THU20 - Tilburg
Korm Plastics KP 3032
LP only - Limited edition of 250 copies
A live recording made in Paradox in Tilburg in October 2007.
Over the past twenty years one of the bigger enigma's of 'industrial'
music or 'modern musique concrete' has been THU20. They seldom
record or play live, yet when they do, a lot of attention is
placed on the detail. In the studio this leads to perfectly shaped
sonic constructions, and in a live concert a detailled balance
between the various interests of the five players involved. The
computer work of Jos Smolders and Roel Meelkop, the acoustic
sound objects of Peter Duimelinks and Frans de Waard and the
analogue electronics of Jacques van Bussel. A small selection
of live recordings by THU20 has been made avialable before, such
as a split LP with Merzbow, and live recordings from Nancy. 'Tilburg'
fits that particular line of THU20 work. Various recordings were
made, from the P.A. aswell as by the individual players, which
were slightly edited by THU20. Cover by Meeuw.
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listen to excerpt
Korm Plastics LP
The first release in six years by this Dutch quintet, comprising
Jos Smolders and Roel Meelkop on laptops, Peter Duimelinks and
Frans de Waard on 'acoustic objects' and the analogue electronics
of Jacques van Bussel. This is a long-running if irregularly
convening group, whose discography stretches back to the mid-80s
and whose line-up has evolved over time. With the exception of
van Bussel, all involved in its present formation have worked
together in a number of different groupings and collaborations.
Tilburg is a live recording, which is probably not the
best way to hear THU20, given the number of sounds they're generating
and the complexity of the process by which they're layered. Its
first side takes a bell curve form. As the activity level rises
and the density of the playing increases, much of the detail
gets smothered by electronic fuzz, through which discrete sounds
struggle to penetrate. The second is better ? clearer and more
volatile. There's less going on, individual sounds shift to the
fore, and each of the contributors' individual sounds are more
Both the two tracks can be loosely thought of as electroacoustic
improvisations (though there's no way you'd classify them as
electroacoustic Improv), with individual members' vocabularies
alluding to Industrial music, electronics and musique concrète.
There's a pronounced feel of collage throughout, though my hunch
is that's as much down to the disparate nature of the sounds
they're dealing with and the rather haphazard flow of their improvising
as much as structural or stylistic intent. (The Wire January
THU20 - TILBURG (LP by Korm plastics)
Practicing priests . for once information is to hand - (A rare
live work from THU20- Jos Smolders and Roel Meelkop (computer)
Peter Duimelinks and Frans de Waard, acoustic objects and the
analogue electronics of Jacques van Bussel.) and if not then
this multilayered work might suggest some studio piece - which
would account for its un-noise structuring of abstract "shapes"
of sound, more sound collage, sectioned to short to evolve into
something which once called itself industrial, with almost nostalgic
references to the Abstract of the previous century, charming
rather than American brashness or lost in translation Japanese
renderings, I'm reminded of that strange and interesting Abstract
Expressionist movement in Northern Europe of Wols et al. - an
intellectualism which was overwhelmed by first the size and then
the brash confrontationality of US Nimitz sized and culture art.
Which was a pity, no longer the intellectuals smoke in street
cafes Gauloises, but if at all Malbro lites, indicative of the
refusal to live and denial of the truth, SMOKING KILLS, and here
in Tilburg some smoking clearly takes place, a careful and thought
out improvisation that is just like the eddy of Gauloises smoke
and thickened with the taste of real, not instant coffee and
real not instant improvisations of sound - not noise then- something
that might speak from the past and say here is something to talk