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Label & Cat.Number: Smeerlappen - SMEERLAP
Release Year: 2022
Note: ETERNALLY ILLUSIVE DRONESOUP - another exceptional, highly unexpectable release by ELLENDE - this has more the form of an experimental collage, with dozens of hypnotic layers of found sounds they collected in a database starting already in the early 2000's, this extreme "overdubbing" concept lead to this release which was recorded & mixed already 2010/2011... it sounds pretty musical with sounds connected that you would normally not place together.. - lim. 25 copies only, with 20 page booklet in 5" case
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €9.50
More InfoDuring the early 2000’s we experimented as a collaborative in trying to erase the notion of being a band. Instead, we aimed at operating as an anonymous musical assembly. Through the rise of the internet and its collaborative economy we thought that by pouring various (found) sounds into a large database, we could mix this into music with an incredible complexity that would amount to soundscapes (ugh) so deep that each time the listener would have a multifarious listening experience. In the mid 1970’s Ellende’s founding band members, the cousins Wim and Martinus had tried something similar when they over-dubbbed every 7” vinyl record found at their Cape Town home (mostly Dutch and Afrikaans popular music) onto tape, with mixed results.
Conceptually we continued to experiment with this idea of overdubbing; by randomly layering found sounds, but also juxtaposing images or tv images on top of each other in anticipation that this technique could lead to interesting new images or sounds. We can safely say that the Post Modern concept of a hyper-collage has been an obsession for us for over 45 years. This idea reached for us its zenith in 2003 with the double cdr release on Somnabulant Corpse: No Holiday Without a Funeral - Damaged Beyond Repair. This release was extremely deep (sometimes 20 layers deep), but also very, very data heavy (it crashed our at that time top of the line Apple computers). Despite this technical feat, the resulting albums never reached the level of complexity that we had in mind. The result just sounded muddy.
In 2010 we tried it again. The sessions for Hallo Kaptein started in 2010 and were mixed in 2011. It follows the same collage approach and contains many found sounds that are layered. However, we consciously aimed at remaining sonically spread out, leaving space for the various layers to be heard in context to the other sounds that are stacked on top of them. Some of the tracks are very open and give a feeling of having been recorded outside, while others are more metallic and enclosed. The last title track of the album is a live improvisation by adding one instrument upon the next one. As this was recorded in one take, we depended heavily on a compressor to keep everything within an acceptable dynamic range.
Although recorded more than 10 years ago we felt that Hallo Kaptein was a layering exercise in which we achieved, to our own ears, more acceptable results.
Ellende was Martinus Antonius and JJ. Scholtz with many anonymous contributions. Recorded in Cape Town and Tokyo.
"Experimental music is not constrained to a specific part of the world. And experiments, in general, are everywhere: it's a 'human' thing to think outside of the perspective we're given in our upbringing, environment or culture. The only thing is that it is sometimes difficult to get informed about what is all happening outside our little bubble of western influences. But thankfully, sometimes, the sounds of these unknown territories reach our side. We get to hear so many beautiful things ... One of the lesser-known continents where experimental music is made in Africa. Still, the best-known experimental group from this continent is South-African (and Tokyo) based Ellende (Dutch / Afrikaans for 'misery'). They also have a label called Smeerlappen (tr: Scumbags), and in the player are two 3" CDRs from that label.
"Hallo Kaptein" by Ellende is the first, and it contains six tracks with a total playing time of just under 18 minutes. Way too short if you ask me
because what I hear is serious of a higher level. The combination of field recordings, vocals and (mostly?) synthetic sounds are folded into hypnotizing sound collages, which I simply can't get enough of. Especially the title track - with its almost 7 minutes also the longest track - is so subtly layered and has excellent sound perfectly aligned and mixed ... A constant tension because of subtle changes in the attack of the recurrent sounds, layers in the background that after a bit of while shifted from the back to the front and then back again. And the use of vocals where I must say that being Dutch, the Afrikaans is in a way foreign to me, but with enough overlap to understand the basics. Damn, 18 minutes. Replay. I need a complete CD. And I believe I understand the "ETERNALLY ILLUSIVE DRONESOUP" words on their website." [BW / Vital Weekly]
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