it HERE

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Malice In Wonderland - Violence & Passion -1984- (Tape, Wonderland Cassettes W.002), Netherlands


Malice In Wonderland was a classic underground new wave band from The Netherlands (we call that style Nederwave) consisting of Ronald Israëls (bass), Job Goedhart (guitar), Simone Koch (singer), Peter Jansen (keyboards, voice) and Michel Didier (drums). Their music has a distinct bat-cave type new wave style with punk influences that also reminds me of other Dutch groups like Qua Dance (posted before on the blog), WAT or maybe even Soviet Sex.

All tracks on Violence & Passion were recorded live at various Dutch venues that were mostly dedicated to the underground of the 80's in those days. Because of the female vocals, quite elaborated song-writing and the evident use of keyboards it even has something B-52's like to it, maybe something of X-Mal Deutschland too. It's a great relic from the prime of new wave in The Netherlands in its purest form when youth centre's were inhabited by Siouxsie haircuts, extravagant make-up and vleermuis fashion.

Violence & Passion was released on cassette in 1984 and came with an extensive booklet showing information on the different tracks, nice pictures and no-future poetry. Quite surprising that Malice In Wonderland hasn't been covered too much, even though so much new wave music has been given attention the last years. I couldn't find it on Discogs.

The cassette shows quite some white-noise since me and my friend found this tape in a quite dusty and old state, probably in the record store since 1984. Still quite some nice wave pop-songs on it!

Get it HERE

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Josef Novotny & Max Nagl - AMen # -1989- (CD, EX 96), Austria


Austrian free-jazz and improvisation knows a long tradition that traces back to acts like the pioneering Reform Art Unit that started out by the late sixties. In these musical themes there are distinct Austrian and European sound traditions that are sometimes combined with other musical influences like the eastern and Indian musical traditions, always in an improvisational and free way.

This album created by pianist and keyboardist Josef Novotny and saxophone player Max Nagl directly tries to incorporate the Austrian musical traditions and showcases a complex avant-gardist mixture of free-jazz, church organ and synthesized computer programs. In a way it resembles the German-Dutch album Free Music & Orgel that was posted on the blog a long time ago. On that album the church organ is also used as a free instrument in combination with improvised theme's. AMen # was released as a CD only in 1989.

From the liner notes of AMen #:

The music is a confession to the European, and more specific Austrian tradition, naturally influenced by many cultural currents with which we are confronted. It ranges from traditional church songs to the tonal shape of the Vienna school right up to Jazz Avant-Garde. The pieces are largely improvisations based on fixiated computer-programs and prefabricated sound combinations each of which determine the form and the process.

Get it HERE

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Hein Pijnenburg, Ineke van Doorn & Paul van Utrecht - Barbaarse Dans -1994- (CD, GR 9409), Netherlands


This very obscure compact disc named Barbaarse Dans -in English- Barbaric Dance (not even on Discogs) contains great musical interpretations of poems by the Flemish surrealist and dadaist poet Paul van Ostaijen (22 February 1896 – 18 March 1928) and was recorded in 1994.

The music was made with voice, bass clarinet, guitar, saxophone, hammers and saws by saxophonist Hein Pijnenburg, Jazz-singer Ineke van Doorn and guitarist Paul van Utrecht. It was created to accompany Paul van Ostaijen's avant-garde sound poetry that was written in the early twentieth century in Dutch. The musical interpretation comes close to the Dutch performance artist and protagonist interpreter of abstract sound-poetry Jaap Blonk.

Even though Dutch is quite a non-important and often quite disliked language, Van Ostaijen was one of the most important people in the Dutch language territory who was inspired by the dada movement alongside the artist Theo van Doesburg. His sometimes onomatopoeiatic sound-poetry broke many barriers in the Dutch literary field and introduced sound-poetry as a performative and even visually experimental dimension in Dutch poetry in the early twentieth century. This album is quite special in the sense that it interprets his poetry. It's a unique musical example of the Dutch language literary avant-garde. It was released in a self-made fragile paper cover.

From the liner notes:

Barbaric Dance is a theatrical composition in which Hein Pijnenburg puts forward the poetry by the Flemish avant-garde poet Paul van Ostaijen. The musical work is shifting throughout the piece: at first the starting point is text and the music is composed with the text. Later in the composition this is reversed. The text: fragments of poems, words and seperate letters are fitted in the music. Hammers and saws are prescribed in the score to create two effects: to create a transition of rhythm and sound of daily life towards the silence of the theater and to increase the feelings of the listener and actor by physical powers. Furthermore the hammers and saws function as percussion.

Paul van Ostaijen was a Flemish poet who lived from 1896 to 1928. His work mirrors the changing and stirring zeitgeist of the first twenty-five years of this century: a hyper-sensitive Van Ostaijen found his inspiration amongst others in the First World War and the atmosphere of the Music-Hall (a precursor of the discotheque). He looked for possibilities to combine words, sounds and images in his poems. 

Barbaarse Dans is based on the poems: Barbaarse Dans, Angst, Fatalisties Lied, Asta Nielsen, Vers 2 en Vers 3 and Alpejagerslied.

Recommended!

Get it HERE

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Various Artists - Tecnologie Del Movimento -1989- (LP, HAX 01), Italy


Tecnologie Del Movimento was a cornerstone compilation of the late Italian Industrial scene that showcased some of the first sounds that were later to be established into the ritual and dark ambient techno styles of the nineties. The Hax label was run by Marco Milanesio who is also the mastermind behind the group DsorDNE from Turin, a group also featured here on the compilation.

Another Italian Industrial act on TDM is Officine Schwartz, that started out in 1983 in a classic industrial style using unconventional instruments as well as scrap metal and such. Then there is Gerstein, moniker of Maurizio Pustianaz, who published many experimental music and noise cassettes since 1984 and even had a release on the British Harsh Noise label Broken Flag in 1987. Furthermore there are a few unknown acts compiled: Alberi Per Debra, Unga and La Deviation.

The successor Tecnologie Del Movimento II was released on CD in 1992 and already moved into more dark ambient techno realms, also containing more outdated tracks. This first compilation however, really showcases a fine collection of industrial sounds with nice analog electronic sequence loops, ambient collages and musical theme's that even resemble those of Coil at times.

Get it HERE

Saturday, 17 March 2018

De Reizende Verkoper - Aguardiente -1999- (CDr, Self-Released), Croatia/Netherlands


De Reizende Verkoper (Dutch for The Travelling Salesman) was an obscure freak jazz improvisation band created around Croatian avant-garde musicians who settled in Amsterdam during the nineties (maybe late 80's). The band consists of guitarist Razorblade Jr., drummer Marc and sax player Kafka (Damir Prica). Some members were a.o. also involved in the no-wave group Blisters and the highly recommended experimental group Pink Noise Quartet.

During the 80's and the 90's there were quite some Eastern European underground musicians that came to live in Holland. Many of them came from Ex-Yugoslavia. An example could be the great Croatian experimental punk band SexA. All these musicians brought a new energy to the Dutch and mostly Amsterdam local underground and improvisation scene. I know a lot more about this scene because I knew some people in person being a child, but I rather keep that personal.

Aguardiente is a great album of experimental improvisation and no-wave with free-jazz freak out moments. It was recorded in a matter of a few hours in an Amsterdam basement in 1999, probably with some good quality aguardiente involved. It's a pure example of the vivid Yugo impro scene that had an important influence on what maybe can be viewed as the last real vibrant time of music in the Amsterdam underground. At least it's a scene that was never properly covered or given the right attention in music history. Luckily some of the protagonists are still active!

Obscure impro greatness all over!

Get it HERE

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Details At Eleven - Same -1986- (LP, Dossier), US


Details At Eleven was a New York based experimental avant-garde outfit that consisted of Lin Culbertson, David Humphrey, Ken Heer and Katie O'Looney. They fit in greatly with the New York style improvisation groups of the time creating complex drum rhythm and saxophone fueled experimental theme's even with synthesizer additions. The sound is also quite close to the work of multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp who also is being thanked on the record cover.

Details At Eleven was released through the German Dossier records, which is a great record label that somehow always stayed somewhat under the radar, because of the strange groups it managed to gather, from impro-jazz new wave to industrial. Details At Eleven also contains some new wave influences, specially during the vocal parts of Lin Culbertson. She is a visual artist, graphic designer and multi-instrumentalist who played with a lot of musicians from the impro-experimental scene like Zeena Parkins, Thurston Moore and many more.

Details At Eleven deserves some more attention in my opinion as it really sounds weird and fresh. Similar to Niew Hip Stilen from Holland, New York's Semantics (with Elliott Sharp) or the Berlin band Stan Red Fox that I posted on the blog before.

Get it HERE