Liner Notes 14: Maekkot

“This selection was based of my latest finds and some of my favourite records I dug up during my trips abroad. I naturally select the sounds I want to play by having an image in my mind that I want to express. Within this mix I focussed on deep folklore sounds and complex percussion rhythms from all over the world that makes me merge in different cultures with each other. A mix always invokes certain memories and this one is no exception.”

You can easily call Maekkot aka Lee Loewenicht one the Holland’s best kept secrets. Within his musical inner circle, Lee is known for his broad knowledge and many travels to Japan and other countries, where he digs up killer records. His explanation about the seventh Liner Notes mix – which was recorded at a live event curated by Izabel Caligiore in Amsterdam – marks exactly that what makes him special: connecting dots from all over the world through music. Get ready for his contribution to Red Light Radio and Sonos’s Liner Notes series.

  • Track 1KuhlCHI

    “I start with this record because a friend of mine, Andreas from Munich, tipped me this record some months ago. I didn't listen to any samples and just bought it because I trust his sense of good music.” Lee kicks off his Liner Notes mix with one of the best reissues put out this year by Dutch band CHI. Atmospheric yet hypnotizing; a perfect balance between ambient, tribal and weird experimental sounds. CHI created something that is an instant must listen.

  • Track 2BlendsRichard Teitelbaum

    From Dutch electronics Lee takes it to American composer, keyboardist and improviser Richard Teitelbaum. Born in 1939 in New York, Teitelbaum is known for a richly filled list of releases he put out over the years. His ‘Blends’ was part of his same titled album that saw the light as a reissue in 2002. A beautifully done avant-garde jazz meets minimal piece. “I went digging with Chee from Organic Music in Brussels and he told me this song is really good. Again, I bought it without listening samples. Just trust each other music wise. Also, the title ‘Blends’ is an accurate description of what I try to achieve while mixing. Blending different cultures with each other.”

  • Track 3SouffleBaron Samedi Percussions

    Lee sticks to his jazz-records by putting on another one by French group Baron Samedi Percussions. Their contemporary jazz release ‘À Fleur De Peau’ includes Lee’s pick ‘Samedi’ and was released in 1985 – again as a reissue. “I knew this record from the Okonkole Y Trompa blog that is run by friends: Satoshi & Pam. Shortly after I found a copy in Utrecht and figured this song has the same elements like previous track, and that's why I chose it.” It is clear that Lee seems to trust his
    friends blindly.

  • Track 4TrilobitaUakti

    Brazilian instrumental group Uakti was composed of Marco Antônio Guimareães, Artur Andrés Ribeiro, Paulo Sérgio Santos and Décio Ramos and wear highly active between 1975 and 2015. The name of the group comes from a Tucano native South American legend; Uakti was a mythological who lived on the banks of Rio Negro. The story goes that his body was full of holes and when the wind passed through them, it produced sounds that bewitched the women of the tribe. Uakti ended up being killed. Palm trees sprouted up at the place where his body was buried, and people started using these palms trees to make flutes that made enchanting sounds like the ones produced by Uakti’s body.

    It kind of sets the tone for the music the Brazilian group makes as well. Minimalistic and experimental, mysterious and hunting. ‘Trilobita’ was released in 1996 on Point Music and was part of the album ‘Tilobyte’. Lee: “Uakti is my favourite percussion group from Brazil. Everything they do is simply amazing. I am deeply fascinated by their sense of rhythm. This record is always in my bag after that I found a copy in Lisbon a year back.”

  • Track 5On This Time Without ReasonAmephone

    Released on the 360° Records label from Japan in 1998, Amephone (also known as Masanori Yanagawa) made one of his best works with his album ‘Retrospective’.
    Amephone stands for a collective unit for unknown music, and with this recording, they focussed on field recordings, mystic improvisation with ancient instruments, that are mixed by beautiful echoes under the influences of the golden time of dub music and artists such as King Tubby, Lee Perry and Augustus Pablo. Lee: “This song is quite hypnotic and contains a short complex rhythm sequence for about twenty seconds that I feel is enough to show diversity in a track. You might want it to continue a little more, but to me those twenty seconds are more than perfect.”

  • Track 6Noon MoonTamia & Pierre Favre

    Lee keeps surprising with his choice of experimental records that keep you interested. Moving on to a fantastic collaboration between Tamia (Tamia Valmont) and Pierre Favre. Tamia is known as a French avant-garde singer, whilst Pierre is a Swiss jazz drummer and percussionist. Together they’ve worked together on multiple releases in the eighties and nineties, including ‘Noon Moon’, that’s part of their album release from 1983. “A beautiful voice accompanied by avant-garde drum composing. I think this hits the soft spot. You're trying the follow the drum sequence and get taken away by this magical voice. From here on we dive deeper into the folklore of this mix”, Lee adds.

  • Track 7Melodie Orientale / Le VoyageBruno De La Salle

    “This was a record I had never heard about, but I found in Tokyo”, Lee says about his
    next French-flavoured record. Bruno De La Salle (born on October 11, 1943) is a professional storyteller and founder and artistic director of CLiO (Conservatoire contemporain de littérature orale). “Le Trésor du Rêve” was released in 1970 on a French label called Expression Spontanée, which was a left-wing friendly label that released political folk-songs and audio documents on social activisists worldwide during the seventies. ‘Melodie Orientale / Le Voyage’ is a great trippy piece that includes French vocals by De La Salle himself. Private experimental folk poetry and spoken word with an avant-garde musical background which was composed by Baschet. Lee: “It continues the intimate drumming with an oriental flavour, lately added with a French poetic vocal. I have no clue about the text, but it adds to the mystery of this mix.”

  • Track 8Festa Al Campo ProfughiPino Masi

    “From poetics to more of a protest song; roughly translated ‘Festa Al Campo Profughi’ means ‘Feast At Refugee Camp’. I chose this song because we always need to have some place for refugees. Culture and adaptation is an important part of me being a DJ in the first place”, Lee tells about this next Italian record that follows De La Salle’s beautiful French piece. Pino Masi is – just like the previous artist in this mix – a storyteller, born in Marinella, 1946. He was known for his political commitment and has written some of the most famous songs of the Protests of ’68; something that’s easy to recognize in the songs he wrote. His experimental touch but fine touch on ‘Festa Al Campo Profughi’, released in 1977 on Cramps Records, includes drums and his heavy, angry singing which create a folk and country base that turns out in the protest-song ‘Festa Al Campo Profughi’ is.

  • Track 9ArandaNana Vasconcelos

    Juvenal De Holanda Vasconcelos (aka Naná Vasconcelos) was a Brazilian jazz-
    percussionist, singer and berimbau-player who was born in 1944 and died this year. During his career, the Brazilian musician released around 36 records, worked together with great artists such as Pat Metheny, Don Cherry, Jan Garbarek, Trilok
    Gurtu and Gato Berbieri and has been in several bands including the Codona iniative. His ‘Aranda’ was originally released years ago and was later on reissued twice in Japan (1993 and 2012). The album came out on CD and was realized with assistance of Michel Legrand, Jean-Michel Folon, Jean-Pierre Gebler, Claude Barouh, Chic Sreetman and Suzanne Moyson. ‘Aranda’ reflects his genius way of playing and sets a mysterious vibe that keeps getting heavier during the song. Lee: “A true percussion legend in this mix and one I truly admire. I chose to play this record because it is my only album I own from him. Just like Uakti's album, this one is
    in my bag most of the time as well.”

  • Track 10A CidadeMaria Rita

    Lee clearly has a weak spot for the Brazilian records out there. Maria Rita Stumpf (to not be confused with the well-known Brazilian singer Maria Rita Camargo Mariano) was born in Rio Grande do Sul and graduated in journalism from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, where she also studied music. She moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1985 to study and work with maestro Luiz Eca. Her LP ‘Brasileira’, that includes the track ‘A Cidade’, was received very well by her motherland and also got nominated for the Sharp Prize. ‘Brasileira’ reflects a collaboration between several artists such as Marco Antônio Toledo, Júlio César Saraiva, Everson Dias, Luiz Eca, Uakti and Ricardo Bordini. Maria Rita created a mixture between latin, folk and world music which turned many heads around. Lee: “While at Red Light Records, the friendly guy that is Tako played another version of this record - since then I got hooked and went on the hunt for this record. Fun fact: Uakti also contributed to this release.”

  • Track 11RiteStalo & Kauras

    From Brazil the trip goes back to The Netherlands with a record from Stalo & Kauras, released in 1984 on Record Sound. It was the first and only record by the duo, that created a percussion album including constant complex rhythms. There is less known about this Dutch duo, but fact is that they got inspired by John Bauer’s work for their duo-name. Lee adds: “A Dutch record found at the Jaarbeurs fair last November. Only complex percussion stuff on this one and it's a new favourite since last month.”

  • Track 12El Vuelo Del Aguila Que AsciendeTribu

    Another band and release that remains a mystery with the few information there is about them. Tribu released their album ‘Cuahtemoc Aguila Solar’ on Pentagrama in 1987, Mexico. The record is a cocktail of fusion mixed with psychedelic rock with a jazz touch to it. Lee: “This is Mexican ‘Fusion Etno-Rock’; this is said on the record sleeve and it’s true in my opinion. There was a short time I was really into Mexican records, and this is a record that reflects my period of that.”

  • Track 13Sharkey's NightLaurie Anderson

    “’There are a lot of copies and a lot pressings’, people always say. Well, I don't
    bother too much. A good record remains a good record and I'm no collector of only
    rare stuff. That's why my last four tracks are from records that are still easy to come by. I found this record while digging together with Satoshi from Okonkole Y Trompa and he recommended me this one”, Lee explains about the next record by Laurie Anderson. The record is indeed one that has gained many popularity, maybe because it’s also released by one of the biggest labels out there: Warner Bros. Records. Her album ‘Mister Heartbreak’ was released in 1984 and covers a taste of electro, pop rock and avant-garde music that evolved into seven songs. It was the second album by the American artist, composer and singer and contains, just like its predecessor, reworked elements of Anderson’s ‘United States’. Most of the songs on the LP were later on performed a concert film of Anderson in 1986, Home of Brave.

  • Track 14Moroccan GirlAnnabouboula

    Annabouboula is a Greek-American act based in New York City, featuring vocalist Anna Paidoussi and producers George Sempepos and Christopher Lawrence, who
    were actively releasing records and performing between 1980 and 1990. The band was once started as an experiment in applied cultural anthropology. Christopher Lawrence, who created the band, wanted to use contemporary New York musicians to record traditional Greek folk music and older, popular Greek music as a way to encourage contemporary Greek rock musicians to create new hybrids rather than ‘slavishly imitate non-Greek styles’. It was in 1985 that he recruited Anna Paidoussi, who was an trained Greek-American singer with experience within modern Greek music, to be the ‘Anna’ for an act he dubbed Annabouboula, which is a Greek
    expression for ‘noisy confusion’. Lawrence and co-producer Sempepos selected existing songs and composed new songs as well, which were derived from the
    repertoire of the indigenous Greek genres rembetiko, laika and dhimotika. The band re-arranged the songs to use contemporary sounds and rhythms associated with
    contemporary New York synyh-pop, experimental sounds and post-new wave scenes. And that’s how Annabouboula was born.

  • Track 15OmarMalayeen

    Lee moves on with a pretty new release by the Lebanese trio named Malayeen.
    Maleyeen is the project of musicians Raed Yassin (keyboards, turntables and
    electronics), Charbel Haber (electric guitar and electronics) and Khaled Yassine (darbouka and percussion). The project was born out of Yassin and Haber’s love for the music of quintessential Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid. Malayeen disassembles and re-configures the work and style of this legendary guitarist’s innovative take on Arabaic music. This evolved into an experimental yet magical fashion, whilst Maleyeen doesn’t actually play Khorshid’s music, but reflect their
    admiration for the cult guitarist by creathing something completely new, modern and
    unexpected. Their LP named ‘ST’ was released by the label, that released many
    records in the past from artists such as Gonzo, Mutamassik and Muslimgauze. Lee:
    “I knew about the label that released it of a different artist and stumbled across this record. All tracks are amazing and I chose one of the shortest segments of it.”

  • Track 16Midnight MeditationVasant Rai

    “To close of this mix I selected a song I shared with Andreas; the same guy from the first track of this Liner Notes podcast. We knew each other from SoundCloud strangely enough, and have never met face-to- face. But I guess some music is able to express feelings more than words can. And that's why I end this mix with this song, because it's pure and honest.”
    Vasant Rai can be defined as one of the world’s most acclaimed masters of Indian music. He died at the young at of 43 in 1985, but was born in Unjha, in the province of Gujarat, in 1942. His biography reflects his knowledge: at the age of seven he began musical education, later on studied vocal music with his father and instrumental music with his elder brother Kantilal. Vasant became known for his profession on sitar, violin and flute, appeared in his first ever concert at the age of 11, and studied and practiced under the strict guidance of Ustad Allauddin Khan, residing in his house for eight years. His background is what you call extremely impressive, and that’s heard in his beautiful and almost meditational work. His contemporary jazzy folk album ‘Spring Flowers’ was released in 1976 on Vanguard. A beautiful way to finish this inspiring and peaceful mix by the very talented Lee.