Thursday, 22 September 2022

Mail Muzak (A.D. Eker & Misao Kusumoto) - The Art Of Sound For Slaves Of Obedience -1984- (Cassette, Soft Joke Productions), Netherlands/Japan


This is a short double-sided cassette which was the result of a collaboration between A.D. Eker (a Dutch musician from the city of Zwolle and founder of the experimental music collective and label De Fabriek) and Japanese artist Misao Kusumoto from Nishinomiya City. A.D. Eker also had his own label called Soft Joke Productions under which a number of short home-taping cassettes, including the one here, were published.

The Art Of Sound For Slaves Of Obedience was a conceptual piece of mail-art music, exchanged between The Netherlands and Japan. The lyrics that were used were translated from Japanese to Dutch and from English to Japanese. The question being asked on this tape is: what is quality anyways?

What is quality, and who fixed the form.
What is quality, and who fixed the form.

Is it as one says or is it yet different.
Is it as one sees, or do you see different.
Is it different, because one feels so.

What is quality, and who fixed the form.
What is quality, and who fixed the form.

Is it different, because one says so.
Is it different, because one sees so.
Is it different, because one feels so.

What is quality, and who guards the norm.
What is quality, and who guards the norm.

Is it the gross, that only looks at T.V.
Is it the gross, that always says no, no, no.
It it the gross, that looks so O.K.

What is quality, and who guards the norm.
What is quality, and who guards the norm.

Who ever decided, quality is no norm.
Who ever decided, quality is.
Who ever decided, quality is not.
No one rules okay, as you see!

Get it HERE

From the collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Gnot - Encyclopedia Galactica -1994- (Cassette, Self-Released), Netherlands


OCCII Amsterdam 30th Anniversary celebration post!

OCCII (Onafhankelijk Cultureel Centrum In It) is one of Amsterdam's last standing autonomous cultural venues that revolves around the elements of inclusivity, DIY action and a wide variety of live music as well as political and social activities. Besides local indie bands, jazz or world music it's also a home for free improvisation, psychedelic electronics, noise, punk and much more. OCCII emerged from the Amsterdam squatting scene of the 80's and later gained a legal status. It slowly but surely established itself as one of the true free spaces for music heads in town built on community principles.

Thanks to its many volunteers, it has a consistent weekly program of music, children's activities, workshops and talks. Throughout the last 30 years OCCII as a venue has gained a cult status among many international underground musicians that came to play. Simultaneously it has built a broad audience that reaches far beyond Amsterdam. To celebrate the 30th anniversary today, the 14th of September 2022, it's time to share a live recording from the early days of the venue. Moreover, there are not many recordings from that early period, so if someone happens to have any other material from that time feel free to get in touch.

Gnot was an Amsterdam based ever-changing free improvisation and noise rock collective founded by Arjan van Sorge that was active throughout the 90's. During their live performances they also added a few theatrical and dance elements. Encyclopedia Galactica is a live recording of Gnot at OCCII Amsterdam that took place on September the 30th, 1994. On this occassion the band consisted of Arjan van Sorge (Drums), Bram Hessels (Guitar), Peter Verzijl (Guitar), Joe Williamson (Bass) and Pisti Benecz (synthesizer).

The concert was improvised and later divided into individual tracks with different titles and released privately on cassette in limited quantities. It's a little relic from the 90's underground scene of Amsterdam when free improvisation had its connection with the local squatting scene and different artist communes as well as autonomous (pirate) radio stations while the soil was being laid down for local underground venues like OCCII. Some other impro-noise acts from around those days were the Amsterdam based ex-Yugo acts of a.o. Gone Bald and De Reizende Verkoper and ofcourse the many ofshoot acts of the late great The Ex.

Long live the OCCII! 

This post is dedicated to everyone that has played a part at OCCII over the last 30 years.

Check out OCCII Amsterdam today.

From the collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Get it HERE

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Seemen - Woozy! -1991- (Cassette, Self-Released), US


Originally from Austin, Texas, Seemen is the collaborative effort of Kal Spelletich and some forty odd art drop outs and extreme technology inventors who enjoy building extreme machines and robots that they allow their audience to operate. 

Since the late 80's and 90's Spelletich has been doing performances with Seemen and the notorious Survival Research Laboratories. Through the extremes of technology, the building of giant metal robots, pyrotechnics and other inventive dangerous constructions many incredible installations have graced both festivals and urban wastelands. Simultaneously the musical output connected to that has been an important element. Inevitably the clinging of metal, fire and flames and other robotic mechanisms create sounds, Seemen also made some really special cassettes that were circulating in the home-taping culture.

Within that late 80's and early 90's realm quite some urban area's were not as gentrified as they are today thus able to provide some space for these greater machine endeavours. The art and its surroundings played an important role on each other. Not only because of the artistic nature, but also because the artists would sometimes work on these giant living sculptures and robots for months. Therefore many of the artists started to become part of the surrounding communities and meet people who, in their turn, would help on some of the projects and vice versa. For example during their time in Amsterdam a collective like Survival Research Laboratories helped barricading some squats showing support during their eviction. A performance art group like the Mutoid Waste Company in England started to engage with the free party rave scene. Eventually they even established their own village called Mutonia in Italy. These are just some examples, but there are many more stories. In the new millenium this type of art has moved to festivals because the neo-liberal globalized urban environment leaves less and less space to be engaged with.

Woozy! was a self-released cassette by Seemen from 1991. From the cover:

The Seemen don't want to be your traditional Rock-n-Roll band which follows traditional formats. The idea being to produce something creative and innovative. Traditions are made to be broken and broken they are. There is no reason to repeat history! To repeat yourself when you have mastered something means it's time to move on to something more challenging. The future of music isn't guitar solos and drum machines but the sound of a vacuum cleaner or a child laughing. If music is to progress it needs to go beyond The Format (percussion/rhythm/solo/vocal). The forbearers of THE NEW WILL not be the Euro-X-Dance Beat Generation but the intelligensia who are willing and ABLE to grow beyond what Chuck Berry accomplished 30 years ago.

Kindly donated by The Y Create Archive

Get it HERE

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Square Sun (D. Trevarthen) / Royal Flush - Split Tape -1989- (Cassette, The Head Corporation/Black Death), Scotland/Netherlands

Here's an odd but great one. It took me some time to decipher this cassette since the cover kind of confused me at first. In any case it seems to be a split tape between Scottish home-taper Dion Trevarthen (also known as Square Sun) and Royal Flush, a home-taping act that was released by the Black Death tape label from the small town of Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. Black Death was created by Marcel Tuijenburg. A label which a.o. published compilations of the international home-taping community. The music on this cassette by Royal Flush seems to have been a solo effort by B. du Perron who creates a long dark ambient soundscape.

The other side of the tape consists of some dazzling hypnotic acid drenched electronic music by Dion Trevarthen. Hailing from the village of Aberlady, East Lothian, Trevarthen was part of a psychedelic space-rock group called Sponge along with his two brothers. He also released his own electronic music under the name Square Sun on various international tape labels. One of the most notable releases was the Tierversuche, Das Perfekte Konzept Der Selbstvernichtung tape on the German cassette label IRRE.

Fluorescent Tube Shadows is a mind-bending psychedelic piece of electronic home-taping music. There are many electronic textures, radio waves, rhythms and strange transitions going on. I recommend hearing this loud on some serious speakers and not just some screenspeakers. It has a very immersive deep sound that almost absorbs you. Within home-recordings it illustrates the transition of the 80's minimal synth sound into some of the new electronic music of the 90's, but somehow remains ungraspable. Some other acts that might be alike are Ras.Al.Ghul from Portugal or Delta-Sleep-Inducing Peptide from Germany. Or or or.

It would be great if some label would reissue some Square Sun music, but I guess it's wishful thinking.

Get Fluorescent Tube Shadows HERE

Kindly donated by the Y Create Archive

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Various Artists - Warmth And Silence -1988- (Cassette, Epitapes), US/International


Here we have yet another compilation on Epitapes that was established by Mike Tetrault from Belchertown, Massachusetts. Throughout the 80's dozens of these compilations were created. Each compilation was based around a certain theme and assembled accordingly by Mike Tetrault. Some of the tracks were taken from existing releases while others were sent specially for these tapes. You can read an interesting interview about these cassette series with Mike Tetrault over here.

The title of this cassette "Warmth And Silence" already reveals the type of music that was selected for this compilation: subtle ambient experimental sounds for more than one hour and a half created by a large range of home-taping projects from around the globe. Present on here are quite a few more known cassette culture protagonists like Illusion Of Safety (Dan Burke, US), Hessel Veldman (Holland), DZ Lectric (France),  Hands To (Jeph Jarman, US) and Los Paranos (Christophe Petchanatz, France). 

A curiosity on this compilation is that Mike Tetrault also features a piece by himself in which delicate rhythms create a base for a whispered reading of André Breton's surrealist poem "Freedom Of Love".

Get it HERE

Kindly donated by the Y Create Archive

Sunday, 17 July 2022

Kinder-Klons, Uwe Linke, Gefährliche Klons - The Kinderkram Tapes - Lost Tracks & Live (Cassettes 198X), Germany

The Gefährliche Klons (The Dangerous Clones) were a NDW band formed in the city of Marburg during the late 70's by the core duo of Uwe Linke and Exo Neutrino. They had many different Clone disguises and started to do their own music experiments inspired by Der Plan and the Geri Reig principle combining primitive electronic sounds with demented acoustic tunes and melodies while also using toys and other lost and found non-instruments.

These recordings are from an obscure collection of overdubbed NDW tapes I found at some point years ago. Too bad we can't see the original covers but chances are very small that we will ever see them. I couldn't find any information on these presumed cassette releases, not on Discogs nor on the Tape-Mag. In any case these recordings mostly collect the solo works by Uwe Linke who also did the Markenzeichen XY project as well as Kinder-Klons. A couple of these Kinder-Klons tracks were also collected on the extensive compilation cassette 40 Funkuchen that was released by Dutch cassette label Trumpett (from the small town of Heiloo), but some tracks are unknown.

Lastly I added an unknown live performance by The Gefährliche Klons from another one of those dubbed cassettes which now completes all the leftover material I have by them. However, it would be truly amazing if someone could provide some other unknown cassettes from their own Wir Wollen Nur Dein Bestes Bänder label.

Get all the leftover tunes HERE

Monday, 27 June 2022

Bicycle Repair Man - Recycling -1984- (Cassette, Red Rat Recordings), Netherlands


Bicycle Repair Man was a one-man home-taping project from the Southern Dutch city of Venray. I think it was a self-released project that was eventually distributed by the Red Rat Recordings cassette label from Utrecht that was created by Otto Grunbauer. The label had quite an extensive catalogue during its run, releasing many compilations as well as music by Merzbow, F/i and many others. However I'm not entirely sure how this cassette ended up on the label.

I assume the name Bicycle Repair Man was taken from a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, but who knows. The music consists of primitive analog electronics, Casio VL-Tone sounds, field recordings, cut-ups, radio fragments and other lost and found sounds in the the true home-taping spirit of the time. The opening piece Life In Berlin starts with John F. Kennedy's iconic speech from 1963 over some paranoid synth-patterns. Eventually the track alters into a cover of the Minny Pops' song R.U. 21? Minny Pops were a Dutch, Amsterdam based post-punk group and cornerstone act of the so called Ultra-scene. They were the only band in Dutch history that was signed to Factory Records during the 80's. The fact that songs by them were covered by home-tapers is another testimony to their influential music.

On the last track of this cassette by Bicycle Repair Man we learn that he also sent music to the Radiola Improvisatie Salon radio program which played a hugely important role for the home-taping scene in The Netherlands at the time. It was created by Dutch media wizard, fluxus artist and underground cult-figure Willem de Ridder. The idea of Radiola was that every tape that was sent to the radio show would be played without being heard in advance. A very unorthodox and adventurous approach that sometimes led to the discovery of unknown musicians and which simultaneously gave people who were playing music in their bedroom the feeling that their music was of importance because they were being played on national radio.

Bicycle Repair Man is another highly obscure project from the Dutch cassette culture of the 80's. It reminds me a bit of the electronic experiments by Arthur Berkhoff. 

From the collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Get it HERE