Dead Mind Records is a small label run by Johnny Van de Koolwijk from ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Since 2000 it has released on cassette, 7″ vinyl and 12″ vinyl a fine choice of industrial noise and experimental music. The material on the latest 12″ vinyl was recorded by Albrecht/d for a release on Slowscan in 1990/1991, but the project never happened and the recordings were shelved. Now, with the kind permission of Van de Koolwijk’s friend Jan van Toorn, these obscure and mind-blowing recordings have at last become available on Dead Mind Records. Get it.
Slowscan vol. 35 is a re-issue on vinyl of the cassette ‘OH Audiopoems’, which was released on Erik Vonna-Michell’s Balsam Flex label in 1978. The black vinyl double LP contains a powerful selection of pieces by one of the key figures of the European post-war avant-garde. Artist, publisher, filmmaker and poet Henri Chopin (1922-2008) bought his first tape recorder in 1955, after which he started experimenting and pushing his poetic output into the realm of sound poetry. Chopin counts as a pioneer in that field, coupling attitudes and approaches of the early 20th-century avant-garde with new technological possibilities and bringing together in his publications international iconoclasts such as original dadaists Raoul Hausmann and Marcel Janco and post-war lettrists, Fluxus artists and Beat poets such as Gil Wolman, François Dufrêne, Ian Hamilton Finlay, William Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Chopin’s pieces are the result of an uncompromising approach of poetry, in which speech itself is taken apart and put together again in raw and anti-aesthetic compositions.
Slowscan vol. 35 is a limited edition (250) black vinyl release that comes in an offset printed sleeve designed by Johnny Van de Koolwijk. Chopin’s explanatory liner notes and a photo of Chopin by Francesco Conz are printed on the back of the sleeve. Get your copy now.
City Hands (Manuel Padding) released in August 2016 a limited edition C-26 cassette containing two tracks: ’Fold Backwards’ on the A-side is a repetitive and hypnotic psychedelic soundscape’, whereas ‘Altered Awakening’ on the B-side is a more ominous and dark atmospheric piece. The cassette comes with a laser copied sleeve with the liner notes:
Have i been here before / Am i watching myself / watching myself opening doors / into empty rooms / Forgetting what’s there, / forgetting what was. / As timelines intertwine / making new stories / of old memories.
Poet, novelist and playwright Aram Saroyan (1943) became famous for his minimal poems, often consisting of no more than one word. In Michael C. Ford’s 2014 radio interview of Saroyan on the A-side of this cassette Saroyan explains that in developing those minimal poems he took inspiration from the art of Donald Judd, Andy Warhol and Ian Hamilton Finlay. Other recurrent themes on both sides of this cassette are his friendship with Beat poet Ted Berrigan, childhood memories and the influence, both positive and negative, of his father William Saroyan, who rose to fame as an author during the Depression. The B-side consists of two parts: one is a cheerful reading at Alias Books, LA in 2014 and the other the performance ‘Sawing Wood’ with percussionist John Densmore at the 2002 Armenian Music Awards.
The CCC cassette comes with a silkscreened sleeve and insert with two poems by Saroyan. Limited edition of 100. Get a copy now.
Moloko Plus, run by Ralf Friel from Schönebeck, has just published a selection of dark and stark expressionist prose pieces by Georg Heym and combined them with 13 drawings by Dutch artist Ben Schot. The resulting edition, beautifully designed by Robert Schalinski and offset printed in a limited run of 150 copies, is both elegant and ruthless. An iron fist in a velvet glove.