Monday, 17 June 2019
Here we have another nice tape from the American cassette-culture network of the 80's by Ice Cream Blisters. A band that came from Kent, Ohio that was founded by Mike Crooker and Chris Mezzolesta and friends, they also did the home-taping label GGE in Kent. Ice Cream Blisters made a couple more tapes and were for example also featured on the Exart compilation Music From The White House: U.S.A.. Their music is quite an eclectic mix-up of many different musical genres and styles like most of the weird American bands from that time.
When Nature Fails, Art Steps In definitely fits a no future mentality having a nice punk style and attitude combined with some deranged new wave sounds and pure sound experiments. It reminds me of other American bands like The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Blacklight Braille or Strange Fruit Abiku, ofcourse Pere Ubu that also hails from Ohio and probably also many other US bands I am overlooking now one can find in the Mutant Sounds archive. Nevertheless, Ice Cream Blisters has a signature of its own and the lengthy tape has many different musical highlights. From the demented violin infused Vivaldi to the nice lo-fi pop track Drive It Down.
I guess that the punk attitude of Ice Cream Blisters makes sense in the light of US (art-)punk in the North-Eastern and Mid-West states of the US that already had their own special punk-history since the 60's (think The Stooges and the Detroit scene etc). By the way, you can hear that a lot of effort was put in this release. Strange how they have remained so unknown, even after all the music that the blogs have been reviving for the last decade. Maybe some more of their music will surface with the time. It's really good! And not on Discogs.
"Don't be a cardboard celebrity that people pose next to. Don't live in fear of something you don't know really exists, think your own thoughts, they are worth more."
This tape was kindly donated by the Y Create archive
Get it HERE
Friday, 7 June 2019
This is a rare artists' 7 Inch that accompanied an art book edited by Fritz Balthaus, published by Ed. Vogelsang in Berlin in 1982. Unfortunately I don't have the book, but according to information online it was an anthology assembling contributions by numerous artists: texts, photos, collages, drawings, an object (a pencil), and the six audio pieces on the 7", which was housed in a generic inner sleeve attached to the inside of the back cover of the book.
It's another nice example of the music experiments that were going on in the West-Berlin art scene and the galleries of the time in which there was dialogue, overlap (or colission as you wish) between the art academies and more established art world with the DIY underground of the time. Neue Deutsche Welle music and its performance aspects balanced on these two fringes, because of the often conceptual nature in the artistic approach. You can find certain examples of this in Berliner bands like Die Tödliche Doris, the whole Geniale Dilletanten happening in Berlin's Tempodrom in 1981 or the Berlin Super 8 DIY art-films that were being made by local experimental musicians and artists. On a sidenote, these type of happenings and musical output also took place in East-Berlin and other GDR cities like Dresden and Leipzig. There is a nice documentary in German about that here. These expressions were much more marginal and obviously not tolerated by the regime so at times quite dangerous for the artists in their practices.
On this little record there are various artists compiled from Berlin as well as foreign places: the first piece is made by Florence born Italian visual artist Maurizio Nanucci, who started to work with neon typography in the late 60's. His work deals with the relation between his research on linguistics and the visual experience of colours.
Then there is Berlin artist and writer Thomas Kapielski who also worked a lot with the important experimental musician Frieder Butzmann in the 80's. Kapielski is still active to this day. Also Fritz Balthaus is present, an artist that in his work dealt a lot with the mediation between architecture and design in (public) spaces. American composer Beth Anderson is compiled with a nice track that is also the most poppy on the record.
Lastly there is a piece by conceptual visual artist Rolf Julius based on a reel-to-reel voice cut-up of American female voice experimentalist Joan La Barbara and a piece by Fred Szymanski of the great New York band Ike Yard, which was the only band from the US to be featured on the Factory Records roster during the 80's.
Some nice sound-art pieces from Berlin's past.
Get it HERE
Wednesday, 29 May 2019
Orkest De Volharding - In Het Woud Is Veel Te Doen -1977- (LP, Cineclub Vrijheidsfilm en Solidaridad), Netherlands/Uruguay
Orkest De Volharding (Orchestra Perseverance) is the oldest Dutch "Democratized" jazz and modern composed music orchestra that was founded in 1972 by probably the most innovative and important modern composer of The Netherlands, Louis Andriessen. He played together with many important Dutch jazz and improvisation musicians like Willem Breuker (who later also revolutionized Dutch free jazz with his legendary Willem Breuker Kollektief), Willem van Manen and Bernard Hunnekink and many others.
De Volharding was founded in the aftermath of the Nutcracker actions (Aktie Notenkraker): directed actions against the classical music establishment and its musical conventions. These conventions had to be cracked and hierarchical structures in music were criticized (for example getting rid of the conductor to give musicians their own space). During the late sixties and early seventies there were many emancipatory cultural movements and actions in Holland, in theatre there was Aktie Tomaat (Action Tomato: drama students going to the theatre to throw tomatoes at the actors). These sentiments partially derived from the legendary counter-cultural Provo Movement (1965-1967) that in its political urgencies, freedom thought and its critique of the capitalist state and economy (causing environmental problems etc.) can be seen as a precursor to Hippie movements worldwide. They pioneered the potential of happenings and subversive yet pacifistic actions to make political statements in The Netherlands.
Another reason for these cultural actions aiming at radically changing the values of society was the Vietnam War and the discontent with post-war conservatism. At that moment lots of people saw the direct results of the west-block (capitalism) versus east-block (communism) and for many young people in the west socialist and Marxist ideas became subversive, but also more appealing as a result of the cruel Western warfare and the undesirable excesses of capitalist society (environment, social inequality etc). Orkest De Volharding also had many musical pieces favoring the socialist side. They did the music for many theatre plays of the left-wing cultural sphere.
In 1977 De Volharding did this album called "In Het Woud Is Veel Te Doen", meaning: "In The Woods There Is A Lot To Do" ("En La Selva Hay Mucho Trabajo Por Hacer"). The music was composed by Bernard Hunnekink and played by Orkest De Volharding. The music on this record is actually a soundtrack created for an Uruguayan Children's movie with the same title. On the A-Side of the record we can hear the instrumental version and on the B-side again the same piece accompanied by the Dutch lyrics (to my ears still less interesting than the instrumental, even though I speak Dutch).
The text is for children and it's about wild animals in the forest that are being captivated by a hunter that wants to bring them to the Zoo. Later they manage to escape by boat and the story concludes with the moral that says: "Nobody should be ever taken from his or her home. Never again like how it used to be before." Not sure if this is also a metaphore for something in the Uruguayan political history: probably.
The music reminds me of many Dutch modern composed records I posted in the first years of the existence of this blog. It even reminds me a bit of certain compositions by Ennio Morricone, who also should have had a small influence on Louis Andriessen. The album also reminds me of the "Alemania-Bolivia" tape that No Longer Forgotten Music just posted: strange conceptual music for, and partially by Children about the differences between a children's life in Bolivia as opposed to a children's life in Germany. Actually the German political Krautrock band Floh De Cologne also did a concept album about the Chilean coup d'état in the early 70's called "Mumien". There were many examples of albums that were conceptually and musically combining the Latin American and Western European world within their 1970's (political) context.
There are lots of nice drawings of animals for children included on the record cover that I cut up and all put in the video below. I end with the liner notes from the sleeve about them:
These drawings were not made to be published: Actually they were a sort of dialogue. The only way in which a comrade could think to break through the bars of his jail cell. As such he managed to send out a little black pigeon with a little red beak. And with a message of battle and hope it reached his little daughter. Every mother, every father everyone who is being incarcerated in a "Zoo" at the moment could have made these sketches. Every one of them hopes to see their children. They all know: "How much there is still to be done in the forest". To this parent and their children we dedicate this story.
Not on Discogs.
Get it HERE
I was invited by students of the Amsterdam University and the EYE Filmmuseum to a private screening of this animation film and many other films from the Cineclub Vrijheidsfilm, cinema militante, archive. I will update the information about this release soon. You can watch En La Selva Hay Mucho Trabajo Por Hacer in its original Uruguayan version below:
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