Hotcha's Calypso Now Label

May 27, 2011

They call him Hit Machine

Filed under: Bands — Tags: — Hotcha @ 8:12 pm

No joke – local songwriter and performer Nick Porsche, former member of Puts Marie, still under his thirties and with more than 10 years of professional musicianship under his belt: When I recorded his last gig here in town, I had a guy saying this to me: “That’s a real hit machine you got here…”


But I haven’t got him, unfortunately, I’m not in a position to push such a promising hit machine how it has to be done. So all I can do is put out yet another cassette of him, it will be the second in six months, and just hope he gets the recognition he deserves. It’s not that I think this would be a favor, he doesn’t need this from me, and the gig I’ve witnessed on the night of the Eurovision Song Contest in the cellar of squatted Labieu was just plain crazy. Imagine a guy sitting on a stool behind a drum kit of bass and snare drum, both hit with a foot pedal, sometimes switching to the hi-hat, playing an old no-name trashy electric guitar, singing over a second guitar amp, a bit nervous maybe at the start, but really getting off from the third song, delivering hit after hit after hit, all self-penned of course. It helps that the ladies are going crazy. And everybody knows that this is the only true sign of star material…

I didn’t have my cam with me, it’s a real pity. But I recorded the whole gig and listened to it at least 10 times since: One of the very few gigs I ever saw that had no filler at all, and that during 60 minutes.

We will put out a cassette of the gig, and in the meantime try to catch Nick Porsche if he ever hits your town. He’s uploaded some songs from this concert, but beware: MP3 just doesn’t have the power of an analog audio cassette. So watch this space for the release. And watch his MySpace for gigs announcements!

January 3, 2011

Sister Ray live tape

Filed under: Bands,Free MP3 Download — Tags: — Hotcha @ 10:05 am

Sister Ray were a band from Ohio, who in the late eighties had some unexpected succes among european labels – well, to speak the very truth, they were just on one european label, Semaphore from Holland, but they released four records of those psychedelic punks. Psychedelic? Will they kill me when they read this? Their trademark were not the long stereo noodles psychedelic usually stands for, they were on the contrary very sharp and blasted out tune after tune without really having a break between them. I saw them live @Hirscheneck in Basel back then, and they simply ruled. You’ll get a good impression on the live tape I put on here. But they were psychedelic all right, I mean, they always played Pink Floyd’s Take Thy Stethoscope And Walk. And they had a farfisa organ. At least then. They dropped it later, I believe. Read all about here:

I’m a bit pissed, because I added this tape to discogs 6 months ago, and nobody seems to care. How I know? Because nobody did hit the ‘I want this’-button. Which is rather unusual for such a tape. It was self-released by the band, and there were only 100 copies made. I bought it at their gig, and I also bought a solo tape of their guitar wizard Mark Hanley. Will post it one day here, I think.

Sister Ray Official Live Cassette 1986

Just press play
[audio:sister ray live tape side 1.mp3,sister ray live tape side 2.mp3]

To download right-click

December 19, 2010

Tav Falco’s Panther Burns

Filed under: Bands — Tags: — Hotcha @ 1:38 pm

Saw their show last night here in Biel; incredible, just incredible. Quite loud for my damaged hearing, twangy guitars with mucho treble, but a great program of what I might call ‘Boudoir Blues’ – tango, mambo, garage stomp, eastern raga punk. It’s not that nobody else does that, but first of all Tav is the godfather of all those bands like my fave The Dead Brothers, but he is also very much rooted in the old Memphis songwriting tradition of Stax and Sun Records, a survivor, if there ever was one. Impressive. I also loved the grandseigneuresque performance of the man, ruling over a band of mostly european youngsters, with a superb guitar player, he with the look of a bank teller trying to be cool, and a Cleopatra-like drummer from Rome, who really knows where the hitting has to be hard.

For me this was the occasion to pay royalties for a tape I released 22 years ago – do not ask for a copy, it’s deleted, of course.
Buy Tav’s new product. Listen to it here on Myspace. And go catch him live if you can.

December 7, 2010

New Years On Earth tape

Filed under: Bands,Catalogue — Tags: , — Hotcha @ 12:00 pm

Some time ago I wrote here about Years On Earth from Northampton, a band that I was in touch with in ’84. I had two of their tapes in my label program, license releases, that is: YOE-2 ‘Site’, YOE-3 ‘Worlds Apart’. Read it here:

When I reactivated my cassette label last september, Bob Roke from Years On Earth sent me by happy coincidence a solo work he had done in 2003 – he did not know then that I was back in business again. Of course I was thrilled, because I was badly looking for the whereabouts of the band. So of course I asked Bob if I could release the CD on cassette. And now it’s here for the taking:

The cassette is a C50 with 15 tracks, it’s a Calypso Now exclusive release, and it goes by the number YOE-4, thus continuing the band’s work. YOE-3 was ‘Worlds Apart’ from 1984, by the way.

Bob uses dark ambient electronics combined with natural sounds or field recordings, and he is still a master of the bedroom electronics. And I remember that YOE used to build part of their equipment themselves. You hear the Years On Earth heritage, of course, but you find less of their song structures here. What always amazes me, since their first recordings, are the high quality standards. No fillers, no fiddling around with the buttons, although it definitely goes under ‘industrial’. In short, a very good production, and a very special tape. The same goes for all the Years On Earth productions, and they are all rereleased by Calypso Now at the same time!

You can order the tapes online here at the Calypso Now Shop.

June 19, 2010

Zidsick And Zanstones

Filed under: Bands — Tags: — Hotcha @ 12:11 pm

This man is just incredible, he’s probably the only person in the world to give meaning to the term ‘far-out’ – Zan Hoffman from Louisville, Kentucky!
While the high priests of collectable underground music just press a ‘nobody can take this stuff seriously’ through their stiff lips, Zan Hoffman goes on and on and on and has today over one thousand releases listed in Discogs.

I collaborated myself with him back in ’84 on the The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The The compilation, and though I didn’t really think he was that great, I featured his cassette in an interview Swiss national television did with me, because it was clearly weird and thus highly presentable.

Today I just can’t help but admire madman Hoffman who’s aspiring for the title ‘Most Productive Artist Of The Free World’. Read all about him in the latest edition of Don Campau’s Living Archive Of Underground Music and also have a look at Zan’s own blogs and sites:

December 12, 2009

Walti Anselmo Rocklegende

Filed under: Bands,Zines — Tags: — Hotcha @ 2:00 pm

Habe diese Woche per Zufall in einem Ordner meine Angeldust wieder gefunden – ich war ueberzeugt, kein Exemplar dieses legendaeren Fanzines von 1985 mehr zu besitzen. Nachdem ich andernorts bereits meinen damaligen Artikel ueber Garagenrock in Bruegg und Port veroeffentlicht habe, nun hier noch der Nachschlag. Da geht’s um die grosse weite Welt, allerdings.

Walti Anselmo war in den 60er Jahren der wohl bekannteste Beat-Gitarrist der Schweiz und gruendete dann in der hohen Zeit des ‘progressiven’ Krautrock zusammen mit Duede Duerst von den Sauterelles und Hardy Hepp Krokodil, eine sagenumwobene Truppe, deren LPs, allesamt in Deutschland erschienen, heute wohl zu Hoechstpreisen unter Sammlern gehandelt werden. Ich weiss nicht mal, ob die Sachen noch erhaeltlich sind – Google habt ihr ja selbst, nicht wahr.

Als Stift war ich grosser Fan von Krokodil und habe damals versucht, sie so oft wie moeglich zu sehen – mit dem Toeffli 60 km in kalter Nacht gefahren und so -, und fast 20 Jahre spaeter habe ich mein seinerzeitiges Idol Walti Anselmo aufgespuert und mit ihm ein langes Interview gefuehrt. Daraus wurde dann ein zweiteiliger Artikel in Angeldust, der seine ganze musikalische Biographie bis zur Aufloesung von Krokodil erzaehlt. Sehr gelungen, bin heute noch stolz darauf!

Was nach 1985 geschah: Anselmo tauchte zwischendurch in der Aarauer Szene um die Bermuda Idiots und Gogo auf, man konnte ihn sogar mal in Biel konzertant erleben, an der Orgel der nicht minder legendaere Jelly Pastorini von der 60er Beatcombo The Sevens. Aber mir schien, es war ihm nicht allzu wohl dabei – jedenfalls war dem Projekt kein langes oeffentliches Leben beschieden.

Mojo Weideli, der schoene Mojo, der bei Krokodil mit Mundharmonika und Querfloete stark zum unverwechselbaren Sound beitrug, war bis vor ein paar Jahren Barmann in der Aktionshalle der Roten Fabrik, allerdings nur noch ein Schatten seiner selbst. Er ist 2005 gestorben. Bilder von Krokodil, uebrigens, gibt’s hier, auf der offiziellen Homepage. Dort finden sich auch weitere Infos.

Anselmo Teil 1

Anselmo Teil 2

December 6, 2009

Years On Earth

Filed under: Bands,Free MP3 Download — Tags: — Hotcha @ 2:00 pm

I came across Years On Earth in 1984, when they sent me their third tape asking for distribution. I liked it at once and wrote back asking for licence production, and they agreed at that, even sent their second tape with a handful of covers for distribution. As you can read in the file I enclose for your documentation, they sent 11 covers. Helas, it’s a shame that I still have a couple of these original copies here, proof how underestimated the band was at their time.

Today I have the impression there’s quite some fans of this period of homemade electronic music who are on the lookout for music from Years On Earth, and for more infos, of course. That’s why I’ve decided to upload some tracks from “Worlds Apart”, their third tape, and also the material they sent me, as well as the letters we’ve exchanged. I hope we’ll hear from them again some day. As for now, they seem to have been disappeared, and by reading their letters, this comes as no surprise – they weren’t that interested in exposure back then already.

So enjoy the music – you can also get their tapes from me, as long as I still have some of those covers (just a handful). As for the money after covering costs, by the way, it will all go into microcredits – i’m thinking about using kiva. The tapes sound so much better than it’s possible for an MP3, hope you kept your deck!

Years On Earth – Worlds Apart

[audio:Dreams Carry.mp3,Madness in Motion.mp3,On The Ice.mp3,Let The Power Fall.mp3]
Press the playback button

To download right-click

You can download all the printed material I have from them, it’s a PDF (3.5 MB) – right-click on this link here.

yoe review

November 26, 2009

Chart Attack

Filed under: Bands,Free MP3 Download — Tags: , , , — Hotcha @ 12:00 am

Deutsche Version hier

Fixed my Revox today. I always say: Never throw anything away. You could use it one day. Probably just the day after having disposed of it. You know that.

To cut a long story short: I have 3 Revox machines, one is working, one isn’t any more, the third was given to me by my hifi vendor just in case I could use some spare parts. This year I was several times on the edge of throwing those latter two away! Lucky me I didn’t. Because today I wanted to copy some reel-to-reel masters onto my computer to mp3 them for your listening pleasure. When doing so the machine started to make some weird sounds, and I detected that in the heat of the summer a small rubber wheel that presses the tape to the recording head had literally melted! Ok, so that has been fixed now – to order the part from Revox would have cost real money, that’s where the money is made, on the replacement parts. Plus I would have waited 10 days for delivery, at least.

So here we are, ready to copy the summer masters. You’ll hear about them soon. For now, just a glimpse into the charts hungry side of Calypso Now. Summer 1984 saw the release of the famous Cassingles (‘Splendid – The Sound Of Young Switzerland’), Summer 1986 the sampler ‘Chart Attack’, followed by ‘Guitar Town’ in ’87 (summer, of course), a sampler with bands from Geneva, at that time the capital of swiss garage. Remember: The Maniacs, The Needles, The Faster.

I’ll give you some tracks of Splendid and Guitar Town soon. Today, to celebrate my newly fixed Revox, the first three tracks from ‘Chart Attack’.

Chart Attack Compilation 1986 – The Reaction, Eugen, Hydrogen Candymen

[audio:The Reaction – Thoughts.mp3,Der Boese Bub Eugen – Ich will alles.mp3,Hydrogen Candymen – I can’t stand this love goodbye.mp3]
Ajust playback volume to 10 and press the play button!

(pic shows back cover of Chart Attack, graphics by Martin Schori, thank you)

To download right-click

Peopleism (for Google to use hehehe): Max of The Reaction now works for SUISA, Stephan Ramming of Eugen for NZZ am Sonntag, Lori Hersberger from Candymen is a world famous biennale triennale documentale artist

Tired, have to go. Had too much work restoring certain cassette masters, finding the right hardware and, much more difficult, the right software. Am using Audacity now, a great open source program. A bit more difficult to use than Goldwave, what I used before, but better quality, at least on my hardware.

November 21, 2009

My famous neighbour

Filed under: Bands — Tags: , — Hotcha @ 1:33 am

Well, it’s his brother who’s my neighbour, but who cares about those details? Anyhow, due to the fact that my neighbour’s got a famous and prolific brother I was handed a free CD, the first since at least 20 years. It’s on enja. And it’s great, nonetheless. It’s even fantastic. No, I’ve only had one beer.

You know how it is, when the first note hits it right home. This is how it is: It is rare. But they did it. Incredible.

Ever heard of the Lucien Dubuis Trio? Could be, they’ve been around since quite some time, they played Willisau, they are Swiss, they will be big. Believe me. I’m just listening to their new CD. It’s on enja. Oh, I already said that. But enja… The home of Guido-Westerwelle-Contemporary-Jazz, the fetish of every Revox Head Cleaner. Or do I mix it up now with ECM now? Whatever, whoever – they took the money from the label (enja…) and made something unheard until now.

On the jazz level you hear bits of Arthur Blythe, maybe, seventies jazz rock licks from guitar whizz kid Marc Ribot (well, pretty grey by now), but above all this CD is about Sounds And Rhythm. And about the fun you can have when a very young trio of immaculate taste teams up with mildly crazy Marc Ribot. And about the moog-defying sound of a bass clarinet. About the Daniel-Humair-was-yesterday-drumming of Lionel Friedli. Not that I don’t like Daniel Humair, of course. No, I love him. Well, shucks, have a look at the trailer. Come back after.

Since you’ve been away, I heard: a hardcore dance track, a Zappa-like ditty, now they are playing a folksy tune, could be drunken sicilians locked in a studio messing around with the instruments they found. Steve Marcus, to give you another reference, used to indulge in stuff like that. But Steve Marcus never played so good, of course. Highly entertaining.

But don’t be fooled: It’s not a nice little record, it’s a record that will be played in clubs, and people will stop their talking for a moment and wonder, who this might be. And there’s no greater compliment for a record these days.

Lucien Dubuis Trio with Marc Ribot, Ultime Cosmos. enja 2009.

November 19, 2009

Be there or be square

Filed under: Bands,Catalogue,Free MP3 Download — Tags: , — Hotcha @ 1:48 pm

Releasing and playing music since several decades, I never cared much about keeping track of the stuff I’ve done. As the title of this posting says, I subscribe to the punk motto ‘be there or be square’ – pity, if you’re born after the fact. No pity, though, if you’ve missed on it because you were lazy.

Now, this may sound quite preposterous – I mean, you could rightfully say: Well, if nobody cared, then it probably wasn’t worth it.

Check it out for yourself – this is a catalogue poster I printed around 1987/1988 – click on each page for bigger view.

catalogue poster pt. 1catalogue poster pt. 3catalogue poster pt. 2catalogue poster pt. 4catalogue poster pt. 5catalogue poster pt. 7catalogue poster pt. 6catalogue poster pt. 8

You sure are right, if you like your taste mainstream and middle-of-the-road. Because I’ve never cared much to live up to expectations. Call me the Taste Hero, or, if you like it really heroic, The Man Who Wouldn’t Give A Fuck.

You read me spitting out big sounds now, because today I came across traces of my work from the 80s in the internet. As a matter of fact, I for instance discovered a site where some of my Calypso Now releases are listed, some quite popular, like the split tape by The Ex/Svaetsox, Pay no more than 6 Fr (the tongue in cheek title referring to hip indie releases ‘for the working man’ in England in the Thatcherist 80’s). But I’ve also come across a real obscurity, like Big City Orchestra’s Hand Of Fear – they were always my favorites, by the way, and if you read their portrait, you’ll know why.

I’ve also found several sites who still keep the fire going, like Mutant Sounds, which I found researching Years On Earth; like Crud Crud on a more general level, where you keep falling over rare and strange sounds, a lot of tape-only productions, but also other stuff like belly dance rip-off singles; like Sweet Thunder which is full of surprises, check it out for yourself.

I was looking for the whereabouts of Years On Earth because I used to release two of their fantastic dark droning tapes, ‘Site’ and ‘Worlds Apart’, and I’ve always listened to them ‘in private’ as well. I will tell you more about them as soon as I can find the master tape for YOE3 in my piles of incredibly great, rare and half-forgotten stuff. But for today, I will give you just a listening of two tracks from their tape ‘Site’ from 1982 (YOE2). Bedroom electronics really well done.

Years On Earth – from their tape ‘Site’, 1982

[audio:and i dream.mp3,lost letters.mp3]

Ajust playback volume to 10 and press the play button!

To download right-click Years On Earth: And I Dream or Years On Earth: Lost Letters

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