click on the picture below to listen
Electronic Cottage #5.
Another selection of highlights from the Electronic Cottage interactive community website. A platform for independent artists, musicians, writers and freethinkers. With music by Mental Anguish, Dave Fuglewicz, Jim Barker, Prescott/Bohman and others.
01. Mental Anguish (Chris Phinney). You Just Gotta. 6:16. Album: Hands To / Mental Anguish.
02. Shatter Wax. Electro Acoustic Cottage Visitation. 2:00. Album: Electronic Cottage Compilation 004.
03. Jen Sandwich. False Memories. 2:00. Album: Electronic Cottage Compilation 004.
04. Eduardo GOZNE. The Great Flood (Genesis 7.12). 2:00. Album: Electronic Cottage Compilation 004.
05. Dave Fuglewicz. The Near Bygone Days. 1:58. Album: Electronic Cottage Compilation 004.
06. Dave Fuglewicz. Blood Rust. 13:46. (excl.) Electronic Cottage.
07. W.A. Davison. Broken Radio Loops. 1:59. Album: Electronic Cottage Compilation 004.
08. Jim Barker. Pile Driver Folk Dinner. 1:59. Album: Electronic Cottage Compilation 004.
09. Jim Barker. door 1. 12:43. (excl.) Electronic Cottage.
10. (uncredited). spit surprise. 1:07. Album: Body Sounds.
11. John M. Bennett. Il B’AL. 1:43. Album: Electronic Cottage Compilation 004.
12. David Prescott/Adam Bohman. Whispering Wendy. 14:08. Album: Body Sounds.
The first time I heard the music of Enno was during a VPRO live-broadcast of the Radiola Improvisatie Salon at Queekhoven. Willem de Ridder unpacked a mail delivery. Meanwhile the radio-show already started. From Enno Velthuys, The Hague, was written on the package. Willem introduced the tape. And played it. A serene silence filled the saloon.
Several home-tapers were present. But also close friends of Willem had gathered in the saloon. Rob Smit, who just started KUBUS cassettes (1980), was one of them. A few weeks later, when I contacted Rob, he told me he visited Enno and his mother. Enno liked the idea releasing a tape.
It became ‘Ontmoeting’.
Between Rob and me there was regular contact in the period of 1980 till 1987. At first there was the interest in the cassette culture. Second the interest in these first movements in recording yourself, at home. The equipment that was used. And the developments in new ‘electronic’ instruments, we could afford.
Rob’s focus was getting in contact with local musicians and composers and produce tape-releases. A straight label focus! Produce and sell. Not try to become part of the cassette network, the mail-art scene, the fanatic home-made tape culture, with loads of unfinished and uncomfortable sound-experiments.
The fast developments in new media, like the production of the compact disc and DAT, pushed away the interest in tapes. Already halfway through the eighties music-cassette labels saw their sales reduce. For Rob Smit the reason to finish his label activities in 1985. Despite he just produced the second tape of Enno Velthuys, ‘Landscapes In Thin Air’.
He knew I also was a Velthuys fan. The only thing was the difference between the soul of both labels. EXART and KUBUS.
Anyway, putting these differences aside and in benefit of Enno, after a first visit in The Hague, I decided to move forward with Enno’s music.
For years we stayed in close contact with Enno. Enno wasn’t easy to deal with. His world was tiny. He lived in his bedroom, watched over by his mother in her apartment. His communication was narrow. But we managed to do two more releases. ‘A Glimpse Of Light’ and ‘Different Places’.
While in the meantime I also moved into new musical directions, more and more experimental. The gap between Enno and me grew. And in the nineties I also decided to finish the label.
Willem de Ridder and Enno stayed in close contact. Enno composed background music for Willem’s storytelling, radioprograms and earplays.
After I noticed Enno had died (2009, 61 years old), I started a search, for any kind of information concerning his musical backgrounds. There’s not much written about Enno. I heard he was a well respected guitar player in rock- and popbands during the sixties in the The Hague music scene (Golden Earring, Shocking Blue). He had a close relationship with the members of Q65, with Jay Baar, Joop Roelofs and Frank Nuyens.
Here some short quotes I found on the internet:
‘Some were stabbed users. Enno Velthuys, who was part of the Rainman Project.’ (That was the solo project of Frank Nuyens. Frank who made an album with various guest musicians: listen to ‘Get You To Come Through’.
‘With Enno I experienced LSD-trips. I could escape from the trips, but Enno continued staying in those moods. For him it turned out very bad.’
‘He did suicide attempts and he became dialysis machine dependent, because his kidneys were ruined by the pills.’
"I have two souls in my chest ," he once said to me. He has become totally schizophrenic and he lives in an apartment, with his mother 65+. He lives there to make a little music, but does not leave the house.’
‘Enno was a gifted musician and could play any instrument.’
Enno Velthuys is the son of the well-known children's book author Max Velthuys.
Hessel and Nicole also were involved in the FANATIC-project. This project started after the Holland Festival shows in 1985. Willem de Ridder and Hessel already started making radio programmes in the late seventies and early eighties: normal stories and fairy-tales for children. But also did sound and storytelling performances with musicians like Alvin Curran, Han Reiziger, Francis Marie Uitti and Jon Rose. During all these recording sessions and travels abroad, Nicole and Cora became more and more part of the ’the sound-mindset’ of Willem and Hessel. A mindset of inspiring each other in making music, storytelling and singing.
Listen to and download 320 kbps MP3, "Eronatic" by Fanatic (unreleased). A real-time impro chanting session @ the EXART studios.
Cora Emens asked Hessel and Nicole Veldman and Willem to join when she was asked to make a sound-art-play. Willem started doing “singing” and making music. Nicole took her ‘playing with objects’ part. Hessel came out of his comfort zone, being a musician, and started chanting as well. The first release was called “Ei blot till list”, an sound-art piece by Cora Emens, released by Confrontation tapes. This worked out so well that Willem, Cora, Hessel and Nicole decided to make more music together and perform at churches and other venues. Willem named us the Fanatic which later became FNTC.
Listen to "1st Radio Active Rain After Tsjernobil" [Chernobyl]. Made during the winter of 1986/87 by Fanatic, after a journey by Willem and Cora (1986), making fieldrecordings in Germany, outside and later sitting in their mobile-home when the first rain, after the Tsjernobil melt-down disaster, came down. It has this wonderful second part: if life is still there, we survived the disaster, by listening to the baby sounds of Aida, the just born daughter of Willem and Cora.
So we needed a name: FANATIC was born. And FANATIC appeared more and more “on stage”, doing strange perverse performances while audiences were blindfolded and/or confronted with extreme sound-sculptures. In 1986 the name was changed into F.N.T.C. and several music- and videotapes were released during the late 80’s.
“NEUROPA”(feat. William Levy) and “OPERA”(feat. Jon Rose) soon became top issues and were broadcasted in many different countries.
Three videos, each 20 minutes were shot in real-time, same as the sound real-time sessions we did as a home farewell party. Just before we moved the studio to another area in IJmuiden. Pictured above are all three covers of the video-boxes.
The cassette Neuropa by Fanatic was released with the magazine Fanatic; the Special Low Mindedness Issue. The magazine was a historic issue, made by Willem de Ridder and William Levy during their publisher years, in London, UK.
On the tape there were two radio-plays. Side one: "Europe In Flames" featuring William Levy reading his poem Europe in Flames on the soundscape real-time created by Fanatic. Side two was based on a fieldrecording Willem & Cora made in Belgium, and was called "AZY".
Listen to Europe In Flames (excerpt) by Fanatic. A successful and price winning (New York sound-radio-art-festival) radio-art work (total time: 30 minutes) in collaboration with William Levy.
Europe In Flames was reissued on LP by Slowscan in 2016 (limited edition).
Listen to side one of the ‘Opera’ recordings (featuring Jon Rose). Released by Staalplaat.
First: The name Gorgonzola Legs was from an album by Vivian Stanshall (member of the Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band) named ’Sir Henry At Rawlinson End’.
Quoted: Lady Staines wants a 4th player for a game of bridge ...
"Sir Henry" she says, "would you like to be the 4th man?" Henry glared at her wattled neck, gorgonzola legs ... "
Madam", he intoned, "I wouldn't even have liked to be the first man!"
From 1984 till 1989 one day a week the music collective Gorgonzola Legs gathered in the Fish Warehouse in the harbour of IJmuiden, the main port of Amsterdam. All these moments of making weird sounds and messing around with crazy objects were captured on a 4-track cassette recorder. Hours and hours of recordings were listened to and finally Hessel Veldman made a selection of tracks that were interesting to be remixed into ‘compositions’.
Several tapes were released on the ExArt label. [See Post 2] But also two special tapes were released by LOR Tapes and Harsh Reality Music. Slimy Clupea Harengus (LOR Tapes) was a compilation of live recordings made at several venues in The Netherlands. Short Stories (Harsh Reality Music) was a compilation of improvised sound-poetry and storytelling, also recorded at the Fish Warehouse.
Listen to and download a track recorded in Haarlem @ Patronaat. From Slimy Clupea Harengus.
April 1988 the cd ‘Piscatorial Debris’ was released. We did a presentation @ the Witte Theater in IJmuiden by playing a special impro-gig as support of Snakefinger. It was the start of Phil Lithman’s European tour. The tour he never finished, because he died in Austria two weeks later.
The live recording of the Witte Theater set became the soundtrack for the Piscatorial Debris video, made by Henry van Kleeff. The video was filmed @ the Fish Warehouse in the main hall, more than 150 meters long, on a forklift truck slowly moving backwards. It was the same slow movement as in the soundtrack.
Listen to and download an excerpt from the live-recording made @ the Witte Theater in IJmuiden & soundtrack of the ‘Piscatorial Debris’ video.
During the early days of home taping (1978-80) we regularly gathered @ Queekhoven estate in Utrecht. Every month Willem de Ridder did his Radiola Improvisatie Salon, a live radio broadcast for VPRO radio, instantly playing received music cassettes from people who visited the show live in Queekhoven or who had sent the tapes by mail.
Things started to move fast after the first two releases. There was a lot of publicity in local newspapers and national music magazines. During that period Hessel, both with his wife Nicole, made loads of recordings of their own music in IJmuiden, but also started to do recording-sessions with many other musicians.
Constantly the studio was recording sounds of Kees Beukelaar, Herman te Loo, Jos van Ommen, Kees van Ede and Willem de Ridder. A lot of these improvisations and compositions were compiled on several Y CREATE issues. (Why create? or Ymuidense creations. The Y is the central canal/lake of Amsterdam.)
Y Create / Bodies Hanging In The Breeze.
(Hessel Veldman & Herman te Loo)
(Hessel Veldman & choir arr. Alvin Curran)
With Kees van Ede and Willem de Ridder live concerts started. Famous are the AORTA-concerts in Amsterdam and the live-broadcasts on the Dutch National Radio (V.P.R.O.). In June 1983 Willem de Ridder, Kees van Ede, Annie Sprinkle, Veronica Vera and Hessel Veldman shocked Amsterdam, during the Holland Festival, with their four-day-erotic-soundscape-performance: “PORTABLE VAUDEVILLE”.
Y Create Portable Vaudeville mix (special DJ edit with Portable Vaudeville soundtrack (live-recording) & Songs From The Sperm Whale song: Eddie and his Mum.)
Meanwhile Kees van Ede and Hessel developed a complete new glass-organ, that could be played with human hands, but was amplified with special made equipment. Kees and Hessel worked on this instrument for almost a year and the result could be heard on the tape “VAN EDE’S GLASWERK”, which was completely recorded at the STEIM-STUDIO in Amsterdam.
Van Ede’s Glaswerk excerpt Hessel Veldman & Kees van Ede; recorded @ STEIM in Amsterdam
1984 was the year in which Gert Jan Prins visited Hessel and Nicole at their apartment on the 11th floor, overlooking a big industrial landscape. Recording-sessions were started at Gert Jan’s “Fish Warehouse”-studio. Gert Jan Prins, Hessel Veldman, Herman te Loo and Jos van Duyne became GORGONZOLA LEGS. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of live-recording sessions took place. At some of these sessions other musicians were present, such as: Jos van Ommen, Ruud Junge, Martijn Swart and Masaki Oishi.
At the end of 1984 “GORGONZOLA LEGS” was released. On this one hour cassette the first mixed recordings could be heard. The group also wanted to do concerts and so GORGONZOLA LEGS more and more became a live-band.
Mr. Lawnmower by Gorgonzola Legs during the impro-sessions @ The Fish Warehouse in IJmuiden
In 1986 a second tape was released, entitled “SALMON SQUEEZING IN WEIRD WEIRS’, a new compilation of “Fish Warehouse”-recordings. “BUNKER” was recorded live at the Bunker in Rotterdam, October ’86. The complete concert could be heard on another EXART-issue. In 1987 the powerfull voice of the Japanese singer Masaki Oishi gave a new dimension to the sound of GORGONZOLA LEGS. Again hours and hours of recordings were made. At the end of the year 6 hours of mixed material had to be remixed to L.P.-format. In april 1988 EXART decided to make it Holland’s first independent C.D.-release: “PISCATORIAL DEBRIS’.
At the same time, with the great help of Henry van Kleeff, the “PISCATORIAL DEBRIS”-video was made. A beautiful 20 minutes sound sculpture video was realized. The video and C.D. got a lot of international attention and was performed on several big music/video festivals. During the late 80’s GORGONZOLA LEGS-material was also released on labels in Portugal, Italy and the U.S.A.
Gorgonzola Legs special Remix 2011 with a mix of live-impro-sessions used for Gorgonzola Legs tape releases during the eighties
Y Create Forbidden Radio
Early this year I did a performance called Y Create Forbidden Radio during the (H)ear 10th Anniversary Festival in Heerlen in The Netherlands, close to the Belgium and German border.
Here’s an excerpt from the concert in Heerlen (also available as download):
Y Create Forbidden Photographs
In 2014 I was asked to do a performance in OT301 in Amsterdam. Part of the Headroom presentation by Martijn Comes. The Y Create Forbidden Photographs performance was filmed and recorded by Shourai Sessions and is still available on Youtube:
You can download the recordings here:
Check out more:
Martijn Comes (1979) is a Dutch composer who is specialised in new media, sound design and electro-acoustic composition. He graduated at the academy for Digital Communications in 2004 with a thesis on live stage performance with the aid of digital media and studied Composition for Film at the Conservatory of Amsterdam (2010). He wrote diverse works based on research in popular music, contemporary music and classical music combining elements of various acoustic+digital aesthetic, composition techniques and sound design in six releases with ‘Infinite Spaces and Beyond’ (2014), ‘Wolf’ (2015), ‘Tradition Noise (2015)’, ‘Radio Oblivion (2016)’ and ‘Interrogation of the Crystalline Sublime’ (2016) being his most recent albums, which all were critically acclaimed.
His work has been broadcasted world wide on local as well as national stations like Radio 3 Spain, Polish and Norwegian National Radio, and RTÉ Ireland. He worked with filmmaker Thomas Mohr his ‘Resonance’ & ‘Learning curve’ films, which both were curated by the LIMA Media Art Platform (former NiMK). ‘Resonance’ was part of the Best Of selection of the Ars Electronica festival in 2010.
He received commissions by: IO SOUND (ca), Bedouin Records (uae), Bastikaya Tapes (uae), Silent Records (usa), Time Symmetric (us), WORM Rotterdam, Moving Furniture Records, Smikkelbaard (nl), Municipality of Haarlem (nl), Oedipus Brewery Amsterdam (nl). His work for Carillon ‘EANN’ was premiered on the St Bavo Church in Haarlem, and was selected as the opening piece of the prestigious LE GUESS WHO festival, Utrecht in 2017. Martijn shared the stage and collaborated with artists as Kim Cascone, Twine, Mitchell Akiyama, Rosa Menkman, Marijn Korff de Gidts, Christian Pabst, Fred Gales, poet Martin Reints, actrice Annette Kouwenhoven, Armeno Alberts, Philippe Petit, Giulio Aldinucci, Lucrecia Dalt, Freida Abtan, Scant Intone and Orphax.
EXART, founded by Hessel Veldman, started its activities in October 1982.
In 1978 Hessel started composing experimental music and before 1978 he was playing distorted guitar in several local blues- and alternative rock-bands. Also an early fascination for noise and dissonance, from the beginning of the 1970s, in combination with a preference for writing and performing extremely idiosyncratic music, created a wide range of experimental compositions.
Improvisatie VI was composed in 1979. The pre Exart period.
Only using an electronic organ and a tape recorder.
The Deep (unreleased) was made as a soundscore for a fairytale radioplay. (1980)
Finally in 1982 the label started to spread new experimental and improvised music. The EXART studio was the place to make compositions, recordings, radio-programmes, mixes and remixes. And at the same time Hessel started to preserve sounds in the EXART archive.
The first EXART issue was a tape by ROTTERDANS, a group of people from Rotterdam, who made their own city folk-music in an old building; one of the few that were left after World War II.
Soon after the first EXART-release “United States XV” was issued. A one-month-tour through the States gave Hessel so much inspiration that fifteen soundscapes could be heard on this C-90 music-cassette.
Interference by Rotterdans is from the Hersenletsel tape from 1984/85. Recorded in Rotterdam and mixed at the EXART studio.