Saturday 27 May 2017

Niew Hip Stilen - Grüss Aus Wien & Kill Em All (Live at Pandora's Music Box Festival Rotterdam 1983, VARA Moondogs Radioshow), Netherlands

Niew Hip Stilen is one of my favorite Dutch bands. They came from Rotterdam and played an amazing style of electronic synth wave jazz with some hints towards the urban music culture of early eighties New York City (remember New Order going there which led to the Blue Monday period).  Nevertheless their sound is also very Dutch and akin to the other great electro jazz group from Rotterdam called Kiem.

Niew Hip Stilen consisted of Maarten van Gent – bass, drums, guitar, percussie & vocals; Jan Willem van Mook – bass, sax, keyboards, percussion & computer; Rutger van Otterloo – sax, drums & percussion. They had one self-released single in 1981, which came out on the label of the Quarantaineweg, the legendary artist squats of Rotterdam. On the back of the single a plan of the squats can be noticed. Other bands connected to the squats were a.o. The Black Sheep and Dull Schicksal. Niew Hip Stilen made one album on Eksakt records called Heartsounds and Murmers that still stands as one of the most inventive and interesting Dutch albums from the eighties. 

As for these two songs: this week I found some self-recorded cassettes: blank with handwriting on them. All full concerts of eighties bands that played in Holland. Some of them contain the recordings of the legendary Pandora's Music Box Festival that took place three times in Rotterdam from 83' to 85'. It was a unique festival of new wave, avant-garde and industrial music. You can find a blog dedicated to the festival here. Bands like Fad Gadget, Clock DVA, The Durutti Column, X-Mal Deutschland and SPK all played the first edition. Most of those recordings are available online. Niew Hip Stilen also played and even released a hyperrare cassette with those recordings that was uploaded here.

So as you can see the recordings are actually already available there, but here we have two of the songs in a slightly better sound quality since it was broadcasted by the VARA Moondogs radioshow. Moondogs was a Dutch radioshow from the eighties dedicated to interesting contemporary music with in depth specials around certain bands. Also you can hear the host talking about the band.

Get two rare Niew Hip Stilen live songs HERE

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Leo Cuypers - Same -1972- (LP, BASF/BIM), Netherlands

Leo Cuypers (Maastricht, 1947) is one of Holland's most inventive and important pianists in the improvisation and Jazz world. He started out as a drummer but soon moved to the piano. As a pianist he developed a unique jazzy playing style by which he improvised many songs just by feeling, mostly in a rhythmic way based on moods and imagined titles. He was frequently playing with Dutch impro Saxophonist Willem Breuker (founder of the Instant Composers Pool and Willem Breuker Kollektief).

Leo Cuypers is probably most famous for his Zeeland Suite from 1977 also with Willem Breuker and others. Throughout the decades of the last century he did many scores and other soundtracks with Willem Breuker. Cuypers was the only person Breuker would trust with his opinion when showing new scores. Their work together keeps a unique place in the Dutch jazz and impro history. On the verge of the nineties Cuypers stopped collaborating with Willem Breuker. By then he had built a decades-long reputation as an impro pianist in a 'jazz world' of women, booze and other nightly endeavours. You can see a short documentary in Dutch with Leo Cuypers here. I love when he basically concludes that he didn't learn shit(!) during his time at the conservatory. This first album he made came out on BASF in The Netherlands, just like the Theo Loevendie Consort (of which Leo Cuypers was a member) as well as the Indonesia inspired experimental Jazz prog band Banten. Also he played on the most psychedelic album by Dutch cult singer Ramses Shaffy from Amsterdam, called Sunset Sunkiss.

From the original 1972 liner notes:

"Maastricht was a beautiful city to live in. People from the Conservatory, the Academy of Arts, painters, sculptors - they all made it a nice scene. But then the hippies from the western part of Holland moved in and things changed so much that many of the artists left." This is pianist Leo Cuypers Talking. Born in Heemstede (near Haarlem) on December 1, 1947 (his parents originally came from Amsterdam) he moved to Maastricht with his family when he was about nine. And he always wanted to study at the Maatricht Conservatory. But after three years he quit; in fact he was chased away after four months of absence. "I was frightened, you know. What was going on there at the time (1962-1965) had nothing to do with making music. One was trained to play one's part in a symphony orchestra - not to play too much out of tune - not to play too well - just to do the job. And nobody was really interested in that kind of music. After lessons the kids ran to their favourite drinking place to listen to pop music, that's what they loved. And besides that, I played jazz, I wanted to become an arranger. I played drums, piano was at first only an obligatory second instrument. I started on drums when I was six. We had a piano at home, but I liked the drums better. It was only when I had learned to play enough piano that I discarded the drums. One day my set was stolen. Or rather, I hoped someone would steal it. Which they did. So I just had to go on with piano. Anyway, at the Maastricht Conservatory the scene finally changed too. Two years after I was chased away I made a guest appearance there."

As for many musicians in this country, the competition that's been held every year since 1958 at the lakeside resort of Loosdrecht meant a big change for Leo Cuypers as well. He entered the 1969 competition, playing solo. It was the percussion element, an echo from his playing the drums. As Maastricht is way down south in holland and the music scene - or anyway the jazz scene - is in the west, by being at Loosdrecht and winning this competition he was heard. Drummer Pierre Courbois liked his playing and when working at the festival of contemporary jazz in Baden-Baden, Germany, he advised Joachim Ernst Berendt to let Leo Cuypers replace Joachim Kühn, who had had a car accident. It was there that Leo Cuypers met composer and reedman Willem Breuker, founder member of the Instant Composers Pool, and it was through Breuker that Leo got his first gig in Amsterdam. Where a little later Theo Loevendie heard him and asked him to play with his consort. So, today, with Misha Mengelberg and Kees Hazevoet, Leo Cuypers is one of the three most foremost pianists in the contemporary music scene. He lives in Amsterdam. - 1972

Get it HERE

Thursday 4 May 2017

áPolóK - Egyedül A Világon -1993- (Tape, Artalom), Hungary

Time for another cassette by Hungarian cultband áPolóK (trans. The Nurses) after two of their other releases I posted on the blog before. áPolóK comes from the Hungarian city of Miskolc and started out in 1982. They are ranked among Hungary's finest weirdo avant-garde groups. They can be placed among other Hungarian underground bands from the eighties and nineties like A.E. Bizottság (Albert Einstein Committee), Kampec Dolores, Tudósok, Vágtázo Hallottkémek and many others.

Their humoristic hyper-intelligent lyrics combine the insanity of the Hungarian culture with great poetic depth and absurdity. áPolóK is a quite unique band in Hungary mashing up a Rock In Opposition sound that contains unorthodox transitions in zappaesque ways with a great punk attitude and alternative rock manoeuvres. It's a band that is very underrated and deserves a lot more attention.

Egyedül A Világon (alone in the world) was áPolóK's first album that was also published abroad as a CD in England which was translated to The One And Only In The World (get that one here!). The cassette was self-released on their own Artalom label (it's a word merging the words Art and Content with each other.) I think this album is one of the stronger releases and shows a more developed sound of the band. The musical quality is keeping the right pace with the showcased absurdity. Some of the members of áPolóK are still playing in bands in Hungary like the absurd punk group Büdösök. Again check out their other releases in the archive of this blog.

Highly Recommended!

Get it - in all its original cassette glory - HERE