one of my favest absurds & 2 of my all time faves!
initially due for release in 2004 to celebrate the 50 years of rock 'n' roll. hence the music is pure 'rock n roll' (or you can say so...) housed in artwork taken from 60's and early 1910's issues of the greek mag 'i diaplasi twn paidon' (the inlays are taken from early 1910's issues the front cover is taken from a late 60's one) being one of my earliest memories of my mother's mag / record collection (the other being a compilation LP including trax of black sabbath, demis roussos, aphrodite's child & also beatles, aphrodite's child 7"s) and the 7"s sleeve a replica of the rolling stones 'through the past darkly (big hits vol. 2)' octagonal cover LP being a record i bought while searching sometime when 13 or 14, record stores in (then my home town) the city of kallithea, athens and suddenly picked up this great rolling stones compilation housed in this 'mysterious'sleeve!!!
no matter that due various delays saw daylight in 2007 but it was worth the wait... and definitely one of maya lavda's best works for absurd (not that the rest are less important) needless to say about emil & jason for me are both sides as two of their outmost devastating moments as they were (& still are) like maniacs into it when i first dropped the idea sometime in 2003 or so...
is thanks to yiorgis sakellariou (aka mecha / orga) that this release materialized. serving the same bill with al margolis & dan burke on april 5, 2008 at le bonheur @ brussels (belgium) besides the great time they had he brought me upon return the raw version of it. it was like a dream of a lifetime getting materialized. for long i dreamed of an if,bwana / illusion of safety release since the early harsh dept dates but was always delaying the proposal or had the idea shelved for sometime later, etc but that was a great chance and i grabbed it.
early 1991, varathron already have their first demo out since 89 but also have a different line up and fotis is to issue their debut 7" on his black vomit recs.
knowing already jim (aka mutilator ex bassist of rotting christ) & stephan (aka necroabyssious) as we were part of the local grind scene as at times we were playing together in offshoot bands but also having worked together for the 'genital necrosis' zine (genital grinder zine & rotting christ's meganecrosi zine collab) i asked them if i could issue the 2nd varathron demo they were to issue, also in a limited edition version on chrome tape. they didn't object however even this version didn't include the complete 'journey beyond' track which originally lasts for some 8 or 9 minutes. initially is a 'necrocannibalistic of necrocannibalismo' tapes release, supposed in 100 copies though less were spread.
the funny thing with this baby is that took 17 whole years till finally published or better say uploaded.
sometimes i wonder how things would have been if we were that blinded back then and issued a xeroxed version of it rather than scratching our heads if we'll do it offset, etc etc etc.... long story to cut it short here and influenced by the publishing hype of that time. the funny thing though is that with the passing of time we have handed here and there more than 100 xeroxes of it...
some useful info.. is the first post-grind (allow me call it so) era and we have took a looooooong descend into the world of obscure musics, lots of listening, writing, reading, searching, crashing at each other's home for hours & hours for the usual coffee / tea... then alcohol blah blah and in the meantime listen, listen, discuss, tape on tapes, listen, listen, etc we were influenced from various factors but the basic philosophy that till today is kept was the way of expanding like an octopus in various genres & fields we liked known or unknown and the perception of the zine as the beehive / beequeen out of which we'll keep on exploring things.. the zine as a living organism or an entity that is slowly built and all of a sudden is thrown into the wild, etc. certainly appeals to someone the absurd philosophy or the noise-below one as well.
and our activities so far have proved so. as out of genital grinder have seen daylight projects such as absurd, perverse series, harsh dept, a question of re_entry, the 'a strange attractor'record store, editions_zero, etc.
great influences were projects like V2 archief and nearly all the people invoived in it back then, daniel plunkett's legendary ND zine, club moral's devastating 'force mental' zine, francoise duvivier's 'metro riquet' zine to name some but of the most important.
to the 'zine, overall included articles / interviews on / with :
- skin chamber - chainsaw cassettes - headbutt - chemical plant - sin org - psychic rally - de fabriek - schimpfluch - irre tapes - black tape for a blue girl - solanaceae tau - to ktinos! - peter frohmader - alex schiavi - die toedliche doris - mental destruction - spiral dawn bed - jani christou - somewhere in europe - kapotte muziek / korm plastics - fudge tunnel - candiru - lucius - bowel vomit - insult authority - audiostench - exculceration - no authority - n.a.s. - satanic death - sexorcist - scaffold
fall 90's or early 00's (guess the 2nd) and one day costis drygianakis calls to say that he has received a cdr from 2 guys in amphissa and a recording of the 'ghost' for his consideration for release on edo records.
slowly the story unfolds... the ghost is a custom that revived the last 11 years in the city of amphissa (continental greece, province of phokis) and takes place the last weekend of the carnival. goat (& not) dressed / shaped, wearing bells or clanging metal cans and brass ensembles and a huge march takes place in the lovely city.
however at one of the city's squares all the participants are gathered and there also music plays loud...
well at least that's a very amateur / brief description of the event(s). kostas tsiknis & dimitris andreou (the later also to be invovled in the 'at the toy room' cdr too and various other disguises solo or collaborative) created the music for the 1st event that took place in 99. this one is documented here and was a supplement to the fanzine 'all noises swell toghether in landscapes' issued in 2003 in some 200 xeroxed handed for free w/ articles, interviews with / on the new blockaders, anti-naturals, gustav metzger, a translation of aorta's joseph beuys 'coyote' issue, a title taken from a quote (as the blog's name actually) of walter benjamin's 'on hashish' book.
one of my lovliest ones on editions_zero as always recalls stunning memories of those early days.
it was my friend mihalis that as had happened with his daughter amaryllis same happened with little orion and his 1st birthday. he had kiwako kaneda's debut cd he liked it a lot burned it for me listened it and so we dropped her a line asking for this gorgeous piece of cake for the birthday. still i recall the first day we got pack w/ the master, me uploading master to download on the other side of greece and simultaneously listen in order to end to an agreement for it. needles to say how much i love it!!! hope you'll share the enthusiasm!!!!
cake of sea
i learned about sonic catering band and their work from michael prime sometime in mid / late 90's more or less. not sure 100%. peter strickland one of the founding members is 1/2 greek 1/2 english so during a conversation michael told me about peter and his work w/ the scb. they were having or already had their special christmas pudding split 7" on rene heid's rund und dem watzmann label amd was a true killer! it was also this moterfuckin' scb 5x10" boxset too that was looking after so after a couple of emails found myself meeting and hanging out in athens w/ peter. long story to cut it short however been keen on a project that used to produce and mix its sound while cooking it was something unique and sort of new grounds to me. guess to many others too.
sometime in 2002 peter asked me whether i liked the idea of issuing their entire live set from the forde gallery in geneva. i hooked up the idea which slowly transformed to a double cd thing as i always loved to do a double LP or CD needless to say a real boxset. it actually started for a boxset thing but being unemployed back then and short of money but also the lack of finding the right metal box (yep pil's influence could be tracked on this idea) to do it we kept on the double foldout sleeve. to look like those old american LPs of the 50's/60's at first but then being tooo expensive to do such a thing in greece (almost the double money back then) so this one came up. not that i don't like it. on the contrary maya did her ultimate best on it. and that's how it came out. a documentation / compilation of some of their finest moments since the very first chop they did till the forde gallery live set w/ bits and pieces in the first cd from their memorable live set in moloko restaurant in geneva.
still love it, still dying for it! guess is also a host of experiences that lived w/ scb since then that's why but still is an extremely beloved absurd.
if i was ever to describe april 02 then guess gx jupitter larsen's 'but unemployment is the answer' fits best. having quit my previous job 1 month earlier after some hard workin times was spending a period of creative enthusiasm. so when stylianos tziritas called and dropped the idea for a duo w/ thodoris zioutos and a possible trio w/ labros stemnis on live video mix all 3 we jumped maniacally on the idea.
both dates in small music theatre in late april 02 are still memorable to all of us. a haunting atmosphere which although i can't re-enact here at least you can get an idea of it listening to the document.
it was one of the first times also that labros stemnis surprised us using as source surveilance video tapes that were lifted from a friend of his back then. he would surprise us in the future with 2 other memorable videos. one where the performer of it begs naked on a pedestrian road asking the people to touch his cock, in the end shits and eats his own shit and one year later in the art athina during the 'pagan' theme where the same performer dimitris ... self whipped himself and in the end the audience was allowed to whip him if they wished too. he managed to crash for sometime in the news. but that's another story that happened later than those 2 early days.
larry gus is another luminary of the greek electronica scene. by the time you think you know almost everything 'bout sound he surprises you playing in a completely different mood. but what i love the most besides his music is the enthusiasm we share for reading. so much that to this day is the only guy from greece that has discovered out of which thomas pynchon book i picked up the 'noise a few decks below' quote to use as a name for absurd's site www.noise-below.org back in june 06 that it was launched.
but to 'iasmos'... it was orion's 2nd birthday that was coming for his 1st we had issued the kiwako kaneda 'cake of sea' cd and for the 2nd we wanted (as usual)a live set of someone who likes children and fancies playing music with them. having issued 'infant' a few months before it was arranged in december 07 for tasos stamou to perform in april in iasmos (the village were children parties are usually held). luckily stamou completely out of the blue pissed us off some 3 weeks before the party but lucky enough larry was doing his military service in the city of xanthi at the time so we picked him up for the party. the result of which is documented on this cdr a part of which uses the live extracts and another part is studio recordings that were added later. issued on a sleeve that is meant to be a train with larry gus being the conductor and us the humble 'musciians' following his instructions! should you wish a sleeve to make your own copy (as we still have plenty of them) just request yours here
i met tasos stamou for the first time sometime in november 06 in athens, it was a couple of weeks before that he participated in a gig organized by the early noise-below hybrid (hosted back then on www.void.gr server & being absurd's & related activities official site), in late october 06 with valerio tricoli that was held in zenit club in thessaloniki. till then i was unaware of his existence or his work and it was kostis kilimis (of organized music from thessaloniki / noise-below administrator) that introduced me to it. a mix of electronica, circuit bending, experimentation at least those words come now in mind to describe the feelings of the first listens i did to his work. it didn't take long to come up with a cd idea assembling various pieces he did and span a period of some 6 months between oct 06 to early /mid 07. so sometime in mid/late 07 the cd was out on editions_zero numbered as edition_zero #15 to play w/ absurd's sacred number and a booklet that was assembled of images like teddy bears, dragons, balloons images that deal with absurd's cosmology. a print run of 500 housed in a knitting image kit. actually some 420 or 430 were made as we didn't have enough knitting sets. (some 70 of the cds were recently recycled during a special destructive set too so let's say that 400 cds exist, mention so for the completists). so here are sounds to make you feel like a child that discovers the universe.
can't recall how the idea was dropped guess must have been during a maelstrom of emails exchange with bill or something like that the thing is it happened, with artwork, package designed and done by bill being one of his first solo recordings (well the family battle snake saga was at its outbreak at the time) and was ready just at the time for 06's atp fest.
i know that today bill's side might not be as great as it first sounded as he has progressed a lot but still love it and gotta admit that am dying for the sudden infant side for me stands as one of joke's finest moments, download play loud and share the enthusiasm!
i love this record. i trully love this record. if i was ever to describe to someone my feelings about the (tape & not) network as i lived in my teens circa 89-approx 94 during a trully turbulent period then it would be this record nowadays of course some more but guess this one is of those that could be described as all in one. or something like that. it reminds me of my first steps in the world of obsucre musics, one of the first korm plastics catalogues i received back then and the flyer announcement for the imca lp limited to 77 copies that due to stupidity didn't buy then and luckily purchased a few years back from RRR via an ebay auction, etc..
guess also is freek kinkelaar's vital weekly review that fits best as well to the case so i paste the review / press info for it.
I have to admit that I have a love-hate relation with this album. I love the way this album was made. It represents a somewhat bygone musical age, a time with cassettes and without e-mail, when things worked perhaps slower, but perhaps also more intensely. The full story of how the IMCA project (International Musique Concrete Ensemble) came together is told in detail in the CD booklet. In short, in 1990 Frans de Waard started a mail collaboration with John Hudak and Jos Smolders for a cassette on Midas Music, and later a second one with Guido Huebner (of Das Synthetisches Mischgewebe), Ios Smolders and Isabelle Chemin, which was the LP released by Korm Plastics. The basic soundmaterial (created by De Waard) was mailed to the first recipient who would rework the material and mail it to the next recipient etcetera. Thus a network chain was born. The results were released on the original IMCA album, which came on glorious white vinyl and contained an explanatory booklet. The vinyl edition consisted of 98 copies; 77 of these were for the public, 21 for the makers, resulting in the fact that many people knew about it, but only a few actually heard the music. I remember I was supposed to help gluing the covers, but I can't remember if I did in the end. I was given a free copy, so perhaps I did. I love the way this re-release is presented; an old tattered cover of the LP was used for this CD, which gives it a nice archival touch. The booklet is well-designed (by Meeuw), contains some of the original notes and explains the recording process in detail. But now to the music: IMCA is not easy listening, it is in fact a very demanding, electro-acoustic record with extreme dynamics. These dynamics were a bit lost on the original pressing on vinyl, but due to Jos Smolder's remastering these are back in place, which means you'll get to hear the IMCA ensemble as it was meant to be heard. The opening track of the CD still gives me a headache: high pitched feedback shrieks close to the level of irritation. It's hard to listen to this without turning the volume down. Luckily the electro-acoustic/musique concret of IMCA becomes more listenable after the challenging intro. The often dry sounds (dry as in untreated") are combined with long silences, with, at times, sudden blasts of concrete noise. Most of the used sounds seem to have their origin in noise (musique concret) rather than a musical source. Despite the many hands at the wheel of this album, the results are strangely coherent, which is a complement to those involved. In total 10 tracks are indexed, even though it's hard to tell where one ends and the other one begins. IMCA is probably best enjoyed in one long listening session in the right frame of mind. The final 2 tracks, which make up for the final 30 minutes of this CD, feature side A and B from the Midas cassette version with contributions from John Hudak. Here the sound is more traditional industrial if you like, with rhythms and a bit of a Nurse With Wound touch. Not bad at all. This is an important archive release of an album made by adventurous musicians who actually live up to their name. Like back in 1991, I'm not sure if it's musically a classic, but I am very happy to have this in my collection. (FK)
still have copies if anyone interested for a physical copy. trades are more than welcome as always just drop a line here
one of my absurd faves... better say the release that blasted the 'research center for the definition of happiness' series back in early 00's and the circular sleeves idea. perhaps that's the reason why i love it more than others as reminds a crazy period out of which was born this series.
the initial sleeve was grey w/ grey lettering influenced by kazimir malevich's works and was accidentally decided when back in 01 i was at maya lavda's office working on ideas for it and how to emerge the circular covers series, etc...
a couple of years later while sons of god were in greece to perform in small music theatre was dropped the idea of reissuing it in 2006 to celebrate absurd's 10th birthday and almost 3 years afterwards on 15th of august 2006 as sugar bar in stockholm was held the re-release party (& absurd's birthday party too). this time on the utan titel label w/ a new sleeve / artwork plus 6 new tracks for the cd reissue.
but guess i talked already too much... better let the sounds speak for themselves...
that came accidentally almost a year after the release of 'real ruido pastizo' the actual plan was a secret gig and a secret dj set on the birthday of a friend in xanthi in early december 2008. dropped a line to christian if he liked the idea and he was for it. arranged everything, the dj set of our friend christos karras (former editor of the 'overdub' fanzine) arranged with the bar 'kokori' in xanthi however due to lack of space we couldn't work out the gig so we split this memorable event in 2 places. the earzumba live set and the city's folk museum and the dj set in the bar.
as a result is this cdr issued on hrysalida (the disguise under which events are held in the city of xanthi) including sets from 3 live sets and various dates at m.a.m.b.a. in buenos aires, argentina, fluc, wien, austria and folk museum, xanthi, greece.
it was a metamkine update that jerome was saying the best for the first 2 earzumba cds, purchased them freaked out and wrote to christian dergarabedian a.k.a. earzumba for more infos. turned to a cdr proposal and christian made a pure freaky soundtrack as if spewn from a 60's/70's spaggheti, crime, whatever film!
sometime ago i had uploaded the klimperei cd which was issued on the occasion of little maria-amaryllis's 1st birthday. for the 2nd birthday we were scatching our heads / minds of what to do but one day while listening to the un caddie renverse dans l'herbe cd on dekorder did mihalis suggest to set up a live set of didac for the birthday and have the kids participate too. it didn't take long to materialize it, an email to didac set up the thing, set up a couple of live sets as well in thessaloniki and xanthi too. a great chance then to meet up w/ friendly conceptualists too and keep on organising things. but back to the party which was our first encounter with such a thing, we were anxious of wether it'll work or not till the very last moment but was a hillarious atmosphere. or so it seemed to me and here's some part of it...
as usually happens i missed that set last year. luckily dimitris knew i could kill at least for a recording of it in order to get an idea of what happened. but while listening to it poped up the idea of 'why not issuing a lathe cut as absurd #80?' so it happened. a 25 copies 1sided lathe cut 12" 33RPM with the documentation of that night.
it was sometime after the release of their debut cdr on absurd (soon to be uploaded) that while chating one day with fabrice eglin i asked him if he had peggy lee's 'johny guitar' on mp3 to email as it was a piece that was used in a track of their eponymous album. fabrice promised not only to send but wanted to surprise with a nice cdr compilation including it. after a couple of weeks crashed a small pack in my pbx includding that compilation cdr (drinking firewater) with a little note from fabrice regarding the 2nd cdr that i found in it simply titled as howlin ghost proletarians 'the singer'
by the time i listened to it wanted to issue it immediately, accidentally panagiotis spoulos of phase! had gone nuts with their debut cdr and its bluesey sound so we found a good chance to collaborate and coproduced it. turned out to be one of our finest 'blues' records!
this one has johny cash on the cover and is somehow influenced too by cormac mccarthy's 'outer dark' novel.
for long i was nuts with prick decay (& their later incarnation of decaer pinga) so under an enthusiasm for prick decay's 'guidelines for basement non fidel' LP the lo-fi masterpiece of the 90's on very good recs i dropped a line to dylan for decaer pinga recording but what finally turned out was the first blood stereo release / recording and here it is.. it was supposed to come out on absurd's 7th birthday but saw daylight sometime before the 8th...
no matter this blog is dedicated to past releases and usually the sold out ones and not the current ones i upload the infos on the upcoming 'bye bye butterfly' (or also to be considered as absurd #84) that will take place in the city of xanthi on saturday the 4th of december so here we are...
'yep, title's taken from pauline oliveros's same titled track and couldn't find better for the final absurd release.
so below's some info on the upcoming final absurd thing full schedule / details are to follow later but announce the first details of the absurd #84 scrapbook in case anyone's interested in crashin' in xanthi on december the 4th.
the idea is as follows, a final release or at least an effort for a final release but as i've never had a straight online release (perhaps the thu 20 piece might be an exception or an 'odyssey' depending on the angle you see it) thought as a nice idea to set up a mini fest to say goodbye to fellow coneptualists and end absurd there and at the same time this mini fest to be an a release in process. that simple.
so as i don't wanna beat about the bush as mentioned earlier on saturday the 4th at the 'spiti politismou' of f.e.x. in xanthi this 'release' / adieau absurd mini fest will take place. further schedule details are to follow as 90% a date in thessaloniki on friday the 3rd is also possible to take place if the pals up there find a place to set it up.
the line-up so far includes:
- leif elggren (as leif elggren) & bill kouligas (a.k.a. family battle snake) (live electronics)
- jerome noetinger
- blood stereo (including ellka reign nyoukis?)
- sudden infant
- adieAUX a special aux performance as a goodbye thing that during the process of absurd #84 we'll publish the final release absurd #85 but details on this performance will folow later)
- ilan manouach (sax & electronics) / george axiotis (live electronics) / chris carras (dj) no comments simply my heroes!
this is it so far. further details to follow also details regarding how to reach xanthi from various places from greece or around the balkans.'
it was that stralau live back in 96 (w/ evil moisture, mattin, hotogisu too) that i was introduced to antoine's work. till that moment i hadn't known any of his work either solo or with monno. i had just came across his name a couple of times a month or two before that live. and it was a shock! a kinda borbetomagus noise blast.. trully 'pure fuckin' armaggedon' to quote mayhem's classic demo title! luckily daniel (of raionbashi / tochnit alelph fame) was recording the whole night so i asked kindly for the recording, got me in touch with antoine and you know the end of the story. this lovely cdr came out almost half a year afterwards early 2007 or so. still see it as memorabilia of that berlin trip w/ photos on 'morgenrot' of kastanienalle and 'mobelolfe' near the kottubuster tor station on the insert's front and the infos on the pieces on the back w/ 2 photos of that stralau night. play loud this total earslaughter!
subtitled as 'a study on the connections between the hellenic and japanese culturess' this is probably my most commercial release ever. 1000 copies, worldwide distributed by soleilmoon (usa) & staalplaat (europe). still reflects a turbulent period for my life, within less than a year that perverse series existed i managed to do the greatest mistakes of my life (that were almost to cost even an imprisonment back then), happens though when you are at your early 20's turned a useful experience for the first decade of the 00's.
there was an idea dropped then by nikos hatzopoulos of oxy pbl that we included a book too. masami needed sometime to work on it and then we had to translate it so the idea was shelved.
on the other hand still i recall the day i booked the release. masami had sent a master tape to listen. is almost 15.00 during a hot july day (around 40C especially that day) so i simply open wide the window or my room play the tape ultra loud in order to test... within 3 minutes i noticed that almost all of the winodws / doors, etc of the opposite block of flats were shut down and took less than 10' for my parents to realize that it was me listening to music as always and not our washing machine had gone mad! after than i simply sit in front of my typewriter wrote a letter to masami saying is a deal and i faxed it... the rest is history...
...back then during a huge merzbow overload i liked it but as i consumed so much of masami's works at that time hadn't paid attention to details that i track down upon listening now. a lovely one!
ps: as actually is influenced by plato's 'timeus' here are useful links first an introductory to the book and the book itself for download. ancient greek / modern greek translation here (not sure which version it is maybe the vassilis kalfas translation of polis issued back in 1995 as he's mentioned in the introdution.)
p2 : the actual cover comes in blue carton but couldn't find the copy in the collection when i was uploading it so took a magenta one of the limited ones. 1000 were printed on blue carton and for the fun of it some 100 on magenta, orange, light green and can't recall if were other colours too...
i totally love this cd. stands as one of my favest absurds no matter that has caused ambiguous feelings to various friends and absurd completists. arranged the idea during the electrograph of 2006 after spending a couple of crazy days with mattin in athens and during summertime together with jason of 1000+1 tilt we had it out to 500 copies. always loved the silkscreened cover and the lou reed 'berlin' image we used.
you can get the mp3 version at mattin's site or simply here
march '03 during a trip for a live set in thessaloniki w/ aux had on the discman listening for some 5th - 6th time the recording anthony had sent with joel and margarida. liked it a lot and wanted to issue it. out of the blue as we were wandering in the house of thanasis chondros & alexandra katsiani where their 'hyperdothe' monthly project was going on saw this little hut in the backyard... harry my aux partner said 'it would have been great if we had each of the players inside a separate room and the listener in a separate one receiving the sounds of the other 3 rooms and perhaps vice versa'...well although in reality never occured at least in our dillusioned minds sounded like that hence the sleeve. original artwork included the above pic as 18x15 (or was bigger may confuse the size) and the 3"cdr on a foam.
another release for a specific reason. birthday as usual. limited to 25 copies issued in march 2009. half covers have the blue flowers on the front and vice versa. photos taken from the anthivolos of spyros papaloukas's hagiographies of the metropolitan church of amphissa. inside photo taken from amphissa too. tracks should read
one of my beloved lo-fi / bedroom fidelity recordings of my friends vasilis and dimitris. this time under the 'at the toy room' which can either be seen as group or title name. originally released a couple of years ago as a cdr on editions_zero. here it is in digital form. recommended for late night listening...