Thursday 28 September 2023

M.A.B. - Words Never Told -1986- (Cassette, Anti-Musik Der Landsh, AML 5), Poland


Here's another relic from behind the iron curtain on the great Polish cassette label Anti-Musik Der Landsh that was founded by Mariusz Blachowicz in the small town of Łańcut. The label is another prime example of the hidden counter cultural expressions that were going on in the underground during the socialist times in Eastern Europe in the last century. In a nutshell, first there was state controlled cultural propaganda, then there were examples of youth culture expressions in music that were somehow allowed and then there were things like this, done by a handful of people somewhere deeply hidden in their small towns and basements with some recording equipment solely driven by their own need for expression and a need for artistic freedom. Usually also not really fond of the political circumstances, though never explicitly political. Just a feeling of being stuck, no where out and in need for something to do. Even if by the late 80's the situation had already somewhat softened, not being able to be properly classified by the authorities was potentially enough to somehow incriminate you.

Anti-Musik Der Landsh published a range of incredible Polish underground acts like R-27, Hiena, Reportaż, Rafael and KSU. Most of the music was free improvisation driven, a Polish signature that was also very apparent in the second half of the twentieth century in Polish jazz and contemporary composed music. But the other sonic side of the spectrum was already infused by punk and even more marginally so by industrial outings. Maybe some of those abstract sounds went along fine against the backdrop of some of the bleaker Polish urban landscapes.

M.A.B. was a project by Mariusz Blachowicz himself that was dedicated to his own experiments with tape loops, radio sounds, the manipulation of instruments and free improvisation. Three M.A.B. cassettes were released on AML and all three sound very different from each other. Words Never Told is a lo-fi primitive recording of cassette experimentation colliding with homemade anti-folk-rock; basically the sound of escapism and freedom against the weight of the last decade of a repressive political system that had Eastern Europe in its grip until the hopeful moment of the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the gradual collapse of the Soviet Union. But unfortunately, whenever old problems dissolve, new problems rise. Or maybe the problems were never solved. Maybe it's time to grab that old tape recorder and that broken guitar again from the basement... Who knows. Te zabawki robią trochę hałasu i szkód. A ta była naprawdę prymitywna.

Get Words Never Told HERE

Friday 1 September 2023

Masaki - Tubo -1982- (Cassette, Stratosphere Music 001), Japan


Dear music friends, it has been a while! Had to adjust to some new life developments, couldn't come up with the right connecting piece (it's all in my mind obviously) and even thought to maybe quit this blog after more than ten years. I could go into everything that is going on out there in the world and fabricate some narrative about where we are standing in these common music fields, but everyone knows what's the situation, so why even bother. Another thing is I'm also not really in a hurry I guess. Let's just go for another run now that summer is over and see what comes next. Maybe a longer hiatus will just happen every now and then. So with that being said.

Here's a nice short cassette by Japanese home-taper Masaki 江口昌記 (Eguti Masaki). He worked on collaborations in the early 80's with Merzbow and the Italian industrial project Laxative Souls a.o. He also had his own label called Stratosphere Music of which the most iconic release was that 40 Days / 40 Nights picture disc compilation that was posted on Mutant Sounds ages ago. 

Even though I suppose that contextually one might feel that this music is quite on the noise and industrial side of the spectrum, I find it more playful and primitive. Maybe minimal synth-ish even. Great cut-ups with primitive drum machines, analog effects. Has a resemblance of a lot of stuff on Vanity Records (ofcourse).

Enjoy and Macht das auf!

Get it HERE