Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Doppelwirkung - Self-Titled -1990- (Cassette, Bestattungsinstitut), Germany


Doppelwirkung was one out of many projects that spawned from the home-taping laboratory of electronic musician Siegmar Fricke from Wilhelmshaven: in this case in collaboration with Michael Wurzer, a member of the international amalgamic experimental cult-band Doc Wör Mirran. During the 80's and 90's Siegmar Fricke had a large output of solo cassettes and many releases with collaborative acts like Delta-Sleep-Inducing Peptide, Ambulatorio Segreto and Doppelwirkung. 

It seems that a large amount of the musical output fits the transitional period when the home-taping culture of the 80's (often rooted in industrial culture) evolved into new dance music styles and the rave culture of the early 90's. Siegmar Fricke's work, but also that of DSIP, represents a non-commercial approach to electronic music that is not looking for imitation or to fit a certain scene or sound. The music represents the discovery of sounds through the home-taping practice transferred to the nervous system of the 90's. Deep hypnotic elements, psychedelia, eerie experimental sounds and synthetic dance grooves can all be stardust of the sonic dreamscape.

On this Doppelwirkung cassette on Fricke's own Bestattungsinstitut label there are 21 different untitled electronic minimalist tracks. Most of them are experimental loops of synthesized sounds with occasional samples. On the outer edges of these experiments we hear tracks in a cosmic Krautrock fashion (track 1) reminiscent of Cluster or Conrad Schnitzler, but there is also an ambient electronic sound of the early 90's vaguely reminiscent of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works for example (check track 10). In any case, no matter how the listener's subjective and associative music brain works, it's clear that there are many different textures and moods to be experienced through the vast music catalog around Siegmar Fricke. Doppelwirkung is definitely another interesting project, I wonder if some other Doppelwirkung tapes are out there too...

Kindly donated by The Y Create Archive

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Sunday, 10 January 2021

José Iges & Concha Jerez - El Diario De Jonás -1997- (CD, Unió Musics), Spain


To bring in some music from other realms I think it's nice to start this blog-year off with a longer piece of music that creates a different listening experience than let's say a cassette compilation.  

El Diario De Jonás was a multi-disciplinary soundwork from 90's Spain that was written and imagined by the artists, scholars and music composers José Iges and Concha Jerez. At the end of the 80's they started collaborating on a series of projects called "Media Interference" that were combinations of audiovisual pieces, crossmedia concerts and performances. 

In line with these artworks the piece El Diario De Jonás was created in the 90's with contemporary experimental musicians Belma Martín (voice), Pilar Subirá (percussion) and Pedro López (live electronics). Martín and López were founders of the Madrilenian CEDI Institute for improvisation and sound-research and published a magazine on music called Hurly Burly during the 90's. The musicians also released music on the Spanish Modisti label that tried to operate on the intersection of music theory, politics and free music expression.

El Diario De Jonás was recorded live on 27-9-97 at Las Cuevas de Canelobre (caves of Canelobre) in Busot, Alicante as part of the 13th International Festival of Contemporary Music of Alicante. The release was supported by the Counsel of Mallorca. Partially performance, partially soundscape and partially sound-poetry (in Spanish and French) El Diario De Jonás is an interesting piece of Spanish music from the 90's. It reminds me a bit of the Galvana album by Victor Nubla and Pelayo Fernandez Arrizabalaga from 1992. 

From the liner notes:

"This work is shaped as a personal diary developed on internalized fragments. For that it's integrated by different episodes, linked from a certain subjectivity than the "diary" gender always suggests. Likewise, the understanding, the inverted commas or underlined, the monologue truncated on a word or the design or the linguistic gesture takes part of the expressive strategies of the piece. Making it we have gone to the bottom of our memories, on a time of speed and forgetfulness. As a Diary, its structure is given rather from the physical support -the diary- and from the graphy of the person that writes it. {..} The work is developed with three musicians performing live - a singer, an acoustic percussionist and an electronic percussionist, plus organized sound taped on 4 sources. All the material for the interpreters arised from 40 sentences, memories expressed orally, 20 coming from each one of the two authors. Different types of visual, phonetical and even semiotical interpretations of the sentences generated the ways in which the piece was performed. The modular apect assured that it would sound mainly the same during each performance yet always differ and show unprevisible elements." 

Due to the nature of this release no download link yet.

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Various Artists - There Is No God And He Is Your Creator -1987- (Cassette, GGE Records), US

Merry Christmas and an Archaic New Year to all Friends and Followers of the blog!
To end this year with I reckoned that we needed something with an adagium that covers both these end of the year holidays as well as the situation we have found ourselves in throughout this year. There Is No God And He Is Your Creator (a title as oxymoronic as the title of this blog) was another fine cornerstone compilation of the international home-taping circuit created by GGE Records, a cassette label that was based in Kent, Ohio. The people behind the label also played in the band Ice Cream Blisters
There Is No God And He Is Your Creator compiles quite some known acts from the era like the Belgian experimental synth groups Bene Gesserit and Human Flesh created by Alain Neffe. It also contains a Merzbow track and a track by A.D. Aker known as a Dutch musician who was one of the founders of experimental music collective De Fabriek. The US tape-music legends Big City Orchestra provide a fine humoristic cover of Throbbing Gristle's Subhuman. Aside from those bands there's a lot of obscure American home-taping stuff on here ranging from lo-fi pop to strange collaged rhythms. Quite a nice bunch of tracks all together.
Kindly donated by the Y Create Archive
Get it HERE
Lots of things have happened the past year in terms of the discovery of unknown material and it has been rewarding and beautiful to have been in contact with many musicians and to have even been collaborating with some great labels that provide todays reissue jewels. I'd like to thank you all for the opportunities you gave me and the enthusiasm you share about music.

Archaic Inventions is a blog that still remains part of the underground with a loyalty towards the larger blogosphere in the way I discovered that space more than a decade ago. I'm not sure yet whether this blog will last longer than the next year, but only time, energy and life decisions will tell. Again. Much love to all readers, spreaders of the word or occasional bypassers here. Stay safe in this mad world and keep fighting all the corruptive powers that are surrounding us. Oh and listen to some nice music!
See you with some good stuff from the past in 2021!
- Bence AI

Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Gri Gri - I'm Not A Performing Monkey -198X- (Cassette, Self-Released), Netherlands

Here's another cassette from the Dutch home-taping circuit of the 80's of which I don't know anything. So far it's a mystery who was behind the Gri Gri project. The only information provided on the cassette is that it came from the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven. During the 80's, the city of Eindhoven and its surrounding areas were home to different post-punk, industrial and home-taping acts like Nasmak, De 6de Kolonne or Jacques van Erven, but the Gri Gri cassette seems to have been an isolated effort. 

I'm Not A Performing Monkey displays some nice Casio sounds, NDW influenced madness, weird pop-songs, acoustic improvisation and repetitive minimalist soundscapes. It has a primitive approach that at times almost feels ritualistic, yet also maintaining playfulness. Quite unclassifiable music: some sort of combination of absurd home-taping experimentation and the furthest deconstructed fringes of Rock In Opposition somewhere lost between Achwghâ Ney Wodei, Hora Est, Gefährliche Klons and the previously mentioned Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacques van Erven.

No tracklist. Unindexed.

From the Collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Get it HERE if you're not a performing monkey!

Friday, 27 November 2020

Various Artists - Passions Organiques Vol.3 - Instrumentaux -1987- (Cassette, Organic Tapes), France


The Passions Organiques volumes were a series of international home-taping compilations created by the French Organic Tapes label from Grenoble during the 80's. For the most part the compilations contain electronic, industrial and minimalistic ambient sounds with a slight emphasis on French acts. However the Organic label also published many international musicians and created special releases around certain countries like the great Polish Road cassettes that I posted some time ago. The less fortunate dimension of the releases by Organic Tapes is the poor sound quality. There is a lot of hiss on these tapes and the sound volume changes each track. Nevertheless these compilations were assembled with a lot of care and there are some true pearls to be heard that don't appear on any other release.

Passions Organiques Vol.3 - Instrumentaux is a nice electronic home-taping journey gathering some household names of the international cassette network like Los Paranos (FR), Marzidovsek (YU), In Aeternam Vale (FR), The Dead Goldfish Ensemble (UK) and Pacific 231 (FR) but it also gives attention to even lesser known acts. The cassette came out together with Volume 4 of the series in a large VHS case, but I decided to post both cassettes seperately, so the other volume will come to the blog somewhere in the future.

As said, not really desirable sound quality, but nevertheless some nice minimal synth, industrial and ambient electronic tracks. You can find Volume 1 of the series over at Tape Attack

Kindly donated by the Y Create Archive

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Saturday, 21 November 2020

Ex Cathedra - Caedimus Noctu -198X- (Cassette, Regicide Bureau Tapes), US

Ex Cathedra was a home-taping project from Overland, Saint Louis, Missouri created by Thomas Sutter. As founder of the Regicide Bureau (both a music project and a label) Sutter released numerous cassettes throughout the 80's and 90's. He was also in the projects Next Radio and Drive!Hesaid and collaborated on various occassions with Berlin based musician M. Finnkrieg.

On this third cassette by Ex Cathedra we hear two side-long pieces of electronic experimentation, surrealistic collage, layered noises and other strange phenomena. It presents a mind-scrambling sonic experience and cocktail of weird sounds revealing the pure spirit of home-taping experimentation. No music standards or external music industry interferences play a part. If anything Ex Cathedra loops mainstream media and existing music back into the trip turning and twisting around the roles of power and influences. Those expressions can be serious, but often also contain some humour and fun elements. In the second piece there is a nice fragment of Kraftwerk's Pocket Calculator to be heard for example.

Another home-taping cassette that contains nice mind-bending electronic surrealist music that frees music-as-a-formula from its confined existence.

Kindly donated by the Y Create Archive

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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Dustbin Silence - Untitled -1985- (Square Wheel Cassettes), Netherlands

                                                  Dustbin Silence in Brussels, 1983

Dustbin Silence was a short-lived (1982-1985) jazz, noise and improvisation trio from Rotterdam that was formed by Han van Hulzen, ErikWard Geerlings and Henri van Zanten. Han van Hulzen was also part of the new wave group Corridor des Affaires during that time and Henri van Zanten is also known as a (sound) poet in his own right. 

Dustbin Silence, however, was connected to the Rotterdam based Jazzbunker scene that existed around the legendary Jazzbunker venue which functioned as a home for Dutch and international improvisation, jazz and rock in opposition. During the 80's Rotterdam had numerous special bands that created diverse styles out of a blend of new wave, jazz, home-taping and improvisation. Some of them were also performing at the Jazzbunker. Bands from Rotterdam from those times are a.o. Dull Schicksal, Nine Tobs, The Black Sheep, Kiem, Kontakt Mikrofoon Orkest, Niew Hip Stilen, Debiele Eenheid and many others.

On this cassette by Dustbin Silence we hear a recording from the Jazzbunker, but there are also pieces recorded elsewhere in The Netherlands. It gives a nice impression of the group's live recordings:  gloomy atmospheres combining free improvised sounds with punk poetry in Dutch and English. It reminds me of industrial performance art groups sounds of the 80's of which the live recordings resemble much more of a document of a scene than perfectly composed tracks. The Berlin band Sprung Aus Den Wolken sometimes created such a feel for example.

In any case here's another interesting cassette hailing from the Rotterdam improvisation scene of the 80's.

From the Collection Allard Pierson/NPI

Get it HERE