Label, Studio and Archive Projects and Issues RETROSPECTIVE (1982-1995) Exart, founded by Hessel Veldman and Nicole, started its activities in october 1982. In 1978 Hessel started composing experimental music and before 1978 he was playing guitar in several local blues- and rock-bands. The label was there to spread new experimental and improvised music. The studio was the place to make compositions, recordings, radio-programmes, mixes and remixes. And at the same time Hessel started to preserve sounds in the EXART archive.
The first EXART issue was a tape by ROTTERDANS, a group of people from Rotterdam, who made their own city folk-music in an old building; one of the few that were left after World War II. Soon after the first EXART-release “United States XV” was issued. A one-month-tour through the States gave Hessel so much inspiration that fifteen soundscapes could be heard on this C-90 musiccassette. Things started to move fast after the first two releases. There was a lot of publicity in local newspapers and national music magazines. During that period Hessel and Nicole were recording their own music in IJmuiden, but also started to do recording-sessions with many other musicians. Constantly the studio was recording sounds of Kees Beukelaar, Herman te Loo, Jos van Ommen, Kees van Ede and Willem de Ridder. A lot of these improvisations and compositions were compiled on several Y CREATE issues. (Why create? or IJmuidense creations)
With Kees van Ede and Willem de Ridder live concerts started.Extra information about Willem: http://www.willemderidder.com/
Famous are the AORTA-concerts in Amsterdam and the live-broadcasts on the Dutch National Radio (V.P.R.O.). In June 1983 Willem de Ridder, Kees van Ede, Annie Sprinkle (http://www.anniesprinkle.org/), Veronica Vera (http://www.missvera.com/), and Hessel Veldman shocked Amsterdam, during the Holland Festival, with their four-day-erotic-soundscape-performance: “PORTABLE VAUDEVILLE”.
Meanwhile Kees van Ede and Hessel developed a complete new glass-organ, that could be played with human hands, but was amplified with special made equipment. Kees and Hessel worked on this instrument for almost a year and the result could be heard on the tape “VAN EDE’S GLASWERK”, which was completely recorded at the STEIM-STUDIO (http://www.steim.org/) in Amsterdam. 1984 was the year in which Gert Jan Prins (www.gjp.info/) visited Hessel and Nicole at their appartment on the 11th floor, overlooking a big industrial landscape. Recording-sessions were started at Gert Jan’s “Fish Warehouse”-studio. Gert Jan Prins, Hessel Veldman, Herman te Loo and Jos van Duyne became GORGONZOLA LEGS. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of “live”-recording sessions took place. At some of these sessions other musicians were present, such as: Jos van Ommen, Ruud Junge, Martijn Swart and Masaki Oishi. At the end of 1984 “GORGONZOLA LEGS” was released. On this one hour cassette the first mixed recordings could be heard. The group also wanted to do concerts and so GORGONZOLA LEGS more and more became a “live”-band.
In 1986 a second tape was released, entitled “SALMON SQUEEZING IN WEIRD WEIRS’, a new compilation of “Fish Warehouse”-recordings. “BUNKER” was recorded live at the Bunker in Rotterdam, october ’86. The complete concert could be heard on another EXART-issue. In 1987 the powerfull voice of the Japanese singer Masaki Oishi gave a new dimension to the sound of GORGONZOLA LEGS. Hours and hours of recordings were made. At the end of the year 6 hours of mixed material had to be remixed to L.P.-format. In april 1988 EXART decided to make it Holland’s first independent C.D.-release: “PISCATORIAL DEBRIS’. At the same time, with the great help of Henry van Kleeff, the “PISCATORIAL DEBRIS”-video was made. A beautiful 20 minutes sound sculpture video was realized. The video and C.D. got a lot of international attention and was performed on several big music/video festivals.During the late 80’s GORGONZOLA LEGS-material was also released on labels in Portugal, Italy and the U.S.A.
In the meantime Hessel and Nicole also were involved in the FANATIC-project. This project started after the Holland Festival shows in 1983. Willem de Ridder and Hessel allready started making radio programmes in the late seventies: normal stories and fairy-tales for children and experimental Radio Plays for adults.The first experimental Radio Plays were made in the EXART-studio and released on tape or broadcasted live on independent radiostations. But during all these recordingsessions also Nicole and Cora became part of the Radio Plays. So we needed a name: FANATIC was born. And FANATIC appeared more and more “on stage”, doing strange perverse sexual performances while audiences were blindfolded and/or confrontated with extreme sounds. In 1985 the name was changed into F.N.T.C. and several music- and videotapes were released during the late 80’s. “NEUROPA”(feat. William Levy) and “OPERA”(feat. Jon Rose; http://www.jonroseweb.com/) soon became top issues and were broadcasted in many different countries.
By distributing, performing and broadcasting music EXART became part of a big independent underground network of hometaping musicians. This was the reason EXART also started to release music from other cities and countries, where musicians were creating their own sounds and were searching for any kind of output. So, a long list of musicians found their music on EXART issues. ENNO VELTHUYS, from Den Haag, even made three musictapes to be released by EXART. BROBAT ENEMA, ENEMA DIGEST and PAUL DANIELS, from the U.K., also had their three projects released, working under different names. But there were many more complete tapes or tracks on EXART. For instance: SEEMEN (U.S.A.) (http://www.seemen.org/) , QUINTET DE L’ART (France), SEMPITERNELS/VRISCHIKA (France), THE DETECTIVE (U.K.), HOWARD INGRAM (N.Ireland), AUDIO LETTER with DON CHERRY (U.S.A.), GERT JAN PRINS (N.L.), BIG CITY ORCHESTRA (U.S.A.), BRUME (France), KLIMPEREI and DELETED (France) (www.homme-moderne.org/les2/) , LIZA NELIAZ (France) en PETER CORNELISSEN (N.L.). (This part of the retrospective is a short version of the one that was made for the exhibition “UNDERCURRENTS” in March 1991. Organised by N.D.Magazine and the MEXIC-ARTE Museum, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.)