Following the example of William Burroughs, Jürgen Ploog used a portable tape recorder to record, edit and cut up material, which he collected during his transcontinental flights between 1971 and 1976. The material on the LP ‘Tapes von unterwegs 1971-1976‘ that the German labels Moloko + and 90% Wasser released in 2015 is a selection of Ploog’s hallucinatory tape cut-ups by Robert Schalinski. The LP has Ploog’s ‘Partitur des Unterwegs’ (2015) printed on the outer and inner sleeve to complete this cut-up adventure into the crevices and manholes of language.
Chopin in Majorca was recorded at The Velvet Tongue Studios in Johannesburg 1989. In those studios South African poet Sinclair Beiles is heard reading his one-man play, a poetic counterpart of George Sand’s ‘Un hiver à Majorque’, in which the author (whose real name was Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin) relates the disastrous winter that she and her lover Frédéric Chopin spent on the island in 1838-1839. In an effort to counterbalance George Sand’s self-centred account, Beiles’ tries to picture in his play what the winter on Majorca must have looked like from Chopin’s point of view. ‘Chopin in Majorca’ is one of Beiles’ beautiful and endearing failures. Don’t miss it. A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond, as Captain Beefheart would say.
The Sloow Tapes cassette comes with reproductions of artwork by Sinclair Beiles and of photos by his friend Gerard Bellaart of Cold Turkey Press. The cassette was released in an edition of only 100 copies.
Theme For A Major Hit is the title of a piece that Dennis Oppenheim produced in 1974. It consists of a motor driven marionette on a circular stage, a spotlight and a 2-hour soundtrack. The soundtrack to this installation, a psychedelic freestyle jam by Oppenheim and friends, was recorded at Angel Sound, New York in 1974. From the recordings of this high-spirited and joyous session with the line “It aint what you make, its what makes you do it” for a recurrent theme, a handful of LPs were privately pressed in 1975. One of those signed 12″s is in Jan van Toorn’s unparalleled collection of artists’ records. With the kind permission of the Dennis Oppenheim Estate this LP has now been re-released on vinyl on Van Toorn’s own Slowscan label.
Audio Trans Art vol. 1 is a stunning compilation of sound poetry, musique concrète and electronic music. The double LP covers a wide range of experimental music and poetry in a well-balanced mix of prominent artists and composers of the avant-garde (such as Ferdinand Kriwet, Henri Chopin, Julien Blaine, Milan Knizak and Richard Maxfield) and lesser known artists such as Charles Dreyfus and Diana Spodorek. Highlights of this expert choice of rare recordings by Slowscan’s Jan van Toorn are Ferdinand Kriwet’s ‘Sehtexte No. 14’ and Richard Maxfield’s 7:14 minute long untitled piece of electronic music. Limited edition of 250. Cover art by Flemish artist and poet Paul de Vree (collection Jan van Toorn).
The Birth & Decay issue is the last in a series of Keen Zines that was initiated by Djuna (Keen) Michielsen at the age of 18. Over the years a total of ten zines was published. With this final issue Djuna Keen decided to ‘close the circle’. Keen Zine #10 is ‘an ode to life and an homage to all the contributors of the previous issues’, explains Djuna Keen in her introduction. The hand bound issue contains 48 xeroxed and colour xeroxed pages of artworks and texts and comes with a 1h:18 audio CD of music by related artists’ bands, one track of which is by Djuna Keen’s own band The Joyous Cosmology. Contributors to the zine include Ludo Mich, Wataru Kasahara, Karen Constance, Djuna Keen, Laetitia Lemaire and John Godbert. The cover of the zine was designed by Djuna Keen and silkscreened on wallpaper. The magazine was published in October 2015 in a limited edition of 100 numbered copies. → order now
My Tailor Is Rich is an underground film by Ludo Mich after a one-act play by Werner Verstraeten. The film – now on DVD – was originally shot on 16mm in 1971. ‘My tailor is rich, but my English is poor’ is the first phrase of ‘L’Anglais sans peine’, an English method for French-speaking people written by Alphonse Chérel in 1929. Chérel’s method of acquiring English inspired Eugène Ionesco’s to write his absurdist debut ‘La Contatrice Chauve’ (The Bald Soprano) in 1950 and, no doubt, Ludo Mich refers to this particular play in the title of his own absurdist piece.
My Tailor Is Rich tells two tales simultaneously: one is about a father who – dressed in pyjamas – is trying to find his daughter Nicole in the alternative circles of 1971 Antwerp, and the other is about a mother who is looking for her son Heinz, who is seen wandering on an imaginary battlefield. To heighten the sense of absurdity and alienation, there is no chronological order of events and the scenes are all set in different spans of time, varying from Antwerp and Paris in 1971 to a WWI battlefield. The film switches from urban wastelands, contemporary young people hanging out, smoking and selling hash to killing, rape and looting on a battlefield. Derroll Adams, a folk singer from Portland Oregon who had found refuge in Antwerp as a draft dodger in the 1960s, makes his appearance in the film. So do Guillaume Bijl, Jozef Hermans, Paula Van Belle and other fiends and artists. War and anti-war themes emerge from the non-linear story only to merge into a hallucinatory absurdist piece, beautifully filmed by Ludo Mich.
‘The Making of My Tailor Is Rich’, which is an interesting cinematographic document itself, was originally shot on Super-8 by Louis Goyvaerts during the filming of ‘My Tailor Is Rich’in 1971. The document was provided with a new soundtrack by The Joyous Cosmology in 2015. The Joyous Cosmology are Djuna (Keen) Michielsen, Nicolas De Clippele, Frank Vranckx and Maarten Tibos. The soundtrack was mixed by Mark Rietveld. → order now.