Tech Riders

First real album Tech Riders now available! The official blurp

tech-ridersWhen early 2016 Sindre Bjerga (Norway) and Frans de Waard (The Netherlands) decided to join forces on a tour through Germany and The Netherlands, they decided that a duo act would be in order as well; as both have a wide experience in improvised electronics it was decided not to add another duo of improvised music to the scene, but rather be a group with structured songs that needed planning and rehearsing. Eight song structures were prepared by Frans de Waard, entirely based upon drone material delivered by Sindre Bjerga, plus a bit of synthesizer and rhythm. On tour Frans mixed all of these materials live, while Bjerga added his synth noise, radio/Walkman cut-ups and microphone abuse. All of this resulting in a wild ride of rhythm ‘ n noise and drones. From the highly subdued to the overtly loud, one could think of early Cabaret Voltaire, Merzbow, computer glitch, cosmic synthesizers, minimal techno and massive drone and you may have something that is close to the Tech Riders sound. The eight pieces on ‘In The Sky’ are a selection of recordings made on the road in 2016 and have very little to do (anymore) with the CDR that was sold as tour merchandise, also called ‘In The Sky’. Confusing? Yes, it sure is, that’s Tech Riders for you. Their April 2017 tour will take them to Finland and the Baltic States.

here it all

there is even a promo video for it!

 

This Is Supposed To Be The Year That Was

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With all the dead pop stars and the rise of populism (or fascism as some call it), one could easily say 2016 was a terrible year. I must admit I didn’t shed any tears over any dead celebrity; some I liked a lot, like Umberto Eco, but 82 is a fine age. And be realistic: with more and more pop stars than ever before, more of them are bound to die in the years to come. And what mighty geniuses will depart; obviously the ones you think that are living fossils while among us, but once dead will a ‘tragic loss’. As of writing this, all members of Fleetwood Mac are still alive, so that’s good news.

And on the same subject, a year is not a living entity – ‘2016 took so much from us’ – it’s not some bad guy out of a Stephen King book.

If you followed what I did in 2016, it may be no suprise that the release of my book ‘This Is Supposed To Be A Record Label’ was my absolute highlight. I am still over the moon about it, as it sold pretty well for a niche book and got some great reviews. The downside is that the former boss of Staalplaat, the real honcho, was less pleased when he saw the announcement and claimed, without having read the book at all, that I was out to re-write history. He wrote the publisher a nasty e-mail saying “His (my – FdW) own sublabel was no success and you can better not write about it. (you know of any frans de Waard artist??, no? i wonder why)”, so there you go h3o, The Legendary Pink Dots, Machinefabriek, Merzbow, Jos Smolders, KK Null, Frank Bretschneider –  it would have been better to call me a rip-off label. I wish he had actually read the book, and then he might think: ‘Bloody hell, that’s what we did and we had the best and the worst of times’, and celebrate his achievements in that way. Needless to say, we are no longer in contact.

The book launch at the OCCII was a great night out, with excellent live music, beer and bullshit. The picture above is me holding the book, next to me is the publisher and in the back Mark Poysden is lurking about. The big guy with the beard is mister DMDN, the one person I know longest in the music scene!

Other highlights for this year include a great WaSm concert in Rotterdam and a fine one in Amsterdam, the tour I did with Sindre Bjerga, performing as our new duo Tech Riders (with Eindhoven my favourite gig of the tour). Tech Riders played a fixed set of 8 pieces, which I guess is something different for Sindre; I didn’t want another improvisational duo, so we prepared some pieces via e-mail and shaped them together on the day of the first performance. On the road I bumped into Wouter Jaspers for another Ezdanitoff concert. We do more next year. Playing the first concert as QST was an interesting experience. Not many people showed up, but all the better to try out something entirely new. I made some mistakes, it worked fine, I’ll surely do it again. Roel Meelkop was there and hated it.

For 2017 concerts in Winnipeg (Modelbau, Ezdanitoff) in February, Ezdantioff in France (may), Tech Riders in Helsinki/Baltic States (Easter) and Modelbau in Germany (September) looks already very good. I’m sure more will follow.

On the release front I am very proud of the release of the third album by The Tobacconists, released on LP as per the wishes of Scott Foust. Sharp biting rhythm and synths and mucho bass courtesy of Mike Popovich. Furthermore the WaSm CD come out, and pretty proud of that too.

I read a lot of books, including Peter Hook’s latest about his time in New Order. I don’t think it’s very good; I wrote an extensive review in Dutch for the Gonzo Circus website. Philip Norman’s book on Paul McCartney I enjoyed. I also read a Stephen King book for the first time. And it won’t be the last

I finished my own fantasy novel as a story, but now I need to rework it and edit it. Plus I wrote a couple of short fiction stories, with, let’s say, odd endings. ‘A bit like a high school paper’, said someone who read it.

I did watch a couple of films. I have forgotten which ones blew me away; probably none.

Music I liked:

RICHARD FRANCIS – COMBINATIONS #1 (cassette by Entr’acte)

ORPHAX – TIME WAVES (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

MEKANIK KOMMANDO – ~~~/++/+- (7″ by Tone Float)

FOVEA HEX – THE SALT GARDEN I (CDEP by Die Stadt/Headphone Dust)

HOWARD STELZER — THE CASE AGAINST (CD by Monotype Records)

ORPHAX – THE EMPTY ROOM (card by Broken20)

THE SILVERMAN — ASSEMBLING WITNESS (CDR by Terminal Kaleidoscope)

FROM HERE TO TRANQUILITY VOLUME 6 “THE RENAISSANCE” (2CD by Silent Records)

FROM HERE TO TRANQUILITY VOLUME 7 “THE RENAISSANCE CONTINUES” (2CD by Silent

Records)

LE FORBICI DI MANITU – TINNITUS TALES (2CD, 10″, book by Sussidiaria)

JIM HAYNES – FLAMMABLE MATERIALS FROM FOREIGN LANDS (LP by Elevator Bath)

GÜNTER SCHLIENZ – AUTUMN (CD by Zoharum)

IDEA FIRE COMPANY – THE SYNTHETIC ELEMENTS (LP by Tastey)

RUTGER ZUYDERVELT – ASTRONEER (CD by Machinefabriek)

Jim O’Rourke Steamroom bandcamp releases

Paul Haig – Metamorphosis (2CD on Les Disques Du Crepuscule)

Brion Gysin’s Dreamachine on Soleilmoon Recordings

No doubt there are more titles that could be added to this list.

An overview of concerts and releases.

WANDER

13-05-2016 Extrapool, Nijmegen

WIEMAN

05-09-2016 RuRu Huis, Arnhem

EZDANITOFF

20-03-2016 Spektrum, Berlin, Germany

Modelbau

27-02-2016 De Reggehof, Goor

22-03-2016 Phonophon, Frankfurt, Germany

23-03-2016 K5, Augsburg, Germany

24-03-2016 Baustelle Kalk, Cologne, Germany

25-03-2016 Atelierhaus 23, Hamburg, Germany

27-03-2016 De Ruimte, Amsterdam

14-06-2016 Lion’s, Wolvega

WaSm

26-02-2016 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (Sonic Acts Festival)

05-11-2016 Pink Pank, Rotterdam (NZZN Festival)

TECH RIDERS

21-03-2016 Madame Claude, Berlin, Germany

22-03-2016 Phonophon, Frankfurt, Germany

23-03-2016 K5, Augsburg, Germany

24-03-2016 Baustelle Kalk, Cologne, Germany

25-03-2016 Atelierhaus 23, Hamburg, Germany

26-03-2016 TAC, Eindhoven

27-03-2016 De Ruimte, Amsterdam

QST

05-09-2016 RuRu Huis, Arnhem

Releases;

[Freiband]

‘To Each (Their Own) (remix)’ on split cassette with Lazlo Kovaks. Powdered Hearts ph 13

[Freiband]

‘Action Composing 2/XI/2016’ (online by Les Horribles Travailleurs) remix of Les Horribles Travailleurs

[Freiband]

CUBES (CDR, Reverse Alignment RA 29)

[WaSm]

EEN (CD, Silken Tofu stx 49)

[The Tobacconists]

STREETLIGHT (Lp, Minor label 036, 200 copies)

[Destroyed Musc]

THE COMPLETE WORKS (online, Korm Digitaal KD 230)

[Modelbau]

JUDDER (cassette, Midnight Circles MC-19)

[Wander]

WANDER (online, Korm Digitaal KD 228) * Live In Extrapool, 13/5/2016

[THU20]

DEN HAAG [BEWERKINGEN] (cassette, Banned Production bp 241)

[Tech Riders]

‘First Contact’ on split with Sindre Bjerga (cassette, Barreuh Records casspl 004)

[WaSm]

Live At Sonic Acts 2016 (download, Korm Digitaal)

[Tech Riders]

IN THE SKY (CDR, Gold Soundz gs #121)

[Freiband]

VRIJDAG (CDR, Tentacles Of Perception, limited edition of 25 copies)

[Freiband]

‘Trickle’ on untitled split release with Mike D’Amato (CDR, Altar Of Waste AOW 359, limited edition of 20 copies)

[Doc Wor Mirran]

MORTEL MACHINE MUSIK (10″ lathe cut, Marginal Talent talent twentyseven)

[Beequeen]

STURMWIND/GILBERT (7″, Tonefloat Records tf 157)

[Modelbau]

FOUR SQUARED WHEEL (CD, Moving Furniture Records mfr 029)

[Wieman]

ALIVE FUTARIST MINIFESTA (CD, Korm Plastics/Attenuation Circuit kp 3062/acu 1005)

[Wieman]

LIVE IN CYBERIA (download, Korm Digitaal kd 333)

Beequeen Sturmwind video

Yes! A real video!

 

Two new releases

Two new releases, one received yesterday, one today.

Both of these were made using similar principles of working, one that I use a lot for Freiband these days. I process large chuncks of sound without caring too much about details and when I have a bunch of these processed sounds (anywhere between 10 and 30, usually 15-20 minutes each) I will mix these together in a rather ‘blind’ way. Thus large form compositions arise. ‘Vrijdag’ uses sound sources by Slavek Kwi and Darius Ciuti, which I found on their bandcamp when writing a review about their work, and is the second day of the week that is now released. I already did ‘Zondag’. I plan a 74 minute work for every day of the week  (‘Donderdag’ is also finished in case anyone is interested). Slavek released this on a CDR in an edition of 25 copies.

From Mike D’Amato I received two short sound samples from which I created ‘Trickle’, along similar compositional lines. He created a work out of my sources, and the whole thing is released by Altar Of Waste, in an DVD box and in an edition of 20 copies.

Needles to say, I have very few to sell, first come, first served. I am probably able to ship this out tomorrow, before I will be out and about to tour for a week.

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Wieman – Live In Cyberia

Our concert recording from Brussels in November launching our latest LP on ini.itu is now released on Bandcamp. Go here

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2015: Himmelhoch jauchzend zu Tode betruebt

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Last year I wrote that 2014 wasn’t easy and I said that would continue into 2015. It did and no crystal ball was involved in that prediction. My mother passed away in September after being ill for close to a year. It is sad to see her go, but I’m happy all of the suffering is over, especially for my mother who hated losing her independence. This has made this a most strange year also, in which I seemed to have not as enjoyed many films, books or music. I found it hard to think of a few, but there is a list below. Also I did a lot less music it seems than other years, although since September I have been working on various new projects, such as a new flexi with source material by Michael Esposito, which is reworked by Bass Communion and Freiband. Also as Freiband I did a new piece, ‘Hot August Night’ to be released by White Paddy Mountain. Also I am returning to projects that have been laying around for some time, such as mixing my collaboration with Richard Francis, Z’EV and hopefully also more work with Howard Stelzer, which has been recorded some two years ago.

This year I talked with Mark Poysden a lot about my book on Staalplaat. His suggestions for a better grammar and wording, as well as editing made this a great book. Timeless Edition in France will be releasing this in the first quarter of 2016, along with a cover by Erik Kriek, who did the Staalplaat bags. I am very excited about this, as I consider this book as one of the best things I ever did. I never spend as much time as I did on this book as anything else in my life. Writing books is more complex than making music. Odd.

I started a new project with Jos Smolders, which, through the help of Facebook, we christened WaSm (thanks Holger for that). In December we did our first gig and Silken Tofu might be releasing a CD from us next year.

In March I will be touring with Sindre Bjerga again and we’ll also be playing together and we choose upon the name Tech Riders. Two new bands! I also left a band behind in 2015: in May I decided to leave Beequeen due to what is usually called ‘musical differences’. Our last 7″ should be in March 2016.

In 2015 I created a whole bunch of new QST pieces, which are getting better, if I may say so. I am seriously considering the possibility to play live as QST in 2016.

An unfortunate encounter I had with a Russian guy with whom I released a collaborative release, ‘Zondag’. It uses his sounds, but I did the bulk the work on it. I didn’t like that he put his name first on the released CDR. However that wasn’t what caused a rift between us, but his anti-gay stances were. His worldview seemed very limited in many aspects and while I believe everybody is free to believe whatever they want to, I have the freedom to be without them. It’s a pity, as it’s a fine release. I am happy to send everyone a free copy.

On August 8th 2014 I started to keep a diary for a year, something I wished to do for a long time, and I managed to keep this up until August 7, 2015, the day before the picture above was taken. Himmelhoch jauchzend indeed; the best party of the year!

Like I said it seemed I enjoyed not as much stuff as in other years, but I surely enjoyed this:

– I got various boxes and records from Vinyl On Demand, such as Sema, O Yuki Conjugate, Conrad Schnitzler, Portion Control and Rob Van, which were all highly appreciated.

– Second Layer – World Of Rubber 2LP with bonus material

– Various releases by Matt Krefting

– IDEA FIRE COMPANY – LOST AT SEA (LP by Recital)

– PSEUDO CODE – REMAINS TO BE HEARD VOL. 1 & 2 (2CD by EE Tapes)

– 300 BASSES – TRIA ATOMA (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

– Jim O’Rourke’s Bandcamp

– VA AA LR releases

– Asmus Tietchens

– ICE YACHT – POLE OF COLD (cassette by Fragment Factory)

– Amalgamated – various releases

– JON SHEFFIELD – SPRINGBOARDS (cassette by Obsidian Cuts)

– AKIRA RABELAIS – THE LITTLE GLASS (2CD, private)

– DENEUVE – UGLY (CD by Blowpipe)

– ANTOINE PANACHE – J’AI UN AME SOLITAIRE (cassette by Barreuh Records)

And it was great to see finally a new album by New Order, which I enjoyed a lot, however it is also a bit long. What’s wrong with your best stuff in 40 minutes? Where do they teach that albums have to be sixty or more minutes and filled with lesser pieces? Oh, well, maybe I am a grumpy old man.

I saw a bunch of concerts this year and I very much liked Sweat Tongue in Rotterdam, Steven Wilson in Utrecht and Rummelsnuff in Extrapool. Three entirely different musical events.

Although I saw lots of movies, I can’t remember of any standout, though the second season of ‘Fargo’ I really enjoyed; likewise it was with books I read. I enjoyed Chrissie Hynde’s and Kim Gordon’s autobiographies for instance, but it wasn’t that great. John Lydon’s new one comes close being great, but that’s because he talks about PIL a bit, but he could have used someone to edit the book down a bit. Their 2015 record was a dramatically bad one, though.

2015 saw the following music become available:

[Doc Wor Mirran] SYMPHONY IN A(NNOY) (CDR, Attenuation Circuit ACR 1018)

[QST] ‘B3. marilli remxd’ Marilli Remixed (download, http://banabila.bandcamp.com)

[Wieman] CRYPTONESIA (LP, ini.itu 1501)

[Shifts] FADE IN (cassette, Maneki Neko Tapes NMT 007)

[Frans de Waard] ‘Drone #2 (Extraction #1)’ on Drone Cinema 2015 (Raspberry Pi by Timemachines)

[Modelbau] KEYNOTES (businesscard CDR, Korm Digitaal 219)

[Frans de Waard] I’M FREEZING (7″ flexi disc with Michael Esposito & Frans de Waard, “Dreams of the Incorruptibles”, Korm Plastics/Phanton Plastics kp 3060)

[Frans de Waard] COURRIERE (CD, Mystery Sea MS78)

[Freiband & Bass Communion] COURAGE/COWARDICE (12″, Important Records imprec 423)

[Freiband] ‘Noise’ on ‘Listen To The Drums’ (download, Oggy Records)

[Modelbau] HYPHEN (cassette, Powdered Hearts Records ph 10)

[Frans de Waard & Howard Stelzer] FAULT (download, Korm Digitaal 214)

[Frans de Waard & Howard Stelzer] HOWEVER (cassette, Banned Production,

[Freiband] ZONDAG (CDR; material by Vitaly Maklakov) Ostroga otr 040

[Freiband] ‘Monoplain’ (3″CDR split with Kromeshna) Ostroga otr 035

[Frans de Waard] DRONE # 2 (download, Korm Digitaal 221)

[Modelbau] GETAWAY (3″CDR, Korm Digitaal 211)

[Wieman] PLAYS GOEM (CD, Kvitnu 36)

[Modelbau] DO WITHOUT (cassette, Maneki Neko Tapes MN002T)

[Frans de Waard] AFTER ALL (cassette, Copy For Your Records cfyrt 11) Collaboration with Howard Stelzer. Edition of 50 copies

[Modelbau] EXTRUSION (cassette, Bookend Recordings, BE 019) Edition of 26 copies

[Freiband] PENNY ARCADE (cassette by Vulnavia Editions, no catalogue number) split release with Tanner Garza, based on a collaboration

 

I played these concerts:

Kapotte Muziek

14-11-2015 Les Ateliers Claus, Brussel, Belgium FdW+RM

Wieman

14-11-2015 Les Ateliers Claus, Brussel, Belgium

Modelbau

01-04-2015 Occii, Amsterdam

02-04-2015 Koffie & Ambacht, Rotterdam

03-04-2015 Etalage Derde Wal, Nijmegen

05-12-2015 KuS, Heerlen

WaSm

05-12-2015 KuS, Heerlen

Beequeen

10-01-2015 Kroese, Nijmegen

07-02-2015 Vrooom, Rotterdam

Frans de Waard

27-03-2015 Vrijplaats, Leiden

 

Onwards!

The Tobacconists – The Dark Secrets Of Doctor Perati

now available on Bandcamp!

 

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