Foldover cover of “Loopy But Chic ( soft blend)” compilation from Belgium produced by Alain Neffe. Alain produced many great comps and also had several musical projects as well including Human Flesh with wife, Nadine Bal. His Insane Productions continues today. Sorry, not a good scan.
Deep ambient rumblings from one of the most superb sound texture artists ever. Senor Lopez, from Madrid, actually produced a few tapes of non “immersive” music before this that he disavows. His body of work is stupendous.
From The Netherlands comes the most excellent band, Trespassers W. In addition to many LPs ( and then CDs), Cor Gout and the fellows put out this tape of outtakes for fans.
The Calypso Now label in Switzerland sent me one of the first tapes I ever received from Europe. There was a special charm and magic to getting it.
An unusual experimental tape from what was then Yugoslavia by Mario Marzidovsek. I cannot find any current information however.
One of the most essential labels in Europe was (and is) the EE label run by Eriek Van Havere. Specializing in dark ambient and experimental, he also has produced many compilations of European artists ( and others) in this vein. He continues his fine work today and and always, puts emphasis on tasteful and exquisitely designed packages.
A rare underground jazz release by this Spanish trio. Mostly recorded live in 1990 and 1991, this outing is not outrageous avant garde per se but probing, thoughtful sessions and, get this, written by sound immersionist, Francisco Lopez.
An experimental release on the German IRRE label by this Italian cellist. Don’t know much about him but this is not a jarring or noisy issue but a contemplative and spacey affair.
Influenced by Pink Floyd and krautrock, Belgian, Pol Silentblock stretches out into long jams of bedroom rock wandering and meandering on casio, drum machine and guitars. He throws in some vocals occasionally for good measure. There is something head nodding and insistent about all this and if one gives it time to work, it does.
A group effort by Italian Bruno de Angelis, who went on to solo work and continues today. Moving between London and Europe, he produced releases of beat oriented, technopop with interesting, well played arrangements.
6 song tape from this Italian rock ensemble, Inter Nos, called “Futuro Calpestato”. They had other tapes as well.This one is from 1999.
Swiss bass player and home taper, Joe Fleury did quite a few tapes of bedroom rock as Bidoche Musique, and often collaborated with others. On this tape he also includes a couple of live tunes and songs from other people he likes.
Besides releasing tapes of droney ambience and experimental sound immersion, Spanish composer Francisco Lopez also would roam cities throughout the world and then release sound portraits of these locales. He called then AudioTours. I don’t believe there was any manipulation other than splicing or editing these recordings into field trips of the mind. This one is a portrait of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
An intense and hard rock band from Italy, Vortice Cremisi’s debut tape was a mere 21 minutes but good stuff. This quartet sang in English and also released other tapes I believe.
Another cassette from Joe Fleury of Switzerland was mainly a solo affair and is guaranteed to be “full of mistakes, noise and other irregularities”. Sorry for the blurry scan, the tape is called “Droit De Cusissages” and came out in 1990.
Red Neon Tapes was run by Patrick Parent from Brussels. He put out a lot of fine tapes mainly from the European scene. On the tape to the right, we have a collaboration between M. Nomized (France), Pol Silentblock ( Belgium) and Didier Deleers ( France?) whose house it was recorded at in 1988. It’s a rather psychedelic affair with vocal meanderings, staccato bass rumbling, drum machines and a loose feel.
In addition to his sound immersion and field recording works, Spanish artist, Francisco Lopez also branched out into other areas such as this tape on the Grabaciones Goticas imprint from Barcelona. Lopez manipulates the music of The Modern Jazz Quartet in an hallucinogenic and eerie aural terrain that is unexpected and yet imbued with a certain primal sense that is at the heart of the MJQ. Comes in a fold over plastic slipcase with credits tucked inside.
Utilizing samplers, keyboards and a multi tracking tape deck, Lopez released the tape on the right on the Hyades Arts label in 1990 that might certainly confuse any blindfold test subjects who think they know Francisco’s work. Active, itchy and at times even melodic, this cassette is a fascinating look at his compositional sense before his later work.
Luca Galuppini ran the Chupa Verga Rex label from 1994-2000 that released is own music and some others from his home in Italy. He had several projects of his own and one was his bedroom rock enterprise called ONQ. Slowcore strumming, haunting, sometimes spooky, vocals and a sullen and dark sense is the prevailing mood. Rainy day music to be sure. This particular tape was distributed by the British Kylie label from London.
EE Tapes was one of the most essential European underground labels. It was run by Eriek Van Havere who continues to this day with his outstanding dark and oft times ambient material. Here however, the band Cosmic Dance Society hammers out a heavy beat atmosphere with female vocals and full rock band tilt. Really pretty cover on this 1996 release.
Vol. 16 of “Insane Music For Insane People” released on Alain Neffe’s label of the same name from Belgium. This one flies you around the world with different styles from far away lands. A very nice mix from one of Europe’s premier underground labels.
EE Tapes owner Eriek Van Havere calls “Elegy #3” “an international compilation for the dark side of the brain.” The theme of this was life-death.This limited edition release came with a lovely little book of graphic art and artist credits. Some of the participants included, Mr Ebu ( Carsten Olbrich), Mr Moto ( Matthias Lang), De Fabriek, Yggdrasil and others. Released in 1998.
A lo fi psychedelic collab between Styve Paddington and Pol Silentblock from Belgium. An echoing, trippy fantasy released in 1990 on the RaRe Produx label.
Some rare, early bootleg material from this Turkish band from 1967. Doesn’t really have much to do with cassette culture but does feature a strong garage rock sound incorporating covers, instrumentals and a rave up attitude.
Opua Disin appeared to be a 1994 collage type release of two long, oblique tracks from this Turkish outfit. Drum machine, found sounds, pre recorded ethnic songs and spoken word were the order of the day. This was way before Sublime Frequencies releases but in the same vein.
Experimental electronic composer Luis Mesa released this two track cassette of glissando and sinewave in 1985.From Madrid, Mesa was one of the better known electronic musicians of the time.
Etat Des Stocks was the project of Patrick Parent from Brussels who also ran the Red Neon label. Very active for a long period, Parent’s own music was a type of electroclash that would veer off into synth mania explorations at times. His creepy vocals would ride on top of the synths, drum machine and odd noises. Certainly an important European resource during the heyday of Cassette Culture.
A pleasing rock effort from this Balkan area group. I can’t remember exactly where they were out of but this 1997 cassette is pretty polished with professional looking cover and recording quality. Their somewhat dour vocals drag them into the goth arena while the music is sparkling, well played rock.
Another fascinating audiotour by Spanish artist, Francisco Lopez finds him in Vienna and Prague. Tapes to close your eyes and soak in the locations include local musicians, street and people sounds.From 1992 on the German Bizarr Verlag label.
A split tape on the Italian ADN label. Side one has Bourbonese Qualk, at that time the duo of Simon Crab and Steven Tanza and on side two the Berlin home taping experimentalist, Hartmann. In the early and mid 1980’s, these two groups were essential contributors to the European home recording scene. Info about Bourbonese Qualk here.