New! Eric Desjeux – Foofi

Eric Desjeux is a filmmaker and a documentarist. He uses a different name for his sonic productions. A person of many talents, he is incredibly active in the world of non-academic experimental music. He is also an insatiable traveller.

Knowing this, I have asked him to compile a work that was a result of his travels and to approach the release as a filmmaker rather than a sound artist.

Foofi is a mixture of documentary and personal journal. Interviews (in french) tell tales about people who went away and about people who stayed. The heat and the big continent of Africa are almost palpable.

Recorded in West Africa from 2017 to 2019
edited in Europe on March 2021

length 2x 15 minutes

For this release I used found commercial tapes. The quality of the -used- tape adds an extra, almost organic dimension to the recordings.

Official release date 15. April

one minute silence for Lou Ottens

On Saturday 6th of March 2021 Lou Ottens passed away at the age of 94. Lou Ottens invented the compact cassette. The novelty was presented at the Funkausstellung in Berlin on 31th of August 1963. In 1965, based on a patent that guaranteed compatibility, Philips made the technology available free of charge to manufacturers all over the world. Ever since then 100 billion compact cassettes have been sold. That’s a lot of kilometers of tape.

The one minute silence is made in two parts. The first thirty seconds are played by a Sony walkman TCM-200DV , the second thirty seconds are played by a Sony walkman pro.

Unfortunately I don’t have a Philips cassette player.

There are two things I need to say:

first, I have doubted a long time if I should charge payment for this one minute silence pieces. I thought people buy candles and flowers to put on graves. I also thought of the vase with fifteen sunflowers, a painting by Vincent van Gogh; the Japanese insurance magnate Yasuo Goto bought it for almost forty million dollar. In 1987 it was considered a scandalous amount. I heard silence, and I saw silence in that action: it was a deep bow out of respect for the talent of van Gogh.

If it’s free, it ain’t worth a thing.

I will use your money to buy and recycle a few of those 100 billion tapes. If you are many I will talk with friends about how to use this money in the best way possible in honour of Lou Ottens.

second, why not release this on tape. Well, a blank tape’s content is silence. To release silence on a silent tape would turn the tape into a work of conceptual art. The right way to respect the one minute silence is to insert the tape into the player and be silent for one minute before you press ‘play.’
In a digital version the one minute silence produced by playing a blank tape, is just that, the sound of one minute of blank tape sliding over the tape head. If it appears in your playlist you might be reminded to give a moment of your thoughts to the inventor of the compact cassette.

Lang Leve Lou Ottens!

Long Live Lou Ottens!

Make Incest Great Again – review

Ed Pinsent wrote a review about Make Incest Great Again. It’s also an essay. And it is great to read someone who understood the concept and the intention and how each song connected to the idea.

This tape however exhibits a more oblique, outsider, European take on the same subject. None of them like what they see. Rather than use recordings of Trump’s voice to make him look ridiculous, or hypocritical, instead the plan seems to be to construct a nightmarish vision of the modern political stage, where nothing is what it appears to be; the whole album projects a looking-glass world, a place of general absurdity. More than half of the spoken word elements produce plain gibberish; the few coherent phrases that do emerge are cold, alien, and disconnected.

Hannya White – Review

Ed Pinsent wrote a review about Hannya’s tape ‘Who put the flowers in the garden.’

Also for him the sounds and songs he heard were hard to understand. It’s an experience more listeners had. Every definition and means of understanding was elusive, a first condition to become weightless.

In his words: I might also reach for the “plasticine” metaphor, since we’re in the home-craft zone now, since a lot of these tunes have the spontaneous, rough-hewn feel of a sculptor modelling in clay, trying out what fits. I hope I’m conveying something of the spontaneity and ingenious invention I’m digging on hearing this tape. There are a lot of ideas here and I’m having fun trying to piece everything together, hoping for a vista or a window on White’s world view.

Rinus van Alebeek – How to Forget

The sounds on this tape ​stress the importance of forgetting.
​I​ used many ​e​very day objects, simple objects,
to record ​the source material​ directly on magnetic tape.
​These were objects that we encounter…bricks, wood, stairs.
The objects I chose had an extra historic layer;
they were made and used before the war,
in a part of Poland that belonged to the German Reich.
I mixed these sounds with music and speech from found tapes.
Those were relics of a (Polish) past t​hat ceased to exist.

On side 2 I added an encounter with life – real and imagined-
in the former jewish neighbourhood Podgórze in Kraków.
Obviously also that era came to an end.

To remember everything in detail is impossible;
it would hurt too much and make life unbearable.
That is why we tell stories.

Sounds for Side 1 were mainly recorded in and around the Bishop’s Castle in Klein Peterwitz during the fierce winter of 2017
Sounds for Side 2 were recorded in Kraków in April and May 2017

Additional sounds on Side 1 come from tapes found in the streets of Wroclaw or at the Hala Targowa flea market in Kraków.

The Soundprojector wrote about this tape:
Rinus van Alebeek is usually noted here as curator of the unique releases on his own Staaltape label, which he is kind enough to send us, but he’s here today published on the Tutore Burlato label run by the equally unique fellow Ezio Piermatttei. How To Forget (TUTORE BURLATO 20) is probably one of the most personal and heartfelt releases Rinus has assembled; it has something to do with painful memories, of lost history, of leaving the past behind. He thinks it’s very important to forget things; to use his own expression, “to remember everything in detail is impossible; it would hurt too much and make life unbearable.”

To achieve this, he has deliberately visited parts of Poland that were occupied by the Germans during WWII, and explored buildings, objects, familiar things like bricks and stairways; it’s all part of a plan to connect to the past, to a way of life that has vanished. He goes even further on side two, making observations and impressions of a former Jewish neighbourhood in Krakow. He is focussed – some might say highly preoccupied – with an era that is past, and looks for traces of it in the physical ghosts and shells that remain. This is done with several sources – found tapes, spoken words, field recordings, music – and assembled using his highly intuitive collage method, which (to me) is much more effective than William Burroughs when it comes to allowing condensed blocks of the truth to leak out.

I especially like the way he claims to be dealing with the “real and imagined”; maybe he’s as much a novelist as he is a documentary sound artist, and he reserves the right to exercise his imaginative faculties. This is what gives How To Forget a certain compelling quality; it’s almost like a story, a sketchy radio play, where details are obliterated, characters only appear in a hazy, distant manner, and events are happening in the wrong order. Only Mark Vernon has come close to realising this kind of powerful narrative-essay-poem in sound. The story-telling is all part of van Alebeek’s strategy; for him, telling stories, making repeatable narratives, is what makes the unbearable past something we can live with. Profoundly sorrowful; an essential piece of work .

How to Forget was released by Tutore Burlato.
Artwork and production by Ezio Piermattei.