Trunk proudly add this gem to their catalogue of the weird, wonderful and experimental. Tapes 1 is a direct recording from the original archived tapes of experimental underground Dutch film director Frans Zwartjes, who improvised his bizarre soundtracks utilising synthesizers, voice and found sound. Only a very small amount of his audio has been released before on very limited cassettes, these are on vinyl for the first time.
LP £16.99 JBH065LP
Limited LP on Trunk. Edition of 500 copies.
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This haunted house is busy. Collecting sounds from the happenings of life while making music on the sly, film director Frans Zwartjes made lengthy cassette tapestries both decorative and mundane, merging pretty synth music with hurried conversations and horrifying synth drones. ‘Tapes 1’ is an archival release that does nothing to alter the strange, semi-broken movements of his works, letting the two fifteen minute tracks speak for themselves in their strange but accessible sonic language.
In parts, Zwartjes music might sound like that of any film director with a hobbying pursuit of music -- the synths are dusty and a little silly, his patterns loud and glaring. It’s the way they exist within his larger landscape, though, that makes them interesting -- they come alongside the kind of field recordings of people talking way into our past, in varying languages, and next to theme musics that seem to interrupt proceedings as and when they please. The record retains strands of structure through repeated motifs, but doesn’t time or place them specifically, letting them speak for themselves or clash with recordings of people shouting and coughing.
The music itself sounds like an antique, and some of Zwartjes movements on his synths are absurdly amusing -- when he plays a little scale-based melody on his keys he sounds like the lead villain in a vampire movie, which he does for the bulk of the record’s flip side. It’s still strangely compelling, though -- at times he hits almost romantic atmospheres, and at others he goes so deep into the sounds of horror you can’t help but join him there.
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