2021: Reel To Reel Cacophony

Oh, it’s that day of the year again? Again? Another year, another cliche? No question mark is needed. I have been writing these end-of-year roundup things since 2008, and much like last year, I find it hard to say much sensible about this year. Maybe because this was a year in which not a lot happened. Or so it seems.

One concert, together with Martijn Comes and an impromptu thing with Jos Smolders, also performed that night. While I had some reservations about playing live, the evening went well. The train ride to ‘s-Hertogenbosch, thirty minutes from Nijmegen was no fun. Hot, mouth masks on (well, about 60% of the people, the other people didn’t give two shits. That’s the Dutch way, I guess), this was the first time on the train since February 2020, incidentally to the very same place I was now going.
I had another show planned in December but hesitated, dreading a longer train ride to Leverkusen, Germany. Finally, I found someone to drive, envisaged I could bring my tape recorders, she crashed her car, and I had to cancel.
It made me realize that I rather not play concerts if I have to travel by public transport until mouth masks (of which use I have no public opinion) are off. If that means just shows in Nijmegen, fine; if that means no concerts for another five years, also fine. I may make an exception for THU20 whenever they play again; who knows?

In March, I saw a picture of Wouter van Veldhoven’s cleaned up studio space on Facebook and realized I once handed him a reel-to-reel machine that didn’t work and which he was going to repair. I reminded him of that, and we both forgot which machine it was, but he kindly offered me another one to pick up, which I did. Rick Sanders visited me a day later and said, ‘I have one you can use if you want’. Peter Johan Nijland a week later: there is one in our studio that you can use. Then Rick gave me a second one, and I bought one. So now I have five reel-to-reel machines, and this year I made good use of them; well, in my humble opinion, of course. I spent about 190 nights recording music as Modelbau and released a music piece a week as part of the process.

That I will not do in 2022, I should finish a few projects that keep lying around; the final album as Quest, a QST album with one long piece, the ‘synphony’ and one QST with short pop (?) songs. The third Ruisch album that I started and never got around to doing. Plus a Kapotte Muziek album! Yes! In 2021 I transferred all my DAT tapes to digital with the idea of re-using them for a DAT only label (to find out a few days ago that my machine may no longer function) and also almost all of my cassettes. Part of that is a whole box of ‘raw material’ tapes, from Asmus Tietchens, Merzbow, Yeast Culture, All Fours, TAC, Agencement; well, basically all those I once made music with. It would be great to do an LP with that stuff, called ‘Distant Attractions’. I will explain that when the time comes.

Korm Plastics published three books; ‘De Nederlandse Cassette Catalogus’, ‘Wondersound’ by Freek Kinkelaar and ‘The Abrahadrabar Letters’ by Anthony Blokdijk and John Balance. I wish I could say there were more books done, but the release of the English version of the history of Dutch punk takes more time than I anticipated. However, it is great to report that Bertin van Vliet is now on design. More books are in the works; the complete BOH fanzine in a book and CD, Nul Nul with translation and CD, a book on Broken Flag, the Hafler Trio first Lp, Modelbau book, and Adam Morris’ novel ‘Losing It’. It would be great if, in 365 days, I could report that they are all available. Or more!

The cinema was open for about five months, and I managed to see about 40 films. I enjoyed ‘Nobody’, ‘The French Dispatch’, ‘The Father’ and ‘Benedetta’.

No other lists, other than my round up of releases. I should really use this website more!

‘051020’ on Aural Annex (CD, Telekinett)

‘Nein’ on 9 Beet Stretch 2.0 Meta Tones (USB, Telekinett)

[Modelbau & Pool pervert)
UMBAU 1-5 (CDR, NonInterrupt Records)

[Doc Wör Mirran]
MISCHEN IMPOSSIBLE (2 cassettes, Masking Tapes MT 633)

BIENENKORB (cassette, Vacancy Recs VAC-046, edition of 26 copies)

[Doc Wör Mirran]
CASSETTE (7″ by Marginal Talent thirty-one (mt-631), edition of 23 copies)

CASIO COMPILATION 9 (3″CD by ao to ao)
tracks by Kapotte Muziek, Doc Wor Mirran, QST, Quest, Howard Stelzer & Frans de Waard, Shifts, Gome, Freiband, Surge, Wander, Wieman, THU20, Bass Communion & Freiband, The Toboccanists, Ezdanitoff, Modelbau, WaSm, Tech Riders, Ruisch, Hyster, Asuna & Frans

QST 64/QST 60 (cassette single, Superpolar Taips spt30)

[Modelbau & PBK]
THE DEAD TIME (CD, Oxidation CDROT 091)

APRIL SHOWER (cassette, Grisaille 42, edition of 38 copies)

‘The Smallest Cube’ on New State Of Flux (2CD, Reverse Alignment RA51)

AETHER ALEATORICA (cassette, Superpolar Taips SPT 23, edition of 50 copies)

‘Auto 42 (QST remix)’ on ‘Somnoroase Pasarele – Auto [r]’ (cassette, OTA, OTA42, edition of 30 copies)

[Tech Riders]
IN A ROOM (cassette, edition of 20, CDR, edition of 20, Aphelion 19)

PREY (cassette, Tribe Tapes TT 118, 25 copies)

ORPHAX/MODELBAU (split cassette by Invisible City Records ICR 83)

WITHIN WITHOUT (cassette, Falt)

[Doc Wör Mirran feat Stadlmeier/De Waard/Gormley]
HOMININE PARTS 4 TO 6 (CDR by Attenuation Circuit ACU 1031, 100 copies)

ESCAPE CLAUSE (cassette, Dead Hound dhr 084)

SENDERFOLGE (cassette, Universaal Kunst MH-12, 40 copies)

NO TIME LIKE THE PAST (cassette, Grisaille 30)


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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