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JJ FUNHOUSE

‘Unplugged Vol. 1’ is the first release in a new CD series by Ssaliva. This inaugural release contains 11 synthetic vignettes, a very stripped back affair, much more then we are used of this ever so elegant master of layering and kingpin of the lighter kind of electronic lasagna, digesting the latest flavors long before they get stale. Not on this one though. These are more skeletons of pop songs, bare and glassy, played on a fake nylon-stringed koto for an imaginary court of internet angels. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Ssaliva leads us through skeletal synth compositions here, capturing the bedroom misanthropy of C86 but in an entirely different style. Flavours range from the beautiful and pastoral "Ever Since" and "Fall W Me" to the queasy "Backfire".

TRACK LISTING

1. Backfire
2. Ever Since
3. Fall W Me
4. Fin2feather
5. Radiant
6. Scattered
7. Seeker
8. Shard
9. Slay
10. Ssfx
11. Unplugged3 

This is a reissue of ‘Casioworks’ by Gust De Meyer, originally released as a cassette on Ding Dong Tapes and Records in 1983. This stuff has been making crooked collectors, old and young minimal-wave heads and other music lovers going bonkers for years. At the age of 35, back in 1983, Gust De Meyer was working as an assistant at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Catholic University of Leuven, were he did some groundbreaking work. He got a PhD in musical industry and introduced the study of video games.
Besides that he was busy writing texts and selecting records for a weekly 4-hour pioneering radioshow called ‘Funky Town’ on Belgian national radio. The show was specialized in the Afro-American dance music of the era: discofied electronics, funk, boogie and rhythm & blues. Next to brand new American records, from Chicago, Philly and New York there was also room for European stuff, sharing a likewise bouncy character or electronic groove: italo-boogie, kraut-grooves and some local danceable new-wave. Slick, glossy and commercial but also groundbreaking and goddamn funky. No wonder this radioshow became a hit in no time, even outside the national borders.
The producer of this radioshow was the now world famous composer of minimal and soft classical music Wim Mertens. Around 1981 he started up his Soft Verdict project. The first LP Wim released under this name, was in fact a collaboration with Gust: ‘For amusement only’, a rather radical and raw experimental album concentrating on sounds made by pinball-machines and early computer games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man. It was released in 1982 on the now legendary Les Disques du Crépuscule label. This label was promoting a fresh and eclectic mix of ambient, post-punk, exotic electro-pop and contemporary music, all nicely dressed up in well designed sleeves.
Continuing the interest in the chipset sounds of those early videogames, Gust soon released his own magnum opus and: ‘Casioworks’. After which he, strangely enough, never ever released music again.
‘Casioworks’ was made at home with only one instrument: the then very popular and cheap Casio VL Tone 1 synthesizer. Every track was recorded in one take on a porta-sound Fostex 250 4 track cassette recorder/mixer. For a first record it’s very focused and mature but also playful and heavy with urgent and visceral power.


TRACK LISTING

1. Casiowork 1.1.1
2. Casiowork 1.1.2
3. Casiowork 1.1.3
4. Casiowork 1.1.4
5. Casiowork 1.2.1
6. Casiowork 1.2.2
7. Casiowork 1.2.3
8. Casiowork 1.2.4 


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