Review in English: 1

FRET # 6, summer 2003

(CDs, Mécanique Populaire)
(Translated from Dutch to English)

The digitalization of the Trespassers archives

After twenty years still unknown and little loved in their own country, but beyond the borders it’s a different story. As it happened, a Frenchman had to take initiative to release the old Trespassers material on CD.

The collective Trespassers W exists for almost twenty years now and in that period they launched one exciting project after the other, Music which cannot be labelled. And if that was at all possible, this label should be changed regularly, bacause the band varies its point of view and its style constantly. To make comparisons is really impossible. But this is exactly what makes the group so thrilling. But the audience in their own country hardly wants to know and that’s why the releases of the Hague band more and more often appear on foreign labels. Now, believe it or not, a French devotée asked if he could release the old material on CD. There was no problem to do it and so after many years something is done about the digitalization of the Trespassers-material from the 80s.
Recently the first two issues appeared. Two beautifully designed boxes with in it the oldest TW-material. In this case they not only contain the first two albums, but also the material from a cassette, singles, 12″-s, demo’s and alternate takes.

Extra attractive

Cor Gout is the key figure of Trespassers W and the only one who has been there in the line of band-members for almost twenty years. We asked him what these reissues are all about.
« This Frenchman, Jef Benech, I know him because he started ordering TW-material from my mail-order in 92/93. Then he started distributing some of our records/cd’s in the area where he lives-that’s the area around Le Havre-. At a certain point he decided to make a reissue-series of music which had inspired him. Trespassers W was one of the bands he wanted to handle and then he asked me what I thought of the idea. Because he is also a graphic artist, he wanted to make the issues visually extra attractive and that’s why all sorts of gadgets come with the CD’s: booklets, postcards, lyrics, facsimiles of the original jackets and that sort of thing. He really did a magnificent job on it. These days not many people still have a record player, so only a few people are able to play the old material. And what’s more, a number of releases from the old days are no longer available in their original format. And it’s not really worth the effort to make reprints of them. But now people can listen to these songs once more. And yes, they are still in demand, not in large quantities, but now and again someone discovers Trespassers W and then quite often they want to buy the old material as well. »
So the reissues will be continued? ‘Yes,’ Gout says, ‘the next one will be Dummy, a double album from 1988. But Jef Benech likes to work on two or three releases at a time and altogether he works about six months on them, so it will take a while: it can’t be before the end of the year. Another matter is that he must try to sell the ones he released. That’s how it is with artists: they manage to create a work of art, no problem, but then a totally different route comes up, the selling, the distribution, you name it, I know that all too well!
But it will see the light of day in the end and for the people who have missed the early stuff this is a unique thing and for the people who own the original stuff this is a pleasant surprise. »

Two versions

The co-operation between Gout and Benech goes further than this. Within a few weeks a new book, written by Gout, who does a lot of projects as an individual artist too and who, apart from being a musician/singer is also a poet, author, historian, philosopher, journalist, documentary-maker and many other thingsas well, will be issued. Noirette, as it is titled, issued by publisher ‘In de Knipscheer’, includes a CD. On this disc you will hear the ten stories from the book, coming from the mouth of Cor Gout. The book has been translated into French and Benech himself composed the music for the CD which will come with that publication.
Gout: ‘I recorded the stories and he composed the music for it, based on the rhythm and the speed of the lyrics. Wim Oudijk (a Hague producer who works a lot with Gout and once was a Trespassers-member in the first line-up-FRET) added a few things. The music of Benech is more techno with minimalism, atmospheric sounds and samples. On our Dutch CD it is improvisation with instruments, played by Luc Houtkamp, Jan Moebius and Wilbert de Joode. Both CD’s have music which, as for the atmosphere of the stories, fits well but the two versions are totally incomparable. Carrier of the CD, the book Noirette, for that matter, is a sight to see because of the pretty illustrations by Sebastien Morlighem.