Saturday 30 November 2013

Rasta Robert - 60 x '90 -19XX- (Tape), Holland

First of all: This is not Reggae... Nor even Dub. Rasta Robert is an obscure figure, part of the dutch home-taping culture. One of his releases from 1986 can be found here. The first song on that cassette is called "Almelo Klerestad" which means something like "Almelo Shit-City": he must be from there. It's a weird example of how neo-hippie-ism with some rastafari flirtation can be intermingled with a DIY and punk attitude. Rasta Robert was also featured on the Dutch compilation Transistors & Chips / E-Lok 1111 alongside other acts like Dier, Absolute Body Control, Doc Wör Mirran and Kapotte Muziek.

But I guess Rasta Robert never really felt at place amongst the Dutch DIY noise/industrial tapers. This release that we have here really shows a complete other type of sound. I don't know when it was released, but I assume it was during the early or mid-nineties. Rasta Robert also had his own website at the beginning of the 00's adressing things from snare theory to Albert Hofmann, which is a quite good illustration of trying to understand the figure of Rasta Robert. Also he seems somewhat related to the Dutch hippie village Ruigoord near Amsterdam that was squatted in the seventies.I don't know how many copies of this cassette were made, but I guess just a couple.

The music is weird electronics combined with early nineties new age and ethno influences (complete with didgeridoo pieces, bird sounds and such). It's really crazy actually and pretty good, a sort of neue-dada-ethno-welle if you like. Other comparable acts that come to mind soundwise are If, Bwana and Rimarimba, although they are far better known and from their context probably not really comparable. It also sounds a bit like of some of the releases on Dutch home-taping label Zimbo. The most accurate description that I can give in respect to the sound is this: imagine you're at a small local neo-psychedelic hippie-festival where during the night you would have psytrance dance parties. You'd probably look for a place with something more decent to experience. Suddenly you'd walk in somewhere where a guy with minimalistic equipment would actually do something interesting live and you'd be gladdened to have found this. As for the rest: you'd probably wouldn't want to know the act's name.

Get the tape HERE