Wednesday 24 June 2020

Karel Appel ‎– "Musique Barbare" (WVB ‎– 99954 DL) 1963

On the theme of electronic Apples,where we heard 'Silver Apples of the Moon',then experienced the lost and found proto-electronic duo 'The Siver Apples';now we have a mad Dutch Painter called Karel Appel!?
Let's face it, artists are a bunch of self-aggrandizing attention seeking twats. And Dutch Abstract expressionist, forward slash, action painter,Karel Appel, was certainly one of them.
Lack of attention as a child leading to low self-esteem issues has a lot to answer for.....Hitler for one.....and Karel takes his anger out on, mostly, canvas;but,that's not enough for him is it?...Oh no...he has to enter the confusing world of Musique Concréte,applying his action painting techniques to magnetic tape.
Karel approach to tape splicing was,how do you say?
Looking like Captain Haddock on angel-dust, our wooly jumper wearing Art Nutter somehow managed to produce one of the most extreme and uncompromising sonic assaults the world has ever heard.No its not a colla-bore-ation with Merzbow from 2007, this was done at the same time those ground-breaking mop tops were singing nursery rhymes like 'Love Me Do' at the top of the UK hit 1963?
Captain Haddock unleashed in the Dutch verion of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

The opening piece.....artists call tracks, 'Pieces'by the way....sounds not unlike a Carl Stalling composed soundtrack to a Looney Toons cartoon,zipping and darting,spontaneously, in all random directions.Which, without the coreography of a Warner Brothers cartoon, could send a an unprepared mind insane . I'm guessing he approached the tape edit like an action painting,randomly sticking pieces together, and randomly attacking the studio piano. It would make a great backing track to an experimental eastern european cartoon.
But its when Karel starts to vocalize that it really gets certifiable. Section 8 stuff,probably used to get himself out of Dutch National Service after the war. Repeating the phrase "I Do Not Paint I Hate" over and over again,increasingly manically,accompanied by a prepared tape and wild phonetic drumming.
The final'piece',find our hero let loose on the drums again, whilst attacking a vox continental. This, The Beatles,it is NOT!
Appel doing his day job......artists call it working!?“I paint like a savage – because we live in savage times.” Said Karel, Another favourite quote of the formidable painter was “I merely muck about”...well,he said it not me!?
He never made another record.


1.Paysage Électronique (11:41)
2.Poème Barbare (3:30)
3.Le Cavalier Blanc (12:42)


Guess Who's Somebody I Really Fucking Hate? said...

Given it's context and time, truly one of the more extreme recordings ever made. And that's not something Mr. Appel himself ever even had to actually say. Unlike the behaviour of a certain UK wankmeister who thought merely flipping a white noise switch would qualify his "work" for such an accolade.

But I digress. (Up your

Vlad said...

Well, thanks a ton for this one! Me didn't know it even existed. Just knew his paintings from the Cobra era. I am educating myself here at your blog. Noisy good early stuff this.