We are starting this year’s retrospective with some “musical gifts” we discovered on the net. Music shared for free download / pay-what you want from artists and label we admire.More
Something special on Nightwind Records: Last December Danny Wolfers met up with Japansese digital dub legend Taka Noda aka Mystica Tribe to produce this Far East style heavy digital dub album. Custom made lo-fi oozing echo effects transform synthesizers and drummachines into a comforting mist of arcane sludge, laced with Taka Noda’s enchanting melodica playing.
New Danny Wolfers AKA Legowelt album under the Smackos alias on his Nightwind Records. Most of this album was recorded around 2017 at the North Sea Institute for the Overmind. As usual heavy tripped out raw melodic Smackos synth compositions for all your deep listening hobbies. Instruments used: Novation Supernova, Akai S900, Waldorf Blofeld, Waldorf Pulse 2, Roland JP08 & JV2080 and probably lots more.
The latest issue of “Internets most controversial underground e-zine” the Shadow Wolf Cyberzine issue#10 is out now on Nightwind Records. A 19 track ‘cover tape’ compilation with various artists. The term ‘cover tape’ stems from when magazines came with a cassette tape full of music or software on the cover back in the 1980s/1990s.
From time to time I like to take a brief look at what our readers enjoyed the most and the end of the year is always a good time to do so. In order to do this I compile a top 3 of the most appreciated albums, compilations, mixes our readers liked in the last year.
As a cover for this year’s post I choose a map showing from where our visitors come and the first 10 places are the US, Germany, Romania, UK, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Spain, France, Russia and Italy.
2020 was a tough year for almost everyone and definitely a year to forget for our scene. Events and gigs canceled, venues closed, artists lacking a way to earn a decent living and club culture facing a threat like never before.
In the midst of these events were several people / organizations who tried to ease the pain, offering out some comfort by releasing music to people for free or by pay as you want download. This was always done, but this year I noticed that more and more artists are doing this.
Here is a selection of albums and compilations I came across this year and that I think is worth mentioning again.
Legowelt with another free offering on his Nightwind Records. Written, performed and produced by Danny Wolfers at the North Sea Institute For the Overmind Scheveningen Holland. Across the ten tracks, you will find shades of house, electro, techno and Italo but what most notably ties them all together is Legowelt’s signature use of distortion. The album is dripping in Lo-Fi tactics and features plenty of vocal work throughout.
“Folk Triumfator”is the second album by Zandvoort & Uilenbal, a ‘paramusical academic’ project of medieval music expert Jimi Hellinga and electronic musician Danny Wolfers. As Zandvoort & Uilenbal they appropriate historical instruments such as a 19th century Victorian harmonium, a medieval hurdy gurdy, an electro acoustic thumb harp and an mid 20th century German Mixtur Trautonium. These are cross bred with the usual arsenal of contemporary electronic instruments and seasoned with some sinister poetry in their North Sea coast temple of sensory sonic delights. We can write how conceptual and arty this all is but let’s just say this is hardcore dark ambient with lots of medieval drone space jazz influences to trip your mind out into a region where time and your opinions cease to exist.
Recorded at the North Sea Institute for the Overmind in Scheveningen Holland.
“Yesterday I released a free/pay-what-you-want album on Bandcamp called TIPS FOR LIFE to hopefully brighten your days up a bit. Its Nightwind Records NW023 and its got 12 tracks on it ranging from Slowjam Memphis Rapbeats to Poldertechno and everything in between” – Legowelt
Nightwind records is Legowelt’s own recordlabel releasing cassettes, cd’s, digital, graphic novels, zines and vinyl LP’s since 2014. A spiritual – but more advanced and freaked out – successor to the defunct Strange Life records that ran from 2004 to 2010. The music on this tape was recorded on 21 October 2017 during a live soundtrack performance for Werner Herzog’s 1972 Fata Morgana film at the LAB111 cinema in Amsterdam. A few months later the tracks were cut loose, edited and put on tape. With the visual content vanished from sight only a few fragmentary voiceovers remain that remind us of the movie. Rearranged as hypnotic samples they give the listener some sparse poetical guidance in the metaphysicial porridge that is this cassettetape.
This Animistic Beliefs & Legowelt collaboration tape started out as a scene in Anna Bogomolova’& Dammes Kieft’s upcoming full length ‘Stroboscopes & Smokemachines’ documentary – a film in which they research the Dutch West Coast electronic music landscape. The scene however soon morphed into its own mini film – documenting the entire process on how this tape was conceived. Packed with Animistic Beliefs & Twilight Moose style electro, amateur space jazz ambient with a touch of G-funk and a very intense trip-infused hypnotic techno track. Written and produced by Linh Luu, Marvin Lalihatu and Danny Wolfers at the North Sea Institute For The Overmind.
Loch Ness was originally composed as a soundtrack for a – never finished – 2012 Commodore 64 Loch Ness ‘Spotter Simulator’ videogame. An adventure / simulator / RPG in which the player takes the role of a cryptozoologist trying to proof the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. The sounds on this soundtrack come from the mighty Commodore 64 itself. This computer, released in 1982, came with a state of the art soundchip – the MOS technologies SID. Far ahead of its competition it sported advanced functions like waveforms with Pulse Width Modulation, envelope generators and a filter. With this chip the commodore 64 had a real 3 voice synthesizer build in – lightyears removed from the spartan primitive unmusical blips and beeps of the Ataris or Apple II’s. The cassette version of the Loch Ness videogame remastered soundtrack comes with new artwork and extra unreleased tracks.
Digital re-issue coinciding with the tape release of this 2007 Strange Life CDR DX7 drenched cult spywave album. Very much influenced by real locations in the vicinity of the The Hague dune studio where this was recorded – this imaginary soundtrack scores a hypothetical story of a Cold War animal parapsychologist living in an abandoned zoo.
What is Amateur Space Jazz One could call it a Lo-Fi Minimal Wavish version of Cosmic Space Jazz and anything closely related to it…from spiritual soul, G-FUNK, ethiopian jazz to ambient and everything in between…no knowledge of musical theory is required…Played with a D.I.Y punk approach on crappy digital synthesizers – preferably with dubious renditions of real instruments. Warmed up to the right temperature with some offbeat effectsbox. Multitracking is a technique widely used…to Create a “one person band with all its members oneself’s multidimensional copies in time.”…….Comes with a 24 page graphic novel written and drawn by Danny Wolfers himself and a Nightwind Amateur Space Jazz gummy domed sticker…….Let’s enter world of Amateur Space Jazz!!!
Seven years after his last release as Smackos, music making machine Legowelt surprises us all with ‘A Vampire Goes West,’ a brand new and ever-experimental ambient album. It comes on his own Nightwind label and was made in total isolation on the North Sea coast last Christmas. As for the music, it is smudgy and cosmic; an “all out amateur spacejazz spiritual ambient eruption on smudgey cassettetape” that will take you far away from reality across 14 absorbing and atmospheric cuts. It includes some extra fun treats too: a fridge magnet and microzine with a map in ASCII art that has a quest attached to it which, if decoded, reveals a password that unlocks some secret and special prizes.
Geruis Uit Somberdorp’ (Rustlings from Somberville) is a concert for Harmonium, Mixtur Trautonium & Synthesizer, originally commissioned for the dutch classical Concertzender broadcast corporation in early 2016. Zandvoort & Uilenbal are Danny Wolfers and Jimi Hellinga.
Danny Wolfers aka Legowelt with a new project UFOCUS on his own label Nightwind Records. 11 Tracks with a mix of electronix and more club ready tracks, typical Legowelt style. A double-album set that explores the paranormal themes that were once a major part of the early ’90s ambient techno scene. Musically, much of Guidance For The Puzzled recalls those halcyon days, with Danny’s drawing inspiration from a mixture of classic Detroit techno, intergalactic electronica, intelligent techno, stargazing ambient house and – on the fine “Archetypes & Myths” – dreamy deep house/acid house fusion.
The soundtrack for Brad Abrahams documentary on South Florida’s strangest bipedal resident, as told by the rare few who claim they’ve encountered the creature. At over 1.5 million acres, the ‘Glades are the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi, with thousands of acres untouched by man. If indeed something this strange could exist, it would surely be here. Cassetape comes in faux leather luxurious plastic case and with a micro-zine included.
Fourth in the Nightwind Records Cassettetape series. Dozing snuggy amateur synth jazz for the serious psychonaut. Oozing cloudy Rhodes electric pianos and saturated trip synthesizers. Comes in the usual luxurious vintage c64/zxspectrum style microVHS video game box . Also includes free professional dome sticker and “Nomad Ninja” Microzine/map.
The second tape on Legowelt’s Nightwind Records Cassette series. Through his remote viewing powers Danny Wolfers channeled the music of Saab Knutson of Faroe Islands circa 1993. 60 Minutes of Nordic Ambient with a disturbing undertone of dark melancholia with vague notions of distant happiness. Saab Knutson is a man with many issues, but on the Faroe Islands there is no time for issues. To stay of sound mind, Saab plays his synthesizers in the few spare hours he manages to find, unmistakenly influenced by Faroe’s spellbinding landscapes and grim climate. Though Danny has never been to the Islands he has a definite puzzling calling to them, a ‘luring’ force, so to speak. Hopefully he will sell enough Saab Knutson albums so he can fund an expedition and find out more about this mysterious destiny… Played on Yamaha DX100, Roland JX3P, Alpha Juno 2, EMU 16 bit digital sampling keyboard. Ruby metallic cassette tape in luxurious faux plastic case.