Wieman – The Classics Album
June 23, 2014 Leave a comment
Frans de Waard started his band Kapotte Muziek in 1984 at the same time as he started his label, Korm Plastics. Ever since he has been involved in experimental music, either with his label, his job at Staalplaat (1992-2003), writing for Vital Weekly (from 1986 onwards) or his many bands/projects, such as Beequeen, Wander, Freiband, Ezdanitoff (with Wouter Jaspers), The Tobacconists (with Scott Foust) and Goem.
Frans started Goem in 1996 by experimenting with a rudimentary analogue sound (?) device and soon it also involved Roel Meelkop and a little bit later Peter Duimelinks (both of whom are also members of Kapotte Muziek). Meelkop had his solo no-wave/post punk band Happy Halloween in the mid 80s, but quickly became a member of THU20 and started a more electronic solo project called Mailcop. Following a few years of relative silence, mainly due to the lack of equipment which allowed Meelkop to create the music he had in mind, he started again, under his given name, and released albums on Trente Oiseaux, Staalplaat, 12K, Intransitive and other labels. In the late 90s he produced a number of dance 12″s as ‘slo-fi’. Since 1993 he is a member of Kapotte Muziek and since 1996 of Goem.
Goem’s minimal pulse driven rhythm pieces were picked up by Mego and Raster Noton and later by Staalplaat and 12K. The group played at the major electronic music festivals, such as Sonar and Mutek, as well as touring in the USA, Europe and Japan. The name Goem was taken from an expensive store in Moscow, where only high ranking party members could buy luxury items.
Meelkop and De Waard played for years with the idea to start a counter pop group called Wibra, named after the cheap clothing store chain in The Netherlands and in 2005 they released a 7″ with a solo track per side; their first manifestation of Meltpop. They called themselves Zèbra, a contraction of Wibra and Zeeman, a similar cheap clothing store.
Their work deals with programmatic, thematically linked concepts. For their first CD, ‘The Black And White Album’, they used samples from songs with the word ‘music’; this CD was released by Symbolic Interaction, who two years later withdrew the release. Later on Zèbra recorded a CD with samples of the work of Joy Division producer Martin Hannett (‘Live In Leugen’) and a cassette for Dutch label Limbabwe, entirely based on samples from tapes released previously on that label. In 2012, at the Ultra 2012 event, they played a set with samples from former Factory Records act Minny Pops, with the original singer Wally van Middendorp on two songs.
Although Zèbra has nothing to do with the animal of the same name, a US band called Zebra asked them to change the name, and from the remaining unused letters of Wibra and Zeeman, they came up with Wieman. In 2013 they recorded an album using samples from their old band Goem (to be released by Bocian Records) and a LP for ini.itu with samples from the obscure 80s cassette act Cybe. In 2014 they played an one-off concert on Futurism, with their old acquaintance Jos Smolders on modular synth.
‘The Classics Album’ was recorded over a long period of time – 2008-2014 – and uses samples from many songs that use such words as ‘symphony’, ‘ouverture’, ‘fanfare’ and ‘rhapsody’ and is a perfect showcase of Meltpop. Wieman doesn’t play plunderphonics but Meltpop – an important difference. Much more complex than their previous work as Goem, this is at times danceable, at other times funny and hilarious, sometimes dark and haunting.