The Broken Penis Orchestra
Saturday, 13 October 2007
Long time ago Rene Westerveen made cassette tapes with compilations of parts of the best records that he discovered.
He put a lot of effort in these RAW tapes, as they were called. Often they sounded more like Cut Ups, with all kind of fragments from radio shows and found tapes mixed in between the songs. And there were theme tapes: the Beatles, Christmas, sex.
These cassettes are very dear to me. They are funny and contain some true fleamarket treasures. But they also symbolise an area that is gone. It is still a mystery to me why so many more people were creative with their music collection in days when basically all you had was a tape recorder, while today, with computers, I often hear people complaining about the effort it takes to make an MP3 of a vinyl record.
I have Rene’s permission to digitalise the RAW tapes, but so far I have not found the time to do that. But I keep the 21 cassettes in the refrigerator, and I will let you know when mp3’s are available.
Last week Rene sent me a CD from The Broken Penis Orchestra, released on Nihilist Records. I played it last night when I came home with the blues. (I have a vague injury that makes playing my weekly soccer match painful, and last night I could barely walk up the stairs and wondered if I should give up playing soccer. But I guess I was just dead tired; this morning the thought of stopping was already gone.)
The CD didn’t made the blues disappear, but it did make me laugh. I just did a G-search and found this information:
“Dick Flick conductor in chief, displays a wild and twisted array of sound collages that pull your ears through your brain and back again, (not unlike early Negativland or Nurse With Wound). This is the debut LP for B.P.O. and will be a limited pressing of 300 copies on 152 gram black vinyl.”
Many sounds in the sound collages are familiar to my ears: this kind of material forms the basis of every tape and CD with rarities that people like Rene Westerveen and other collectors unearthed. But this BPO CD is the limit: not only are the sound samples extremely good, the collages are fascinating. It sounds as if Dick Flick, whoever he is, has been collecting audio all his life and crammed all his best fragments and ideas into this one project. It works like an audio bomb!
The good news is that this CD is in reality an LP and as far as I understand, it is still available through the Nihilist Records site. For only 12 dollars!
Here is a track that is more mysterious and less funny than the other six tracks. But just as good. It is called Ball buster.