Monday 21 September 2020

It Is Not A... - Self-Titled -198X- (Cassette, Self-Released), Netherlands

Here we have another obscurity from the vast Dutch home-taping realm of the 80's. It Is Not A... is a totally unknown project that doesn't give any information other than that it was played by AF + Adulaar. The dark cover artwork that is hidden inside the uniformic beige cassette case only adds to the mysterious nature of this release. There is no year of publication given, nor any indication given about the place where this was made and there's no tracklist.

The minimalist nature of the artwork is also reflected in the music of It Is Not A... Basically the tracks revolve around the drum sounds of the Roland TR-606 in combination with simple basslines that are accompanied by analog synthesizers, voice and tape collage. Another example of a minimal synth bedroom production that stresses simplicity as a protagonist artistic means. It also reflects the cold signature sound approach of the 80's. A total mystery from the Drumatix shadow world...

We advice to play this cassette with loudness, it will give an uncomfortable but paradisiac nerve-shaking ambience to the sound.

 Get it HERE

Monday 14 September 2020

Flagrum - Occulitur Ante Verba -1996- (Cassette, Mastix Materiae), Hungary

Here we have another obscurity from the Hungarian underground of the 90's. Flagrum was an experimental minimalist metal band from Budapest that consisted of Tibor Gáll, János Gáll and  Levente Borsay. They started around 1992 and released their first album Per Ipsum in 1995 both domestically (cassette) and on the Czech Malarie label (vinyl). However, their second album Occulitur Ante Verba is probably their best work and even less known.

During the 90's there were obviously lots of different bands in Hungary. The metal, punk and hardcore genres were very much alive during that decade. That music was cultivated on aesthetics and ideologies that were not easy to put forward before the collapse of the totalitarian socialist regime. Surely these genres were already developing during communist times, but the full potential wasn't felt publicly yet because there was no infrastructure for their output. It was only from the 1990's on that alternative festivals were created and new communities of people started to carry alternative and independent culture through music and lifestyle.

Flagrum is one of those bands that operated deeply in the Hungarian underground of the 90's. Even in Hungary they are largely a mystery. During an era in which lots of new music from outside was rapidly entering the country a large proportion of bands was just imitating whatever they could hear. Flagrum on the other hand was more alone in its genre. They had a sort of doomish metal sound, but stripped it down to the bare minimum. Their music is fully instrumental, minimal and repetitive leaning towards an experimental No-Wave sound that is perhaps a bit reminiscent of Swans. There's a Godflesh inspiration too. I wrote about that some time ago regarding the Hungarian band Carwashtagnacht.

More unknown sounds from the Eastern European alternative music landscape of the 90's. (If you can, try to listen to this while having an Unicum!). Élvezd!

Get it HERE

Friday 11 September 2020

Sniffin' The Evidence - 15 Minutes Of Hard Labour -1990- (Cassette, Rat Product), Netherlands

I had a look at what to post on a historical date like today and ended up finding this one. Sniffin' The Evidence was a duo comprised of Etwin van Eedtveld and René Claus from the southern Dutch town of Maastricht. 15 Minutes Of Hard Labour was released privately and I don't know whether anything else was ever done by them later on. Their sound revolves around heavy drum machine patterns, distorted guitars and cut-up fragments of political speeches and such. It can be placed in a longer tradition of experimental music using, abusing or criticizing political themes. A sound that has been put forward a.o. by bands like (late) Cabaret Voltaire or Mark Stewart + The Maffia and Tackhead. It also reminds me of the Dutch band á Suivre that existed years before in Rotterdam.

I left the cassette unindexed because the tracks mostly flow into each other and hard stops would cause too much interruption of the whole.

Kindly donated by the Y Create archive

Get it HERE