Two invigorating seasons have come and gone since we began our journey, where we nurtured a platform committed to shining a light on novel sounds off the beaten track and under-celebrated artists. The third iteration of Strange Sounds From Beyond will see the festival return to the familiar grounds of Noorderlicht not one, but two days this summer. Spread across three stages, the festival will commence on the weekend of June 23rd & 24th.
Every month, George Hysteric takes time away from running the “strange music from beyond” Facebook group to create a playlist for SSFB from the group’s extensive music library.
Victrola – “Maritime Tatami” (Alternate version) (Italy 1983)
I accidentally found this alternate version of “Maritime Tatami” on my computer recently and was surprised to hear how different it was from the more well-known take that appeared on the “Maritime Tatami / Game of Despair 12”.
I’m often fascinated by different versions or alternate takes, so to unexpectedly hear this “other” version of a track I must have listened to over a thousand times totally blew my mind.
As a side note, besides being a totally amazing and unique band in their own right, I also think Victrola served as a gateway drug for myself and a lot of other people that led us to further investigate Italian new wave music (I had heard it first on I-F’s Cybernetic Broadcasting System in 2007).
Idee Du Femelle – “Come Back To Bali” (Spain 1988)
Artist from Barcelona who released many beautiful ambient/experimental pieces on self-distributed cassettes during the 80s.
Akiko Yano (矢野顕子) – “VET” (Japan 1981)
From the fantastically weird “ただいま” (I’m Home) album, produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The sleeve of this album is also incredible and worthy of mention (I’m unsure as to the artist). I was also unaware exactly how many albums the prolific Akiko Yano had recorded in the past 30 years; truly an artist to research further.
4-D Mode 1 – “A Style Of Building” (Japan 1985)
Selected tracks from this obscure 12” EP. All are interesting but the melancholic first track “ブルトンの手” (Breton’s Hand?) is especially memorable and contemporary sounding. Reminds me of the “Forest” section of several video games.
Unovidual – “Dit Is Pas Het Begin” (Belgium 1985)
Belgian one-man project who worked with Tara Cross (amongst others). I understand nothing but the title (“This is only the beginning”) so perhaps Dutch/Flemish speaking listeners can get some added context from the softly spoken lyrics.
Elephant Château – “Nebellied” (Switzerland 1990)
Although “Dreamings” seems to be the more well-known outing from this obscure Swiss artist, this is a great one too. I would be lying if I said I didn’t look immediately for a copy of the LP after hearing this the first time.
Lino Capra Vaccina — “Antico Adagio” (Italy 1978)
Peaceful avant-garde music with a medieval feeling, similar to the work of Battiato.