2017 Slips Away…

Schermafdruk 2017-12-31 11.45.09.jpeg

(Kapotte Muziek in Trondheim, March 2017. Picture by Thor Egil Leirtrø


While some, if not many, people regard 2017 as a stinker of a year, with Trump, Putin, Brexit or whatever, I must admit I am less and less interested in politics. Maybe it’s better to say that I am interested in politics, but I have less and less a very strong opinion about it, which is going against the grain I guess, now that everyone seems to have an opinion, and a very strong one at that; there is black or white and nothing in between. More and more I notice all the self-declared ‘critical’ minds around me, with their opinion blogs and news feeds of any alternative kind and how mainstream media sucks etc. Funny to see that all these people suddenly become experts on, well, basically anything, but very few have been educated enough to do proper reading. Me included. I wish I could say it’s funny, but I guess it is not. The more I read the less I know.

Some homophobic Russian musician whom I reviewed called me a liberal fascist. I believe that Russians consider that an insult, and I think it means that they think I am a “freedom loving, everybody should do or believe as he thinks best and not bother anyone else with this and everybody should be happy”, which if this is the true definition, then I am surely proud to call myself just that. “You are irreversibly degenerate…” said our little Spengler.

So, let me discuss 2017 is strictly narcissist terms, what did I do and how did things go, for me that is, and I must say it went really well. I played more concerts in the first half than in the second and I am quite pleased with almost all of them. I had my first transcontinental gig in February in ten years, when Wouter Jaspers had me flown out to Winnipeg, where I played solo, with Wouter as Ezdanitoff and with Al Conroy as Core. Al and me have been corresponding, in the traditional sense of the word that involves pens, stamps and envelopes, for 25 years (or more) and now met for the first time and we played together a really nice concert. With Wouter I also played the longest concert of the year in the unlikely surroundings of Guebweiler in France, where we played 3 sets, in total of almost 90 minutes in length and in July a concert in his home turf in Berlin. Kapotte Muziek played a rare concert in Trondheim, Norway, celebrating 20 years of Klubb Kanin during a 2-day festival. We also played the very first one in 1997 and Lasse Marhaug unearthed video of that later in 2017. The Easter tour brought me (as Modelbau), Sindre Bjerga and us together as Tech Riders to Helsinki and the Baltic States.

In December I played my first concert as Quest ever, Augsburg and shortly after twice as a support act for O Yuki Conjugate, which I thought was a big honour. But in hindsight I thought the very first Quest concert is actually my solo concert in Winnipeg, with the entire elements already in place that makes Quest. I hope to play more concerts as Quest next year. So far the only thing planned is the Easter tour with Sindre, both of us solo and as Tech Riders, and we’ll play in Germany again. Contact me straight away if you run a place for us to perform.

It has been a great year for releases and of course I am bound to say all of these are my best works to date and I have no favourites. However if I can pick one that I am really, really fucking proud of, then it must be the QST CD ‘The Silent Cookbook’. With this CD I did some music that I think sounds nothing noise like (unlike what some people think of my entire output), has a bunch of dance rhythms and a bit of melody and it’s the kind of music I wanted to do for a long time and perhaps now, to some extent, got around doing. A big bonus is that Static Caravan released it, a label I love very much.

From various people I learned that my ‘Hot August Night’ for White Paddy Mountain was a particular release; responses were along the lines ‘I fell asleep twice, which was great’ to Steven Wilson picking this as part of top playlist for 2017 on Spotify.

I had two odd run ins with label bosses. One I send a demo, and he responded ‘Oh Frans, love your work very much, I am eager to hear this’ and never ever heard from again, while the other is simply not fit to run a label due to being short tempered and ill considerate of the people that do his work, i.e. musicians. Oh wait and I was turned down by a cassette label, who were fully booked for 2018: 5 releases in an edition of 20 each, all with Xeroxed covers.

In 2018 there will be a new Quest CD, for Infraction, and a digital release as Freiband for Silent Records (maybe also on CD!). Plus the usual Modelbau releases I should hope and the release of some of my collaborative works that have been waiting.

Wieman and WaSm have been dormant in 2017 (but Roel and Jos work more and more as MeSm, so that’s good), and who knows what the future will bring for these projects.

When I was in Germany early December I spend an entire Sunday at the Two Car Garage studios of Doc Wör Mirran and recorded with them, which, just like meeting Al Conroy, is something that finally happened after all these years of writing with Joseph B. Raimond.

The saddest thing for me to happen was the death of Z’EV. Early 2017 I talked with him about doing a book about his life and a little bit of work was done, but shelved until we would meet again in person, and maybe spend a week together doing a long interview session. When I heard of his passing I felt miserable all day. The death of Mika Vainio in April was also shocking, but the impact wasn’t on the same level, I think.

The best thing I did was moving some of my musical gear back home, because I have some more space here now my daughter moved out. Since doing this I recorded a ton of new Modelbau stuff and quite some material for Quest. Complex stuff I still do at my studio. The second best thing (perhaps) was going on a small holiday to Helsinki’s World Con and a few days in Stockholm.

Again I didn’t list the books I read or movies I saw in the cinema. That is if I was in the cinema at all this year. It took some time to remember, but I saw one movie in the cinema this, ‘The Circle’, which was all right, no winner. I started reading everything by J.G. Ballard and already did quite a bunch. That I remember. I didn’t write much fiction myself save for one or two (three) short stories.

As for records that I enjoyed, here’s a list in no particular order. The best pop song of the year is for me ‘Permanating’ by Steven Wilson, the album it’s from I though was pretty good. I admit I don’t follow pop music very much, while I sometimes appreciate the silliness of Dutch hardcore techno. The rest of the list:

Jos Smolders – Exercises In Modular Synthesis And Field Recording (CD by Cronica)

Bourbonese Qualk – Archive 1980-1986 (4LP by Vinyl On Demand)

Carl Stone – Electronic Music From The Seventies And Eighties (3LP by Unseen Worlds)

Glands Of External Secretion – Convicted Felon Adjusted For Inslation (cassette by Coherent States)

Kevin Drumm – Elapsed Time (6CD by Sonoris)

Pseudo Code – A Soundtrack From The Underground (2LP & CD by Ee Tapes)

Orphax & Machinefabriek – Weerkaatsing (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

O Yuki Conjugate – Tropic (LP/CD Bby Auf Abwegen)

Fovea Hex – The Salt Garden Ii (10″/CDep by Die Stadt/Headphone Dust)

Cybe – Tropisch Verlangen (LP Bby Stroom)

Orphax – Studies In Dissonance (7″ Lathe Cut by Champion Version)

Studio 12 (5LP Compilation by Vinyl On Demand)

David Lee Myers – Ether Music (CD by Starkland)

C-Schulz – Frühe Jahre (CD by Unseen Worlds)

Coolhaven – Rode Pruik (10” Plus Book by De Player)

Stelzer/Murray – Connector (cassette by The Helen Scarsdale Agency)

80S Underground Cassette Culture Volume 1 (2LP Compilation by Contort Yourself)

X-Mas Card From Outer Space (Oscar’s X-Mas Carols 1984-1987) (LP Compilation by Domestica)

De Fabriek — Terugkeren (LP By Tonefloat Records)

Narwal – Nirvana (LP by Ongehoord)


And more lists:





31-03-2017 Avant Garden, Trondheim, Norway (20 Years Klubb Kanin) FdW+PD


10-02-2017 Forthwith, Winnipeg, Canada


12-02-2017 Forthwith, Winnipeg, Canada (concert)

12-05-2017 Les Dominicains, Guebwiller, France (concert)

13-05-2017 Les Dominicains, Guebwiller, France (concert)

06-07-2017 Common Ground, Berlin, Germany (concert)


31-03-2017 Avant Garden, Trondheim, Norway (20 Years Klubb Kanin)

08-04-2017 Third Space Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

11-04-2017 House Of Literature, Tartu, Estonia

12-04-2017 Pils Bar, Riga, Latvia

13-04-2017 Art Incubator, Anyksciai

14-04-2017 Kirtimu Kulturos Centras, Vilnius

19-11-2017 White Suit Projections, Nijmegen

02-12-2017 Ganze Backerei, Ausgburg, Germany


09-04-2017 Space for Free Arts, Helsinki, Finland

10-04-2017 MIM Stuudio, Tallinn, Estonia

11-04-2017 House Of Literature, Tartu, Estonia

12-04-2017 Pils Bar, Riga, Latvia

13-04-2017 Art Incubator, Anyksciai

14-04-2017 Kirtimu Kulturos Centras, Vilnius

05-07-2017 O Tannenbaum, Berlin, Germany


07-07-2017 Extrapool, Nijmegen


12-02-2017 Forthwith, Winnipeg, Canada


02-12-2017 Ganze Backerei, Ausgburg, Germany

13-12-2017 De Ruimte, Amsterdam

15-12-2017 Extrapool, Nijmegen




‘Fade’ on Fabrication 4.0 (download, Attenuation Circuit)



‘For Mika’ on Homework Year 2 (download, Taalem)




‘Deborah’ – Out (Freiband remix) on Powdered Hearts Winter sampler (2017-18) (download, Powdered Hearts)

[De Fabriek]

REMIXES Vol. 3 (CDR, De Fabriek)


THE SILENT COOKBOOK (CD, Static Caravan van 325)


Trax Test (2LP, Ecstatic ELP030)

liner notes by Frans de Waard


MERKTEKEN (download, Katja Institute). Listed as ‘Freiband In The Katja Institute’


‘Vocal’ on ‘Screams’ (No Records)

[Frans de Waard]

HOT AUGUST NIGHT (CD, White Paddy Mountain wpmcd 048, edition of 200 copies)


TYPEWRITER (cassette, Dokuro 068)


QONRAD (cassette, Aubjects Aujx 13, edition of 44 copies)


CONFLUENCE (digital, Korm Digitaal KD 236)


QUAY (CD, Where Ambient Lives WAL 003, edition of 100 copies)


‘Metal Rain’ on Amir Baghiri Remixes (download, Attenuation Circuit)


RADIANCE (CDR, Glistening Examples 1704)

[Freiband & Bass Communion]

THE NEXT ROOM PARTS 1/2 (flexi disc, Somnimage Corp 012017, edition of 275 copies)


PULSE/PHASES (CDR by Coherent States, CS 20). Also contains 3″CDR by Ghone


‘Intonations’ on ‘Speak Unless Spoken To’ (CD, WFMU)


‘Sonar’ on ‘In Abyssum’ (download, No Records)


‘Port Said (QST 2015)’ on ‘Port Said/Report Said’ (2CD, Aquarellist Records 38-17)


‘Snijdende Tests’, a remix of ‘Stenen Des Tijds’ by Strotter Inc on ‘ ‘Miszellen’ (2LP by Hallowground)


FALLING UP THE STAIRS (CDR, Korm Plastics Canada kpc 008)

[Frans de Waard]

@ FORTWITH, WINNIPEG, FEBRUARY 10, 2017 (download, Korm Digitaal KD 234)


NEITHER NOR (CDR, Attenuation Circuit ACN 1001)


MOVEMENT (cassette, Sentimental Productions #sentiment 004. Edition of 50 copies, plus 10 copies in a wooden box)

[Kapotte Muziek]

‘Disconnect’ on ‘Noise War’ (5CD, Audio Dissection/Industrial Recollection)


36811 (12″, Inta 002)


‘Small Cube’ on F.Y.E.O. – SELECTED FREQUENCIES VOLUME II (online by Reverse Aligment) remix of Dao de Noize

[Tech Riders]

IN THE SKY (CD, Korm Plastics kp 3064, Attenuation Circuit ACU 1007, Gold Soundz, GS#127)