Etch Wear / Psykopharmaka

psykopharmakaEtch Wear is the label run by my friend from Europ Europ… since 1994 the world is not safe from his incidental actions… always fresh and surprising and never fitting into speficic  genre styles or trends or whatever… 1994… that is a long time… 10 years longer even as my own label…

Some of the recent highlights for me are the vinyls by Epilektrician and Fräulein Luftwaffe… and very recently there came out a 3″ cd-r (one of my favourite formats ever) by Psykopharmaka… they released  a tape on Etch Wear in 1994 and were the reason to start the label… now twenty years later a 3″ cd-r is released with an amazing over 20 minutes version of the track released twenty years ago… starting out as a lo-fi electronic ambient track but after about 7 and a half minute an bass guitar kicks in… resulting in strange and weird music/muzak… like in-between Fonal stuff and Lynch like dark jazz and ambient… simply amazing…

As second track a new version of the original track is added… sounding somewhere in-between Einstürzende Neubauten and Tuxedo Moon… what else do you need?!

Here is another piece by Psykopharmaka… sit back and enjoy the trip…

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Test pressings

testpressingLunch time so a few words on what has kept me busy at Enfant Terrible HQ these last days… I have been silent as I am sending new records to the pressing plant for production and planning and imagining  some future releases…

One of the things I like best about running a label are the moments only I and the musician have the music… nobody else has the music yet… this is an absolute great idea to me… of course at some points in the process more people have the music… like Rude66 who is doing my mastering for vinyl… and the people at the pressing plant to make the records…

Before you get the actual records you always get test pressings (also known as white labels) to check if it all sounds like it was meant to be… on the one hand this is a great moment as only I have the music on vinyl right then… the exclusivity is what I like about this… and also what made me do the super limited give away edition of the last Europ Europ album…

On the other hand it is always a bit stressful… is the record good? Does all sound as it should sound? I am always nervous about faults made in the process… Once you say to the pressing plant the record is okay there is no turning back… but the point is test pressings never really sound 100% the same as the final product… there are some reasons for this… like the machine it is made on (often different from the one used for the final product), the vinyl used for test is not always the same as for final product and due to the small numbers pressed for test pressings the machine might not be on the ideal temperature (yet)… it all depends on how a pressing plant deals with it basically… and you never really know…

Anyway… these days I am enjoying the test pressings of the Diamantener Oberhof and Brunnen albums coming next month… and right now during my normal job I am enjoying yet unreleased tracks by Neugeborene Nachtmusik… just to make you jealous!

Dirty Beaches

dirtybeachesEver since I came across Dirty Beaches I have been listening to his records a lot… late last year the latest record “Stateless” was released… and on his website the musician announced this will also be the last ever record under this alias…

With “Stateless” one could argue Dirty Beaches has come full circle so to speak… the musician himself says he has developed into a different direction and thus it is time for something new… still in a way “Stateless” is not very different from the first cd-r album “Old Blood” (2008)…

“Old Blood” features lo-fi ambient music but all moulded into songs more or less… after this Dirty Beaches gradually evolved his music into something more pulsating and rocking… resulting in his first major album “Badlands” (2011)… this records is like Elvis doing his thing together with Suicide…

Absolute highlight in his oeuvre is the double LP “Drifters / Love Is The Devil”… while “Drifters” continues a bit in the style of “Badlands” but a bit more synth driven at times it also has another side to it… the music reminds me of the adventurous and wild side of Novy Svet… it is more the attitude towards music and the energy floating in it as anything else… but in a strange way it does feel like that…

“Love Is The Devil” is more of an ambient record with minimal music and jazz touches to it… totally different from “Drifters” in style… maybe… maybe not… depends on how you listen to the music I guess…

“Stateless” is a logical next step after this with it is long ambient pieces… beautiful  moody soundscapes to dream away on… the saxophone gives it a sort of (cool) jazz feeling at times… but it also is reminiscent of these first lo-fi ambient pieces from “Old Blood” but stretched and produced and recorded in a different way so it does not sounds anymore like home recordings as the early stuff did…

I am sure I will enjoy the music by Dirty Beaches for a long time to come and I am very curious to hear what will be next by this musician… here is the last piece from “Stateless”…

Morc

anneliesmonsereSome years ago I came across the music of Annelies Monseré due to a collaboration she did with In Gowan Ring/Birchbook… although it was on  my want list since then I never bought a record of her until recently… not sure why now but most likely as I am listening to quite some tranquil and folklore inspired tunes lately…

I ordered her 10″ vinyl EP entitled “Nest” directly from the label… being Morc Records from Belgium… a label specialised in small limited edition vinyls, tapes and cd’s… only vinyls lately… the sounds they put out are mostly drones, ambient and folklore inspired stuff… or all of that in the mix…

Label boss Wim Lecluyse is a musician himself too and releases under the alias of Circle Bros… his album “Haven” is really something to check out if you are into ambient and drone like music with a lo-fi touch… next to electronics he puts in some guitars and vague vocals… resulting in soundscapes to dream away on for sure…

With 70 releases up to now there is lots of music to discover for fans of this kind of stuff… if you are not familiar at all here is one track of Annelies Monseré to start out with… sort of Nico inspired in one way or another this one…

Vrystaete @ Kapitaal

brunnen_printsYesterday during the Radio Resistencia session at Kapitaal Utrecht I started with printing the artwork for the Brunnen and Diamantener Oberhof releases coming soon on Vrystaete… well actually only the Brunnen as this is was so much work… but very nice to do…

Hans_Brunnen_printingThe Brunnen art print which comes with the record is a linocut made by Dutch visual artist (and musician) Hans de Wolf (he helped out printing as well). I had never printed a linocut before… first all was measured and set up so the printed piece is always on the same part of the paper… then you need to set the pressure on the printing press depending on how you want the print to come out… darker (more pressure) or lighter (less pressure)…

M_Brunnen_printingThen the ink needs to be warmed up to make it fluid… then for every print you need to put ink on the linocut and put it in the right spot of the printing press… then lay a piece of paper on it gently so it does not get messy… then a sort of small carpet / rubber mat goes on top of this and then you gently turn the wheel of the printing press so the linocut and paper are going underneath the press… if all goes well and you are able to get the mat and paper of the linocut what out messing up you have a super nice print… a print which needs to dry for about three days… and this 150 times in this case…

But… it is super nice to do this… it is meditative in a way… you only focus on the printing and all the rest fades into the background… and of course it is so much nicer to print the artwork for the records you release yourself instead of getting a sleeve from the pressing plant…

So… next are the Diamantener Oberhof prints… a three colour silkscreen print…

(Action photos by Hans D.)

Radio Resistencia live with Former Descent @ Kapitaal Utrecht

flyer jan 2015This sunday 18th of January there will be a Radio Resistencia session at Kapitaal Utrecht. The line up is dj M., Former Descent (live) and dj Alacidus.

Former Descent will be presenting his recent release on Gooiland Elektro…  so expect tough beats and a melodic touch… all done on the Tenori-on

We start at 15.00 hour and end around 18.00 hour… entrance is free… there are drinks for sale like locally brewed beers..

If you are in the area we like to see you there… and here is a track by Former Descent to get in the mood…

Skeppet

skeppetToday a package from the Not Not Fun label arrived with some excellent new stuff (as mostly is the case with this label)… both for my own pleasure and hopefully yours… as some copies will be up in the webshop soon…

Next to a 12″ by the ever amazing Umberto there was the latest LP by tropical wave / weird pop / psych pop musician Maria Minerva… but the best record in the box was by Skeppet…

Skeppet is a Swedish psychedelic outfit which first came to my attention with the split album they did with Street Drinkers on the now defunct label Release The Bats… this split album is all kinds of awesome… both sides but especially the Skeppet side…

I was really looking forward to more music from this duo and the new album entitled “Phase 3” is simply superb… so the waiting was worth it for sure… Skeppet play a soft, sweet, light sounding, soothing kind of psychedelic music… it is playful and trippy… it sounds a lot like classic 60’s acid rock stuff in many ways… possibly like Country Joe And The Fish in their most psychedelic mood… the music is sunny and would have fitted perfectly in the 60’s hippie scene in the USA… think Haight Ashbury on a nice sunny afternoon… a bit of dozing off in the sun or shade with some drinks or anything else… simply perfect… I am getting in the mood for the first days of spring for sure with Skeppet spinning on the turntable here…

Below is the 8 minute edit of the over 20 minutes piece on the A side of the record… enjoy!