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)


QST – The Silent Cookbook



Of course I am very proud of all my releases, let there be no doubt about that, but this one is very special. I worked as QST in the mid-90s but never got close to a solid drum sound and gave up. Three years ago I returned to that sort of music, using the latest technology, and with some solid advice from a few, I developed a sound that I wanted back then. Something close to the ambient and rhythm music of Silent Records and Fax, the legendary Pete Namlook label, both labels to whom ‘The Silent Cookbook’ is dedicated. I am very pleased to announce the release of the latest QST album, as released by Static Caravan label, of which I am a long time fan. Thanks a lot!

here’s the buy link
and if you want to hear a track:

Six New Releases










Core – Falling Up The Stairs



A highly limited CDR only of the first ever concert by Al Conroy (Not Half) and Frans de Waard.

I know Al Conroy since the mid 80s and for a while he ran Korm Plastics Canada, releasing 7 cassettes. I stayed with him when I was in Winnipeg and together we played a concert and the oppurtunity was to good to miss, so we released our set on a CDR, of course by Korm Plastics Canada, but also because we were super happy with the results. check it out here:



Winnipeg, Canada



Here is a free download of my latest solo concert in Winnipeg, Canada. Except a bit of Quest, QST and Modelbau sounds, all into one piece.



Tech Riders

First real album Tech Riders now available! The official blurp

tech-ridersWhen early 2016 Sindre Bjerga (Norway) and Frans de Waard (The Netherlands) decided to join forces on a tour through Germany and The Netherlands, they decided that a duo act would be in order as well; as both have a wide experience in improvised electronics it was decided not to add another duo of improvised music to the scene, but rather be a group with structured songs that needed planning and rehearsing. Eight song structures were prepared by Frans de Waard, entirely based upon drone material delivered by Sindre Bjerga, plus a bit of synthesizer and rhythm. On tour Frans mixed all of these materials live, while Bjerga added his synth noise, radio/Walkman cut-ups and microphone abuse. All of this resulting in a wild ride of rhythm ‘ n noise and drones. From the highly subdued to the overtly loud, one could think of early Cabaret Voltaire, Merzbow, computer glitch, cosmic synthesizers, minimal techno and massive drone and you may have something that is close to the Tech Riders sound. The eight pieces on ‘In The Sky’ are a selection of recordings made on the road in 2016 and have very little to do (anymore) with the CDR that was sold as tour merchandise, also called ‘In The Sky’. Confusing? Yes, it sure is, that’s Tech Riders for you. Their April 2017 tour will take them to Finland and the Baltic States.

here it all

there is even a promo video for it!



This Is Supposed To Be The Year That Was


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)


ORPHAX – THE EMPTY ROOM (card by Broken20)





LE FORBICI DI MANITU – TINNITUS TALES (2CD, 10″, book by Sussidiaria)





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.


13-05-2016 Extrapool, Nijmegen


05-09-2016 RuRu Huis, Arnhem


20-03-2016 Spektrum, Berlin, Germany


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


26-02-2016 Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (Sonic Acts Festival)

05-11-2016 Pink Pank, Rotterdam (NZZN Festival)


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


05-09-2016 RuRu Huis, Arnhem



‘To Each (Their Own) (remix)’ on split cassette with Lazlo Kovaks. Powdered Hearts ph 13


‘Action Composing 2/XI/2016’ (online by Les Horribles Travailleurs) remix of Les Horribles Travailleurs


CUBES (CDR, Reverse Alignment RA 29)


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)


JUDDER (cassette, Midnight Circles MC-19)


WANDER (online, Korm Digitaal KD 228) * Live In Extrapool, 13/5/2016


DEN HAAG [BEWERKINGEN] (cassette, Banned Production bp 241)

[Tech Riders]

‘First Contact’ on split with Sindre Bjerga (cassette, Barreuh Records casspl 004)


Live At Sonic Acts 2016 (download, Korm Digitaal)

[Tech Riders]

IN THE SKY (CDR, Gold Soundz gs #121)


VRIJDAG (CDR, Tentacles Of Perception, limited edition of 25 copies)


‘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)


STURMWIND/GILBERT (7″, Tonefloat Records tf 157)


FOUR SQUARED WHEEL (CD, Moving Furniture Records mfr 029)


ALIVE FUTARIST MINIFESTA (CD, Korm Plastics/Attenuation Circuit kp 3062/acu 1005)


LIVE IN CYBERIA (download, Korm Digitaal kd 333)