André de Saint-Obin - Sound On Sound

But otherwise Sound on Sound  sounds as current as something by the Wanda Group or Lee Noble.


Oh my; how great is this?

Sound On Sound is an old and relatively obscure release that - thanks to sterling work from Nijmegen's Korm Plastics and Plinkity Plonk labels - gets a chance to shine again. Basically if you like growly synths and guitars and a worldview not far removed from that of Mike von Bibikov's you will be hooked. André Saint-Obin had a tentative foot in the world of the Dutch post-punk / Ultra movement, and this album, originally from 1982, was part of the huge amount of self-produced, tape-only releases (this one on the famous Ding Dong Records & Tapes label) that seemingly engulfed the Netherlands in the early 1980s.

The GREAT thing about this is that the album for the most part sounds ridiculously of the now; for sure there are moments where things do sound like they came from the Doomdenken era, and the caustic drugs and suicide references (subjects du jour from back then) are apparent in (guess) Suicide and I Wanna See My Dealer. They're great tracks,  but yeah, it's hard not to feel the subject matter dates the songs a bit. And we also get the whole "let's sing in German" trope, which was enormously popular with Dutch bands back then. Here, we get Keine Zukunft (No Future), which is a mid-paced sneer over a searing, crackling backdrop and sounds as bleak as 1981 felt; trust me.  But otherwise this sounds as current as something by the Wanda Group or Lee Noble. Just check out the brilliant Robert Stoltz, which is a brilliantly irreverent excursion into lofi, cod-ska; sounding like contemporary German and Austrian acts like Box Codax or Trouble Vs Glue.There are some cracking pop tracks here too; I Got Plopmusic is a brilliant, two-cylinder powered pop track that chugs merrily along and My Dirty Self  is a sort of low-rent Art of Noise  take on Cluster II-style pop.  A lot of Sound on Sound does hark back to the stuff Moebius & Rodelius did (albeit with a punk sensibility); but when was that ever a bad thing?

Really worth your time. Vinyl addicts will need to be quick off the mark in getting this, as there are only 500 LPs being pressed.