Friday 24 December 2021

Boxghosts - Innovations Legères -198X- (Cassette, A Moving Mentality Product, Move 001), Netherlands


Merry Christmas and an Archaic New Year to all Friends and Followers of the blog!

So here it goes, the last post of this year:

Boxghosts is a project I don't know much about. It seems to have been a one person home-taping project that was created in the Dutch town of Venlo in the southern province of Limburg. During the 80's Venlo was home to a small but lively squatting scene around the recording studio and music venue Bauplatz which was also connected to the town's most important punk and home-taping cassette label called Limbabwe. During those years many different national and international underground bands played the Bauplatz venue like Einstürzende Neubauten, De Brassers and The Ex. 
The Boxghosts project however, doesn't seem to have had a notable relation with Bauplatz or Limbabwe Records other than that it was just a home-taping project from the same town. The only trace I could find about Boxghosts is a track that was included on the Seventh Dimension Quasette compilation series that were issued by Zimbo Tapes, a Dutch home-taping label that was about home-made electronic music and (casio) keyboard experiments.
Boxghosts' Innovations Legères (Light Innovations) was packaged in a nice grey carton box with a religious touch to its visual presentation (the south of the Netherlands is known for its catholic history). It has some dark and minimalistic music that consists of short atmospheric electronic pieces played on synthesizers and keyboards. It might hint a bit towards the otherworldly electronic music of Enno Velthuys, just less polished. Boxghosts should definitely be another little highlight of the Dutch cassette culture of the 80's.

De argeloze, wereldse beroemdheid
Z'n uren zijn nu geteld
Berustend in z'n onoverkomelijk lot
Wetend, verlangend, hopend
De overleden kunstenaar
De ouderdom eiste hem op...

The naive, worldly celebrity
His days are numbered
Resigned in his inevitable fate
Knowing, desiring, hoping
The deceased artist
Old age claimed him...
 -From the collection Allard Pierson/NPI-
Get it HERE

Friday 10 December 2021

Gijs Hendriks Band - It Takes Time -1974- (LP, Private Pressing), Netherlands


Gijs Hendriks (Utrecht, 26 februari 1938 - Utrecht, 21 mei 2017) was a Dutch saxophonist and clarinetist who played an important role in the Dutch jazz scene from the 50's until his passing in 2017. During his vast career he played in dozens of different jazz outfits and also contributed to Dutch national radio broadcasts and theatre productions. In 1974 he recorded a groovy album with a supergroup of jazz musicians under the name Gijs Hendriks Band.

The Gijs Hendriks Band consisted of Gijs Hendriks (soprano-, alto-, tenorsax), Leo Goudriaan (trumpet and bass), Lex Cohen (drums), Willem Kühne (electric piano), Daoud Amin (percussionist from New York who also played with Burton Greene), Nippy Noya (percussionist from Indonesian-Japanese descent who also toured with psychedelic band Group 1850) and Nico Langenhuijsen (bass). Many of these musicians played their part in the Dutch jazz scene of the 70's. A scene that wasn't immune for the Dutch hippie revolution (which was kickstarted by the Provo movement during the sixties), the orange free state "anti-monarchy" mentality and the rise of psychedelic substances.

During this period - also in Holland - (like throughout the global "happening" music scenes) - psychedelic jazz and psychedelic rock were combined in free-form music styles, sometimes leaning more to the jazz world and sometimes leaning more to the rock side of the spectrum. Free-form jams could consist of groovy jazz music, fuzzed out guitar tripping, electronic experimentation or any type of combination of these elements. As I write this, the idea here is not to dive into a global encyclopedic overview of the entire world moving and spacing out at the same time, but to open a tiny window to look at these specific musical dynamics in The Netherlands at the time.

Examples of great bands from those days in Holland were a.o. Association P.C. (Dutch-German supergroup led by Pierre Courbois), Ahora Mazda (house band of the Amsterdam hippie venue Fantasio), Hans Dulfer And Ritmo Natural (famous Dutch Jazz saxophonist with a Surinamese rhythm section) and Banten (another Dutch supergroup including notable musicians from Indonesian descent, also on the NWW List). And ofcourse - there is so much more to mention...

The Gijs Hendriks Band is another one of those groups that spontaneously created a recording in the 70's which captured those special times. Nevertheless the album has stayed somewhat under the radar since then. Maybe because of its tendency towards more conventional jazz or maybe the self-released vinyl wasn't overly distributed at all. Whatever the case may be it's quite a nice recording of mostly own compositions where not only Dutch musicians play a role but where musicians like Nippy Noya and Daoud Amin also add musical influences from their cultural background giving this a nice and groovy edge.

Get it HERE