27 October 2009

Wander box set ready for shipping!

Beam Ends records is proud to announce the release of the latest release by Wander (Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar of Beequeen). Like all previous albums, and, indeed, all tracks by Wander this is entitled WANDER.

We have done our best to make this new Wander album a special one. WANDER consists of the following: a clear vinyl (so NOT a lathe cut) hand-pressed album, which plays from the label to the rim (instead of the other way around), presented in back paper insert with Wander "band" shirt in a hand-made blue boxset (made by the same company that produced the boxes for Raymond Dijkstra's De Gelofte and De Gedachte albums and the recent Flawed Existence box by Nurse With Wound). Of this set only 10 (ten) copies were produced, signed and numbered by the makers. The album features two tracks of beautiful drone ambience.

The price of this set is 100 Euros, excluding shipping to your location. Even though we realize this is a lot of money, we do feel this is worth the package. With 2 copies in our archives and 4 already sold, this leaves 4 copies for sale. This is surely the most luxurious and most limited release ever by Beam Ends.

You can order your copy via info@beequeen.nl

Vive la Japan!

Ike Reiko – Kokotsu No Sekai
Teichiku records SL 1375, 1970 (with poster)

At times I like to indulge in all things saucy, and it's hard to get more saucy than with this wonderfully bizarre album by Japanese actress Ike Reiko. In the late 60's/early 70's Japanese cinema knew a blooming "pink violence" scene. Many actresses indulged themselves in these soft-sex action films, where women were typecast as fighting machines who could (and would) kill a 1000 men with a blink of their sword (whilst being in the nude of course). Reiko was one of the most beloved actresses in this genre and features in quite a few movies. She was popular, not only because of her acting talents, but also for her rather prominent bust, which would be on display in her movies whenever possible. Born in 1953, she made her debut in the world of fleshy films at the tender age of 16, which caused quite a stir in her traditionalist home country. In the early 70's many of the "pink" actresses also recorded music. Most of their albums and singles are beautifully packed and feature salivating covers. There is even a name for this interesting sub-genre; iroke koyokyoku. Top of a long list of these almost surrealistic albums created in this genre is Reiko's Kokotsu No Sekai. Sexier than any Gainsbough album, Reiko moans, whispers, shouts and coos over an orchestral backing, resulting in one of the most pleasingly bizarre records in mankind. The 500 copies that were pressed up now belong to the most valuable albums to have ever come out of Japan. Featuring a striking gatefold cover and a gorgeous fold out poster of Reiko, the price may sound a little steep, but copies are as rare as Reiko being fully clothed throughout a movie. In the 90's Japanese specialist label Tiliqua records released a beautiful replica of the album. The demand for this re-release has been so high that even copies of the CD release (3500 copies in total) are now fetching prices in excess of 100 Pound. Yummie!

15 October 2009

Vive la France!

I have got a fetish for vinyl. This may come as a surprise to some (though, without doubt, not to many), but I admit - I'm guilty of this deviant pleasure. Not only have I got a large collection of vinyl at home, which I listen to every day, I also love vinyl as an object. I know, it's questionable, but mostly harmless. Over the past couple of years I have been writing about records as objects for UK music magazine Record Collector. In order to widen my audience (a bit), I've decided to add one or two of these short pieces on this blog in the sincere hope you will enjoy them and maybe you might even be enticed enough to run out and spend some of your well earned cash on......

The Girl In The Bikini
Poplar PLP 33-1002, LP 1952

Even though the bikini has been known since the ancient Greeks, Louis Reard and Jaques Heim claimed the invention of the famous two-piece of swimwear in Paris in 1946. The name bikini was chosen because they rightfully thought the effect of their scant piece of textile on both men as women would be as big as an atomic explosion (nuclear tests were executed on the Bikini atoll at the time). There was a lot of adversity towards the bikini in those conservative post-WWII days, even resulting in the banning of the bikini from the 1951 Miss World elections. However, one year later Brigitte Bardot (Europe's foremost sex kitten) played her first major role in Willy Rozier's black/white beach flick Manini, La Fille Sans Voile (Manini, The Woman Without A Veil). The movie hardly contained any storyline, but it did feature the 18-year-old Bardot running around in a bikini most of the time. The effect was indeed like an atomic explosion! The movie (and Bardot) made the bikini popular almost overnight and Bardot even gained the nickname The Bikini Girl. Appropriately retitled The Girl In The Bikini the movie was released in the USA. In the UK the movie was known as The Lighthouse-Keeper's Daughter. Strangely enough, the soundtrack album, containing a fine score by Jean Yatove, was only released in the USA. But more important than the music, the album featured a gorgeous-looking bikini-clad Bardot on the front cover, with even more stills from the movie on the back cover. The record is one of the rarest soundtracks ever and is in great demand, not only by Bardot- or soundtrack-affectionados, but also by those who appreciate that tiny piece of swimwear so rightfully named "bikini". Copies of the original pressing can easily fetch 300+ USD. For those with tighter pockets, but likewise interests, the album has recently been released (in its original cover but with marginal sound quality) on CD by El records. The music you ask? Gorgeous and lush orchestral music with washes of sea and strange sub-sea sounds added for effect, some vocal tracks and (the only drawback) one of those typical French can-can songs. Skip that one, and you'll have a wonderful evening with Brigitte.

6 October 2009

And another thing...

I had two of the most curious dreams last night; during the first dream I dreamt I was singing Lou Reed's Lady Day (from the outrageously brilliant album Berlin) out loud in my sleep! I still have to check with Miranda to find out if I actually did. The other dream was even better; in this dream I was abducted by friends in a car and driven to a surprise party. This party was held in what appeared to be an abandoned subway vegetable market. Here three stages were set; one with four cello's, one with a grand piano and one with a stereo set. The idea was that I could use each stage and perform with friends during the evening. Everyone was invited beforehand to bring cassettes to play. Frans was present as well. He brought a copy of the Sex and Bestiality tape to liven up the proceedings. Hahaha! What a great dream! As a result of all this turmoil I just had to play April Stevens' Tame Me Tiger CD this morning. Her soothing voice calmed me back into normality.

And another thing: the first random image of Wander does not work (see previous blog). Damn! So I have taken the second random image. If you think this one is bad, you should google the first one.

5 October 2009

Oh dear!

Oh dear indeed!

I'm flogging myself with a wet noodle. I admit, I'm guilty. Guilty of not blogging enough and thus depriving you of essential information such as the new Wander LP box set and other possibly interesting tidbits of information.

So, in a pathetic attempt to make up for me neglecting my fans I'm flogging the night away. Meanwhile, with my free hand, I'm typing up this information. Here goes….

1. Wander – Wander LP box set in an edition of 10 numbered and signed copies
Highly luxurious release on Beam Ends records. This handmade box (made by the same company that manufactured the Raymond Dijkstra velvet boxes for his albums De Gelofte and De Gedachte) contains a hand pressed clear vinyl album, that plays the music from the inside out. Two long tracks of beautiful ambience. The box also contains a Wander band T-shirt to proudly wear on your nights out. Needless to say, we are very proud of this release. A grand total of 10 copies were made, 2 of which are for our personal archives. This leaves 8 copies on the open market. If you're interested in reserving your copy, please send an e-mail to info@beequeen.nl. We're expecting to be able to ship in 2 weeks.

2. Wander – Wander CD in card sleeve
The fruits of our very interesting session are finally available on Divine Frequency. Copies are 10 Euros each, which is a snip considering the great music and sleeve. Send your mails to the usual address, marked "I know good music when I see it".

3. Beequeen – Ownliness CD re-release
Finally available are the new copies of Ownliness. Those in the know will probably already be proud owner of a copy. Those who don't own a copy, can purchase one directly from us at 10 Euros. The enigmatic cover is still in place of course. Send your mails to the usual address , marked "I know a good cover when I hear one".

4. Raymond Dijkstra – De Nacht LP release
Beam Ends records will release a vinyl album by Raymond Dijkstra in the not-too-distant future. The vinyl LP will be hand painted and comes in a hand painted heavy carton gatefold cover. The edition is limited to only 10 numbered copies. Even though most copies have been reserved, there might still be a copy waiting for you. The price of a copy of this unique release is 100 Euros. You know where to send your mails……

That might be it for now. Frans, Olga and I are working very hard on the new Beequeen album. It looks like the recording part will be finished pretty soon now. The mixing part will then commence. Exiting times! Since this is a bit of a Wander-mail and we don't have any Wander images, I took the liberty to Google "Wander" and reproduce the first image that I found.

Oh, and a final bit of news: Frans de Waard has a lovely new blog out here in cyberspace about 25 years of Korm Plastics. Since I hold KP and all the work that Frans spends on this in high esteem, I would urge you all to have a peek at this blog, where, no doubt, I will make the occasional interlectual insert as well. The blog can be found here: http://kapottemuziek.blogspot.com/