Freiband. {flying} 3"CD

Freiband is the latest project by Frans de Waard (also founding member of Kapotte Muziek, Beequeen, Goem). Freiband was inspired by the tape-scratching of Asmus Tietchens on his CD 'Daseinsverfehlung', but here applied to an entirely digital context by scratching the harddisc. The result is warm, glitchy popmusic; that is, music made out of popping sounds. On the second Freiband CD 'Homeward' (Bottrop-Boy), the favourite popsongs of De Waard from the late seventies and early eighties received a similar treatment. Around the same time, he took the idea a little bit further, using one song to make eight different tracks out of it. More than appropiate Frans has taken the greatest pop music group, The Beatles, and given their lone instrumental "Flying" the Freiband treatment. The effect is an enrapturing collection of songs awash in a metallic sheen, each one minimal in nature, that distill the essence of psychedelia through modern electronics. '{flying}' completes the recycling of popmusic by Freiband.

+ a new kind of pop music!

artwork is a beautiful full color vellum sleeve, with color scheme inspired by the Beatle's album 'Magical Mystery Tour'

01. part 1
02. part 2
03. part 3
04. part 4
05. part 5
06. part 6
07. part 7
08. part 8

|: cover by Cataract Press, w/ assistance by sc.all


Frans de Waard's Freiband project was inspired by tape-scratching Asmus Tietchens applied to his Daseinsverfehlung CD, though de Waard displaces the idea into a digital context by scratching the hard-disk, with the result “music made out of popping sounds.” He applied the treatment to his favourite pop songs on Homeward (Bottrop-Boy) and now deploys it to transform The Beatles' lone instrumental “Flying” (from 1967's Magical Mystery Tour) into eight minimal exercises. Predictably, the process renders the original unrecognizable, with the brief vignettes eschewing melody for texture. Over the course of the disc's twenty minutes, {flying} presents a steely array of gentle wavering tones, crackling thrums, muffled machine rhythms, cloudy lappings, and skittering static—a re-imagining of pop music by de Waard, also known as Goem and a founder member of Kapotte Muziek.

Subtle clicks, powerful bass and one little piece of voice at the end of this CD comprise the sounds heard here. Totally corrupted and changed from it's original song, The Beatles only instrumental song, Flying. Cool sounds are generated after being manipulated, that recognizable sound that you can hear on other release by Frans de Waard. Most of the songs are pretty short, to fit 8 tracks onto a CD3 they would have to be concise. All are fairly open and minimal, rattles or clicks on the high end, a tight low end and maybe a synthetic drone warble in the mids. Nice and simple, a nice change to my office today
Don Poe - Ear/Rational Music

Organic and gentle noise, from bass-drone to high end clicking, by Frans de Waard (Kapotte Muzieck) broken into eight concise parts on this small gem. Even though it is aural manipulation and distortion we are listening to, the sounds are soothing and gentle. A strange (why?) but also very intriguing mixture. Music has come a long way since Paul McCartney sang “The Walrus” and Brian Eno plugged in his first synthesizer. Taking up music history and mangling, destroying and toying with it is nothing new either. Everything new is built on what has been here before. Even for trying to build something completely new, you’ll have to regard what’s already there. If you really want to completely deny and disregard what has happened before and “do your own thing”, your only route out is complete solipsism and a big portion of autism, because of all the people who will come up to you and say “I have heard that before somewhat differently.” But that is just an aside. To be completely conscious of your roots, to use them as a fundament and to stretch yourself as far as possible is the most honest route out. The deconstruction of “old” musical pieces is usually an almost violent experience. But it can also be done very gentle and almost docile and nevertheless taking the old stuff as far into the future (or to a completely different place, if you prefer) as is imaginable. If it weren’t written down I would never have come upon the idea that these eight pieces of ambient noise and electronic glittery are all based upon the Beatles-instrumental “flying”. I would have made up associations of small particles flying around in space, aimlessly moving in an unchoreographed but nevertheless symmetrical order. Like jellyfish drifting in the tide, or something. But The Beatles, wouldn’t have crossed my mind here. Never ever. If you are able to recognize Paul by the short “that’s it” vocal sample towards the end, you are way better than I am. In at least that category, whatever that might be. Gratulations, but I’ll remain suspicious anyway. Freiband is one Frans de Waard, better known as founding member of Kapotte Muziek and contributor to the Vital newsletter of Staalplaat next to his thousands of other roles in electronic experimental music today, who completes a little cycle of reworkings of other people’s music on here using the moniker Freiband. And as I already hinted on, the music, or what remains of the music, is gentle, warm, sincere and intimate, in a sense I haven’t heard in this kind of music yet. Diana Ross first solo-album or some nocturne by Brahms, yes. With glitches, electronic drones, high end frequencies, noise-waves and clicking sounds such softness comes unexpected. Usually you’d expect harshness and brutality from such a description. Or at least some cold description of the industrial come digital age we are living in, that makes us all lonely nomads on a devastated planet. Is this the gentle heart of Paul McCartney and the other Beatles ringing through even when mangled beyond description? Or could it have been any other song by any other band as well?
I don’t think so, and that doesn’t even yet include the fact that The Beatles were undisputedly the most important pop-group ever and that deconstructing their work has different implication than using The Sweet. No, it comes from my conviction that whatever you put into a work makes a difference, even if that difference can’t be seen on the surface. Especially when we are talking about art, but also in everything else you do. Just an everyday example before I start to ramble to far away from the subject. If you take the bus or if you walk, you might be wherever you wanted to go on time, but it still makes a difference in quality.
Last remark: “flying” comes as a real CD (no CDR) in a nice packaging inspired by the Magical Mystery Tour artwork using vellum. Hm, lovely.

A fascinating, unique concept, this. Freiband is the project of Dutch experimental composer Frans de Waard, and with Flying, he has taken the liberty of manipulating the Beatles' psychedelic instrumental "Flying." Over eight sections, this twenty-minute piece turns a very familiar song into something completely unrecognizable. It's a wash of static, drone and radio waves, not unlike Wolf Eyes and Black Dice. Distortion and sonic manipulation is the name of the game, and this piece is, at times, soothing, confusing and somewhat disturbing. Overall it's a mellow affair, but it's mellow in an outer-space combat to the death sort of way. Still, fascinating is fascinating, and this little record (a 3" CD, with beautiful packaging) is quite intriguing.
Joseph Kyle, Mundane Sounds

Another intriguing release from this Dutch project of Frans de Waard (Kapotte Muziek, etc.), here taking The Beatles' instrumental "Flying" and creating eight succinct experimental pieces (simply titled "Part 1" though "Part 8") – opening with a very faint track consisting of fleeting clicks and glitchy textures over cascading ambient hums in the distance, while "Part 2" is a little more subtly melodic in its ambience. "Part 4" has a crisper foreground over a midrange lull and some sweeping low-end sounds, creating an oddly organic atmosphere that's kind of interesting. Topping three minutes, "Part 6" is the longest selection, curiously meshing both the ethereal melodies and the crunchy glitches of the other material – coming across as somehow electronic and natural all at once. The pieces are of course somewhat similar to one another in certain regards, but that doesn't bother me at all. Everything tends to be rather restrained and quiet, using minimal layering and movement for effectively repetitious and stripped down compositions that don't feel plain or redundant at all. In fact, the final two parts are among the most minimal of the set, closing on a simpler note that makes for a quaint end. The sound quality is very resonant and clear, and I really enjoy the overall aesthetic of this EP. It's a consistent listen and the source material has been thoroughly manipulated to the point where you'd never place the roots of the work were it not revealed to you outright. The CD (That's right: Professionally pressed, not a CD-R!) is beautifully packaged in a vellum cover that uses dark black and faint blue/gray printing that overlays the fluorescent pink and yellow coloring of the disc face for a really crisp and attractive little presentation that I really enjoy. A quality release, definitely among the finer looking/sounding 3" discs I've encountered. Very nice.

The Dutch composer Frans de Waard seems to be the center of electronic music for many years now. He worked for Staalplaat for ages, released a lot of music through his labels and reviewed thousands of bands in his e-zine Vital. He also released his own music on many labels, under different names and worked together with several others. Frans de Waard is involved in projects like Kapotte Muziek, Beequeen, Goem and creates lovely music under his latest monniker Freiband. This time he took an instrumental Beatles song as point of departure to come up with an excellent, harmonic 3", released on Scarcelight. Rhythmic moments, reminding of Goem, are followed by reverberating electronic textures. Glitchy and minimal, these eight tracks all breath an unique and abstract atmosphere. Frans de Waard recycles in such a way that traces of the original track cannnot be found anymore. In one word: excellent!
Phosphor Magazine

Maybe it's the Volkswagen on the album cover, or the free-love-sounding band name; whatever it is, there's something about (flying) that will make you think of hippies. As Freiband's songs are amorphous combinations of static drones, click tracks and atonal sound-washes, that's a far more impressive accomplishment than you'd think. The album's eight tracks, created by acid-frying Dutchman Frans de Waard, are impressively dense noise collages. Each of them collects a handful of sources -- skipping record hiss, drones, even a revving motorcycle -- and carefully kneads them into a single mass. The untitled second track begins with a quiet hum that increases in volume. The tone's oscillations spar with clicks that almost form rhythms, but slink away before they actually do. After a minute, the clicking becomes the song's focus, giving the tone leeway to fade in and out at different pitches. This reversal of the sound sources' roles is a wise move -- it creates variation in the composition, as well as an almost-organic interplay you don't typically encounter in this type of music. De Waard keeps his compositions short, which prevents any single repeating whine from spawning a migraine, while maintaining variety within the soundscape. The songs move quickly, too, their sources cycling briskly through the mix, never overdoing the repetition. Albums like (flying) function more as performance art than as traditional musical output -- which explains the album's cute/fetishistic three-inch CD format -- but de Waard's approach reveals a powerful compositional aesthetic behind the artistry. There's a lot more going on here than mere noise!
Ron Davies - Splendid

Another release I have to compliment the packaging of. This 3" is packaged with a color cover, printed on vellum with a multi-colored label on the CD-R underneath. It looks really great together - I love when people use vellum. Once the music starts, though, we are in for a ride. As we begin, it's like flying through an electric storm at night while dodging space debris. It's dizzying, but good. This is a fairly minimal and glitchy drone affair, and it is done well. The eight pieces on "Flying" will get your synapses popping and really make your brain work to process what's going on and make sense of it. A lot of this has a scorched-earth feeling to it. It plays on a heightened feeling of isolation. That means you really have to be in the mood and be prared to listen to it. It's a white wash - it cleans out your skull in order to find a sonic equilibrium. The subtleties that exist within these aural walls is what makes Freiband quite good. This 3" is a short, but wholly worthwhile journey.
8/10 - Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis

Scarcelight continue to provide us with the strangest of releases, and more power to them for that. Freiband are excellent. This is just the kind of ambient and experimental music that gets to me for whatever reason. Reminding me of a more pulse driven Rosy Parlane in parts, the electronic hum on track three really catches my ear, the kind of thing I can just sit and stare at walls to and drone out. Okay there is nothing amazing about Freiband in reality, but if glitch, low-fi and warm experimentalism is your bag then these guys pretty much have it all. 8/10
Tony, Black Harvest Zine

Freiband is the solo project of Frans de Waard, one half of Dutch experimental duo Beequeen. For past outings under the Freiband name, de Waard experimented with Asmus Tietchens-inspired tape-scratching, adapting the techniques into a digital medium and appropriating pop music from the 1970s and 80s to make a unique form of experimental glitch plunderphonia. This cute little 3" CD takes this idea a bit further, using source material from the Beatles' sole instrumental track "Flying" from Magical Mystery Tour, reducing it to its barest structure and recomposing it for metallic, glitch-y pops and rustling undercurrents of shapeless drone. I am fairly certain I never would have made the Beatles connection had the press notes not informed me of the piece's origins. Flying is a 20-minute experimental concept piece broken up into eight different movements, each dissecting the original material in a different way, all of them rendering the original totally unrecognizable. Track one retains the rhythmic structure, where track two creates various layers of throbbing electronic noises in which rhythm is far from a constant. The strictly minimal sound palette and clinical digital production reminds me at times of a Raster-Noton release, which is frequently not a good sign of musical quality, at least in my opinion. There's nothing bad about the sounds on this mini CD, but it sort of defies any kind of critical assessment of its quality, as it is by its nature non-musical and a bit prickly. There are some interesting moments, such as the sixth track, where alien, reptilian syllables lick forked tongues over a looped vibraphone. These moments are brief and insubstantial, however, and aren't anywhere near as intriguing as releases by Beequeen. I could try to make this sound more interesting by ruminating on the implicit ideas of digital technology and the decay of the system inherent in the incipient glitch, but what would be the point? Those ideas could just as easily apply to a steel wool-scoured CD of the last Green Day album, which is not exactly my idea of good music.
Jonathan Dean, E-Zine