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