title: Blowpipe Sampler 2015
keywords: alternative ecclectic electronic experimental The Netherlands
label: Blowpipe http://www.blowpipe.org/
I’m waiting at the check in desk for the ‘pulmonary procedure unit’ at a local hospital. Don’t worry there is nothing wrong with me, I’m just here as a sneaky sound observer, a bird-spotter but the ‘birds’ replaced by these particular sounds. It’s strangely good fun to stand here and listen to the patients being called to check their blood pressure, weight their weight and then (most importantly!) get the opportunity to blow air through a device that checks probably the oxygen / lung capacity.
How much breath the people have left to blow in that pipe? I tell you this because for people who have never been at such a place full of people with short breath, bronchitis and other things I don’t know anything about; it’s as a healthy audio fanatic simply a fascinating place to hear and observe the sounds that these lungs versus the blow device make.
Might this be the ‘blowpipe’ that Dutch record label is named after? It’s just a plastic tube, but the humans blowing in it all seem to produce Darth Vader like sound squeezes. Some sounds like high pitched mice, some have so little air and power in them that the sound is barely hear-able, but most are proper ‘power of the dark side’ in power puff form.
Some patients do their best to push out a fair amount of air that they spontaneously cough up an whole orchestra of coughs; it’s moments like this that I wish I could stand next to the check in section with an microphone and a sampler to record all these bad lung goodies. It’s simply wonderful to hear, especially the persons suffering from a cold, blowing air in the pipe to produce the Darth Vader sound with an whole load of hearable slimy snot coming out with it.
It’s giving me as a sound lover endorphins, ideas and disappointment at the same time; please someone record these people and make an album out of it? Matmos just gets hyped up by the commercial music media for making a record with sounds extracted from a washing machine , while I’m telling you sounds at the dental clinic, and at this check in of the ‘Pulmonary Procedure Unit’ is far more interesting!
I didn’t even talk about the sounds after the check in, available at the actual Pulmonary Procedure Unit; doctor conversations with patients and people with oxygen masks attached to bubbling smoke machines; not only a joy for the experimental sound lover’s ears (think of a high pitched automatic oxygen noise drone) , but also visually pleasing, as it’s the closest you’ll get to see non Starwars related people wearing Darth Vader like mouth masks. But as a sound pervert I prefer the check-in sounds; the blow pipe is simply the best and most interesting. People who have a very bad lung capability are offered to blow in another blowpipe, one that makes a funny plastic-trumpet-like sound. Yeah, listening to these people blowing air through these blowpipes is pretty fantastic!
After a while of perversely listening to ‘blowpipe’ versus patient interaction, I thought it would be a good moment to combine the action with some actual music. Luckily I had managed to get my hands on a Blowpipe sampler with music from 2015. I would play it at an hearable level, (not too hard, and not too soft) in able to still hear the original live sounds of patients blowing their lungs out as the music plays; a mega combination, obviously!
I had downloaded this sampler because of an interest in this Dutch label, to sample a bit of their artists roster and discover the sound of the music I wasn’t really aware of. So with the sound of actual blowpipes in the back, the music of the blowpipe sampler rolled in my ears through the nifty invention called ‘headphones’. What a joy to live in these modern times…
So I dribble into a music sampler released in 2015… Its muffled beginning is brought by an extract of a track by VM. It’s a bit like you are going up the messy attic and move stuff around, but as an introduction it functions very well, Especially when it opens up for an extract of a wonderful melodic instrumental work done by Smalts. It has this cozy folkish feeling of togetherness. Something you would find in some French art house cinema movie, something to underline a screenplay of someone driving a bicycle with a chi Wawa in its front basket. It’s cute to say the least, and not at all unpleasant material to hear at the real life blowpipe happening on the hospital floor that I’ve been hanging out.
Also artistic, but in a completely different order is the work of Rooie Waas, who uses the extremer experimental sounds in combination with rhythm. Rooie Waas delivers an exclusive word play in the Dutch language. It goes very well with the Darth Vader sounds of asthmatic patients blowing the blowpipes as hard as they possible can. The sounds might not be pretty; but they are doing a great job to provide a nice farting groove to slowly bang your head with.
Next on the showcasing sampler is a live track of ‘een kus’ by Minny Pops. It’s the longest song on the compilation, nicely giving way to sample that exclusive live-feeling. It’s a piece of music that seems to shimmer on darkness, slowly stepping around on a beat and fuzzy guitar effects. There is a male and female delivering vocals, an atmosphere that mold their voices from poetic poets, in to demonically possessed demons. It must be an intimidating and fairly frightening experience to the crowd that had witnessed the actual performance, and I sincerely wonder if any of the audience members survived it. I wouldn’t be a hugely surprised if they had being served as blood sacrifices to these growling vocalists. The audience is sounding very cheerful when the set is over, clapping and cheering; but is this out of respect, or simple fear & self-protection? I’m glad the patients here don’t hear it, as they might blow out their lasts breaths from excitement.
A much more light weight moment in music is the always entertaining work of Harry Merry, his outstanding song ‘Erleen’ brings the classic feeling of sailor men’s rock, a sniff of Beatle mania with the Beatles erased and replaced by Harry Merry. Harry Merry Mania’ and it is infectious enough to light up a lighter, and enjoy it like one of the classic classics. I wish somehow that my headphones had been enormous speakers & I could share this song with all the blowpipe patients here; it would for sure light up the atmosphere!
I.C. Monolith is the odd duck under these tracks perhaps, it’s a sound piece made by ‘Heartsnatcher’ which goes for a fine shortage of noise comfort, and a warm ambient drone that slightly slips in like a pair of giant feet inside a flannel sock of precisely the right size. It’s like a made-to-order condom; it works well, and is pleasantly lubricated… … I’m sorry; I got distracted by an real life person blowing that plastic-tumpet-like-blowpipe… I’ve got no idea what I was reviewing or talking about… sorry…
At track number seven, there’s Elektra with ‘Sternenhimmel’. It’s a poetic piece that feels as witchcraft with a fine bag of new age. Deneuve gives it a bit more punch, bringing rhythm and some highlighting guitar stabs to some kind of ode to a ‘Morningboy’. It never really seems to kick in, but that’s probably the charm of it all; keeping things mysterious.
The music done by Couleur Café gives the ‘pulmonary procedure unit’ sound experience a bar like mood, providing sweet guitar melodies that are mellow and nice for the ears; a perfect soundtrack to calm the real life blowpipe blowers down with; too bad, I listen to this through the headphones, making me feel a tiny bit selfish. Nice music indeed! The last track is one I’ve been familiar with, and is one that gave me great joy upon first listen… Big Hare’s Tahiti! A song that sounds so tropical and fun; I doubt that any travel agency promoting Tahiti could do as a great job, as this band did. They made ‘Tahiti’ almost too delicious! Shit, what the hell am I doing here at the hospital’s ‘pulmonary procedure unit’ perverting over patients with blowpipes? Time to pack the bags and go to Tahiti!
<a sound pervert>