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ELLENDE - Unintentional Consequences

Format: 10inch
Label & Cat.Number: Smeerlappen - SMEERLAP 3
Release Year: 2021
Note: the second part of the trilogy that started with "Odyssey", again centered around an autobiographical text about strange experiences made in Cape Town, South Africa, in the 1970's... => multilayered, dusty, nostalgic ambience, full of warmth and melancholy... comes with excellent, somehow surrealistic / disturbing artwork (with printed stones on the sleeves, covering images of female dummy heads on the cover, with great effect), gatefold cover, 12 page booklet, lim. 150; excellent release again!
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €18.00

More Info

Unintentional Consequences is the second part of a trilogy of which Ellendes previous release the double 10 album Odyssey, A Sentimental Journey from 2019 was part one.

Unintentional Consequences
For this release Ellende was a core of three original members plus a guest musician. The album was recorded between May to August 2020 in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and London. The release contains a twelve page booklet with artwork by Richard Hart. The autobiographical text in English and Afrikaans is of a trip taken to Cape Town in the mid 1970s where two teenage cousins are confronted with the consequences of their shared family history.

The music can be described as ambient; the sounds are multilayered, often a bit dusty and slow moving. Some of the tracks sound like they have been recorded on old tapes giving the whole album a nostalgic atmosphere. Often a piano acts as the leitmotif, there is plenty of droning and throughout the tracks bits of texts from old French movies float in and out. Most of the music is made with vintage analogue synthesisers such as the Arp Solina, Prophet 5, ARP Solus, Juno 6. Most of the pianos, Rhodes and Wurlizters are from the late 70s as well.

All the tracks have been recorded on tape, often played back on half speed. Mastering again was done by Rafael Irissari, whose own ambient work we greatly admire.

Unintentional Consequences is the second part of a trilogy of which Ellendes previous release the double 10 album Odyssey, A Sentimental Journey from 2019 was part one.

Ellende was:

Martinus Antonius: ARP Solus, Casio VL-Tone, Eurorack, Recording and Looping, Processing, Mix;

Carina Bruwer: Flute;

Richard Hart: Graphic Design and Art Direction;

Rafael Irisarri: Mastering;

John John: Wurlitzer, guitar, Juno 60, Tape, Mix, Processing;

Lodewikus Pretorius: Piano, Rhodes MKI en MKII, Prophet 5, ARP Solina, Mellotron.


"Although Ellende is from South Africa, this new release was sent to me from Japan (just like the previous one) by one of the band members (if not the core of the group). Recording for this new record took place in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and London. Maybe that shows the diversity of the floating membership of this group, but, more mundane, it also has to do with the Covid thing. I doubt that under normal circumstances, these people would team up. Ellende means misery, which is in this age is the most appt name, of course, for the state of the world. As with the previous release, this comes in a beautiful package, 10" gatefold sleeve, booklet with a text in South-African (which is related to the Dutch language, but not always to understand for me), and English. If the previous release (Vital Weekly 1206) was already a step towards ambient music, then this indeed is another step further down that road. Sound material supplied by Carina Bruwer (flute), John John (Wurlitzer, guitar, Juno 6, tape) and core member Martinus Antonius (ARP Solus, Casio VL-Tone, Eurorack, recordings, looping and processing; he's the man in Tokyo). The story in the booklet is about the family history of Antonius and his cousin Wim, who committed suicide in 1995. It is an interesting read when playing the music. Still, I returned to the music again, without taking too much notice of the text and enjoyed the dark, pastoral ambient tones, from long, sustaining synthesisers washing ashore, along with field recordings from around the house. Just a few notes that all there seems to be to it. It fits in a way the current wave of lo-fi drone music, with those cassettes that ran out of Ferro, so the music isn't captured very well, sparse synths and shady field recordings. In the variation of Ellende this is all very ambient, peaceful and subdued. In this variation, the use of voices from French films from the 70s (which relates to the text enclosed) adds further to the music's dreamlike quality. All of this is more spacious than their earlier work. You could say this is a step forward, but instead, I'd like to say it further expands musical interests." [FdW/Vital Weekly]