Free Noise #2
Artist: The Ex / Alerta
Album: The Red Dance Package
Source: Vinyl 12″ EP
Running time (h:m:s): 00:14:14
Size (mb): 96.6
Label: CNT Productions (defunct)
2. Long Live The Aged
1. Park Avenue
2. Violet Days
It’s hard to believe that The Ex are still going strong, nearly 30 years on from their first appearance on the Dutch punk scene at the tail end of the 70’s. Not just going strong, but aging like a very fine wine. These days they can be found collaborating with Ethiopian musicians or composing pieces for theatre companies, as well as still touring with their own unique brand of leftist agitprop. This lot are still defiantly pushing the boundaries of politics and punk with their eclectic avant-garde approach to it all. Hurrah!
This is one of their earlier offerings and is a fine example of the potential to come. Jarring guitars, punchy bass, staccato vocals, abstract piano and the familiar military drumming style favoured by many of the early anarcho bands (albeit with a lot of added polish), sit together in an almost free-form jazz-punk mash-up that grabs you by the ears and won’t let go until the last beat. Reminds me to some degree of the Poison Girls. Classy stuff indeed.
I don’t know that much about Alerta other than they produced one side of this record and an album. What I can say is that here they create a sound that resembles a slightly more discordant Astronauts getting jiggy with Flowers In The Dustbin. Violins sit well alongside the more traditional punk instruments and it’s always good to hear people using less familiar noises. There’s a really good write-up of the band (in English) on Niels’ blog Eet U Smakelijk.
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