QST – Collecting Space

Hurrah, my second QST CD ‘Collecting Space’ is out now on Carpe Sonum

 

 

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Asmus & Frans

 

Despite knowing Asmus Tietchens for some 30 years, we never worked together. Now we did. I supplied Asmus with raw sound materials and he did whatever he does best: doing great music.

Auf Abwegen released it!

New on Bandcamp

on Bandcamp

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

Dmitry Vasiljev

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On September 7th, 2018 we lost Dmitry Vasiljev, Russian music journalist, owner of the label Monochrome Vision and concert promoter. A tireless music enthusiast who did so much for the promotion of electronic, experimental, noise, ambient music and much beyond. This is a musical tribute to his life and work. Thanks to all the musicians involved.

 

https://kormdigitaal.bandcamp.com/album/monochrome-visions-for-dmitry-vasiljev

New Releases 2018 so far

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Modelbau – The Prime Mover

Frans de Waard & Tim Olive & Takuji Naka – False Mercury

Modelbau – Idle Away

Freiband – Emanate

Modelbau – Xerox

 

2017 Slips Away…

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(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:

 

concerts:

 

KAPOTTE MUZIEK

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

FRANS DE WAARD

10-02-2017 Forthwith, Winnipeg, Canada

EZDANITOFF

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)

MODELBAU

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

TECH RIDERS

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

QST

07-07-2017 Extrapool, Nijmegen

CORE

12-02-2017 Forthwith, Winnipeg, Canada

QUEST

02-12-2017 Ganze Backerei, Ausgburg, Germany

13-12-2017 De Ruimte, Amsterdam

15-12-2017 Extrapool, Nijmegen

 

releases:

[Modelbau]

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

 

[Modelbau]

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

[Modelbau]

‘Snow’

[Freiband]

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

[De Fabriek]

REMIXES Vol. 3 (CDR, De Fabriek)

[QST]

THE SILENT COOKBOOK (CD, Static Caravan van 325)

[Misc]

Trax Test (2LP, Ecstatic ELP030)

liner notes by Frans de Waard

[Freiband]

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

[Modelbau}

‘Vocal’ on ‘Screams’ (No Records)

[Frans de Waard]

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

[Modelbau]

TYPEWRITER (cassette, Dokuro 068)

[Modelbau]

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

[Modelbau]

CONFLUENCE (digital, Korm Digitaal KD 236)

[Quest]

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

[Freiband]

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

[Modelbau]

RADIANCE (CDR, Glistening Examples 1704)

[Freiband & Bass Communion]

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

[Modelbau]

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

[Modelbau]

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

[Modelbau]

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

[QST]

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

[Beequeen]

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

[Core]

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

[Frans de Waard]

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

[Modelbau]

NEITHER NOR (CDR, Attenuation Circuit ACN 1001)

[Modelbau]

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)

[QST]

36811 (12″, Inta 002)

[Freiband]

‘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)