Monday, 21 September 2020

It Is Not A... - Self-Titled -198X- (Cassette, Self-Released), Netherlands

Here we have another obscurity from the vast Dutch home-taping realm of the 80's. It Is Not A... is a totally unknown project that doesn't give any information other than that it was played by AF + Adulaar. The dark cover artwork that is hidden inside the uniformic beige cassette case only adds to the mysterious nature of this release. There is no year of publication given, nor any indication given about the place where this was made and there's no tracklist.

The minimalist nature of the artwork is also reflected in the music of It Is Not A... Basically the tracks revolve around the drum sounds of the Roland TR-606 in combination with simple basslines that are accompanied by analog synthesizers, voice and tape collage. Another example of a minimal synth bedroom production that stresses simplicity as a protagonist artistic means. It also reflects the cold signature sound approach of the 80's. A total mystery from the Drumatix shadow world...

We advice to play this cassette with loudness, it will give an uncomfortable but paradisiac nerve-shaking ambience to the sound.

 Get it HERE

Monday, 14 September 2020

Flagrum - Occulitur Ante Verba -1996- (Cassette, Mastix Materiae), Hungary


Here we have another obscurity from the Hungarian underground of the 90's. Flagrum was an experimental minimalist metal band from Budapest that consisted of Tibor Gáll, János Gáll and  Levente Borsay. They started around 1992 and released their first album Per Ipsum in 1995 both domestically (cassette) and on the Czech Malarie label (vinyl). However, their second album Occulitur Ante Verba is probably their best work and even less known.

During the 90's there were obviously lots of different bands in Hungary. The metal, punk and hardcore genres were very much alive during that decade. That music was cultivated on aesthetics and ideologies that were not easy to put forward before the collapse of the totalitarian socialist regime. Surely these genres were already developing during communist times, but the full potential wasn't felt publicly yet because there was no infrastructure for their output. It was only from the 1990's on that alternative festivals were created and new communities of people started to carry alternative and independent culture through music and lifestyle.

Flagrum is one of those bands that operated deeply in the Hungarian underground of the 90's. Even in Hungary they are largely a mystery. During an era in which lots of new music from outside was rapidly entering the country a large proportion of bands was just imitating whatever they could hear. Flagrum on the other hand was more alone in its genre. They had a sort of doomish metal sound, but stripped it down to the bare minimum. Their music is fully instrumental, minimal and repetitive leaning towards an experimental No-Wave sound that is perhaps a bit reminiscent of Swans. There's a Godflesh inspiration too. I wrote about that some time ago regarding the Hungarian band Carwashtagnacht.

More unknown sounds from the Eastern European alternative music landscape of the 90's. (If you can, try to listen to this while having an Unicum!). Élvezd!

Get it HERE

Friday, 11 September 2020

Sniffin' The Evidence - 15 Minutes Of Hard Labour -1990- (Cassette, Rat Product), Netherlands


I had a look at what to post on a historical date like today and ended up finding this one. Sniffin' The Evidence was a duo comprised of Etwin van Eedtveld and René Claus from the southern Dutch town of Maastricht. 15 Minutes Of Hard Labour was released privately and I don't know whether anything else was ever done by them later on. Their sound revolves around heavy drum machine patterns, distorted guitars and cut-up fragments of political speeches and such. It can be placed in a longer tradition of experimental music using, abusing or criticizing political themes. A sound that has been put forward a.o. by bands like (late) Cabaret Voltaire or Mark Stewart + The Maffia and Tackhead. It also reminds me of the Dutch band á Suivre that existed years before in Rotterdam.

I left the cassette unindexed because the tracks mostly flow into each other and hard stops would cause too much interruption of the whole.

Kindly donated by the Y Create archive

Get it HERE

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Liza N. Eliaz - Sensecruise Part 2 -19XX- (Cassette, Self-Released), Belgium


Liza Néliaz (1958 - 2001) was an electronic dance music producer and hardcore techno DJ from Oostende, Belgium. During the late 70's Néliaz was part of different Belgian avant-garde and new-wave bands. In the 80's Neliaz was strongly involved with the international home-taping network and contributed her tracks to cornerstone compilations on pivotal cassette labels like Insane Music (Belgium) and Exart (Netherlands).

By the late 80's, Neliaz started to play a self-invented style of proto-dance music that somehow connected the DIY spirit of 80's home-taping with new beat and the upcoming rave culture that would later evolve into established genres like techno, hardcore and acid house. She was a pioneer (one out of many ofcourse) in exploring these new musical styles in which perhaps the most important element was musical continuity. No breaks were taken in-between the tracks. Through her inventive hardware set-up she was able to play a variety of different tracks that were weaving in and out of each other continuously resulting in what we would call a "live-set" today. From the 90's onward Liza 'N' Eliaz established herself as an important hardcore techno DJ which granted her the underground title of Queen of Terror. The name Liza was adopted because in those days it used to be a nickname given to Trans people in Flanders. She used her abilities as a musician for her DJ-sets that were uncompromising, lethal and full of energy. Neliaz lived a nomadic lifestyle dedicated to music until the end of her life. She sadly passed away in 2001.

Sensecruise Part 2 is an early cassette by Liza Neliaz that was released around 1989 or 1990. It's the sequel to the Sensecruise Part 1 cassette which I've never heard. Unfortunately there is no cover for this tape, but who knows whether this was properly distributed at the time in the first place. Musicwise it embodies the sound of the transition of decades and the birth of a new sound of the 90's. Sensecruise Part 2 contains a pretty spot on home-made rave sound. I filed this release under "Belgium", but it clearly could have been recorded in France or England at the time. The music resembles the early work of 808 State or Orbital here and there, big acts (as we all know) that would soon succesfully spread similar sounds on a worldwide scale. However Liza Néliaz was never interested in the commercial aspects of dance music and couldn't identify with the course the culture took when free parties were starting to decline and certain DJ's were gaining so called star levels bringing competition and jealousy into a free music culture. Her DJ sets could sound relentless at times, yet humor, interaction and joy through the music were the main reasons behind Liza's musical practices.

Maybe it's the first time some kind of dance music comes to the blog, but also that is part of the underground music kaleidoscope of the past decades. Another piece of the Liza Neliaz puzzle at least. A special musician that deserves some proper attention from labels out there. Maybe someone has more early recordings?

Here's another article in French about Liza Néliaz that also provided some of the information above.

Kindly donated by Hessel Veldman (Y Create Archive)

Get it HERE

Saturday, 22 August 2020

The Final Curtain - Self-Titled -1986- (Cassette, Self-Released), Netherlands


I figured that we're not going to end this month without some heavier hitting tunes for your living room/bedroom dancefloor (the only one that matters anyway). The Final Curtain is a project I have no information about, nor does the cassette reveal anything else than a plastic inlay displaying an abstract drawing with strange symbols or initials. It's a super obscurity from the Dutch home-taping era that only gives us a title and a year of release on the outer cassette case.

The fragile tape contains two great synth-wave tracks belonging to that outer space alien dancefloor realm where twinkling stars far above us prove us there must be more than this... An analog electronic sound shared by a few other Dutch acts from those days like Ende Shneafliet or No Honey From These. Perhaps some of these forces also forecasted the Dutch electro sound that would arise many years later through labels like Bunker or Viewlexx.

More lost minimal synth melancholia from the electric 80's cradle.

From the Collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Get The Final Curtain HERE

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Roy G. Biv - Prince Spaghetti Day -1985- (Cassette, Self-Released), Netherlands


Roy G. Biv (Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet) was an Amsterdam based home-taping project and sound & color improvisation band created by Dutch musician and visual artist Robin Deirkauf in collaboration with Edward Vunderink (guitars, voice) and Frans Evers (keyboards).

The band played hours of psychedelic jam sessions in which repetitive guitar riffs, cosmic electronics and post-punk experimentation were brough together. Roy G. Biv released around 10 different cassette albums during the 80's. The early work by the band can be placed in a more cosmic electronic Krautrock tradition, while the later albums blend a psychedelic sound with different music influences from the 80's. A variety of spectral color schemes and color symbolism were an important dimension of the band. Visual art and conceptual ideas around colors were used and developed for live concerts and for the releases. Conceptually it reminds me of the direction Sonic Boom took with his band Spectrum after the Spacemen 3 period. You can read more about Roy G. Biv in a previous blogpost.

 

Prince Spaghetti Day (named after an American spaghetti commercial) is a later release by Roy G. Biv from 1985. It's less dreamy and overall more rhythm driven. Yet another nice album of psychedelic jams mediated through a home-taping minimal synth sound, reminiscent of bands like 39 Clocks or Circles.

RIP Robin Deirkauf 1946-2019

From the Collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Get it HERE

Friday, 14 August 2020

Haverslizurd - Self-Titled -1989- (Cassette, Carrier Communications), US


In this particular case I'm not entirely sure whether Haverslizurd is the name of the band or the title of the album, but in any case we can rectify that in a later stage (check the cover). Apparently this was an obscure American band from the late 80's that hailed from Richmond, Virginia. Probably Carrier Communications was their own cassette label, but I can't find any information on it.

The music consists of some darker improvised lo-fi industrial rock that is sometimes accompanied by drum computer patterns and saxophone sounds. Actually also not too far away from dark ambient soundscapes at times. It has this swampy American industrial rock sound which reminds me a.o. of the (cassette) material by the US band Pain Teens, but also of the great industrial sound of Factrix from San Francisco. In more recent history a band like Destruction Unit also comes to mind.

No other info for now!

Kindly donated by the Y Create archive 

Get it HERE