A selection of some of the albums released by Ellende.
Heavy Metal Drones
Hand-numbered edition of 300 copies art edition set that features a 10” on clear vinyl, a CD and an accompanying art book/manifesto from this obscure Japanese/South African avant garde performance troupe. Reputedly starting off in 1976 through tape experiments at home, much of Ellende’s work is based on the writings of founder member Wim Bontjes, who passed away in 1995 and if the contents of the booklet are anything to go by they share a healthy obsession with sex, ritual and radical performance art. The music on the 10” is exactly as the title implies, a series of massively heavy drone works with obsessively repeating electronics and e-bow guitar shot through with all sorts of subliminal detail, ghost voices, snatches of conversation... aspects of Organum, Asmus Tietchens, Fripp & Eno and The Cosmic Couriers combine in a series of austere visions of sheet metal minimalism with a dark cultic/performance troupe edge. The CD furthers the whole Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser vibe with a monolithic slice of eternally-peaking kosmische that sounds like an orchestra of ascending E-Bows. One of the most mysteriously beguiling releases to wash up at VT in some time. Recommended
A clear vinyl 10” with booklet and live CDr
Ellende: Try that Again
“Surreal, multilayered droning hypnotic and tense. Keep listening, over and over again, every time you keep hearing new stuff.”
Online release for Fukk GOd Let’s create
Recorded at various location, assembled at the Plantation 2003. Mini_madness was insprired by Wim Bontjes’s “Book of swearing”
Recorded at various locations, assembled at the Plantation, 2003. Limited to 200 numbered copies
“A nice addition to this mysterious Dutch/Japanese project's extended discography, "Heroin" is a 20-minute piece as grim as the title and the graphics suggest - the concept obviously being taking one's life via drug overdose.
Ghost voices crawl in and out of the sullen drones, and Ellende surely know(s) how to mix all the different sounds in a cohesive composition.
Even the final litany, apparently filtered through a vocoder, sounds credible and effective. Limited to a mere 50 copies, so hurry while you can, as it's very good.”
Mini CDr, Afe Records, Italy, afe50012
Serving as a soundtrack to Wim Bontjes' (deceased co-founder of the Ellendegroup) "Book of Illusion", Ellende's release on Entity is - much like their other netreleases (Ti Con Zero (No Type), Mini Madness (Fukkgod) and The Delegation From Nowhere (Tinnitus)) - a very thoughtful and conceptual piece of work which came to us in handmade mini-cdr packaging.
Both "Ten Years a Second" and "Sleepsoup" urge you their creeping catatonia, leaving your thoughts in between illusion and reality. Infinite drones come haunt you from all sides like a nightmare, bringing with them nearly uncontrastable layers of muffled recordings, detuned instruments and echoes from forgotten memories. Assembled at the Plantation (2003).
“I have reviewed Ellende (Dutch for misery) before. The title is also Dutch and not easy to translate, so I skip that. I believe the guy behind Ellende is Dutch, but not living in The Netherlands. Somehow with such a bandname and title, I expected some noise trip along the lines of the infamous Odal (if that's a reference to anyone - if not, don't worry), but actually it turned out to be a very nice work of drones and processed field recordings, obviously on the darker side of matters, but certainly not noisy. I detected some heavily processed instruments also on board on this. The one piece is built with quite some tension building up. A fine work indeed.”
Frans de Waard
Mini CDr, Verato Project Germany 2003, verazität 016
No concept is still a concept
Recorded at various locations, assembled at The Plantation in 2002. Cdr in DVD case, Limited to 75 first 35 with a slideshow Cdr.
Ti Con Zero
“Ellende’s musical adaptation of Italo Calvino’s novel about Qwfwq and Pricilla’s love beyond time and space is a rewarding earful of bended tones, high-pitched processing and twisted soundwaves.”
Online release for Sine Fiction Vol. X, October 2003
Ellende give us a tone pulse and wave, adding layers and some notes, a scrape and guitar. Then they play with the varispeed, slowing and speeding it up, synths notes in there. A high shimmering swarm, a musical twanging, lies over the varying base, a whistly shimmer that sounds like a bowed saw. There is an eerie mood. A change to rumbling roll with long low tones and bloops, voicelike noodles building. A bussing that has speech rhythms with a dark rumble under bleak and troubled, wavering being used again. A slow ambient drone takes the foreground while a distant chatter drops, becoming more equal, then easing. A bubbling synth and tingles takes over, some warbled tones, a drifting melodic, mysterious long metal and voice tones, dronal to fade. Intense short works that flow like thaw fed rivers.