Monday 24 December 2018

Archaic Inventions meets Oscar's X-Mas Carols 2018

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

Once again we are rounding up another year in an increasingly chaotic world! After almost 6 years of running this blog on my own, in my own time as some kind of personal music mission paying hommage to the blogosphere, years of record digging and sharing my musical insights, I can proudly announce the first ever Archaic Inventions mix. This is the first volume in a series of conceptual mixes that combines both written narrative and music as a way to uncover meaning. The mixes belong to an external realm of the blog. Although the music mixes will have a relation to the Archaic Inventions platform.

The first volume is created by my friend, Sucked Orange Gallery creator, co-founder of the Braille Satellite festival, long-time experimental music selector, one half of subterrenean surrealist and idea flowing music selecting duo Octatanz (with Matas Labasauskas): Oscar Olías, better known as Oscar Der Winzige

Oscar is an underground figure based in Berlin already for a long time, who originally comes from Madrid, Spain. He was kind enough to dig into the entire Archaic Inventions catalogue to create one of the most outer-worldly mixes, surprising any follower of this blog, including myself! Not only can this be viewed as an insight, profile and introduction to what is to be found on Archaic Inventions, it is, as always with Oscar's selections, a trip transporting the listener to another musical planet within an own universe of exploration. To me this mix represents the combining of forces. The finding of music. The sharing of music. Knowing how to select. Knowing music. Cultivated on the path of being a student of music. Bypassing the platforms. Telling an important story. Starting from the ground, hasta el espacio!

Let's tell a story! Here we go!

- Oscar Der Winzige grew up in the suburb of Hortaleza in the North-East of the Spanish capital Madrid. At a young age his father suddenly left this earth leaving behind an important record collection of a.o. progressive rock, cosmic electronics and krautrock. Already as a young child the likes of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze would bring Oscar to other worlds. Within the raw society life of the Madrilenian suburbs and adolescent dreams, Oscar started to obtain a different mindset than his peers. Most of the suburban friends were listening to completely different musical styles while he was developing something reaching beyond daily life routines.

When adolescence hit Oscar, he started to go out to a club with a forged ID. Encountering the concept of the "DJ" he immediately knew he wanted to do something similar yet very different. Instead of the egocentrism surrounding the "DJ" he saw the potential in the idea of the music selector, he became aware of the art form and the transference of messages that were concealed in this practice. At first Oscar started to buy techno, play for his friends at home and soon started to become known in local circles and social centers where there were possibilities to play music (inluding the use of stolen traffic lights used as disco lights). The precarious introduction to some of Madrid's clubs started to give hints of alternative fashion, showed the effect of music on people and were the beginning of a deeper exploration of musical styles for Oscar.

The eclectic music explosion came to its full potential when Oscar met another much older music selector and experimental musician from Madrid during a period when he was working in a flamenco bar: David Krapoola. David was playing some vinyl in the attic of a random house and had piles of records. He was a one-man radio. An eclectic explosive force of musical madness. Soon they became friends and started to share music, buy records and formed a music selector duo travelling through every depth of the Madrid nightlife. David adopted Oscar and they also started to do experimental music together as well as subversive art projects. The older Spanish guys baptized Oscar with the nickname "El Pequeño", "The small one", which later resulted in the name Oscar Der Winzige.  Gradually the perception of music became more than eclectic during this time. Like an eclectic eclecticism. In the same period Oscar became resident at the "Oui Club" and also started to play records at most of the experimental and sub-cultural concerts that were taking place in Madrid. Oscar became an autodidact anthropologist of music, channeling an everlasting drive to gather and find music while fostering a deep personal relation with it. A once-in-a-lifetime-drive that would never return in such pureness and with such hunger. But then... the crisis arrived to Spain.

Clubs lost their ability to explore and became more and more commercial. Fertile grounds for happenings and experimentation in music were slowly drying up. People didn't risk anything anymore. The predominant feeling was that soon a new destination had to be reached, a place where this music trip could become a life mission, a place where many different talented and creative people gathered to find new premisses for this lifestyle. That place became Berlin.

In Berlin there were already friends in the same field, namely the talented DJ and eternal friend Laura ODL (As Longitude), whom Oscar had known for some time already. Also new people appeared to the scenery like José Luis Gomez (a film-maker from Barcelona) with whom Oscar founded the Sucked Orange Gallery in Neukölln (named after the collaged 1989 Nurse With Wound album "A Sucked Orange"), where through a girl we mutually knew I (the author of this piece) also entered this story. At the gallery that we ran many beautiful experimental concerts were organized and a few exhibitions as well for a longer period, often in collaboration with Rinus van Alebeek of Staaltape and also in collaboration with the legendary record store Staalplaat. A lot of communal nights took place, dancing 'till the morning, every kind of drugs, every form of love, people from all over the globe gathered, rules were destroyed and defended, Berlin police raids were part of our weekly divertissement, people were built up and broken down and many tears were shed both by joy and by sorrow. My own meeting with Oscar was another truly important moment for our mutual development, for the discovery of music and by times had overpowering implications, yet what we lived was a unique chance of self-exploration not many people get a chance to in a lifetime.

In any case it was a time that would become the first landmark of action, materializing a certain musical philosophy in life, based on a journey that was given solely by the inexhaustible wealth and endless realms of each one's history in and connection to Music. This was either coming from seeing many concerts of legendary acts and many parties that all of us had experienced in the underground of our respective countries as well as our history of making music ourselves. Another musical force was coming from the birth of underground music blogs and the time that was spend in music research. Maybe they were not the most important component, but helped in offering material and knowledge.

After this vibrant period the Sucked Orange Gallery ceased its activities and became a non-public hangout for friends. Slowly a new dawn arose in Berlin and Oscar and many friends were simultaneously playing different venues and festivals in Berlin (and beyond) and new musical alliances were effectuated crossing different aspects of the Berlin music upper- and underground. Due to the meeting of various international minds, slowly also a new way was paved towards the far East of Europe. A path to the Baltics. A few Lithuanian tourists had heard strange music in Berlin by chance and felt a common understanding. They invited Oscar together with Laura ODL to Vilnius, Lithuania. One of these people from Lithuania that Oscar met was Matas Labasauskas. A like-minded soul interested in working creatively in service of a community, based on free-spirited inclusivity and inner-growth. Oscar and Matas started the project Octatanz: a musical duo in which "together they offer a selection of ideas floating around in the deepest recesses of musical subculture". An important new musical entity touring around Europe injecting magical sounds into small communities of explorative and receptive listeners to find new states of being.

Eventually the Berlin-Vilnius connection resulted in the creation of the STRCamp Festival, that later morphed into Braille Satellite Festival: an annual DIY music and arts festival that takes place in the park of Mushroom Manor, Lithuania. In the pseudo-hidden Lithuanian countryside the festival facilitates a communal gathering based on the deepest DIY realms of music in contemporary times characterized amongst others by: "relax shock, dance laugh in the night, the best selection is boring, only a dream line-up doesn't work, nothing too serious, social transmutation, inclusivity and love". With the time Oscar and Matas brought together key groups of music-people from a.o. Lithuania, Spain, England, Italy, France, Netherlands, Portugal and Germany, which is an unimaginable achievement in itself. As for those would like to be part of this: in the summer of 2019 a new edition of Braille Satellite will take place. -

This article is another little piece of a music puzzle that one day I will put together more thoroughly with all its different dimensions and probably more will become visible. That story is extensive and might be more suitable for a book or something, haha! For now we listen to the beautiful and amazing "Archaic Inventions mix" made by Oscar Der Winzige.

Download the mix HERE!

This blog will continue in full force in 2019. Once again I am happy that I can promise that the music I am able to provide will be even more insane than before. We keep on working on all the different aspects of this strange music world in order to maintain and cherish a little bit of its essence and to give it a future. Also I am currently working on releasing the first Archaic Inventions record which will also mean the birth of a new music label. More details very soon!

Much love to you all and don't hesitate to love. Think and feel for yourself. Don't believe the hype. Help to build. See you soon.


Wednesday 12 December 2018

Jodi Gilbert, Michael Moore, Ernst Glerum, Алексей Левин ‎- The Voice Is The Matter -1999- (CD, Ramboy Recordings), Netherlands/US/Russia

The Voice Is The Matter is a beautiful CD-only release from The Netherlands that was created by American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and composer Michael Moore, singer Jodi Gilbert (voice, dulcimer), Dutch double bass player and member of the Instant Composers Pool Ernst Glerum, Michael Vatcher (drums) and Russian composer and jazz musician Alexei Levin (piano, accordion). All of these musicians are based in Amsterdam.

The album The Voice Is The Matter was recorded in Amsterdam on March 11, April 18, May 24, 1997, but got released in 1999. Musically it's a mixture of free-jazz improvisation, experimental scatting, poetry, smooth-jazz and Macedonian and Bulgarian folk-song interpretations in which voice is emphasized. All musicians present are also pinnacle figures in the Dutch and international improvisation scene already for decades and have released dozens of different records. I suggest you give some other releases a listen too when you can. The album is also reminiscent of The Schismatics that I posted before on the blog.

Actually the fact that it doesn't reach too heavy 'impro moments' combined with a hollistic album approach causes this recording to be quite dreamy, listenable and comforting. Just the right soundtrack for necessary tranquility during the winter month of December we are finding ourselves in. 

Get it HERE
Support and buy HERE

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Various Artists - The Meridian Crossings -1995- (CD, Hermit Foundation), Czech Republic

This is a CD only compilation around the music and arts symposium The Meridian Crossings that took place in Plzeň, Czech Republic in 1995. It is a varied release containing Czech folk musician Pavel Fajt, a.o. known of the amazing Czech group Dunaj, Cellist Vojtěch Havel who also did many ethereal folk and avant-garde world music soundscapes with his wife Irena Havlová and also many more improvisation musicians from the country I know less about.

Then present on here is English Rock In Opposition hero Tim Hodgkinson, known ofcourse as member of the pioneering RIO band Henry Cow. Also Dutch and Scandinavian artists are compiled (like Ad van Buuren) with art-installation sounds and improvisation pieces. Drummer Jim Meneses is also featured on the compilation, who played in the Berlin based band Stan Red Fox which I posted before on the blog. Lastly present here is Australian sound-art poetess Amanda Stewart.

The Meridian Crossings is a nice historical sound document of a manifestation of experimental music. A moment in which people from different countries exchanged musical talent in a post-socialist country that always had a very strong experimental underground scene in which music played a pivotal role. Within Eastern Europe, Czech Republic was always musically ahead with legendary groups like The Plastic People of The Universe, DG307 or Extempore. Their sounds concealed critical politics, poetry, art and philosophy in a context of the darker realms of folk and progressive rock experimentation to fight repression and to share state-forbidden information in order to uplift generations of people who were fighting to change the system. On The Meridian Crossings we can hear a new time that is still rooted in this past, but already merging with a global contemporary art-world representing a new transnational unity through the serious but also light-hearted musical avant-garde.

Get it HERE

Sunday 25 November 2018

Down With People - Same -1990- (LP, Circularphile Records/Nadirean Extensions), US

Down With People was an experimental art rock outfit from Rochester, New York that consisted of Jan Cermak (voice, clarinet percussion), Jack Schaefer (guitar), Zeppi (Bass), John Grieco (drums), Brad Watson (violin), Dan Schelley (bassoon), Steve Peck (trombone) and Carl German (organ).

DWP is a classic example of absurd art rock groups from the US reminding me of dozens of bands, from The Jaunties to Care of The Cow to Blacklight Braille etc! Its existence at the beginning of the 90's makes that the band is portraying a hybrid sound in-between the weird art damaged rock from the 70's and 80's and a more indie sound that would become dominant in the 90's. There are various songs with strange lyrics, deconstructed rock moments and lots of improvisation. I guess the band is a good example of the transition of musical decades, holding on to a DIY ethic with their crazy artwork and experimental approach as well as a healthy dose of absurdism and critique of society in a proto-indie or grunge manifestation.

The bass player Zeppi also did an experimental album in 1988 on the same label Nadirean Extensions. It was posted on the great, now inactive, music blog Continuo ages ago.

Get it HERE

Friday 2 November 2018

Calliope Quartet - Incognita -1998- (Cassette, Crossroads Records), Hungary

Calliope Quartet was a short-lived Hungarian Jazz-Rock and experimental folk outfit that consisted of Molnár Tamás on bass, Pásztohy Bálint on drums, Hűvösvölgyi Péter on guitar and Bonyár Judit on cello and vocals. They released this one cassette only album on the Hungarian Crossroads Records. A label that tried to merge the genres of folk, jazz and world music with the contemporary sounds of the nineties.

Incognita that was recorded in 1997 is a stunning album balancing somewhere on the crossroads of rock in opposition, jazz-rock and even hinting towards Hungarian folk music at times. Within a Hungarian context they probably come closest to the RIO group Kampec Dolores, known for their combination of avant-rock, folk and improvisation. The tracks on Incognita are quite lengthy and leave lots of room for the listener to enter the musical world of the band. The tracks have nice abstract and sometimes humoristic titles like Aszimmetrikus Fémbuborék (Asymmetrical Metal Bubble) or Jelmezbál Jazzsznoboknak (Costume Ball For Jazz Snobs). The band plays great quality music, but doesn't lose its approach to have fun while playing. Also they don't portray themselves as academic jazz musicians. 

This is actually a great album from Hungary and already nearly impossible to find after just two decades that have passed. Clearly there is some Zappa influence going on, but it also reminds me of 70's French Zeuhl band ZAO or of Italian jazz-rock group Perigeo from the 70's or of the Ethno-Krautrock sound of Embryo or... should I keep it going?!

Excellent avant-jazz-rock from the East of Europe! 

Get it HERE

Sunday 14 October 2018

The Schismatics - Vazen Vol (Vases Full) -1994- (CD, AMF Music), Netherlands

The Schismatics were a Dutch Rock In Opposition and improvisation band that started in the 80's connected to the domain of the legendary artists squats of the Quarantaineweg in Rotterdam, although always based in Amsterdam. The Schismatics is more or less led by Dutch singer, poet and musician Han Buhrs. He was involved in many musical projects like Nine Tobs, Encore + Plus Grande with members of the French RIO band Etron Fou Leloublan, Palinckx and many more. His latest project is the Amsterdam based group Rubatong and Ensemble Extra Ordinaire.

At the time of this album, that was recorded at various locations in Holland in the early 90's, The Schismatics consisted of Han Buhrs (vocals, percussion), Jodi Gilbert (vocals), Beatrice van der Poel (vocals), Maartje ten Hoorn (violin) and Frank van Berkel (bass). The music on Vazen Vol is an interesting mixture of improvisation and avant-garde poetry with an emphasis on the role of the voice as instrument. The often absurd lyrics are a constant combination of both English and Dutch with the occasional use of other languages. The music reminds me of the Italian group Arigret, the American band Care of The Cow, the music of Maggie Nicols and Lindsay Cooper and many more acts of the rock in opposition world of Recommended Records.

This is another essential CD only release from the Dutch impro scene and probably one of the only Dutch groups that may carry the real label of the genre of Rock In Opposition. The cover of the album consists of a painting by Dutch artist Marjan Verkerk.

Get it HERE

Thursday 4 October 2018

Kósa Vince - Berkoff: A Görög -1994- (Tape, Razzia Distribution), Hungary

This cassette is a solo effort by Hungarian musician and Industrial music protagonist Kósa Vince. Kósa played in the pioneering Hungarian industrial group Art Deco (posted a long time ago on the blog) as well as in the industrial group BP. Service. On this cassette he plays the music to the play A Görög (The Greek) written by English actor and playwright Steven Berkoff that was premiered in 1980 in London and performed in the Radnóti Theatre in Budapest in 1994. The Greek was a modern interpretation of the well-known ancient tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. The tragedy that also inspired Freud in his work to develop his concept of the Oedipus complex.

The music on the tape consists of two long pieces. The first side starts with rhythm based industrial  in combination with collaged music taken from classical music. Later the music transitions into a subaquatic dark ambient soundscape. The B-side is a slightly more interesting affair, where Kósa fully embraces a synthetic tribal ambient sound even ending up in some 90's beats. Nevertheless it still holds on to darker atmospheres.

A Görög reminds me of the 1983 piece Neveleiland by Dutch home-tapers De Fabriek. Furthermore, the music is really in similar realms as the Hungarian avant-garde album Private Exits by composer Tibor Szemző or Hungarian composer László Hortobágyi and his electro-acoustic music built on Indian cosmologies.

A rare cassette, often mistaken for a screenplay or spoken word. Great music and soundscapes from the early nineties and another piece of the Hungarian experimental music puzzle. Lots of Hungarian cassettes still to come to the blog!


Get it HERE

PS: I have an extra copy of this tape. If you would like to trade it for another nice record or tape feel free to get in touch.

Monday 24 September 2018

Various Artists - Druga Liga Prvo Kolo -1995- (CD, Helidon), Slovenia/Croatia

Druga Liga Prvo Kolo -Second League First Round - is an essential cornerstone compilation from post-Yugo 90's Slovenia. It compiles both Slovenian and Croatian bands that were active in the early and mid-90's in their respective underground scene. Eastern European underground bands from this time were very weird and unclassifiable, playing a combination of both unskilled punk and hyper-complex rock in opposition drenched in a healthy amount of absurdism while existing within a genuine alternative culture based on communal uplifting activisim and desperate local divertissement. Also don't forget that the decade of the 90's in former Yugoslavia and the Balkans was heavily loaded with political tensions and war sentiments that needed an explosive creative output in one way or the other.

Slovenian bands in general, also before the fall of the iron curtain and the disbanding of Yugoslavia, were always very intriguingly weird. With Laibach as main national music reference you know you're in for a blast when digging into the Slovenian musical underground. Other great alternative bands from Slovenia I can think of are Miladojka Youneed, Begnagrad, Lolita, Strelnikoff or the later Pinja Dzazna (who has those files for me!?)

The Slovenian bands on this compilation are experimental group Mamojebac (of which their whole and only existing tape from 1995 Tko Je Ovdje Kome Guzica? is present), strange punk band Absent Minded and the great avantgarde art-rock band Žoambo Žoet Workestrao

The Croatian groups present on Druga Liga are the demented HC-punk group Why Stakla (of which almost their whole cassette Daj, Dođi! from 1995 is compiled) and the free punk no jazz band from Rijeka Plod Mirže (I'm curious if more of their music exists). These bands also remind me of the Croatian band SexA.

Essential uneasy listening of post-Yugo punk-noise-insanity from the underground!

Get it HERE

Saturday 15 September 2018

Barbieri & Fabbri - Angeli -1988- (LP, Stile Libero), Italy

Next up is another album that connects to the previous post balancing on the thin line of alluring musical ambience and a generous pinch of cheesiness.

Italian Bass player Tiziano Barbieri and Guitarist Moris Fabbri made this quite obscure album of Mediterranean contemporary jazz and late 80's ambient sounds in 1988. Both musicians were not heavily involved in other projects but were definitely active musicians. Moris Fabbri still makes  remarkable experimental music today which you can find on his own Youtube channel.

The music on this album is pretty much divided: the A-side has three tracks of composed atmospheres thriving on Italian Mediterranean guitar, eastern voices and guitar-synths-scapes. Actually no real synthesizer is used on the album and all electronic sounds are coming from the processed guitar. These first tracks are maybe too slick, although you also have the feeling that you're familiar with those melodies already for an eternity. The impressionistic style is similar to the Swedish Vinterhjärta tape I posted some time ago.

The music on the B-side should be more pleasing for the improvisation and experimental jazz fans. Those tracks are more abstract and free-form, showing the cinematic and adventurous side of the duo. It reminds me a bit of the Dutch contemporary Jazz soundtrack Golven by Louis Andriessen, but it mostly reminds me of the biblical Risonanze series of Italian library music that I posted ages ago on the blog.

Maybe something different, but it's definitely the soundtrack of the current Indian summer channeling the elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire while you reminisce of a summer that gently flushes away...

Get it HERE

Friday 7 September 2018

Dionys Breukers - Koer Locale -1992- (LP, W139), Netherlands

This is a record with compositions by Dutch keyboardist Dionys Breukers. It was released through W139 which is a gallery and art space that is located in the center of Amsterdam. It was established in 1979 mainly to offer space to artists outside of the established art world in The Netherlands. W139 still functions today somewhat in the same way and places a large emphasis on art installations inside of its building. You can still find surprising exhibitions there if you want to escape the tourist inferno of the red light district.

From the liner notes of the record:

Koer Locale is the third project of the series called De Centrale, that is being realised by the W139 foundation in Amsterdam. Three artistic leaders are connected to it: Bas van Tol, Madje Vollaers and Pascal Zwart. In the spring of 1992 they created a hull from different elements a.o. a rotating wall, a cascade and a bar. Based on this composition various participants of different disciplines were asked to create a weekly new order by adding different "building blocks". One of these building blocks was provided by Dionys Breukers. In his contribution, to be heard on this LP, he led himself by the notion of background music: muzak. Basically this is opposite to the intention of the interior-project: to fill in a background was out of the question. But don't worry: the muzak of Dionys Breukers is not real muzak, but an original composition. During Koer Locale his musical building block was constantly to be heard from the bar (one of the art components of the space). - Jozef van Rossum, Amsterdam May 1992

The A-side of this album mostly contains compositions that are being played by Breukers himself while on the B-side there are also own compositions but often being played by others. A curious fact is that on the track Mais Non there is a guest contribution by canterbury legend Hugh Hopper, the great bass player of Soft Machine. Still I credited all tracks to Breukers to keep it simple.

The album indeed contains elements of experimental collage, cocktail music, Dutch jazz, a few maybe dated keyboard sounds and even funky notes. Sometimes it kind of hints to what would become known as Nu-Jazz during the nineties, but it also definitely has a lot of cheesy elements. Normally they would bother me a bit too much, but since the whole concept of the album revolves around the theme of muzak, maybe that was the whole point... I'd say: decide for yourself what to make of it! The record is a bit crackly but it was probably published in very limited quantities, I've never seen another copy.

Get it HERE

Sunday 26 August 2018

BP. Service - Same -1990- (Tape, Weast CMC Agency), Hungary

This is the first in a series of Hungarian cassettes that I will slowly upload to the blog:

BP. Service was one of Hungary's important industrial music groups. Industrial music in Hungary did exist behind the iron curtain in the 80's but in very marginal forms. Some of the bands I can come up with are Art Deco (posted ages ago on the blog), CMC and Falatra(x). Basically it was not until the early nineties that industrial groups could publish their music regularly in Hungary and that also more groups started to exist.

BP. Service consisted of Szabó György, Kósa Vince and Orbán Balázs. Szabo György is subsequently known for his graphic design and creating many of the posters for underground concerts in Budapest before the fall of the iron curtain. Lately those posters have received renewed attention and have been compiled in a book. Kósa Vince was also the founder of the group Art Deco and can be considered as one of the pioneers of Industrial music in Hungary.

This cassette that came out in 1990 contains two lengthy tracks of classic industrial sounds. It conceptually takes on the big city or metropole (in this case Budapest) as a place of noise where traffic, construction, dirt, automation and industry are part of the daily urban environment. A concept that can be seen often in this particular vein of industrial music, tracing back most notably to Berlin's finest Einstürzende Neubauten, but ofcourse there are numerous examples. The music contains bleak Hungarian lyrics, sound-manipulations and the use of metal and other physical materials that are being used rhythmically.

Get it HERE

Monday 13 August 2018

Zorah Mari Bauer & Tilman Küntzel - "Stipendiaten 1991" -1992- (Split-Tape), Germany

Since there is some catching up to do with regard to the frequency of uploads on the blog here is an obscure tape that I picked up by chance recently in Berlin:

Zorah Mari Bauer and Tilman Küntzel are both artists that are still active today in the realms of new media, cross media, art theory and sound. Apparently this cassette was released to accompany a catalogue for an exhibition they did at K3, part of the art center Kampnagel in Hamburg in 1992. It was released in an edition of 100 copies.

Zorah Mari Bauer takes one side of the cassette and plays two abstract pieces where musique concrète and voice experiments are the main components. It actually reminds me somewhat of the music of Laurie Anderson or the voice experiments of Dutch artist Moniek Toebosch.

Tilman Küntzel's side is called "Pinguin In Wonderland" and contains some interpretations of music by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It's midi and computer controlled music that he recorded at the Centre for Art and Media ZKM in Karlsruhe. It's quite an unusual collage of animal sounds, voices and instruments.

Strange art tape, nice music.

Get it HERE

Tuesday 7 August 2018

Před Vaším Letopočtem - Same -1991- (LP, Primus), Czech Republic

Although obviously there are many exceptions, the musical decade of the nineties in Eastern Europe (or the former socialist countries in Europe, as you wish) is largely the equivalent of underground music in the seventies and eighties in the west. Not only was it after the fall of the iron curtain that previously unknown and "illegal" bands were able to finally publish their music, also their influence trickled down into fresh bands of the beginning and mid-nineties. Because of a certain creativity that was mediated by or against political inlfuences as well as certain underground music traditions from before the communist system collapsed, the music was not always based on trying to be western or something hype. People understood how they related to their own national underground. Due to a slight delay in getting familiar with new genres and contemporary music finding its way randomly to Eastern Europe in the early nineties (and also before) the music there developed fragmented. Nevertheless, in result it was often taken a lot less shallow by the people than in western countries where there was a constant musical (production) overload combined with a constant competitiveness of setting the new tone. The nineties in Eastern Europe were musically an open field field of creativity, an explosion of freedom. It was a moment of hope, change and seizing the moment to harvest full creative potential.

Před Vaším Letopočtem was a Czech trio from Prague that consisted of Vlastislav Matoušek on bass and vocals, František Janče on guitar and vocals and Jan Jeřábek on keyboards and vocals. Musically they play a quite simplistic and repetitive rock music that thrives on wave-y patterns and occasional experiments encompanied by lyrics in Czech. Obviously they stand on that verge of the change of pollitical systems sharing some of their sounds with peer-bands like Půlnoc, Máma Bubo or Onkel Zbynda’s Winterrock (O.Z.W.). It also hints a bit to Czech synth band Betula Pendula (that made an album not really worth to listen to) and even to the Greek group Chapter 24.

It's not as groundbreaking as some of the stuff I am about to post from Eastern Europe the coming year on the blog, but it's definitely nice unclassifiable underground stuff that carries a free spirit and shows the Czech Underground in full effect. Před Vaším Letopočtem also released another cassette in the same period. If anyone could share that one I'd be very grateful!

Get it HERE

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Yeti - Haw Hawaaaw -1994- (CD, Obi Music), Netherlands

Yeti was a one-off improvisation and free-jazz outfit from The Netherlands founded in 1994. It consisted of Jan Hans Berg on bass and vocals, Martin van Duynhoven on drums (ex-Group 1850, Theo Loevendie Consort etc.), Wolter Wierbos on trombone and American cellist Tristan Honsinger (who has played a lot with Derek Bailey). Basically Yeti brings together again some important figures of the Dutch impro scene and beyond.

The quite lengthy album showcases nice cinematic jazz and improvisation moments that are at times absurdistic as well as loosely inspired by the Nepalese Yeti-myth. It is quite a unique effort that somehow became rather obscure because of the medium through which is was released in its particular time period. The booklet actually shows a nice piece of hand-made DIY-art from the impro scene. Haw Hawaaaw sounds a bit like other things I've posted on the blog before like Ernst Reijseger, because of Honsingers cello-work or even Palinckx & Palinckx.

Another nice slab from the Dutch impro scene of the last decade of the previous century!

Get it HERE

This is the last post I prepared before I left home some time ago. Expect some new uploads on the blog somewhere later this summer since I am currently travelling around in Europe. The stuff that's coming to the blog later will be truly insane! Also in new directions with an emphasis on the Eastern-European underground from the 80's and 90's.