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.