Thursday 24 December 2015

Trumpett's Play & Dance Choir - Somewhere in This Milky Way -1983- (New Year Cassingle EP, Trumpett 0022), Netherlands

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

This special New Year's cassette EP came out in 1983 on the legendary Dutch minimal synth label Trumpett. Trumpett is home to some of the best Dutch synth acts from the early eighties like Freakowitz and Einstein, Ende Shneafliet, Doxa Sinistra, The Actor and many more amazing pseudonym minimal synth acts by people on the label. Personally it's also one of my own favorite record labels. 

Due to the many side-projects featured on the label, Trumpett sometimes published special releases on certain holidays. This cassette came out for Christmas and New Year in 1983 and was published as a  Christmas card. It contains three absolutely amazing minimal synth tracks in a Christmas fashion. The first side contains the Christmas song The New Little Drummer Boy, which talks about a drummer boy who is forgotten on Christmas day. The second side of the tape has an amazing take on Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer called Rudolph the Rednosed Alien with a vocoder(!). The last song Twinklin' Stars under a Bloodred Sky is a great instrumental Christmas-synth (minimal X-mas) gem. This was posted before, but here is the original cassette. This stuff must be the greatest Christmas music ever. Really.

Get it HERE 

Because of this New Year's post I'd like to take this opportunity to celebrate the underground music blogosphere that roughly exists for a decade now. The Thing On The Doorstep for example is already here since 2006 (congratulations!). Although most of the great music blogs started out in 2007, a year before people had already been engaged in other platforms and it can be viewed as the starting point for most of the alternative music blogs. Some time ago I wrote an article in Knik (magazine of Amsterdam's best underground venue OCCII) about my blog and other strange music blogs and their importance (I might upload that one day). If you just think about how much music history has been rewritten these last ten years and how much forgotten music has been saved, given its deserved attention and has been rereleased it's pretty impressive. Just take this last year and take a look at some of the reissued artists scattered over labels:

Krozier and The Generator, Second Layer, Bernard Fevre, Max Vincent, Aksak Maboul, Heldon, Älgarnas Trädgård, Thi-Tho, Semool, Egisto Macchi, Eela Craig, Pekka Airaksinen, Moral, Van Kaye & Ignit, Ilitch, Bruce Ditmas, Wapassou, Ton Steine Scherben, Vía Láctea, Muslimgauze, L. Voag, Twilight Ritual, Jean Guérin, Wolfgang Dauner's Group, Syntoma, Sogmusobil, Piero Umiliani, Family Fodder, Franco Leprino, Proyecto A, Alvaro, Nuno Canavarro, Popol Vuh, Haku, Lena Platonos, Intersystems, The Cravats, Milan Knizak, Richard Bone, Mariah, Bourbonese Qualk and many many more (just to name a few). 

That's a serious list of reissues coming out every year. It's getting hard to keep up! Also a great deal of this music used to be completely unknown some years ago. It means that we still have a group of people in these mad times pushing forward all of this innovative and totally ahead of its time music. Everyone involved in this shaping of music history and preserving cultural expression is greatly appreciated. Great work for the artists, new generations, history, anything. Aside from that I want to say that there is a lot of incredible new music as well at the moment!

Thanks to all involved in the music blogosphere for a decade! Happy New Year! And see you at the blog next month. I've got some great posts lined up as well as some unexpected donations!

Bence - AI

Saturday 12 December 2015

にんぷたい (I Want Pregnant Women) - Nymph -1987- (Cassingle, Elecuitel Records), Japan


So usually I don't really post stuff if I don't know what it is that I exactly share, but then again that really happens rarely. This is a Japanese cassingle from 1987 of a band which name would be more suitable for some sort of Japanese harsh-noise project. I translated the Japanese band name and found out it meant I Want Pregnant Women, what to think of such a band name? Anyway, it turned out that this is everything but harsh-noise: the music is strange kawai Japanese new-wave pop or something like that.

The three song-cassette contains the song Nymph in two different versions and a cool weird late eighties electronic track with drumcomputers. The only thing I know is that this was released by the Elecuitel label in Japan, which also published the great Dali-Soli flexi disc (might be the same group) that was presented years ago on Habit of Sex, a blog specialized in Japanese underground music. I recommend you -if you haven't done it yet- to walk through the archives of the Habit of Sex and Stalking Duppi blogs to discover endless great recordings from the Japanese eighties underground.

UPDATE: Thanks to a follower of the blog I now know that the sound engineer was Masaharu Tanigawa who made a strange record in the early eighties and also played on the first Ché-SHIZU album. Also the band consisted of about five people playing different instruments. Check out the comments for more information.

Get it HERE

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Qua Dance - Same -198X- (Cassette), Netherlands

Qua Dance was a new wave band from the Dutch city of Groningen. They existed from 1981 to 1984 and consisted of Huib Westerbaan (bass), Roel Steenbeek (drums), Kees Douma (guitar) and Marieke Smit (vocals). They released one single in 1982 on the Frisian Top Hole Records which was posted a long time ago here and to be heard here. Also someone wrote a small article on Qua Dance over here.

This cassette might be from 1981, because bands tend to self release their material before they get picked up by any record label. It's a cassette-only EP release that contains five different tracks. As for the music: I guess you could say that this was one out of the thousands of obscure little bands worldwide that arose in the wake of new wave music in the early eighties. Qua Dance has a sound that fits right in with all the Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure or X-Mal Deutschland type of influential wave bands. Nevertheless, they do sound quite dark, minimalistic and use electronic sounds, but overall they do make pop songs. It's not entirely groundbreaking, but I'm sure people investigating every small wave band from the eighties are going to be happy with this (especially from Holland).

Get it HERE

Saturday 7 November 2015

VA - Risonanze/3 - Evocazioni Musicali di Temi Biblici -1979- (Tape, Edizione Paoline), Italy

After Risonanze 2 which was posted earlier on the blog, here we have the third and last in the series. Risonanze was published through papal record label Paoline from the Vatican and was based on biblical themes. The composers of the music were Ennio Morricone, Egisto Macchi, Gino Marinuzzi, Armando Trovaioli, Miriam Bordoni and Luigi Zito. These compositions were surely not primarily created as biblical themes, but gathered for this particular series and perhaps renamed. I'm sure most pieces are a lot older than 1979 as well. Very strange music history indeed.

If I compare the two Risonanze volumes I think that the first one is a bit more diverse and less classical in its approach. This one sticks far more to some sort of traditional biblical theme than the other. The pieces tend more towards classical and folk music, but nevertheless create imaginitave cinematographical atmospheres. Some of the songs have electronic sounds, whilst others have choirs of sacral voices. Ofcourse many of these Italian composers are undoubtedly some of the best in existence so this is beautiful music. Who has volume one of the series?

Get it HERE

Donated by Kim

Also wanted to say that these coming months I will have some truly in-cre-di-ble posts coming and you will love it! Stay tuned!

Saturday 24 October 2015

Theo Loevendie Consort - Chess! -1972- (LP, BASF), Netherlands

This record is most likely the first real jazz album I've put on the blog so far, but it's a real classic in its genre. Theo Loevendie is a Dutch jazz clarinetist and composer and has been one of the key figures in Dutch jazz and improvisation since the sixties. In the early seventies Loevendie created two albums under the name Theo Loevendie Consort: Chess and Mandela (both have been reissued on a CD which is also out of print).

The Theo Loevendie Consort is basically a Dutch supergroup of jazz and impro musicians. The group consisted of trombonist Willem van Manen, icon of Dutch jazz: saxophonist Hans Dulfer, bass clarinet wizard Harry Sparnaay (to be found on this blog), pianist Leo Cuypers, bass player Arjen Gorter, saxophonist Leo van Oostrom and drummer Martin van Duynhoven (who was also in Group 1850, one of the best psychedelic Dutch bands from the sixties and seventies). You can find all these musicians on countless albums over at Inconstant Sol, as well as more Loevendie stuff.

Chess! is an important album in the Dutch (free)jazz realm, but to my personal taste not the best effort you'd expect from a supergroup like this. I suppose it was hard for them to find the right balance between their melody foundations and free jazz outburst and the space everyone had within that division. But then again maybe that's exactly what they tried to do according to the liner notes, namely:  "Anthitheses, depicting a fight between worn-out traditions and the modern improvisation approach". For example the first piece chess is a nice combination of a simple happy melody and free jazz. The piece brasilia combines a Brazilian-like melody with chaotic saxophone bursts. All in all the whole is a cool example of Dutch free jazz and does grasp the groovy spirit of that particular time in Holland. Maybe it's just that one has too high expectations being confronted with a supergroup of this degree.

Get it HERE

Friday 9 October 2015

Storm Bugs - Gift -1981- (Tape, Snatch Tapes), UK

This here is the third and last cassette by the great UK experimental electronic DIY home-taping duo Storm Bugs. Storm Bugs was formed in 1978 in London, by Philip Sanderson and Steven Ball. Between 1978-81 Storm Bugs released 3 cassettes on the Snatch Tapes label and two 7-inch records: the Table Matters EP and the Metamorphose single. Storm Bugs created music comparable to bands like Throbbing Gristle or early Cabaret Voltaire. Snatch Tapes is a prime example of the British DIY sound of the late seventies and early eighties and gained a legendary status among fans of the experimental home-taping culture. It also released the first David Jackman (aka Organum) cassettes. You should read this piece written on UK cassette culture by Philip Anderson himself.

Although most of the Storm Bugs and Snatch Tapes material has been reissued, this cassette contains unrereleased tracks. With that being said I strongly recommend you to support Storm Bugs and Snatch Tapes related music by purchasing it at their bandcamp or at VOD. More Snatch Tapes stuff here and here.


Tuesday 22 September 2015

Various Artists - Opus '71 -1971- (LP, Radio Nederland), Netherlands

After Opus '70 which I posted a while ago here's Opus '71, another showcase of modern composed Dutch composition this time from the year 1971. The Opus series started out in the mid-sixties and went on all the way to the end of the eighties. They were promotional copies send to foreign radio stations to show contemporary developments in Dutch music. For this reason every composition has an introduction in English. The Opus series were not regularly for sale which makes them quite hard to find.

The featured composers on Opus '71 are Ton de Leeuw, Peter Schat, Jan Vriend and David Porcelijn. Their pieces are quite freeform and spacious resulting in unexpected sound movements and strange sonorous adventures. I like these compositions because I can listen to them in a less rigid way than regular classical music because of their improvisational components. Also due to the use of electronic instruments and electric guitars in some of the pieces a multi-layered sound is created. Especially programme 2 is very weird and takes on some strange imaginative conceptual ideas in music which you can read about on the insert.

It's remarkable that even here in Holland there isn't that much public interest or exposure for this type of Dutch music and composition. The Opus series create a great opportunity to dig into the surprising world of Dutch modern composed music of which many compositions are already quite forgotten.

Get it HERE

Saturday 5 September 2015

Édouard Magrin-Sofreson - Essai Sonore Sur L'Érotisme -19XX- (10 Inch, Private Pressing), France

This is a French 10 inch record based on the theme eroticism. It came out in limited quantities in a gatefold red linnen cover. I suspect this record to come out of the early sixties, although it hints towards the fifties too with its sleeve, also the music could have been made much earlier. I can't find any additional information about the artist Édouard Magrin-Sofreson nor about the release date.

On this Musical Essay on Eroticism Magrin-Sofreson wants to cover sounds associated with eroticism and human nature in a very ritualistic manner. The music is a sexual evocative trip of two long pieces comprised of primitive drumming, sounds of birds and nature, gentle electronic sounds, Brazilian carnaval rhythm and ofcourse some stirring female heavy breathing. I guess you could call this a library record, but I think that this is much more a concept album than just some sounds one could use for generic applied purposes. Actually the whole intention and sound reminds me a lot of ritualistic industrial groups of the eighties that had a large emphasis on sexual magick, like Sleep Chamber, Psychic TV or Coil. Maybe this can be seen as some sort of predecessor of such musical intentions.

On the inner part of the sleeve Magrin-Sofreson points out that a lot of (French) artists, poets, philosophers, authors etc. have always been fascinated and engaged with the theme of love and eroticism throughout history. From the work of Marquis de Sade, to the work of poets like Guillaume Apollinaire to the philosophy of Georges Bataille (who wrote specifically about eroticsm), almost all of these expressions had enormous influences on popular and non-popular culture. They sought attention for the understanding of human nature and its relation so sex, love or eroticism and their transcendental qualities for human beings.

Get it HERE

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Various Artists - Fragment 2 -1985- (Cassette, Eksakt 014), Netherlands

After Fragment 1 that I posted not so long ago here is the second Fragment compilation created by Tilburg based label Eksakt (more info about Eksakt in the previous post). Just like the first one it contains some previously released and unreleased tracks combined with ethnographic recordings. This release came with a screen-printed artwork with cartoon-dogs as well. A similar dog became the logo for Eksakt on their other releases.

The most notable Dutch group present on this sampler is Kiem. Kiem came from Rotterdam and combined jazz influences with analog synthesizer electro and strong rhythmic elements. Rotterdam has one of the biggest ports of Europe and Kiem used these characteristic elements and sounds in their music. They created three albums which are absolutely amazing and pretty easy to get still. Their self-titled first is probably their best. Other Dutch figures on here are Eric Toornend, a member of post-punk group Exploiting The Prophets from Tilburg (also present on Fragment 1) and Toon Bressor who was in one of Holland's best groups from the eighties called Nasmak.

Dutch Artist and musician Jacques van Erven contributes a piano track and Dutch jazz-bass player Niko Langenhuysen does some solo tracks too. Langenhuysen used to be in the Tilburg based jazz group Groep Ohm in the early seventies and his album Hypo from 1984 is a real gem. Lastly there are post-punk tracks by obscure German band Les Autres and French band General Inconnu and a couple of ethnographic recordings from Indonesia and Sri lanka.

This is actually a great compilation with lots of hard to find tracks and also another piece of Dutch underground from the eighties.

Get it HERE

Saturday 8 August 2015

Guus Janssen - On The Line -1980- (LP, Claxon), Netherlands

Guus Janssen (Heiloo, 1951) is a Dutch composer and pianist. He is a somewhat lesser known figure coming from the Dutch free improvisation and jazz scene. Janssen is known to approach music in a very open way and to blur the borders of  musical genres like classical, jazz, impro or popular music. He is a frequent member of the famous Dutch impro-jazz ICP Orchestra. Since the early seventies he has been collaborating with most of the renowned Dutch improvisation musicians like Harry Sparnaay, Theo Loevendie, Han Bennink, Ab Baars and others. Nowadays Janssen is still involved in many musical projects.

On this album Janssen displays his solo piano improvisation efforts. There are lots of unexpected piano movements and manoeuvres present combined with pieces written by himself. On The Line came out on the great Dutch record label of improvised music Claxon which featured a.o. records by Michel Waisvisz, Maarten Altena and Moniek Toebosch. All of that stuff is really worth it to check out and a must for fans of Dutch impro music.

Get it HERE

Sunday 26 July 2015

Juan Carlos Nuñez y José Ignacio Cabrujas - Same -1980- (LP, Private Pressing), Venezuela

This record here is a contemporary composed avant-garde album from Venezuela. It was created by one of Venezuela's most important modern composers Juan Carlos Nuñez and the famous playwright and one of Latin America's most important telenovela writers José Ignacio Cabrujas. Among Cabrujas' work are soap opera adaptations for the famous Venezuelan novels Doña Bárbara and Canaima written by Venezuelan writer (and once president) Rómulo Gallegos. It's interesting that men so famous created this pretty unconventional musical piece. During this album Nuñez leads the orchestra and plays the piano and synthesizer, whilst Cabrujas wrote the lyrics.

The album is a thematic homage to the city Caracas and showcases a combination of spoken word poetry, modern composed pieces, latin motives and invocative sound impressions. Some of the pieces contain Venezuelan instruments like the cuatro. It sheds light in an impressionistic and unconventional way on the daily life of Caracas but also shows its profound depth and the serenity that lives underneath the city's hectic character. Ofcourse this particular feeling lives on in today's Caracas as well.

The first side is a bit crackly, but this is quite impossible to find in any condition I'd say, mainly because of its limited copies.

Get it HERE

Saturday 18 July 2015

Unknown Artist - White Dove -1980's- (Cassingle, Ding Dong Disk), Netherlands

This here is a very obscure cassette single from the early eighties on the legendary Dutch minimal synth and home-taping label Ding Dong. Ding Dong was from the city of Arnhem and was created by Van Kaye & Ignit. It had acts like Bene Gesserit, Legendary Pink Dots, André de Saint-Obin o.a. on it and published some legendary compilations like Turkish Delight.

The band on this cassette is totally unkown to me, but it contains two versions of the track White Dove, one with vocals and an instrumental version (which I like even better).The song is a great fuzzy synth wave track with some nice non-electric percussion. The instrumental version ends with a humoristic sketch in Dutch which was apparently recorded at the beach of Zandvoort.

It might have been an unreleased demo of some sort. The cover art seems to be a cut-up of André de Saint-Obin's Sound on Sound tape. Maybe he is related to this release? Who knows?

Get it HERE

Wednesday 8 July 2015

VA - Risonanze/2 - Evocazioni Musicali di Temi Biblici -1979- (Tape, Edizione Paoline), Italy

This cassette is a compilation of some of our favorite Italian composers (some of them were part of  Il Gruppo Nueva Consonanza): Egisto Macchi, Ennio Morricone, Giorgio Carnini, Alessandro Alessandroni, Sandro Brugnolini and Miriam Bordoni. Some of these composers are known for creating soundtrack and library music for great Italian (B-)movies from the sixties and seventies.This time a set of songs based on biblical themes was put together by papal record label Paoline which still exists today. So what exactly happened here?

Risonanze was a series of three based on biblical themes that came out both on cassette and vinyl. I think most of the songs existed before on other library records or albums by these composers. But somehow they got compiled together on this series to resemble biblical subjects and notions placed in a religious framework. Surely these recordings are older than 1979, but this cassette apparently came out late seventies (or at least the record according to Discogs).

It almost feels like this series was published as souvenirs from Vatican City or as some sort of religious paraphernalia just like a small statue or postcard. In any case, this series contains beautiful music and does create a sacral and sometimes serene atmosphere, although it also goes into freaky psychedelic music sometimes. Furthermore I know that during the early seventies lots of Italian records with a Christian concept leaning towards prog-rock, electronic music or folky stuff came out. If someone could point me out to some of the more interesting ones I'd be very happy.

Sadly we don't have the first volume of the series, but volume three will follow shortly! Stay tuned!

Get it HERE

Donated by Kim

Saturday 20 June 2015

áPolók - Kondásdiszkó -1998- (Cassette, Bahia), Hungary

After this very early material of áPolók (The Nurses) I posted about a year ago, here is a later release by these Hungarian musical cultfreaks from the city of Miskolc. The title of the cassette refers with the word 'Kondás' to an old Hungarian swineherd. So the title basically means "Pigmansdisco", which is very very Hungarian.

áPolók are not to be caught in some type of musical genre, they exceed the borders of music types so much that sometimes you have no clue how to pinpoint them. The music ranges, depending on the release, from punk to RIO to Techno. Kondásdiszkó is basically áPolók's satirical take on the new digital era when the first computer programs to make music became available for the masses. It's a totally absurd collage of video game music moving into proggy soundtrack quirkiness through bad equipment genius reminiscent of Japanese nineties dada 8-bit fuckery acts of Boredoms-minded weirdness.

One of the songs is called Török Ádám who is the frontman and flutist of one of Hungary's well known jazz and fusion bands Mini from the seventies. They named the song after him because their track happened to get into similar sounding realms. There is always a lot of intricate mockery within the Hungarian (music) culture present in the music of áPolók.

This is a very psychotic, yet amazing recording that ultimately makes your head explode. Moreover it's excellent music to accompany you during this summer. Get this next piece of the áPolók puzzle and great cassette from Hungary's underground now! Oh yeah, and the cassette inlay tells us not to put this tape into a CD-player or computer.


Update on Archaic Conventions (my other blog!):

Unfortunately I don't find the time to upload nice rarities or other weird releases and also write about them next to this blog. Therefore I will just start to upload that stuff to my Youtube Channel. This way I can uncover a lot more weird stuff while maybe write a line or two about it in the description box. If you need the file, just write me a message.

So if you haven't subscribed yet you can do it here.

Thanks - Bence

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Various Artists - Fragment 1 -1984- (Cassette, Eksakt 011), Netherlands

So my friend Kim and I were looking for records here in Amsterdam on Queen's Day (actually called King's Day now), which is a Dutch festivity taking place at the end of april to celebrate the monarchy in a very commercial format which is quite absurd in itself. The only positive thing is that the whole city turns into a huge flea market and everyone is aloud to sell their second hand stuff in front of their house door. By accident we stumbled upon a shoebox full of old home-taping cassette releases from the end of the seventies and early eighties (we could not believe its content!). Some of those tapes are available on the net, whilst others are quite obscure and will be posted on the blog (it actually started with last post already).

Eksakt Records hailed from the Dutch city of Tilburg and was part of the Dutch home-taping scene but also incorporated more jazz and ethnic types of music into a new wave paradigm. Some of their best releases consisted o.a. of Dutch group Nieuw Hip Stilen and French act Ptôse. Actually Eksakt was one of the more interesting labels from the Dutch eighties because of the blurring of musical borders, combining DIY attitude with musicians with a conservatory background and an interest in less attention targeted foreign countries.

They also published a couple cassette compilations to showcase their releases together with music of their own taste. This first fragment compilation was their first endeavour doing this. It comes with a screen-printed artwork with cartoon-dogs on it. Featured on this compilation are ethnographic recordings from Samoa as well as Tilburg based Post-Punk group Exploiting The Prophets, Amsterdam based Moluccan percussionist Zeth Mustamu and Dutch impro-jazz saxophonist Paul van Kemenade. Also on here is Ptôse and half Half Japanese musician Jad Fair. The whole is held together by excerpts by Peer Raben, who created numerous soundtracks for New German Cinema enfant terrible director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Actually most songs are taken from real releases by all these artists but as a compilation it makes it worth it anyway.

The second Fragment cassette will follow soon. On the artwork it says that you have to use noise reduction to listen to this. Unfortunately (or luckily) I don't have that on my cassette deck, so quite some white noise is apparent. Make sure you find your way into the whole Eksakt Records catalogue, because there is lots of interesting stuff!

Get it HERE

Friday 29 May 2015

Various Artists - On-Slaught No. 4 -1983- (Cassette, Idiosyncratics), US

This here is - I think - the last cassette of the On-Slaught compilations which is still not to be found on the web. Moreover it takes us back to the beginning of this blog with cassette releases from the early eighties DIY home taping scene (more similar stuff to follow soon). The On-Slaught volumes always consisted of some songs taken from proper album releases and previously unreleased tracks by the featured artists. All the other five On-Slaught compilations are to be found here and here. This time I will make an exception by quoting what Cranio of The Thing on The Doorstep tells us about the On-Slaught series because I couldn't do it more accurate:

On-Slaught magazine was founded by Jody Quirk (editor) in 1982 and published by Artwerk Records with the intent of bringing attention to unusual and experimental music. The first two issues had flexi-discs in them and were successful on a cult level and brought the magazine notoriety in the darker side of the budding New Wave music scene of the early 80s. However in 1983 Jody Quirk left the magazine in career pursuits and electronic musician Mark Lane assumed the role of editor. He was assisted by the graphic artist Julie Vlasak (now with Rhino Records). The two of them published four more issues of On-Slaught on the Idiosyncratics label as a cassette magazine. This not only allowed them to have more bands/artists participate, but also pushed them into the forefront of a by now flourishing worldwide cassette underground. The reader would listen to the cassette program while following the information provided in the printed portion. At the time this concept was ground breaking, and has now become influential as attested to by all magazines that now have CDs in them.

This fourth compilation shows electronic Krautrock legend and founder of Kluster Conrad Schnitzler on the cover of the magazine who plays a track with his son on this compilation (they did a whole album together in the early eighties). Other acts present are a.o. Algebra Suicide, Sleep Chamber, Doo-Dooettes, Mood of Defiance and Ony. What I personally like about the On-Slaught series, apart from the extensive information on international bands, is the right balance between electronic acts and more punk-like improvised noise-bands. Great songs! Legendary compilations. I included the full magazine in the file.