Sunday, 19 January 2020

Roy G. Biv - Yellow -1980- (Tape, Self-Released), Netherlands

Roy G. Biv (Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet) was the home-taping project and sound & color improvisation band of Dutch musician and visual artist Robin Deirkauf who sadly passed away last year. I think the first tapes were solo-projects and later the project was joined by Edward Vunderink (guitars, voice) and Frans Evers (keyboards). Yellow is one of the first three tapes by Roy G. Biv from 1980 and just like some of Conrad Schnitzler's work it was dedicated to a specific color. The band also did a red and a blue cassette (I have never seen or heard the blue one). Here's a brief and interesting biography I found on Deirkauf's personal website:

"In his early childhood Deirkauf grew up in the Caribbean, where his father was an antiques dealer, mainly specialized in African and Asiatic art. The exotic colorful underwater world at that time and the antiques has had a profound influence on his later drawings and paintings.

Sign, symbol and script are recurring elements in his sometimes eclectic work, it is characterized by ancient, primordial pictoral power, mixed with modern constructivist elements and bright colors. After this period he turned to a more formal and conceptual way of analizing the image, resulting in the development of a matrix used to create a pictographic alphabet consisting of primary colors and forms.

During the late 70's and early 80's Deirkauf founded the experimental sound and color improvisation group  Roy G. Biv for the realization of the multimedia art project phase III with Edward Vunderink and Frans Evers, what resulted in 10 music albums."

Roy G. Biv's Yellow tape is a great improvised jam-session like endeavour of cosmic electronic soundscapes reminding me of Krautrock groups from the 70's like Agitation Free, Ash Ra Tempel and other Manuel Göttsching works. It's also highly influenced by minimal music and because of the color themes, the Conrad Schnitzler analogy remains a given ofcourse. Not too often do the early home-taping cassettes from The Netherlands lean more towards the psychedelic and cosmic electronic side of the musical spectrum instead of the more commonly found industrial or minimal synth tapes from those times.

It's nice to find out about the existence of different and more cosmic music from Amsterdam from a time when half of the city was filled with squats with punks and new wave had already arrived both in fashion and music. I suppose Roy G. Biv shows the musical transition from the 70's with its psychedelic sounds to the DIY sound approach of the 80's and carries both decades in its spirit. Maybe that approach is also interwoven into the story of the Dutch wave and ultra band Mekanik Kommando that later turned into the psychedelic group The Use of Ashes.

Most of the Roy G. Biv albums were uploaded on No Longer Forgotten Music some time ago. Wonderful stuff. And ofcourse rest in peace Robin Deirkauf. Maybe some reissues have to be done in his memory.

The red tape will also be uploaded to the blog one day.

Get it HERE

Friday, 10 January 2020

Detachment / McMarian - Cienie (Shadows) -1988- (Tape, A.R.S.), US/Poland

Here's another obscurity from the Polish home-taping circuit from behind the Iron Curtain. This time it's a split-cassette between the American act Detachment created by Craig Coe from Dayton, Ohio recorded between '86 and '88 and McMarian one of Poland's great industrial home-taping acts created by Marcin Bednarski and Piotr Kalinowski from the city Kraków.

It's an interesting fact that this isn't just a Polish cassette and that the members of McMarian were somehow able to share and receive music material over the borders of the socialist state, even if the political system was in its very last stage before the collapse. The Polish home-taping scene had been created by necessity since these type of bands were unable to release their music officially, nevertheless one can see that they did have ties with the international cassette culture. Cienie, meaning shadows, is a vivid example of this mechanism, that through its "secret" distribution had much more meaning than just having a taste for particular music. It's part of an unclassifiable almost non-existing area where art opened up a place for individuals who could gain some autonomy through their marginalized practices to counter the political and cultural programming of the totalitarian regime.

I can't find much info on the Detachment project from the US, but it somehow reminds me of the minimal synth sounds of Patrick Gibson from Australia. A very nice combination of experimental sounds and rhythmic industrial minimal synth. The tracks by McMarian have an even stronger foundation in rhythmic industrial music creating loops of manipulated rhythms in combination with samples. Specially the last tracks on the tape remind me of the primitive era of Esplendor Geométrico from Spain or the early Australian industrial act Mesh.

Actually the music is quite nice, unfortunately it's buried under a thick layer of white noise. I tried to digitize this several times to get a better sound (dolby, no dolby, equalizing etc.), until I found out it will just turn out to be like this. With renaming files and cutting I've spent four hours on this tape. The opening track by Detachment also starts low in volume and then starts to peak later on. Anyway, that's one of the things with those obscure tapes from Eastern Europe from the 80's, the quality is not that high. But because of its background and totally different cultural and technical circumstances the music should be appreciated in its lo-fi nature as a testament of the underground. It actually sounds better directly from cassette, as if the music has become one with its medium.

This tape was limited to 50 copies.

Kindly donated by the Y Create archive

Get it HERE

Monday, 6 January 2020

Angst - De Witte Villa -1980's- (Cassette, Geef Appel Neem Chocolade/Kubus Kassettes), Belgium

Angst was a project by Flemish writer, poet and musician Erik Vloeberghs (in this case in collaboration with Herbert Alkali). He also did projects such as The Firing-Squad, Kwajongens In Bloei and The Parts. Vloeberghs was closely related to the Antwerp based industrial and interdisciplinary art group Club Moral. Frequently he contributed to their art-zine/fanzine called Force Mental. His musical subjects mostly dealt with excess in all kind of forms adapted into musical concepts. The whole Club Moral sphere is known to have explored the extremes of human nature and deviant human behaviour within society, both in cathartic experience and conceptualization, a bit in a similar way to what industrial and power electronics groups like Whitehouse, Ramleh or Consumer Electronics did in England. Just somewhat less uniformic in sound (noise) with more influences from literary poetry and visual arts including performative aspects and multimedia elements.

De Witte Villa (The White Villa) is a cassette that came out both in Belgium and Holland,  respectively on the Belgian Geef Appel Neem Chocolade and Dutch Kubus Kassettes cassette labels. It takes a villa as its core reference, perhaps because the music was played at a villa during an intensive stayover (since the last field recorded track is called 'In The Kitchen of The White Villa'), perhaps because Vloeberghs used it as an aristocratic concept as another point of reference in the light of deviance and excess of society in let's say a Marquis De Sade type of setting. In any case, the music starts with Italian, maybe Napolitan song, mixed through distorted radio noise. Next up is a sort of minimal home-taping Marxist 'introduction to capitalism' explaining how human production powers lead to different classes in society and that capitalist fatalism causes tragedy in the face of nature as well as alienation of the self. The tape continuously thrives upon primitive field recordings with an industrial sound approach of eeriness and noise.

Some of the music is reminiscent of Italian industrial projects like the hyper-obscure work by Stefano Tamburini or the industrial group Tasaday. The field recording aspect of home-taping taking place as an integrated part of daily life also reminds me of music primitivists like the Gefährliche Klons I posted before on the blog. De Witte Villa is another rarity of the Belgian home-taping scene that didn't fear to sonically self-investigate and integrate darker subject matters into the recordings.

This tape was kindly donated by the Y Create archive

Get it HERE

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Various Artists - Bijna 2000 Jaar Geleden -1983- (Cassette, A.E.D. EMI Bovenmaats), Netherlands

Merry Christmas and an Archaic New Decade to all friends and followers of the blog!

Wait a second, is that Jesus? Portrayed as a punk? Well, that will always be a bit of a tricky analogy within punk circles and beyond. But anyhow! Bijna 2000 Jaar Geleden (Translated: Almost 2000 years ago) is a rare Dutch (hardcore) punk compilation from the first hour compiling different punk bands from smaller cities of The Netherlands. It was released by the Volendam based punk label Anti-Esthetische Dienst (anti-esthetic service) created by Niels de Wit who is also compiled on this cassette with his band Gepøpel.

Ironically Volendam, of all places in the Netherlands, is actually mostly known for the worst of the worst commercial sound of Dutch schlager pop-music of which I won't give any examples here. It's a tricky and fairly untrue statement but I would say that most real and influential punk from The Netherlands from the early days did not come from the big cities, but more so from small places. The Ex, one of Holland's most important real anarcho-punk groups also partially came from the village of Wormer, which tells us something.

Bijna 2000 Jaar Geleden came out as the alternative Christmas gift for the whole family for the end of the year holidays of 1983. It mostly consists of live recordings of punk bands that either sing in Dutch or English. The songs have typical punk subjects like anti-religion, anti-establishment and the opposal of the average daily life in society. Short and simple tracks often badly recorded as they should have been. One of the highlights is the track "Kortjakje" which is a famous Dutch children's song about Kortjakje, a poor and maybe alcoholic woman who is always ill throughout the week except for Sundays when she goes to church. The punks invert the plot of the song in the booklet and ask the question: why can't Kortjakje be ill on Sundays?!

This cassette came with an extensive booklet containing DIY collage, visual information on the lyrics of each band and ofcourse some drawings on the Christmas theme. As always I added the scans to the file below. This is another nice relic from the Dutch punk scene. More of the A.E.D. label and dozens of early Dutch punk tapes can be found in the No Longer Forgotten Music archive (it requires some searching).

Get it HERE


What an amazing ride it was musically in 2019. In terms of material it looks very bright for the blog in the next year. I might even have larger opportunities coming that would lead to a great amount of treasures of obscure music but we have to wait how that unfolds. But even now I can almost not believe some of the stuff that still lies around here, so I'm generally content. A decade ago when I was a teenager I was dreaming of creating a blog like Archaic Inventions and the surprising thing about it is that I managed to make it happen somehow.

An additional music discourse that I want to introduce to the blog in the next year is a.o. the attention for the underground origins of dance music, to retrace some of its autonomously conquered components and explore a bit of the ethics away from what became part or has always been part of the new era of neoliberal gentrified club culture. Also I felt I had to bring some more punk music to the equation as you can see, because I find that the music zeitgeist has been marginalizing some of the important DIY functions lately compulsively changing the view on the so-called creative conditions for a praiseworthy piece of music to exist. It's a tendency that also divides certain musical genres from their often common origins and polarizes the music scene more than it brings people together. The world has changed.

I'm working on a couple of reissues with great (reissue) labels (Discos Transgénero, StroomTV,  Futura Resistenza etc.) writing liner notes for them (more on that soon). Also I will publish a cassette of my own music (old and new) soon in the beginning of the next year and hopefully another album later on. Maybe I have one or two other surprises up my monkey sleeve. Anyway, I'm just doing what I can do, or something like that. I just want to say much love to you all and I'm grateful to all you listeners out there. And grateful for all you talented people in and out of music! Also for the great amount of creativity on the upperground, but realize that the underground has to receive some sustainable care too. Really more than ever.

So ofcourse (far away from this blog) a special thank you to the marginalized music multitude, the people showing local resistance, music activists and the unpaid or the unruly who keep organizing events and concerts, who are making their unorthodox music, who keep pushing under difficult circumstances. Keep it weird and feel comfort in the fact that you feel that you don't want to uphold an image publically (online), we're all connected.

A last special thanks to all the music blogs out there still doing what they do best. It's a huge effort, in free time, for the love of music. Respect!

Kitartás! See you in 2020!

Bence - AI

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Earth's Epitaph - Child's Play -1985- (Cassette, Bedroom Recordings), Wales

Earth's Epitaph were an anarcho new wave and post-punk group from the surroundings of the city of Cwmbran in the South of Wales created by Chris, Ray and Jayne. The band was formed inspired by bands like Crass and Siouxsie And The Banshees to which the members had been listening for years before starting their own band. Earth's Epitaph recorded two 'official' demo's of which Child's Play is their second one. They also contributed some songs to a couple of compilations during the mid-eighties.

The music of Earth's Epitaph has a more conventional new-wave sound, but is definitely rooted in the same political UK anarcho punk spirit of bands like Crass, The Apostles or Omega Tribe. Songs are criticizing the English government, injustices of society and politics driven by themes of environmentalism, animal rights, anti-apartheid and anti-fascism. The songs are somewhat reminiscent of the Young Marble Giants or of Dutch new wave band Qua Dance I posted a long time ago.

Child's Play was issued with a DIY fanzine on their music, political standpoints, vegetarian and vegan cooking recipes and interviews with other Welsh wave and post-punk bands from in and around the scene like The Enid, The Housemartins and Balaam And The Angel. Ofcourse I included scans of the fanzine to the file below.

Earth's Epitaph is another band that cared to involve their malcontentedness with social inequality, capitalism and environment in their music, based on the basic punk principle that starting a band doesn't take much. I might upload their first demo cassette in the future.

Get it HERE

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Seafood - Bait -1998- (CD, Link Beat), Netherlands

What we have here is a great obscure 90's release from Holland. Seafood was a short-lived group that consisted of four jazz and improvisation musicians based in The Netherlands: Canadian musician Alan Laurillard (saxophone, voice and sampler) and Dutch musicians JB Bollen (violin, voice, sampler, synthesizer), Michiel Scheen (voice, synthesizer) and Chander Sardjoe (percussion). All of them were heavily involved in the Dutch jazz and improvisation scene and have been releasing numerous albums throughout the years. Chander Sardjoe also collaborated with the Belgian ethno-avant-jazz trio Aka Moon around the same time when Seafood was active.

Seafood's Bait came out in 1998 in limited quantities on CD with a fishhook with coloured feathers attached to its cover and a small plastic fish in the jewel case. The group described their music in the booklet: 

Seafood is a new music group that creates a synthesis between culture and subculture, between improvisation and academism, between small brains and underbelly. Result: House-Techno-Hardcore-New Music-Jazz-Impro-Drum and Bass-Fusion.

Definitely an accurate description. This is a musical adventure that blends in so much musical talent and styles from worlds far beyond that I slowly realize that this could be one of the greatest albums from The Netherlands from the 90's in general.

Each track on the album is composed by one of the four musicians of the group. Seafood inventively tie together humoristic improvisation, future jazz, sample-mania and different electronic dance music styles into something of mind-boggling alien creation of almost Boredoms proportions. It's also reminiscent of Uwe Schmidt's (Atom TM) Lisa Carbon project of the 90's where latin jazz and rhythms were blended with electronic instruments and dance music. Obviously there are more examples of that 90's musical realm that often got labelled Future Jazz or Nu-Jazz back in those days, but this came to mind.

Moreover, Seafood is what I imagine to be the future sound of what great Dutch bands like Niew Hip Stilen or Kiem had been playing a decade earlier. This is some far out stuff! Another very little known album from Holland that deserves more attention!

Get it HERE

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Various Artists - Sleepy -1980's- (Cassette, Self-Released), US

Here is another great tape from the home-taping cassette network, this time from the US. It's quite an unknown one that compiles 25 different artists from various genres with home-taping tracks created around the theme of sleep. Yes: sleep, dreams, snores, lullabies and other sleepytime sounds that are meant to keep you awake or to put you to deep hypnotizing sleep.

As for the artists I'd say that some of them are to be found more regularly on US home-taping cassettes like the mind-warping The Evolution Control Committee that came from North-Canton, Ohio or Hermanos Guzanos from Fairfax, California. But about most of the acts I have no clue who they were. I also don't know who released this compilation, how many were made or when it was exactly released.

Another interesting cassette in the typical American home-taping style, with lots of silliness, humor, cool electrified tracks, pop songs and experimental sounds. A perfect soundtrack to the time of hibernation during this winter that is commencing! Zzzzzzzz

Get it HERE