vrijdag 15 oktober 2010

review: Bene Gesserit / Pseudocode




The lovely EE Tapes label from Belgium has released some very interesting 80's Belgium music recently. Some time ago they already put out on cd the cult classic 'Europa' by Pseudocode. In a way typical Belgium 80's music but still very original and unlike anything else you have every heard. Even though Pseudocode share some aspects with Alesia Cosmos, the weird French band from the same era, it is more their experimental way of working as a common sound. Still both bands have that industrial touch that Throbbing Gristle had when they produced more pop songs like on '20 Jazz Funk Greats'.

Pseudocode mastermind Alain Neffe was a key figure in the Belgium independent scene of the 80's. He ran the Insane Music label and was active in various bands and projects. The most famous was of course Bene Gesserit. While Pseudocode could be seen as a band playing dissonant pop the Bene Gesserit sound was more playful in a way. This due to a more melodic approach. Still it is as weird as pop music gets. It is never pure pop music and has a very arty touch all over it. Maybe even jazzy in a way.

In 1990 they played in a jazz club in Aachen, Germany. Almost nobody showed up... the band was too pop for jazz people and to experimental probably for the pop music people. The recordings of this concert have now been released for the first time. Originally this would be released in a slightly different way on Enfant Terrible. But as I am not planning many 80's releases due to a focus on contemporary artists EE Tapes took the project and released the complete concert from A to Z.

When listening to these recordings you do not a hear a band playing... you hear a performance group staging a perfect experience. From nice moody songs to screaming pieces to playful tunes with a crazy twist it is all there and served in just the right sequence. What a great night out this must have been...

Bene Gesserit and Pseudocode are, together with Kaa Antilope, definitely the top of Belgium pop music from the 80's. This cd is the perfect companion to the studio recordings already released on one of my personal favorite labels Was Soll Das? Schallplatten some years ago. Thumbs up for EE Tapes for putting this out!

At the same time EE Tapes also released it first vinyl release, even though they are active since the late 80's. This vinyl is a 7 inch by The Misz, another nice Belgium 80's band. While The Misz is not at all as essential as Pseudocode and Bene Gesserit it is a nice release for collector's and fans of music from this era. And... the track 'Le Joli Jardin' on this record makes the purchase more then worthwhile. It has this nice Trisomie 21 sort of melancholy touch. I think I do not need to say more...

The Pseudocode and Bene Gesserit cd's are for sale at the Enfant Terrible webshop here...

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