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)

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About fransdewaard
Probably most known from his ongoing work with Kapotte Muziek (a group that fully concentrates on recycling through musique concrete) and as one half of ambient sound-artists Beequeen. As well as writing the informative and acclaimed weekly newsletter "Vital Weekly", Frans De Waard also founded the Korm Plastics label in 1984, initally only offering cassettes, but since 1992 offering an ever-growing catalogue of CDs and vinyl of contemporary experimental music.

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