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