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Introduction


DUTCH

Eind 2016 verviel mijn oude website met de naam ‘Heard This Before?’ bij Ziggo (voorheen UPC, voorheen Chello). Deze website bouwde ik in 1998 (en dat was te zien!) omdat ik op een verzamelbandje vier ongeïdentificeerde tracks had staan waar ik heel graag de artiestnaam en titel van wilde weten.

In de loop der jaren zijn daar twee tracks van gevonden (door mijzelf) maar er blijven er dus nog twee over die tot de Grote Mysteries van mijn collectie behoren.

Daarom wilde ik de content van mijn inmiddels vervallen website op de één of andere manier tóch online houden, en de enige redelijk mogelijkheid op korte termijn was om het hier op mijn zakelijke Makz Media website in een aparte blog onder te brengen. En dat blijft waarschijnlijk ook zo, want ik hou wel van een beetje mysterie - ik heb dus geen grote haast - het zou te ver gaan om er een compleet eigen URL voor vast te leggen en hosting voor te gaan betalen.

Daarom dus hier de Heard That Before ? Files blog. Om een bredere zoekgebied te bestrijken maakte ik de oorspronkelijke site in het Engels, en dat laat ik maar zo. Aangepast aan de moderne tijd, en van aanvullingen voorzien waar dat nodig is.

ENGLISH

At the end of 2016, my old website called ‘Heard This Before?’ was deleted bij Ziggo (formerly known as UPC, formerly known as Chello). I built this website in 1998 (and it showed!) because I had a few unidentified tracks on a mixtape, of which I really wanted to know the artist and songtitle.

Over the years, two of those tracks were identified (by myself) but there are still two left that count among the Great Mysteries of my musical collection.

That’s why I wanted to keep the content online, one way or another, and the quickest and cheapest was was to add it to my professional Makz Media site as a separate blog. And that’s probably how I will keep it, because I like a bit of mystery and I’m in no hurry, and why claim a unique URL for it and pay for hosting anyway?

So here you have it: the Heard This Before ? Files blog. To broaden the search, I wrote the original website in English, and I’ll keep it that way. It’s been updated and annotated where necessary.


Heard This Before?


Everybody who is even remotely interested in music will recognise this problem.

A piece of music comes along (mostly on an old tape you found in a box in the attic), and there is no information whatsoever about who's playing, what it's called, where it's from... All you know is that you got it from someone ages ago, but those were the days of mind altering substances, so you haven't got a clue...

By the end of the first week of searching the internet by possible keywords (unsuccessful, of course) you decide that, from now on, every resource must be used to get to the solution of this mystery.

How to proceed? Most people you know probably wouldn't recognise a decent piece of music if it jumped up from the toilet and grabbed them by the family jewels, so no help is to be expected there. Some special friends who DO know music are invited, and they all say: "Hey, this is some cool music. Who is it? What is it called?".

Again, no help there. This can go on for several years, without success. And finally, in a desperate moment of true enlightenment, you know what to do: Ask the world!!! Make a compressed file of it, and slap it on the World Wide Web. So here it is: The Heard This Before? mayday site for the almost crazy music lover.

Below you can find The Files that I am looking for.

The music is encoded in 64 kbit/s mono, so it is only sufficient for global online listening. Maybe one day I will upload them in full resolution, but for now they will have to do

The Files


This is the music I'm looking for. As for the date, I am quite sure that it's all from the mid eighties, possibly a bit earlier. These tracks were on a tape that was given to a friend of mine. The person who made the compilation also put music of Tuxedomoon on it, and things like Steven Brown & Benjamin Lew, Shock Headed Peters, Shriekback and Edward Ka-Spel (from Legendary Pinkdots).

The genre is your typical 80's underground avant-garde stuff. Experimental, Psychedelic, even Gothic comes to mind. Think of labels like Crammed, Les Disques du Crépuscule and Made to Measure. People told me the music could be Nurse With Wound (which, as far as I have been able to find out, it isn't), Current 93 (neither) of The Electric Prunes (electric what? Sorry, no luck there). With time, I was able to identify all tracks on the tape, except for these:

HH1

This first track may well be an introduction to a radio show. The person who gave my friend the tape also did a lot of home-taping in those days. Some of the other tracks could even be from a weekly VPRO broadcast called Krapuul de Lux, hosted by Belgian underground specialist and well respected music collector Luc Jansen. It sounds like something put together from different tracks, maybe even soundbytes from movies.

HH4

This track is very psychedelic. Sort of instrumental, with lot's of space around the individual sounds. There are synthesizers as well as 'regular' instruments on it, and some whispering of vague words. The only keyword I could somewhat distinguish is "insomnia", but entering this in databases like allmusic.com gave no result. So, it's definitely not the title. The atmosphere is dense and dark, and very dreamy as well.

UPDATE: This track has been identified as Sex & The Married Frog by Dave Ball & Genesis P. Orridge from their soundtrack album for the movie Decoder. This soundtrack was also released on CD and I have added it to my collection.

HH5

The third track sounds like it crossfades directly out of HH4. This gives reason to believe that some of the tape's content must have been a radio broadcast, because I don't think it is the same artist. The name Legendary Pinkdots comes to mind when you listen to it, but so far I have not been able to identify it as one of theirs. More lyrics than the previous track though, that sound a lot like typical Ka-Spel angst. Keywords are "nice eyes doll" "this city, so pretty at night" and "so full of sparkle, and full of light".

UPDATE: This track has been identified as Pretty City by a band called Influenza Prods. It was released on an insanely limited cassette called Quasi Solo in 1985

HH10

The last one is the most psychedelic of them all. Someone suggested that it might be a track from "Nebka" by Benjamin Lew, but I have since acquired that album, and it’ wasn’t. The atmospere here is of wideness, with a broken drumloop that goes on and on, and a saxophone that sounds like a shepherd's flute preluding all around it. Really good stuff.

UPDATE: This track has been identified as The New Hassan by a band called C Cat Trance from their album Khamu (She Sleep Walks). As far as I have been able to find out, it is not available on CD, but I have found a very clean vinyl copy.



If you have any solution for me, please respond to
max[.]delissen[@]gmail.com (without the backets) but please do not attach anything to your e-mail. Just plain text will do.