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,

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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.

Doubts!

A post in two parts:

Sunday afternoon, about 16:30.
In about one hour or so I’ll be going to Eindhoven to see Peter Hook & The Light. This band will play the entire Unknown Pleasures LP, plus a bunch of encores according to the website. For years its a trend of old and tired musicians to take their magic moment from years back and play it back to back. Never cared for any of those, although perhaps I’d loved to have seen the Sparks playing their 22 albums night after night a few years back. But then, maybe I would love to see the Sparks anyway. Being more a New Order than a Joy Division fan, I am a bit wary of all this. Is Hook out there to fish out big money from old fans? They bought the LP, then Substance, then the Heart and Soul CD set, saw Control and then what do you do next? Kids are out of the house for the old fans and maybe they want a night out, so for 27,50 euro a ticket to play with a bunch of hired guns, one LP (‘Closer’ will be performed later this also). That sounds like a dumb idea and I fell for it. Well, no, I tried to get the support act, with Zebra playing either our ‘Live In Leugen’ set or a totally new piece based on ‘Unknown Pleasures’, since it seemed unlikely that the original 1980 support act Minny Pops would play. I talked with Wally of the Pops about us joining them, doing our Zebra styled versions of his old songs, and even recorded a bit of that, which Wally deemed not punchy enough. In the end he didn’t want to do the support, and Hook didn’t want a support anyway (and there will be short film now), so I’ll be in the crowd thinking: bloody hell, what was I thinking going anyway.
to be continued in a few hours.

Sunday night, 0:26
I cycled back and did i see an announcement for ‘The Queen Experience’? I think I did. I saw The Light. Joy Division were once described as ‘three manchester united fans and genius singer’, The Light might be four manchester fans and a hooligan singer. Hook is actually a fine singer but then: I loved Monaco. It was a good, solid show and especially the Warsaw songs were great. The rock n roll aspect of the concert with regard to Unknown Pleasures I thought were less convincing. That doesn’t justify the original songs. But the crowd loved it, singing along – another aspect that somehow doesn’t seem to fit the originals. I was thinking ‘have you ever had the feeling being cheated’ – and at sixty minutes of live music and a totally redundant film (don’t people have youtube at home to watch these rockumentary bits?) and 27,50 euro a ticket: I am not sure if you see me at Closer in december. Get a decent support act, Wieman with Minny Pops for instance, and I’ll be there. I have six months to ponder about this. Spoke with Wally for a while, so who knows?

picture above by Lisette Sutherland

Oddstream

Oddstream is the name of big local event here in Nijmegen where I’ll be playing two, hopefully, special concerts. On Saturday June 4th the very last concert as Zèbra. An American band named Zebra doesn’t like other bands to use that name, and hunt them down and smoke ‘m out of their caves. They own the trademark to that name for entertainment purposes since 1974. As obviously you know Zèbra contracts Wibra and Zeeman. From the letters we didn’t use from those names to make up Zèbra we created a new name, Wieman. Meeuw supplied us with a fine logo. Expect some highlights from the excellent Zèbra career. We play from 17:00-18:00.
The next day I play solo as Freiband. I realize I am not using that name a lot for concerts, since they are strictly laptop based, and that’s not something I do since about one and half year. The current concerts also involve radio, walkman, contact microphones and laptop, and go by my own name. But for this occasion I will present a laptop concert and most likely will play something from my Freiband LP which is due out on ini.itu anytime soon. Perhaps I have copies of them on the 5th. For a while I thought to no longer use that name, but I still do strict computer based compositions as Freiband, so I stick to it. Apart from the ini.itu LP there will be a 3″CDR by Freiband on Kaon soon. There you go.

5 Films

We had a great time in Heerlen last friday and a great Kapotte Muziek recording, which we may release as a CDR somewhere. Our host Mike uploaded some films for this event, 2 by Kapotte Muziek and 3 by Zebra…


Zèbra


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.

New releases

Ben Gwilliam/Jason Zeh – Brombron 16: Dots
Korm Plastics kp 3036
CD only
Korm Plastics is proud to present the sixteenth release in the Brombron series. Originally a co-production between Staalplaat and Extrapool, it is now hosted by co-curator Frans de Waard. In the year 2000 Frans de Waard and Extrapool started the Brombron project. Two or more musicians become artists in residence in Extrapool, an arts initiative in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with a fully equipped sound recording studio. These artists can work in a certain amount of time on a collaborative project; a project they always wished to do, but didn’t have the time or the equipment to realize.

Jason Zeh, a magnetic cassette tape composeur and xerox artist from Bowling Green Ohio, creates music that successfully combines elements of drone, electro-accoustic and noise. Zeh’s work relies on the creation of intimate social encounters through the use of extreme quiet punctuated by steep inclines toward moments of extreme loudness. Live shows combine a mixing of previously recorded source sounds with real time manipulation of cassette tape through the use of modified tape decks and dismantled cassettes. The relationship Zeh has to the cassettes and tape decks used to record and manipulate the sounds is not unlike that of many laptop artists in terms of the meticulous sculpting of sound that is employed in order to create emotionally charged and aesthetically dynamic compositions without the stifled and overly technical feel of some electronic music produced by computers.

Ben Gwilliam (b. 1980) is a sound artist active in the fields of sound installation, curation, improvising new music and performance. He describes his practice as drawing attention to those sounds between things, be it objects, spaces or recordings. It is these sounds and their contexts that reveal visual and musical processes of listening and looking. It is from this curiosity about sound-making/recording/finding and how abstract/descriptive that sounds can be, that he makes parallels and similarities unpicking the relationship between those uncovered sounds and moments of primary experience. In 2004 he was awarded an AHRB Postgraduate Award. In 2007 he was nominated for the Jerwood Artist platform Prize. His work has been featured on Resonance FM, and has work in several CD and Publication Releases. His has performed with artists such as Claus van Bebber, Espen Jensen, Helmut Lemke, Lee Patterson, and Jez Riley French, Rhodri Davies, Phil Durrant, Matt Davis, Hainer Woermann, Chris Heenan, Michael Vorfeld, and Sascha Demand. Since 2004 he has curated several experimental music and sound exhibitions including ‘re:sound’ 2005, UK, ‘Sculpting with Air’ Liverpool Biennial 2006 (co-curated with Lee Patterson), ‘then the silence increased’, 2007 UK (co-curated with Helmut Lemke). In 2008 he was Artist in Residence at Artist Unlimited, Bielefeld, DE.
This CD contains music that was created using sounds ‘derived from prepared tape, related machinery and othe magnetic sourcing including posting, freezing and puncturing tape’. Matsering by Jos Smolders.

Price: 10 euros

KK Null/Z’EV – Brombron 17: Extra Time, Extra Time
Korm Plastics kp 3038
CD only

Korm Plastics is proud to present the seventeenth release in the Brombron series. Originally a co-production between Staalplaat and Extrapool, it is now hosted by co-curator Frans de Waard. In the year 2000 Frans de Waard and Extrapool started the Brombron project. Two or more musicians become artists in residence in Extrapool, an arts initiative in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with a fully equipped sound recording studio. These artists can work in a certain amount of time on a collaborative project; a project they always wished to do, but didn’t have the time or the equipment to realize.

Since almost forty years z’ev belongs to the absolute fore front of experimental music. Playing percussive music he gained a lot of attention, but in more recent years he returned to working with electronic tape manipulation. One aspect is working with other people, such as Francisco Lopez or Kasper Toeplitz. In his collaboration with KK Null he plays electronic drums.

KK Null (born Kazuyuki Kishino in Tokyo) is a Japanese experimental multi-instrumentalist. He began as a guitarist, but soon added composer, singer, electronic musician and drummer to his list of talents, and also studied with the Butoh workshop.
Null joined the noise/progressive rock band Ybo2 in 1984, issuing several albums and EPs throughout the remainder of the decade. Later he founded more bands, such as Absolute Null Punkt (aka ANP) and his most well known one, the self-described “progressive hardcore trio” Zeni Geva. From that point he also produced albums for other artists, created his own record label (Nux Organization), played live and collaborated on albums with many other musicians, including John Zorn, Yona-Kit, Steve Albini, Boredoms, Seiichi Yamamoto, Jim O’Rourke, Merzbow, Fred Frith, James Plotkin, Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide, Jon Rose, Atau Tanaka, Zbigniew Karkowski, Z’EV, Alexei Borisov, Earth. Noisegate and Philip Samartzis, as well as supporting such artists as Sonic Youth and Mike Patton on tour.

Price: 10 euros

Korm Plastics’ New Ear
Korm Plastics kp 2526
cassette
For a long time I wanted to do this, but always thought of it too late: a tape dealing with the arrival of new year. So many christmas tunes and never that many for new year. So I asked my closest friends if they have something. Bertin brings us a cover of one of those tunes, played on his casio keyboards, Slo Fi takes a look at the ‘Mailcop – Muzak’ cassette from so many moons ago and Freiband has a break. That’s the party side of things and on the other side we have more introspective tunes by Wouter Jaspers, The Tobacconists and Freek Kinkelaar. Available before the new year starts and likeable in all seasons. This tape comes without a cover – oops. And is limited to 100 copies, why not 2011? Beats me.

Price: 7 euros (including postage)

Four new releases on My Own Little Label

Frans de Waard – Kubus
My Own Little Label 038
cassette
Kubus Kassettes, later to be called Kubus Kommunikaties, claimed to be the very first Dutch cassette label. Their first release was a pretty standard sort of rock release, but right then, after that, Kubus started to release experimental music. They were ‘different’ to other labels, offering a more intellectual approach to what they were doing. Rob Smit, the label boss, had his own vision of the ambient music by Brian Eno: the four way musical universe, consisting of the musical matter, time, space and energy. In his own music, he delayed the playing of a glockenspiel and worked with the studio techniques, however minimal, to change the color of the sound. On this cassette I take his ideas, or perhaps I create covers of his pieces. ‘Stemmingen’ uses a bow and a glockenspiel, which are layered extensively. ‘Slag Werk’ uses the same glockenspiel, but played rhythmically. The computer transposes it various ways, in order to create a more gamelan like feel and it uses
extensive layers. ‘Terug Gaan’ started as a four track recording of glockenspiel, philicordia organ and sound effects, played in an improvised manner. The four track is then played at half the speed, and transferred to the computer, with channel three and four playing backwards. These four tracks are then played simultaneously and totally edited, but no other computer technique was applied. Unfortunately the tape I pulled from the pile to record this one, did survive ‘time’ very well: the magnetics have come off, and I only noticed this after recording. So in good Brian Eno spirit – honor your mistakes – I decided to go ahead and use this tape, along with the imperfections of the tape. This piece resembles the closest approach to the original Kubus sound.
The first cassette release on My Own Little Label – an edition of 50 copies.

Price: 5 euros

Ezdanitoff – We Bring Light
My Own Little Label 039
3″CDR
Wouter Jaspers and Frans de Waard will be on tour again in November and in order to prepare this, they went into the studio, recorded some great music and then decided to something else on the road afterwards. The studio sessions consisted on playing on all the analogue synthesizers there (Moog Prodigy, Korg MS20, Roland Sh 01, Juno 60) and they common theme is love songs, ballads even if you want. They were mixed afterwards adding some extra material (field recordings, electronics) and doesn’t sound at all like the previous release ‘Komeet’. For the tour they choose four pre-mixes as a tour item and it will be for sale until ‘We Bring Light’ is fully mixed and released. Spacious synth songs!

Price: 4 euros

Zebra – j05 50j
My Own Little Label 040
3″ CDR
Recently Jos Smolders turned 50 and invited some friends over a beer and cake. Oh and some to play to music, Orphax, Staplerfahrer and Zebra. Since the other two will release their piece on a CDR, Zebra made an edit to fit on a 3″ CDR of their festitive piece. Three shure fire hits from their catalogue of meltpop tunes, ‘Muesings Are Jest The Start’ , ‘Dusty Riveval Music’ and an as yet untitled piece from what is called the ‘Classic’ album (to be released some day), but packed up with sound samples from the vast musical career of Jos Smolders. Rather a nice version, for the true fans of all things Zebra.

Price: 4 euros

Freiband vs The Idealist – Time Lag
My Own Little Label 041
3″CDR

In 2006 The Idealist (Joachim Nordwall) and Freiband (Frans de Waard) met up in studio 4 of the EMS studios in Stockholm and looked at the mighty Bucla machine. Two days were spend on taping sounds from this machine with the prospect of doing a record together. For various reasons this never happened, but the one thing that was finished is now available on 3″CDR. A heavy beast of analogue drone music.

Price: 4 euros

Frans de Waard – Floodlight
My Own Little Label 042
3″CDR

A culmination of two line recordings and one live recording from two recent concerts at Etalage (Nijmegen) and Tape (Arnhem). The assignment was: don’t bring your laptop and do something with the BBC Radiophonic workshop in mind. I brought five synthesizers and a cassette. A bit of Emerson Lake & Palmer but without any knive stabbing. Spacious.

Price: 4 euros

and then also finally available:

Zebra – De Limbabwe Tape
Limbabwe 50

In the early 80s young Roel Meelkop lived in the Dutch city of Venlo and tried his hands at playing in punk bands. Venlo had a fair sized punk scene, circling around a cassette label called Limbabwe. Later Roel moved to Rotterdam, discovered different kinds of music, started playing with THU20, later also in Kapotte Muziek, Goem and Zebra. He played all over Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan, but never in Venlo. In 2010, a slightly older Roel Meelkop played Venlo for the first time, doing a solo concert, one with Kapotte Muziek and one with Zebra. Someone in the audience tips of Mat, the man behind the original Limbabwe label now living in Slovenia, who invites Zebra to play in his home-town. Material was prepared based on the original Limbabwe releases (punk, post punk, crisis funk, poets and impovisation) and performed for a likewise small but bewildered audience in Idrija. A trip that wasn’t easy made, missing airplanes, heavy rainfall and departing after a long bus ride from a
different airport. The live recording is released on the a-side, while the b-side sees Zebra doing short laptop punk pieces based on the original samples, leaving the beat more at home. Not a departure from the signature full on Zebra sound, but rather deepening that sound. Released, theoretically, by Limbabwe, but only available, on green cassettes, by Korm Plastics, in a full color cover and in a limited edition of 50 copies.

Price: 10 euros (including postage)

Sound samples etc can be found here:
send me an e-mail if you want to order any or all: info@kormplastics.nl