Friday, September 17, 2021

Wendingen 1918

Wendingen 1918
Recherche Dans Le Rêve
Sloowax 008

After a couple of limited art releases on Des Astres D’Or (now Astres d’Or) this is the first more widely available release of Wendingen 1918. Aural analogue surreal investigations by the trio of Raymond Dijkstra (Asra, bhaavitaaH bhuutasthaH, Santasede), Bart De Paepe (Ilta Hämärä, Innercity, Bombay Lunatic Asylum) and Frédérique Bruyas (Emmanuel Dilhac, La Poupée Vivante, Nivritti Marga). A hybrid mix of dynamic electronics, spatial sounds and poetry expressing a dazzling physical whole. Wendingen 1918 is dedicated to the early 20th century Dutch architectural magazine Wendingen that was associated with expressionistic architecture: it attempted to distort reality to express subjective, emotional experience. Edition of 300.

Best of 2021 (Soundohm)

This LP is the third LP by Wendingen 1918. Band member Raymond Dijkstra released the two previous LPs were released on his Des Astres d'Or. As with many of the releases on that particular enterprise, these are highly limited (25-40 copies) and usually don't make it to these pages. Of this new LP, 300 were made, so my first introduction to their music; may also be the case for more people. The other two members are Bart de Paepe and Frederique Bruyas. The latter is a regular collaborator of Dijkstra, and I must admit I don't know too much about De Paepe, other than he worked with Timo van Luijk as Ilta Hämärä (see Vital Weekly 1137). Wendingen 1918 refers to a Dutch magazine for architects and designers, and the first issue is from 1918. [wiki:] "Wendingen initially was an important platform for Dutch expressionism, also known as the Amsterdam School, and later endorsed the New Objectivity." As with much of the music I heard from Dijkstra (solo and others), this is another improvisation work. The four pieces are quite different. 'Je M'abandonne à la Fièvre Des Rêves' opens up here and a play of strings and percussion, rambling and rattling, and it comes with a bunch of delay and reverb, so it has a bit of a distant sound. 'Recherche Dans Le Rêve' (at seventeen minutes the most extended piece; this side of the record is over twenty-four minutes) reminded me of Nurse With Wound, with similar studio improvisations. Lots of drums rolling about, lots of cymbals, Bruyas' voice and the studio used as an additional instrument. It cuts random bits of sound in and out of the mix. The shortest piece is 'My Days Have Been a Dream' is also the quietest piece here, with slow violin moves, doubling and drifting away. This piece could have been a solo piece. Following the quietest is the loudest piece, 'Façons D'éveillé', which is a Korg Monotron synthesizer manifestation. The first few minutes are subtle, with some piano notes, but it's there alright when it starts. The piano and, later, string instruments stay there as well, but the biting sine waves of the synthesizer leave a strong imprint. Do not expect the sort of noise that Jliat would review, but it is louder than the three previous pieces. I must say it is also not the sort of improvisation that I thought was that great. Everything that happened in the background sounded of more interest to me but was too distant to reach. Despite that, I thought this was a very good record, full of exciting improvisations. (Vital Weekly)

Keiko Higuchi x Manuel Knapp

Keiko Higuchi x Manuel Knapp
Summoning Ancient Spirits
Sloow Tapes – CS 72

Sprawling sublime archaic noise electronics from visual artist Manuel Knapp (C.C.C.C, Tim Blechmann, Government Alpha) and vocal acrobatics by Keiko Highuchi (Albedo Fantastica (with Sachiko)and lots of others). Floating somewhere beyond harsh and hazy psychedelic dreams into the blackness of a Japanese night. Edition of 70 copies.

Vibration of Words

Vibration of Words
Jazz Poetry from Hungary
Sloow Tapes – CS 50

Classic recording of Hungarian-American poet/translator Gabor G. Gyukics together with Hungarian improvisers Béla Ágoston, Viktor Bori and Csaba Pengő, exhaling words and sounds in surreal late night jazz clouds of instant composition. Gabor G. Gyukics is a minimalist nature poet with a philosophical beat outlook. He translated Attila József, Endre Kukorelly and Attila Balogh in English, and Ira Cohen in Hungarian. Edition of 70.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Piero Heliczer



Counter Culture Chronicles and Casioli Press from The Hague have joined forces with Bart De Paepe’s Sloow Tapes from Stekene, Belgium to publish a lovely edition dedicated to Piero Heliczer. The book, designed by Lula Valletta and risographed by Stencilwerck, is “a tribute to Heliczer’s creative mind and to the man himself by friends, admirers and people Heliczer worked with”, according to CCC’s René van der Voort. Memories of Heliczer, eyewitness reports, investigations into lost works and actions and writings from obscure Dutch magazines by Heliczer himself have been compiled in this edition, which also contains photographs by Harry Hoogstraten, a letter to the Dutch queen by Heliczer and a couple of other extras. Other contributors than René van der Voort and Harry Hoogstraten to this Heliczer tribute are Eddie Woods, Harry Ruhé, Hans Plomp and Alain Diaz. This book is a valuable addition to the existing works and biographies dedicated to Piero Heliczer as well as a collectible book in itself.

Poet, publisher, actor and filmmaker Piero Heliczer was born to a German mother and a Polish father in Rome in 1937. After his father, who was active in the resistance, had been murdered by the Gestapo, Piero and his mother emigrated to the US in the 1940s, where he enrolled at Harvard in 1955 only to drop out two years later. Heliczer moved to Europe, where he co-founded the seminal Dead Language Press with his high school friend, poet and composer Angus MacLise. After having relocated to London in 1960, Heliczer returned to the US in 1962. There he worked with Jack Smith, Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground and produced some 25 experimental 8mm films. After having lived hand to mouth in Amsterdam and New York in the 1970s and 1980s, Heliczer moved to Normandy in 1984, where worked in a secondhand bookstore until his death in a road accident in 1993.