That Was The Year That Was

Ok, so never write the year report until the year is finally over. You may never know what happens in the last days. This is what happened. Today I received a package from Suitcase Recordings. Somewhere in 1991 Suitcase’s Erik Blevins (All Fours), Tom Cox (TAC) and me started to work on an extensive project of material exchange, music and visual. I did a track for a compilation which was basically a small sound installation, and did another one. In 1993 I played live with Eric in Atlanta, which was also be included in the LP as planned. But then things went quite and Eric and I lost contact. But a few years ago he returned, first releasing ‘Paper & Plastic’ on a double CD (instead of the original cassette) and then started working on our joint project. Sometimes I feared Eric got lost again, but then out of the blue this beautiful item arrived. A gatefold LP sleeve, with ‘material’ stashed into it, a CDR and cards explaining the work, all lovely designed by Abo of Yeast Culture in your usual Yeast Culture way. I have one for sale.

So, then I can write about the year that was… An odd year, with concentrated work in the first half, including touring Denmark with Wouter Jaspers, and a lecture tour with him in The Netherlands. Concerts by THU20, Zebra, Kapotte Muziek and solo in the first half. But then in the second half things went quite and the only concerts were the three by Beequeen and the three by Wander. Odd. I never got my 770 euros from Andrew from the Venlo disaster december 2010. I will seriously hurt him, when I bump into him.

Also in the second half year I didn’t create a lot of new pieces, just a Bad Sector remix and a remix for an upcoming project by Jolijn Ceelen. Also before that I didn’t do a lot of music, but I did the radioplay with Scott Foust for Dutch radio, which I am extremely proud of. Hopefully you’ll be there when we perform that in April 2012.

Releasewise I am very happy with all things that were released, especially Ezdanitoff’s ‘We Bring Light’, Beequeen’s ‘Portout Starboard Home’, Freiband’s ‘Stainless Steel’ and ‘The Many Names Of Frans’. Early 2012 another great piece will see the light of day: the LP and CD ‘Smoking Is Green’ by The Tobacconists. Of course I hope 2012 will see some more CD sales for Korm Plastics – maybe I will just give in and stop the label.

The best concert I saw was Main at Incubate. Peter Hook’s performance of ‘Closer’ was a shamble. He should stick to what he is good at: playing rock music. But all the reviews I saw where positive, so I must a miserable old sodd.

Happy new year!

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We Bring Light – indeed

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I just received copies of the very first Ezdanitoff CD ‘We Bring Light’. In Seeptember 2010 Wouter visited Nijmegen a couple of days, preparing some things which I forgot, and we stayed a day of 2 (or 3, perhaps) in my studio at Extrapool recording with analogue synthesizers and sound effects. Wouter mixed a couple of tracks which we released as a 3″CDR to sell on the road in Denmark and Lithuania, and then early 2011 I mixed those four plus 3 more for the ‘complete’ version. So these are a bit different. I added some more synths, some more effects, field recordings and superimposed two pieces into one (‘Our Russia’) and think this is a great CD. Jos Smolders did the master, Rutger Zuydervelt created a fine cover, and Silentes from Italy released it. I have some copies to sell. Synthimental love songs!

The Many Names Of Frans

If all goes well, I should be getting today or tomorrow a box of copies of my latest release, ‘The Many Names Of Frans’, a cassette released by Vuz Records. I known Holger since the mid 80s when he had a label called Dill, and I participated on a compilation. This new cassette is his second release on a new cassette label called Maneki Neko Tapes and its basically a fifteen track compilation of various names I have used for my various musical projects. Below I copied all the liner notes. Actually today I should have been working with Martin Luiten on finalizing the mix of our third and final Pick-up LP, but the heavy rain all day prevents me from going out. I am sure Martin will do a good job. After sending out all free copies to fellow conspirators, I will have a few left for sale, contact me.

01 Zebra – Ouverture
After five years of talking about starting Zebra, Roel Meelkop and I finally started in 2005, albeit with a 7″ that had a solo track by each. We see Zebra as the logical extension of Goem, but then with more ‘fun’ and perhaps even more ‘concept’. We choose [or you could say “settle upon”] a theme, say the word ‘music’ and then look for popsongs that deal with ‘music’. ‘Ouverture’ is from our as of yet unreleased album that deals with songs with ‘Ouvertures, Rhapsodies, Fanfares and Symphonies’. This edit was created for a compilation that rejected our track on the grounds of copyright. Oh, and we used the wrong drum machines!

02 Kapotte Muziek – Rotterdam 1995
In 1995 Roel Meelkop joined Peter Duimelinks and me for the live line-up of Kapotte Muziek and after our first concert as a trio, we did some rehearsing. It was the only time we rehearsed. This particular recording is from one of these. Previously unreleased.

03 Frans de Waard – Klankschap 5
From the original notes written on September 9th 2002: “All sounds contained in this piece were recorded on my rather noisy bike – some screws et al aren’t attached right, so it makes noise while riding the bicycle. As my bicycle is always in Nijmegen, I opted for a personal note on Nijmegen, rather then a social picture of the city. Being born here in 1965, I returned in 1998, after having spent some years in Den Haag. We bought a house at Fagelstraat 40 address. In 2000 the relationship ended and I moved out and now at the Acaciastraat 11 address. But in the next two years, I went back and forth to the old address to take care of my daughter. This ended in August 2002, when my daughter moved out of Nijmegen and my active role as a father ended. The house was sold and upon the final day being there, I went back on my bicycle and recorded the source material while going to my own house. A small ride of maybe 7 minutes. On the soundpiece I transformed the sounds, keeping in mind the various curves and roads to follow. Two days later I had my bicycle fixed and it’s now all silent again.” Klankschap #5 was recorded for the project ‘Invisible Cities’ in Ireland and was before only available as a download.

04 Quest – Schnitzler mix
When I heard that Plate Lunch was to do a Conrad Schnitzler remix project I invited myself. Plate Lunch thought the track was good, but asked if the piano intro could be removed. I agreed, but shortly after that, the owner of Plate Lunch passed away and with him, this project, so here is the original version including piano. Quest was my solo project in ambient music in the 90s, and it differs from QST, which was me and Maurice van Dongen. Previously unreleased.

05 Captain Black – Scorn Mix
Captain Black, an US brand of pipe tobacco, was my remix alter ego. I remixed various bands and never asked permission. I released several of them on limited pieces of vinyl (Unitone HiFi, PWOG and Tortoise), CDR (Power Steppers) and much remains in the archive (WordSound label for instance). This remix of Scorn is previously unreleased.

06 The Whi – Untitled
Probably a one-off project of Ben Schot, Roel Meelkop, Puck Schot and me, using WII-Rock band hero set-up, computers and amplifiers. Recorded live in Extrapool on November 6th 2010. Previously unreleased.

07 Ezdanitoff – Bandwidth (Live In O Tannebaum 13-11-2010)
Ezdanitoff is Wouter, Jaspers and me. Started out in May 2010 with a concert and recording time in Budapest. This particular excerpt is from the first concert of our ‘Bandwidth’ project, mainly about radio waves and a rather free adaptation of ‘Imaginary Landscape #4’ by John Cage. Previously unreleased

08 Beequeen – Breathe
Since 1989 Beequeen is Freek Kinkelaar and me, with the addition of Olga for the last couple of years on vocals. We moved from ambient/industrial to, well, popmusic. This is a live recording from August 15th 2008 and was previously released on the double CDR, part of the ‘Encyclopedia Of Industrial Music Part 1’

09 Goem – Untitled
Goem started in 1996 by Roel Meelkop and me, with Peter Duimelinks joining in 1997. It ended somewhere in 2003 and existed as a solo project for me until 2008. One of the last pieces recorded (by Roel and me) was this commissioned remix of Esplendor Geometrico for a Japanese label but it was never released. Previously unreleased

10 Shifts – Rehearsal
Mainly Shifts was a studio project, exploring the depths of ‘guitars’ and ‘ambient’ music. But in 1998 I was asked to present it in live concert (in Stockholm, where Shifts also played with Zoviet*France, sadly never released). I did some rehearsals at home to see how it would work. This is an excerpt. Previously unreleased

11 Freiband – One Love, One Egg
Since 2000 Freiband is my solo name for anything to do with “music and computers”, to put it loosely. Various pieces were remixes, and this is to be understood as a remix of Zion Train. I do think they asked me for this, but in the end it was never used. Previously unreleased

12 The Tobacconists – Twilight
In April 2009 Scott Foust and I toured Europe as The Tobacconists, and recorded a LP for Hanson Records/Swill Radio (to be released in 2011). This piece was recorded through mail in 2011 and is previously unreleased.

13 Surge – 1
I tried to keep this as anonymous as possible, but I didn’t succeed. Surge can be seen as a ‘solo Goem’ and released two CDRs (on Bake Records and Microwave Recordings). This particular track was submitted to Audio.NL, but they didn’t release it. Previously unreleased

14 Pick Up – Untitled
In 2008 I started to work with a local guitarist Martin Luiten. He plays guitar, I process it live. We did a lot of recordings in 2008 and 2009 and released two LPs, with a third still in the making. This short edit comes from a finished piece from that third LP. Previously unreleased

15 Wander – Wander
After deciding on doing popmusic, Freek Kinkelaar and I thought it would be nice to have a drone project, which became Wander. All our pieces are called ‘Wander’ and we wanted to present our music in all formats only once. We didn’t succeed, as we’ve done two CDs already, besides a 7″, 12″, LP, cassette and various compilations – including this one. Previously unreleased,

Rockumentary

Yesterday’s concert by Zebra, now called Wieman, was mildly chaotic due to circumstances: quick built up, no proper soundcheck, sun clouding our laptops, but we winged it. Maybe I’ll put this recording online. Today’s Freiband gig at Extrapool’s showcase at the same festival was cancelled, like the entire Extrapool program which is a pity since I wanted to play that ini.itu piece. Maybe there will be an option to present it somewhere else later on.
Best news is that Florian Cramer, who attended our Ezdanitoff workshop in Rotterdam made a small film about it. Talking is in Dutch but it surely gives a great impression of what a workshop looks like, so book us in your town to explain the curious nature of composition and improviation through ‘do-it-yourself’ methods.

Lecture & Leisure Tour

Wouter Jaspers and me will be presenting a bunch of workshops in The Netherlands, some with additional concerts:

May 10th 2011
STEIM – Amsterdam (NL)
Masterclass together with Frans de Waard

May 11th 2011
St. Joost Art Academy – ‘s Hertogenbosch (NL)
Masterclass together with Frans de Waard

May 12th 2011
Etalage 3e Wal – Nijmegen (NL)
Masterclass together with Frans de Waard

May 13th 2011 (afternoon)
TBA – Arnhem (NL)
Masterclass together with Frans de Waard

May 13th 2011
Bosch Acousmatic – Arnhem (NL)
Solo live performance by Wouter Jaspers

May 14th 2011 (afternoon)
Worm – Rotterdam (NL) (actual location is at Theater Grrr)
Masterclass together with Frans de Waard

May 14th 2011
Theater Grrr – Rotterdam (NL)
Live performance together with Frans de Waard (Ezdanitoff)

Concerts

A small tour is happening for Ezdanitoff in Denmark, first weekend of March. Aarhus on the 4th, Herlev (above) on the 5th and the 6th perhaps in Copenhagen. Wouter and me will be touring with Vectral, who will play also solo music and do some live video to our music. Then I head back to The Netherlands to play on the 10th in The Hague with Roel Meelkop and Jos Smolders (and perhaps all together) and on April 8th with Roel Meelkop at Bosch in Arnhem (and perhaps also together). Still working on a date for Beequeen, The Legendary Pink Dots and The Use Of Ashes here in Nijmegen (Lux Theatre), somewhere May/June and Zebra is pitching to do some major support act business. More on that if it really really happens.

So It Goes – 2010

Geeh, the older I get the sooner years are over. It seemed like yesterday that I wrote something about last year and now I have the task for this year. The collaboration with Wouter Jaspers took off, having so far played 6 concerts as Ezdanitoff and two nice small releases. One to be expanded in a bigger album of ‘love songs’ – We bring light! More concerts with him next year. Two things mentioned in last year’s report are not yet released: The Tobacconists LP, but that should show up on Hanson Records/Swill Radio in 2011, and the expanded ‘Ocean Drama’ as a CDR on Songs From Under The Floorboards (Howard Stelzer’s CDR label). The ‘Dialogues’ CD on Entr’acte also in 2011? I hope so. The Beequeen CD is now really (almost) done and I think its my favourite so far. Great songs and moods – quite balanced. Ini.itu should release my LP as Freiband doing gamelan music also in 2011. I hope for some concerts in Indonesia to promote this.

Some great releases, five cassettes no less, which I think is great. Everything should sell more! For next year, I definetely plan these new releases:
Illusion Of Safety – Fin de Siecle (CD)
Cortex (CD)
Andre de Saint-Obin (CD)
Al Margolis/Adam Bohman – Brombron CD
Heidi Mortensen/Hannah Peel – Brombron CD (?, maybe a different)
Olivia Block/Thomas Lehn – Brombron CD
Lionel Marchetti/Aki Onda – Brombron CD
Wouter Jaspers/Audrey Chen – Brombron CD (which will be recorded late January)

Gig wise it was a great year. Lots of concerts at the end of the year, including that fucking crazy concert as The Whi and the likewise great guest gig with Titmachine. Of course that long exhausting weekend with 25 years of Kapotte Muziek – Get the CD, dudes! Four Zebra gigs also, same as in 2006, that’s great too.

Downsides then? The rejection of Zebra’s Black & White Album is surely the blackest thing that happened this year. Shambolic interaction. Concert organisers paying very late is something I also don’t seem to like. CD sales are slow.

If you haven’t seen the documentary on me from local TV then I recommend doing so. http://vimeo.com/14711011

In 2011 I should be heading out for a solo tour in the UK (in february), with Ezdanitoff and Vectral (early March, Denmark and maybe Sweden/Norway) and later on Argentina with Ezdanitoff.

I don’t do top 10 lists, but I was so happy to see re-issues of Mekanik Kommando, Bazooka and Pseudo Code. My wish list for re-issues is nearly complete. Lost Jockey: where are you?

Oh and I never ever send out cards etc, but consider this too: a happy new ear to everybody.