experimental-station

The Lost in Space section of the exhibition explores the outer space, that part of the universe that excites the imagination of scientists and artists alike. Because of its high percentage of science fiction, enigma and political undertones, that was the part of the show i liked the best.
—  Regine Debatty we make money not art. Experimental Station - Part 3 (Lost in Space) Exhibition Web site.
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Stress Jingle #11: G.W. Sok


G.W. Sok (Jos Kley) is a Dutch musician, writer, actor and graphic designer. He was the lead singer of The Ex for almost 30 years (and 1371 concerts) since its formation in 1979 until 2008, the year he decided to leave the band to focus on his solo career, theater projects and cooperations with other musicians. Sok also wrote for various alternative Dutch DIY magazines, co-founded the independent music distribution company Konkurrent, played part-time with Dutch band De Kift, and started his private Druxat publishing as an outlet for his prose and poetry.


In 2011 he put together a book called A Mix of Bricks & Valentines: Lyrics 1979-2009, featuring all his Ex poems and other texts. In the same year he participated as actor and singer in the film The Everlasting Option, directed by SpOp. Latelly, Sok has accompanied many bands, either in studio or live, as the (ex-No Means No/ex-Dog Faced Hermans) guitar-duo Two Pin Din, the trio Cannibales & Vahinés, and the Italian band Zu.

Now you can hear him on stress.fm.




"There has always been space in The Ex’s music, space filled by singer G.W. Sok with socially engaged lyrics, which, from the very start, transcend by far the sloganesque tongue of most of his punk peers."
HUMO


Space Exploration

Mankind always dreamed of overcoming gravitation and reaching other planets. But it was only in the 1960ies that this dream was to become reality.

On the 12th of April 1961 the spaceship “Vostok” was launched into space with a man on board and after orbiting our planet successfully returned to the Earth. The first man to overcome gravitation and orbit the Earth was Yuri Gagarin. This day went down in history of mankind as an outstanding achievement, opening the space era. In the course of space exploration there have been lots of achievements of world science and technology. This period saw the launching of many earth satellites, numerous space laboratories. Among the achievements we may enumerate the landing of automatic stations on the Moon, the flights of space laboratories towards the Venus and Mars.

These are the years of manned space flight programmes: Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman-cosmonaut to make a space flight, A. A. Leonov achieved the first “space walk” in 1965, the first Soviet experimental station with four cosmonauts on board went into orbit, the first American expedition landed on the Moon.

The Soviet “Lunokhod”, automatic orbital stations “Soyuz” and other space laboratories opened up a new period of space exploration. From the first experiments scientists went over to systematic exploration of space.

Recently there have been calls to reduce expenditure on space research programmes. I think it would be a serious mistake to allow this to happen. There is a direct link between the development of space research programmes and different earth technologies. The higher the former are the more developed the latter are.

Ira Gallen:

D. W. Griffith posing with a TV camera, Schenectady, N.Y.1929.

In January 1928, General Electric engineer Ernst Alexanderson supervised the first public demonstration of television on station WRGB in Schenectady, New York. By the end of the year, a small number of American experimental stations were sending out television signals.

In  August 1929, D. W. Griffith visited WRGB to witness a transmission of  one of his feature films. Griffith toured the Research Laboratory and attended a dinner at which he met a number of company officials, including a John Klenke, “in charge of all our Motion Picture work.” The photograph is of Griffith “at the microphone,” posing with a TV camera.  A note to R.A. Klune, Griffith’s business manager, from W.T. Meanam, of the General Electric News Bureau said the photograph, taken by a General Electric photographer was “not as good as we would like”. 

Reports by the Associated Press and United Press judged the broadcast to have been good. It is not clear which of Griffith’s films was transmitted or how many first generation TV watchers were in the viewing audience. It would appear that some sort of business transaction was in negotiation; perhaps G.E. was attempting to persuade Griffith to join the company or acquire broadcast rights to his films. G.E. was awaiting “additional information from the Pacific coast.” Griffith had departed United Artists and might have been looking for new business  opportunities. It was an event, though witnessed by perhaps fewer than a dozen people, that seems to look at the same time both back and into the future, locating the beginning and the end of the movies in the same frame.

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Stress Jingle/Station ID #26 : AWOTT



Asian Women On The Telephone (AWOTT) is a Moscow experimental outfit and one of the most interesting and unique underground bands of our present era. Their music draws influences from krautrock, noise, punk, electronic, industrial, lo-fi, sound collage, free improvisation - and their outrageous live shows are renowed for their ritualistic and playful approach, featuring ever-changing home-made costumes and masks.

Being banned periodically from Moscow club-venues due to rumored connections to a “mystical ritualistic sect”, the band focused on studio recordings, following a programme of no overdubs and no digital mixing or mastering. They have amassed an impressive collection of albums which are intense, messy, creative and uniquely packaged. All their music is available at Bandcamp, in a generous system of name-your-price downloading. Highlights include “Holotropic Break”, “ICanT”, “Freedom As Mama Told Me”, “IVAN" and "AWOTT III”, just to name a few.

Here is a short bio provided by the group:

“There is story how the AWOTT had their things and years before now: story continues up and down moscow city since 2007: year when its start from bass and drum duo rock bit experimental and rather heavy: then more lighter and psy-low-fidelique like trio, then 4-piece with razory sawed guitar, then 5-piece even 6-like piece pie with more drums and wild animals on stage. Sometimes naked but always masked. Result: toured north America in 2011, chewed chewing gums, made stars-spangled friends. Meanwhile played and pushed buttons created about 10 albums full of semi-drone half-industrial themes and even songs. Free improv was a main method, clothes-free was a need. Some of them have a multi-purpose video realisation: mental health training, subcultural influenced, historical meaning, ruin for fun. Time is changed and band is changed too. 2012 is year when god had realise that trio is much better than high five. And we submit. Louder than before we drive our power-trio to new lands of mature things. Result: toured around Europe in 2013 spring, eaten cheeses, spoke tongues, made much more friends. Nowadays AWOTT, by mighty Destiny, reduced to duo again. They deserve to start from beginning of a Game.”
"The lo-fi free-psych-noise gurgitation-rock costume-drama is a killer spectacle!" Daniel Blumin (WFMU)

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Stress Jingle/Station ID #24: Martin Bramah



Martin Bramah is a British musician best known as a founder member of The Fall, Blue Orchids and Factory Star. Bramah met Mark E. Smith and original keyboard player Una Baines towards the end of 1975. Originally, he was slated to be the group’s vocalist and Smith was going to be the guitarist, but then they swapped roles. Apart from The Fall’s early singles, Bramah also plays guitar on the band’s debut, Live at the Witch Trials, most of which he co-wrote with Smith.

In 1979, he left the band and alongside Una Baines formed Blue Orchids (Mancunian poet and recording artist John Cooper Clarke came up with the group’s name). They signed with Rough Trade Records in 1980 and their first singles (produced by Mayo Thompson of The Red Krayola) drew comparisons to the Velvet Underground’s sound. Ironically, a year later the Blue Orchids would become the backing band for former Velvets singer Nico during her tour of Europe. The group’s debut LP, The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain), was released in 1981 to excellent reviews. The Blue Orchids’ uncompromising sound - half-sung or spoken lyrics, drugged-out keyboards, jagged guitars - made them favorites on the UK independent charts. The band split up in 1982, briefly reforming in 1985 for a further single. After this Bramah formed a new group named The Thirst with ex-Fall drummer Karl Burns.

In 1989, Bramah unexpectedly returned to The Fall, taking the place of Brix Smith who had recently left, to participate in the recording of Extricate. Following this he formed a fresh incarnation of Blue Orchids, releasing new albums and EPs, as well as overseeing reissues of the group’s earliest material before becoming a solo artist in 2008, releasing the folk-influenced The Battle of Twisted Heel. In early 2009, he formed a new group, Factory Star, featuring fellow ex-Fall members Steve Hanley on bass and Paul Hanley on drums. Bramah reformed Blue Orchids in 2012. A second Factory Star album New Sacral was released in 2012.


"Post-punk has been many things, but rarely beautiful. The Blue Orchids, out of Manchester, turned its thrift shop formula of damaged guitars, stuttering rhythms, badly-tuned keyboards and corrosive visions into something as rare and unlikely and delicately gorgeous as the band’s name-sake."
Jennifer Kelly, DUSTED Magazine

CLICK HERE FOR MORE STRESS FM STATION IDs  



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Stress Jingle/Station ID #21: Rich Stim



Rich Stim is the lead singer and sax player in the eclectic art-metal-rock band MX-80 (also known as MX-80 Sound). Considered “one of the most out of step but prescient bands of its time,” MX-80 defies simple classification with its breakneck metallic guitar combined with atonal chord structures, cross-rhythmic percussion and Stim’s deadpan, absurdist prose and dizzying sax. Their unique sonic melange set the stage for bands such as Swans, Shellac, Codeine and Sonic Youth.

Originally formed in 1974 in Bloomington, Indiana, by guitarist Bruce Anderson and bassist Dale Sophiea, MX-80 first released an EP (Big Hits) which managed to impress Island Records to sign them, but the resulting Hard Attack never came out in the States and attracted little atention aside from critical raves. Nowadays it’s considered as a key document of the mid-70s proto-punk zeitgeist, along with Pere Ubu’s Modern Dance, Debris’ Static Disposal and Destroy All Monsters’ 1974-1976.

The group relocated to San Francisco in 1978, which brought them into the local orbit of the Residents, who signed them to their label Ralph Records, where they released Out of the Tunnel, often considered to be one of their highest achievements, and Crowd Control.

A litigation-enforced five-years hiatus followed, forcing the band to release a series of pseudonymous works (Gizzards, Half-Life, O-Type). Besides MX-80, Rich Stim as worked since 1982 in Angel Corpus Christi, a musical project with his wife Andrea Ross.

MX-80 returned in 1987 with Existential Lover, and went on recording occasionally throughout the 90s. In 2005 they had a triumphant comeback with We’re an American Band, “a masterwork that mixes Satan, Howard Hughes and current theories on brain transplants.” MX-80 continues to reside and record in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are rumoured to be working on a new release.


"If ever a band realized the potential of pre-punk "underground" noise rock, MX-80 is it." Trouser Press


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Stress Jingle/Station ID #20: Paul Leary



Paul Leary is a guitarist, producer and the co-founder of the legendary experimental rock group Butthole Surfers.

In 1977 Leary met Gibby Haynes in San Antonio, Texas. Together they formed the Ashtray Baby Heads, who would later become Butthole Surfers after a radio announcer mistakenly took the title of an early song to be the group’s name. In 1981 they signed to Jello Biafra's label Alternative Tentacles and two years later issued their debut EP Brown Reason To Live (aka Pee Pee The Sailor).

Butthole Surfers long reigned among the most twisted and depraved acts ever to bubble up from the American underground. Masters of calculated outrage, the group fused the sicko antics of shock rock with a distinct and chaotic mishmash of avant-garde, noise, punk rock and Texas psychedelia. Their bizarre live gigs - a travelling freak show combining two drummers, strobe lights, nude dancers, film clips of sex-change operations and Hayne’s pyromaniacal behavior - began to win a devout cult following. Throughout the ’80s they issued a steady stream of cult classics and, by the mid-90s, they were left-field Top 40 hitmakers, success perhaps their ultimate subversion of mainstream ideals.

Kurt Cobain was an early fan and mentioned the Surfers as being an important influence on the Nirvana sound, particularly Leary’s guitar playing. The group’s experimental approach and their smart-dumb ethos can still be heard in contemporary bands like the Liars.

Besides the Butthole Surfers albums, Leary has also produced records by Meat Puppets, Daniel Johnston, The Reverend Horton Heat and many others. In 1991 he released a solo album entitled The History of Dogs, where Leary sings about the Gulf War, Native American rights and space travel. His new band, a psychedelic blues group from Austin, is called Carny.


"Paul Leary’s playing is completely innovative and breaks every rule in music theory and scales. His leads will go in any direction, but they fit so perfectly. His playing on albums like Locust Abortion Technician is very eclectic. Every song is different, weird and fucking amazing." Adam Jones of Tool


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Stress Jingle #19: The Tinklers


The Tinklers are the duo of Charles Brohawn and Chris Mason, both of whom sing, play guitar, and percussion instruments (including cigar boxes, spoons, and other types of junk). Both members are also actively engaged in other mediums including visual art and books. Although the first Tinklers album did not come out until 1990, the roots of the band are in the mid-’70s performance art scene in their native Baltimore.

Their music has a weird, spellbinding quality, with half-sung, half-spoken vocals over sparse and rudimentar instrumentation, and topics covering everything from James Brown and outer space to advice about not putting your fingers in the fan. Early Tinklers gigs usually took place at art galleries at which Brohawn’s paintings and drawings were on display. An early project was called “The Tinkler’s History of the World”: Brohawn and Mason constructed a 50-foot-long time line and performed while walking along it, stopping at various points and performing songs related to that moment in history.

Longtime admirers and friends Half Japanese sent some tapes to legendary producer Kramer at Shimmy Disc, and soon enough, with Don Fleming on guitar and Kramer on keyboards, ‘Casserole' was recorded in two days. The album featured 38 songs, nearly a third of them under a minute long and only a handful breaking the two-minute barrier. The band would release three more records - 'Saplings’, ‘Crash' and 'Slowpoke’. Throughout 2006 and 2007, director Brian J. Averill followed the duo and interviewed their friends creating the documentary “Everybody Loves The Tinklers.”

Charles Brohawn of the Tinklers has recorded a series of Station Id’s for stress.fm.

"Ten years ago in Baltimore, the part-hippie, part post-punk Tinklers were emblematic of the energetic happenings in a town where you did little things like make art to keep from going crazy." Rick Sugden, Chemical Imbalance, 1990



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Stress Jingle #17: Linda Smith


Linda Smith is a singer/songwriter with roots that can be traced back to the underground Cassette culture of the 80s, which eventually led to the emergence of the ‘indie pop' scene of the 90s and the continuing trend towards self released music. She wrote and recorded her albums on 4-track cassette and 8-track reel to reel tape at home from 1986 to 2001, and released it on her own Preference label. Considered as a minor lo-fi masterpiece among the Cassette culture obsessives, ‘The Space Between Buildings' (1987), is her first tape.

The music has a unique sound, featuring stripped down and creative arrangements over which haunting and beautiful melodies unfold. Music writer Richie Unterberger described it as “ideal for moody types who want something that complements their mood without being either sappy or overly morose.” Her voice has a dark, soothing quality, somewhere inbetween Nico and Kim Deal. “I think somewhere in my mind was the idea that with the songs I could speak to individual listeners in a personal way,” Linda recalls, “it was never the kind of music that was meant to be played loud, but preferably heard through headphones. The 4 track cassette recorder (which had just been introduced to the market at the time) allowed me to find another way of making music, a method more akin to painting a picture. Writing songs became a more immediate and personal experience.” Prolific UK pop home-recorder Keel Her recently mentioned Linda as a musical influence and kindred spirit. These days, Linda Smith dedicates her time to painting. You can find her complete recordings here.

Now you can hear her on stress.fm.

"Back around 1990 the home recording scene was a globally scattered bunch of people who taped music on 4-track recorders, dubbed cassettes, xeroxed covers, mailed them to magazines with tiny press runs and traded with others doing the same. This was a wonderful pre-Internet artistic democracy at its best and a swirl of indulgent junk at its worst. So when you found something good, it was a real prize. Linda Smith’s cassettes were a quiet little jackpot." Tomsun, Tapewrecks blog



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Stress Jingle #16: Little Fyodor





Little Fyodor is an underground punk/garage legend from Denver, Colorado, who has been recording his unique brand of avant-pop madness for over 20 years, creating twisted, satirical songs which - beneath a crass and maniacal outer shell - express a deep empathy with those who most acutely experience the frustrations and alienation of modern life’s “insect existence.” Fyodor’s songwriting, aesthetics and outlandish performances somehow manage to be simultaneous sad, angry and hilarious. Wallowing in their creator’s self-professed “depression, alienation, nervous anxiety and shameful lack of social skills,” disjointed tunes like “Too Many People,” “Doomed" and "Fuck It" draw more from Pere Ubu and The Modern Lovers than they do from Weird Al (to whom Fyodor often and erroneously gets compared).

He originally performed in the band Walls of Genius (1982 to 1986), an experimental group which combined tape manipulation, vicious sociopolitical satire, twisted oldies covers and art-rock instrumentals. Music writer Richie Unterberger described them as "a rawer, more lo-fi take on the Mothers of Invention. After Walls of Genius, Fyodor went on to become a solo act, appearing both solo and alongside band mates Babushka (who he allegedly met in an alley while tossing aluminum cans into a shopping cart), Amadaeus Tonguefingers and Tricky Dick Wikkit. Little Fyodor is also notable for his association with the Elephant 6 collective and with the group Negativland, with which he toured in 1993. He is also known as a radio DJ with Under The Floorboards, a show he hosts bimonthly (every other Saturday at 11 PM on Boulder’s KGNU), which features weird and obscure music and audio art.

Now you can hear him on stress.fm.



"In my time I’ve seen Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, David Bowie and various members of the Rat Pack, but by far the most charismatic performer I’ve ever laid eyes on, has got to be a man who goes by the stage-name of Little Fyodor. On the surface, he would appear to be the antithesis of what you’d expect of a Pop Star; and he is - deliberately so. He has consciously inverted the rock ‘n’ roll paradigm, and in so doing created a kind of bizaroo-world version of the rock idiom. (…) Little Fyodor is a genuine outsider, a pop anti-hero who both laments and celebrates his alienation. His songs are well-crafted psychodramas that usher the listener into a funzone in which giddy glee and paranoia blur effortlessly into one another.” Boyd Rice


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Stress Jingle #13: Gary Lucas




Often considered one of the best and most original guitarists alive, Gary Lucas is an eclectic recording artist with over twenty solo albums to date, with styles ranging from psychedelic to world music, electronic, classical, ambient, jazz and rock. In his sophomore year he travelled on what he calls a “pilgrimage” to see his childhood hero Captain Beefheart, with whom he later formed a strong friendship. From being a Beefheart fan Gary eventually became his co-manager and joined the Magic Band, recording two Beefheart albums in the early 80s, “Doc At The Radar Station" and "Ice Cream For Crow”, which featured his explosive solo renditions of Don Van Vliet's twisted instrumental compositions, “Flavor Bud Living" and "Evening Bell”. These recordings put Lucas on the musical map as a force to be reckoned with, and laid the groundwork for his subsequent career.

Gary Lucas tours the world relentlessly both solo and with several different ensembles, including his longtime band Gods and Monsters, whose ranks once included the late singer Jeff Buckley. Over a long performing career Lucas has played and collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, The Plastic People of the Universe, Nick Cave, Alan Vega, Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Patti Smith, Jon Spencer, Kevin Coyne, Van Dyke Parks, Iggy Pop, Allen Ginsberg, Damo Suzuki, Michael Karoli, Dr John, Lou Reed, John Cale, DJ Spooky and many others.

Now you can hear him on stress.fm.

(The guitar piece Gary Lucas is playing is his arrangement of the theme from Bela Tarr’s film "Satantango" by Mihály Vig)



"I could listen to him play for hours." Lou Reed

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Stress Jingle #10: Don Campau


Musician, radio host and archivist, Don Campau has been active in music since 1969. From 1969-1974, Don, Geoff Alexander and other friends recorded as The Roots Of Madness, a bizarre, avant-garde collective that released one album in 1971, and would occasionally perform unannounced at freeway overpasses and laundromats. In that same year Don began hosting his first radio show in California under the mentorship of Lorenzo W. Milam, one of the founding fathers of community radio in the USA.



In 1985 the format of “No Pigeonholes" was established and became home recorded cassettes from the international home recording movement called "cassette culture”. The music covered many styles from rock, folk, outsider, oddball, punk, electronic and much more. Don continues broadcasting home recorded, small studio and independent music from around the world not only on KKUP but also throughout Europe on Radio Marabu and also on the net on The Luver.com.

During this entire time, Don has also been recording his own albums, ranging from home recorded rock to experimental and featuring numerous collaborations with other home recording musicians worldwide. In 2009, Campau started the web site project THE LIVING ARCHIVE OF UNDERGROUND MUSIC, which gives his personal history of the cassette culture/home recorded music movement. Many others have also contributed to this look back at the taping culture of the 1980s and 1990s.

Now you can hear him on stress.fm.

"Don’t forget to follow Don Campau’s ongoing trip through the history of the home recording underground, he’s publishing his online mag every month, and he’s doing his monthly radio show available as podcast in the US and Europe. He has also a huge back catalogue of CDs.”
Hotcha’s Calypso Now Label