By the late 1980’s Ton Lebbink was a well respected figure in Amsterdam’s alternative scene: he was the drummer for the Amsterdam post punk group Mecano, a true punk poet and worked as a bouncer at Amsterdam’s main music venue Paradiso. He released two solo albums, both in his unique narcotic style: laying absurd Dutch wordplay over stripped down frigid instrumentals. When house music took the world by storm in the early 90s, Lebbink hopped on the bandwagon – trading in his cult status as one of the main faces of the 1980s underground, for a life spent toiling to produce sampledelic house music in comparative anonymity. “Wat Doe Je Met Me?” is one of many fruits of Lebbink’s labour during this renaissance period: only three tracks appear on the EP, but all make up an unusual early house sound tempered by Gregorian chant, cut-up vocal, subdued synth plucks and an overall hazy sound.
Rubber welcomes Swedish artist Towa Isling (towLie) under her skitungen alias. While some of you might be familiar with distorted drums and seething synth lines from the kafTen records founder, her skitungen project emits a more brazen energy. “Längre än Långtån” embodies Towa’s raw and DIY approach, but takes an unexpected turn towards the odd and dreamy. This results in a beautiful assembly combining Towa’s ethereal voice with satisfying weirdo beat music.
Rubber brings it back to home ground by diving deeper into Jan Duivenvoorden’s shoeboxes. Back in 1987, at a local youth centre in the ever-dull Zoetermeer, a group of seven non-musical friends started what could be considered a freeform band performing ‘”electronic ‘beuk’ music with noise guitar and lyrical texts”. This band was called MINIGOD and rose from the ashes of the performative act Aars/rugklachten. Their change not only meant an upgrade in instruments – from jerrycans, barrels and worn-out bass guitar to keyboard and synthesizers – but also from simply screaming into the void towards songs with something of a structure. The release portrays MINIGOD quintessentially – energy above professionalism. From a large number of tracks Rubber made a precise selection allowing punk and satire to dance cheek-to-cheek. MINIGOD is Jan Duivenvoorden (Unit Moebius), Richard van den Bogaert (Leuk & Ko), and Rob de Bakker played keyboard and synthesizer, Edwin Zuidwijk played guitar, and Siuli Ko and Bart Barendregt did the vocals.
World of Rubber 3 is compiled to make you cry, love, stomp and vomit. Rebellious heavyhitter and lovely melodic excursion provided by Japanese Wave-duo Group A, acid smash and catchy synthpopper by Interstellar Funk, basement 808 TECH-NO-SHIT by DJ Overdose and Dutch ”Pop not Pop” by Leuk & Ko. Brought to you from Den Haag on a white immaculate platter with fresh inlay design.
The Rubber label may proudly hail from the iconic Lowlands area known as Den Haag, yet their sphere of influence clearly stretches much further. First up is secret Amsterdam weapon Robert Bergman, laying down some deviant acid box action in the shape of “Broadcast From Ceres” which dovetails nicely with the more psychedelic overtones of “Masquerading As Stars” from Brussels-based duo Tav Exotic. The master Das Ding opens the B-side with the subaqueous “Divebomb” whilst the unheralded Safe Swim plunges into the deep end of experimentation on “Pictures Of Skies”. It’s left to Diagonal pair Bronze Teeth to wrap up matters with the rip snorting squat party techno of “Easygroove” which was clearly produced with The Hague in mind.
Rubber is a new label from The Hague with a motley mixture of off-radar electronix for both the experimental clubber and home listener. Rubber001 is a bold three-tracker. Mannequin Records head-honcho Alessandro Adriani hits the nail on the head with his secret weapons. Secondly, reigning from Finland, 0.5W pans across the room like running with titanium scissors. The cherry on top is this piece of Dutch drum-laden ”poetry”, probably on illegal medication, about a bicycle mechanic from The Hague by legends Unit Moebius, Reverend Cor Gout and Salo Mentale.