2018: I Don’t Know…

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I write these annual things on more or less the last day of the year since 2008. I have strongly mixed feelings about this year. There has been a decline in interest in what I am doing, or so it feels, with only two concerts in The Netherlands and a small 5-day tour with Sindre Bjerga. The last concert was in May 3rd for something that was a bit last minute arrangement because someone backed out. Perhaps I’m not selling myself enough, but in fairness when I write say Re:Wire Festival, I don’t hear anything at all. Yet all of these festivals recycle the same names over and over and everybody gets all excited about them, all the time. I don’t get that. The Netherlands has a fine reputation for ignoring musicians from their country it seems.

I have a bunch of concerts lined up for 2019, including one in an old church in Rotterdam on the 19th of January, which will see me at the church organ. I hope. Also, THU20 have certainly two concerts coming up (first ones in 5 years), plus maybe another one. So it looks already better than last year.

Moving some of my musical equipment back home in September 2017 and no gigs to prepare means that I had a lot of time to work on new recordings. I surely worked 64 nights creating new Modelbau music, with sessions being anything of twenty minutes to one hour. Lots and lots aren’t worth releasing, but it helped me get out quite a bit of new releases, mainly on cassette, which is a good medium for Modelbau. Next year I will try to work from a different angle, which is working on ingredients to do a track and then record various possibilities in one evening. A bit like we used to do the old Goem recordings. This home-recording also caused a minor alcohol problem (I love a drink when recording!), which maybe should be addressed as well, but nothing too serious.

The picture above shows for me the highlight of the year, which was an intense two-day recording session with dAS and Ninah from Big City Orchestra and Edward and Phil from The Legendary Pink Dots. I know all of them for about thirty years now, and Edward and Phil used to live close and yet I never did any recording with them. There is a first for everything. I mixed some one-hour pieces out of the material for dAS and Ninah to use on their TV programme and I did a bunch of shorter pieces, which if everybody approves should see the light of day. Or maybe it gets shelved as well.

There is now quite a bit of work that is shelved for release, and again it’s not for lack of trying that it is still waiting. Two great Quest works, work with Miguel A. Garcia and the thing that I did with Richard Francis, which should have been out by now, had the label not disappeared. Perhaps it is all no longer necessary to release this?

On the money side, things aren’t too well either. Less concerts, less sales of records means my income is also getting less. I consider looking for a proper job, which means I would seriously consider discontinuing Vital Weekly, which is now where most of my daytime goes into. 4300+ subscribers and yet I only thanks Asmus Tietchens every year for his donation. There is almost nothing else coming in on that front. And think of this: if all 4300 subscribers pay 15 euros a year what I could do; a proper language and spelling check, proper design, review online releases, pay postage to send material to reviewers, website hosting, pay for reviews, and in the end ship off all the material to an archive who would keep this, instead of me flogging it off to make ends meet. But since I have been handing out Vital Weekly for free since 1995 we all know that’s not going to happen. But anyway, thanks Asmus, for your donation.

I saw two movies at the cinema this year. Fantastic Beats etc in 3D and I decided that will be the last 3D for me. It gave me a bleeding headache, it doesn’t add anything worthwhile and in combination with the overtly loud sound in cinemas these days the overkill is too much. Said the former noise artist. The other movie was Bohemian Rhapsody, which I enjoyed even when the real Freddy Mercury didn’t sound he was a bit silly.

Read lots of books. Forgot which. Saw some concerts and the one that stuck with me was the BJ Nilsen concert at Extrapool.

I did a short holiday this year, my first ever with my brother and his wife (well, since becoming adults of course), going to Strobl, Austria, where we spend many childhood holidays. It was my first time since 1998 and for years wanted to go. I did a bit walking and recordings sounds. Some of them made it to Modelbau, but I intend to do a proper CD.

The good news is that I found a medication for my ‘I Can’t Smell’ problem! I can smell a bit. Every now and then, which is better than not being able to smell at all.

(small update after I posted all of this… this year I lost a great friend, Dmitry Vasiljev and an old acquaintance, Alex Adriaansens. Both way too young!)

Here’s a bunch of things I enjoyed this year on the music front, in no particular order.

MARTIJN HOHMANN – YUNUS (3”CDR, private)

IG WITZELSUCHT – SOMETIMES OPINIONS ARE A SIGN OF A DAMAGED BRAIN (CD by Knock’em Dead Records)

YIORGIS SAKELLARIOU – IN AULIS (CD by Unfathomless)

KEVIN DRUMM – INEXPLICABLE HOURS (2LP by Sonoris)

DISTEL – NADAGEN (cassette by Beläten)

BLACKHUMOUR – ENGINES OF DESIRE (cassette by Regional Bears)

CARL STONE – ELECTRONIC MUSIC FROM THE EIGHTIES AND NINETIES (2LP by Unseen  Worlds)

SIMON CRAB – DEMAND FULL AUTOMATION (CD by Klanggalerie)

PRELIMINARY SATURATION – YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE (CD by Moving Furniture Records)

ORGANUM – RAVEN (CD by Siren)

DEAD GIRL’S PARTY – THE THINGS I’VE LOST (LP by Feeding Tube Records)

THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS – 8118 (LP by Des Sastres D’Or)

ORPHAX – SAXOPHONE STUDIES (LP by Moving Furniture Records)

DE FABRIEK – MADE IN SPAIN (LP by BFE)

KALE PLANKIEREN – DUTCH CASSETTE RARITIES 1981-1987 VOLUME II (LP compilation by Knekelhuis)

MONOKULTUR (7″ by Il Disci Del Barone)

ASMUS TIETCHENS – STENOGRAMME, ZWEITE FOLGE (CD by Entr’acte)

O YUKI CONJUGATE – SCENE IN MIRAGE (LP/CDR by OYCLimited)

KOMARE – GOT TO STOP ME (7″ by Il Dischi Del Barone)

O SAALA SAKRAAL – ETMAAL (CD by Cyclic Law)

RICHARD FRANCIS – COMBINATIONS (3) (CD by Senufo Editions)

RUTGER ZUYDERVELT – SILEEN II (CD by Edition Wandelweiser Records)

ANTOINE PANACHE – ENDLING… (cassette by Barreuh Records)

LIONEL MARCHETTI – JEU DU MONDE (6CD by Sonoris)

VERTONEN – ANCHOR/WEATHERVANE/LANTERN (6CDR by Ballast)

ELIANE RADIGUE – OEUVRES ELECTRONIQUES (14CD by Ina GRM)

STEPHAN MATHIEU – RADIANCE (12CD by Schwebung)

STEPHAN MATHIEU – FOLIO (8CD by Schwebung)

This year’s releases:

[Frans de Waard]

short voice contribution to Antoine Panche’s ‘Endling’ (cassette by Barreuh Records)

[Modelbau]

‘Folded Back’ on 55 (download, Stront Tapes)

[Modelbau]

A HUNDRED YARDS (CDR & 3″CDR by Econore ECO_124)

[Modelbau]

OFFEN (cassette & t-shirt, Barreuh Records bar-053)

[Modelbau]

YPSILON (double CDR or C90 cassette, Zhelezobeton ZHB-LXXIII)

[Quest]

‘Shivering (Twice)’ on ‘From Here to Tranquility Vol 10 (Children of the Drone)’ (download, Silent Records)

[Modelbau]

SINGLE SOUND WORKS (C60, C40, C30, no label, 18 copies)

[Modelbau]

‘Untitled (Le Poeme D’une Vie Bien Remplie)’ on Monochrome Visions For Dmitry Vasilyev (online, Korm Digitaal)

[Frans de Waard & Howard Stelzer]

THE REBELS FOLD SCRATCHY, RELAXED MEANINGS INTO THEIR SMALLEST ACTIONS (cassette, Park70 cassettes Park 04)

[QST]

‘Kapotte Muziek by Troum (QST Remix 2017)’ Troum Transformation Tapes (2CD, Transgredient Records TR-13)

[QST]

2023 (cassette, Cassuana, edition of 40 copies)

[Modelbau]

ZENDER (CD, Antenna Non Grata ANC CD 03, edition of 100 copies)

[Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson & BJ Nilsen]

THE FOUND TAPES (cassette, Some)

Guests on side A: Frans de Waard, Gert-Jan Prins

[Modelbau]

THE PRIME MOVER (download, Korm Digitaal)

[Modelbau]

IDLE AWAY (cassette, Maneki Neko Tapes MN051T)

[Frans de Waard]

FALSE MERCURY (CD, 845 Audio 845-8) Recorded with Takuji Naka and Tim Olive

[Tech Riders]

ON THE STORM (CDR, Gold Soundz GS#134, edition of 25 copies). Includes also two Modelbau pieces

[Quest]

‘Quieter’ on (H)Ear 10 Year festival Compilation 2018 (CDR, no label)

[Freiband]

Emanate (download, Silent Records)

[Freiband]

ACTION COMPOSING 30-I-2018 (CDR, no label)

[Modelbau]

XEROX (LP, Des Astres D’or d’or 008, edition of 25 copies)

[Doc Wör Mirran]

INDUSTRIAL (HISTORICAL OBSCURITY VOL. 3) (CDR, Miss Management Have Twelve)

This year’s concerts

Modelbau

26-03-2018 Madame Claude, Berlin, Germany

27-03-2018 Tokonoma, Kassel, Germany

28-03-2018 Hörbar, Hamburg, Germany

29-03-2018 Chacha and tantra printing room, Köln, Germany

30-03-2018 Walpoden Akademie, Mainz, Germany

03-05-2018 Steim, Amsterdam

Quest

17-03-2018 Betahuis, Heerlen

Tech Riders

26-03-2018 Madame Claude, Berlin, Germany

27-03-2018 Tokonoma, Kassel, Germany

28-03-2018 Hörbar, Hamburg, Germany

29-03-2018 Chacha and tantra printing room, Köln, Germany

30-03-2018 Walpoden Akademie, Mainz, Germany

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