Tuesday, 21 May 2019
Orbitale Trio was one out of many bands and projects under the umbrella of the Italian independent cult label for improvisation and free-jazz Setola Di Maiale which was created by multi-instrumentalist Stefano Giust in Pordenone. He started out with the legendary improvisational, punk and experimental band Le Bambine. A completely underrated band that to me still stands out as one of the greatest musical projects of the Italian alternative autoproduzioni scene that was bridging the 80's and 90's.
During the 90's Giust produced a great amount of releases with Setola Di Maiale and the musical output became more jazz oriented in combination with a few excursions into techno, turntablism and such. All projects on the Setola Di Maiale label were played mostly by the same musicians. None of the output was aiming for commercial success and the label was very clear in communicating this as you can read on the cover of this tape.
Orbitale Trio consisted of Stefano Giust, Ivan Pilat and Paolo De Piaggi. Improv Series Zzaj shows their playful repetitive free jazz sounds. It has a real open approach of do-what-you-want improvisation that results in nice tracks which they gave lovely absurdistic titles. One of the tracks on this tape is called Valzer Per Mikols Chadima which is clearly a tribute to Czech multi-instrumentalist Mikoláš Chadima who is the founder of Czech experimental underground groups like Elektrobus, Extempore and later the MCH Band. The music of Orbitale Trio is quite reminiscent of the Italian group Arigret that followed a similar approach with their Italo Calvino inspired album "Se Una Notte D'Inverno Un Viaggiatore..." which I posted some time ago.
I suggest that you dig deeper into the vast Setola Di Maiale catalogue to find the releases you like the most yourself. There is a lot to be discovered and most of the material is freely accessible. Maybe I will post some more music of the label later on.
Get it HERE
Friday, 10 May 2019
Here we have a great lo-fi 80's synth-pop cassette by the strange outfit Tenkh Ric Snach. The group appeared marginally on less than a handful of home-taping compilations during the 80's, but I have never seen a full cassette by them until now. I couldn't decipher where they are from, on the one hand they sound very much like many home-taping and wave groups from the United States. Those often had a slightly more commercial approach to their DIY electronic sound in combination with utterly demented vocals and maddening compositions. On the other hand Tenkh Ric Snach finishes of this cassette with a track called In Österreich, which could also mean they were from Austria (probably they were because the voice and accent are very Austrian). Besides this I don't know the year of the release. I will need the help from all of you to find all the correct information.
The cassette is a bit fragile and recorded in a very lo-fi manner, the volume didn't even have a real punch. The presented sound quality here is as good as it gets. It will probably appeal more to the real lo-fi music lovers, but beneath the sound quality are cleverly created minimal synth songs that are very poppy (also lyrics-wise) a little absurd and furthermore nice to hear. In line with what I wrote before it could musically either be close to US bands like Tone Set or Los Microwaves but it can also be closer to some of the German language territory resembling a group like The Dancing Chromosomes. I don't think many of these tapes were made. Not on Discogs.
Amusing lo-fi minimal synth-pop songs nicely matured on cassette for many years. A minimal synth mystery!
Get it HERE
Sunday, 5 May 2019
For years I have been thinking that nobody is ever commenting on Archaic Inventions. I was a bit surprised about it: just in general you know. But I just found out that all the comments were set to "in need of moderation" by the blogger settings. It's for the first time ever I see all of this. It feels a bit like finding an old box of unknown tapes you didn't know existed so it's quite in line with the essence of this blog. In any case, it has been published now! This incapable censorship was not on purpose! I'm a joke! Thank you all for great feedback, your thoughts and additional information! Sharing is not intented to come from just one side, not to mention artists sharing their thoughts on their music. Much love! - Bence
Saturday, 4 May 2019
Niala Effen is an anagram of Alain Neffe (to make it sound more Polish) who is the founder of legendary Belgian home-taping label Insane Music and the musical brain behind minimal synth acts like Bene Gesserit, Human Flesh, Pseudo Code, Cortex, Subject and many more projects. Those acts have probably also been Belgium's most widespread home-taping sounds, being featured on countless compilations of the DIY cassette culture across the globe.
Kolory Też Potrafią Śpiewać is the Polish translation of "Les Couleurs Aussi Peuvent Chanter" (The Colours Can Also Sing) which was the title of a drawing exhibition by artist Nadine Bal (Alain Neffe's wife and collaborative member of Bene Gesserit and Human Flesh a.o.) that took place in Brussels from 11.11-30.11.1989. Neffe created the background music that was to be heard during this exhibition. The material got released on the Polish underground label OBUH Records, which is one of the important labels that was dedicated to Polish underground music already since the socialist times. They published great Polish bands like Za Siódmą Górą.
The tracks on Kolory Też Potrafią Śpiewać are all titled by different girl names and are tainted by a mantric musical nature. The electronic music consists of swirling timbres and loops of repetition creating different sound-colours that I can imagine are perfectly fitting the drawings of Nadine Bal, probably just like the one on the cover of this cassette. Deep, colourful and hypnotizing.
Highly recommended stuff!
Get it HERE
Thursday, 18 April 2019
From the inner liner notes:
In 1986 about 250 cassettes were made that were distributed in the next two years. Most of them were shared in Hungary, but the foreigners also took the tapes with them in royal amounts. In 1988 the band disbanded. Somewhere in the 90's an unknown English film crew made film music out of the recording that I haven't seen or heard since. Then we reformed for a faint experiment being invited by the '92 East Festival... About 250 of the original cassette sleeves remained (the original print got lost), so with a little delay the first "official" publication survived and got published. We didn't have money to purchase the studio recording tape (it also vanished since then (without a trace), so after finishing this at home (as homework) the material only remained available on cassette. Now on the last bit of the B-Side an instrumental recording has surfaced that we didn't play at any of our concerts. A book with lyrics was made in '88, which will be republished, but as of now it doesn't go any further, thank you for the interest, jó mulatást, SZIA! (Have fun, BYE!), Budapest '96 Karel
Zajártalom means "Noise Pollution" in Hungarian and this little cassette here is an ultra rare music relic from the Budapest underground. And also of industrial music culture behind the communist iron curtain in general. I have uploaded some Hungarian industrial tapes before of bands like Art Deco, BP. Service or musician Kósa Vince. Zajártalom kind of fits a similar realm, mainly in its use of cut-up and collage, but they also move into greyer alternative noise-rock areas similar to the shamanic noise-rock punk of Vágtázo Hallotkémek or the obscure Hungarian industrial project Falatra(x).
The music is pure experimentalism with improvisation where noise and collage find each other with an added protagonistic role for dark existential poetry through lyrics. I wish I would be able to tell more about what the the lyrics say. Also the text that is recited at a certain point by a child is some of the darkest existential stuff I have heard. These are all musical examples of real subversive and deep artistic statements in need of freedom in a totalitarian country in which grey society bleakness and state censorship were shaping daily life. To get an idea of this feeling and to understand the Hungarian music underground within this bleak communist realm I recommend you to watch the 2012 documentary East Punk Memores which is uploaded online. It gives a nice view on the mentality and life back then.
This Zajártalom cassette is such a special document of that time and it's not often I stumble upon these things even when I know quite some of the underground figures of that time in Hungary. Ofcourse there was some Industrial music in the former socialist countries, but in extremely marginal forms. Czech Republic had a movement, Poland, Hungary etc. and ofcourse Yugoslavia that really birthed some iconic bands like Laibach or Borghesia. The political circumstances differed per country and in Yugoslavia there was less cultural censorship for example. Some punk and wave music from the west came out quite regularly on vinyl. Also their cinema was not overdubbed so people could much better understand and learn English and deal with all the marginal information. In Hungary it was much rather fragmented. A handful of people knew about industrial music somehow. Some tried to musically mimic that style, but some were just making noise or some detuned rock music and ended up doing industrial in hindsight.
A few examples of how Industrial music entered Hungary from what I know is the visit of some Hungarian punks to East-Berlin in the 80's. The East-Berlin punks knew about Einstürzende Neubauten, but also had more knowledge already about new wave bands like The Cure and such. Furthermore I know that Antwerp based industrial pioneers Club Moral visited the artist village Szentendre near Budapest at the beginning of the 80's where they also played live. This village birthed the legendary Hungarian art rock group A.E Bizottság for example, that was formed by a group of artists and painters.
Then later on in the first Budapest underground pubs like Fekete Lyuk (Black Hole) there were some alternative concerts. Once there was a concert of Belgian industrial band à;GRUMH, but this was already later than this release, maybe around 1989. The German Neue Deutsche Welle group Der Plan did a legendary compilation with different European bands called Fix Planet! in 1981. The album contained the first release of Esplendor Geometrico's cult song 'Moscu Está Helado' (Spain) for example, but also a track by Vágtázo Hallotkémek. Der Plan visited Budapest back then and met the band according to the sleeve notes. Anyway one never really knows how the information flow worked precisely, but these are just some examples of Industrial and underground music encounters in Hungary during the socialist times.
Check out the energy of this cassette, it's pretty interesting. It's all an answer to political repression as well as self-established anti-culture as an antidote to this repression. There is a so called 'album' entitled Áldozati Énekek (Songs of Sacrifice) on the A-Side that I couldn't dissect into different tracks and a Live recording on the B-Side that doesn't sound much more live than the A-Side. A rare relic of subversive experimental music from behind the iron curtain. Marginally released on cassette in 1987, officially marginally re-released in 1996.
Get it HERE
Thursday, 4 April 2019
Various Artists - Music From The White House Vol. 4: France -1984- (Tape, Exart 032), France/Netherlands
Music From The White House was a series of compilations on the cult home-taping label Exart from The Netherlands that was created by Hessel Veldman aka Y Create (also in Gorgonzola Legs) and his wife Nick Nicole. The compilations were made around different countries: Holland, England, France and the United States.
On Music From The White House Vol. 4: France only home-taping acts are compiled from the French 80's underground. Amongst others present is the experimental noise of Brume, the Artaud and De Sade inspired sounds of vulgarity by Suckdog affiliate Costes and the improvisation of Klimperei and La Sonorité Jaune. Furthermore there are some French lo-fi synth-punk tracks by the Dirty Husbands, Cripure S.A. and Hermaphrodisiak which all remind me of Kas Product. Lastly there is a minimal synth track by DZ Lectric and Anton Shield and some miscellaneous home-taping tracks throughout the whole compilation.
Another nice compilation from the 80's containing some better and some worse tracks that display the uncompromising home-taping spirit of the time in the context of transnational music exchange. The Exart label on which this was published functioned as one of the key cassette labels of The Netherlands in terms of home-taping distribution. Soon I will upload the Music From The White House: USA cassette as well.
This cassette was kindly donated to the blog by Hessel Veldman/Y Create.
Get it HERE
Crazy enough, I've got Archaic Inventions mapped out for at least a whole year: if not longer. The amount of never heard material and new content is vast, mind-blowing and extends into many different musical genres. Also I am working hard on establishing the upcoming record label simultaneously with various sound-art and podcast projects. Furthermore I'm developing a live-set of my own music that will see the light this summer.
The digitization process demands time and I have to balance all these different projects. I'll try to do the best I can to keep up the consistency of the blog, but there will be moments which will demand prioritizing my attention to one of these directions. Thanks to all supporting the blog (some of you since many years)! Lots of stuff still to come! - Bence AI
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