Y Create - The Blue Tape
Since their launch in 2018, with only a tiny number of releases under their belt, the Milan based imprint, Les Giants, has managed to turn a lot of heads and cover a lot of ground. First they brought us a beautiful reissue of K. Leimer’s 1983 LP, Music for Land and Water, then last year came a singularly important reissue of Brazilian experimentalism, Marco Bosco’s Metalmadeira. Now they’re back, plumbing the wilder depths of the early '80s European DIY underground with the first time ever vinyl reissued of Y Create’s The Blue Tape. The stuff of true legend and proof of the crucial musicological work done by collectors and fans, it’s a thrilling journey of weirdness that we recommend enough.
Y Create is the solo moniker of Hessel Veldman, a key figure in the Dutch home-taping / bedroom music / DIY movement, and an important member of the international network of similar scenes that flourished during the late '70s and '80s. Like much of the most interesting music from the era, Y Create, which expanded and contracted to incorporate the collaboration and improvisations of Nick Nicole, Kees Beukelaar, Herman Te Loo, Jos van Ommen, Kees van Ede, Willem De Ridder, Jos Van Duijne, Peter Cornelissen and Gert-Jan Prins, combined the DIY ethos and raw irreverence and playfulness of punk, with spirited experimentalism to create forms of music that sounded like nothing before or since, ultimately creating a handful of cassette releases that were released on Veldman and his wife Nicole’s imprint, Exart, each leaving quite some echoes in the underground ever since.
Of all Y Create’s releases, there are few better places to dive in than their 1983 album, The Blue Tape, finally receiving its first ever vinyl issue via Les Giants. Comprising a collection of recordings made by Hessel Veldman and Herman Te Loo, each building improvisations from sets of musical cells and ideas - respectively delivering repetitive patterns on guitar and melodic lines on sax, backed by a Drumatix drum machine - the totality is a brash, playful body of sonic wonderment that stands in stark contrast to the gloomy sound of that held sway over the early '80s era and the work of their immediate peers.
Entirely defiant of tangible loyalty to genre, when viewed in a certain light The Blue Tape presents as a logical inheritor to a long line of Dutch avant-gardism, particularly the free thinking minimalism of artists like Louis Andriessen, and balance of irreverent humor against creative rigour displayed by the Instant Composers Pool bands of the 1960s and '70s, pushed forward at the dawn of a new era by a unique pallet of sound and technology, and fuelled by the ethos and spirit of punk in ways explored by similarly minded projects of the moment like Nurse with Wound.
A body of hypnotic soundscapes, off kilter ambience, driving rhythms, cycling patterns, and free flowing melodies, there’s been little before or since that resembles Y Create’s brilliant The Blue Tape. A roving dive into the brilliant output of the Dutch underground in the early '80s, Les Giants carries on their incredible important work with the first time reissue of this singular body of work. Absolutely essential, and a total revelation on every count, it’s not to be missed.