Limbabwe had two Meer Staal releases and a contribution on Alle Honden Blaffen compilation.
Meer Staal (More Metal) Metal refers to scrap yard steel, not a rock music. They started early 1983, in the top of the Bauplatz/Limbabwe period. Lots of bands came and went in that period. Some musicians grew into a more mature form of experimental music. Meer Staal was one of these bands. Formed by Floor (Metal Tanz, Tango Djoboko), Andre (Oh’ Dev and many one-of projects) and Inge.
The trio was a firm cooperation. Operating like 3 close friends. Their music was strongly influenced by Indonesian Gamelan. Inge has roots in the former Dutch colony. Floor was impressed by this particular Asian folk music. Using tape loops and scrap steel they created an interesting and unique form of industrial/experimental music. Especially unique because of the ambient soul and feel. Most ‘industrial’ orientated music in the early 80ties was heavy, angry or depressed. Meer Staal felt positive, light and happy.
At home or in the studio the band created tape loops. On top of that they played percussion on all kind of scrap steel and sang. Andre did most of the vocals. In one song he used to sing into a big (5 feet) square metal tube. I place a mic on the bottom of this tube. The vocals got this narrow mid-range reverb effect.
Despite many Dutch titles, most lyrics are in English and German. Meer Staal experimented in many ways. This often came natural spontaneous during rehearsals and live gigs. ‘Regular’ instruments were barely used. Sometimes (but rarely) you hear a stand-tom, timbales or bas guitar.
Meer Staal is one of my Limbabwe favorites. I like this band until today. In their existence I was lucky to do some recording sessions with them, and often was the FOH engineer during live gigs.
Quote from the album inlayer:
‘Live goes on. Heartbeats. The Heart always keeps beating. We’ve tried to put that heart in our music. It’s that spark that comes from deep down that we’ve tried to express. The sound of the soul.’
Their music was so progressive, it still sounds modern and ‘futuristic’ today.
Meer Staal made another release in 1996. Cd called ‘Ad Libitum’. This recording is in the original Meer Staal line up; Floor, Inge, Andre. Extra guest musician is the Dutch percussionist Nippy Noya. On one song Thomas Gillmeister contributes with didgeridoo.
The album is how we know Meer Staal. Tape loops and percussion. Overall not bad, but also not surprising. Like often with bands that re-unite after some time, the old spirit is gone. Attempts to bring ‘good old times’ back again is irrational. 10 years later is a decade more of experiences, emotions and creations. Its impossible to go back in time. Your soul exist on the experiences until this moment. With these Meer Staal recordings I have the impression they try to re-live the past. Two ‘old’ songs where re-recorded: ‘Blues in the Sky’ and ‘Bulldozer’. 4 tracks are new. The cd has sufficient quality to be appreciated if you hear Meer Staal for the first time. Hopefully it makes you seek for the old recordings. You don’t need to look far, free downloads are available here.
The cd is an independent release on Meer Staal’s own label. The cover shows a picture with an old ‘socialistic’ East European ‘feel’. Red star in circle and athlete diving. The back cover shows the band posing. Didn’t find a digital version on the web and are not in the possession of machines to show you this cover. Have the feeling I am not the only one who totally missed this cd release. I don’t give you download either. Its not Limbabwe related. Maybe a Meer Staal member will make this recording accessible in the future.
MEER STAAL – KRUIPEND BLOED (Limbabwe 12) 1983
Difficult title to translate. ‘Kruipend’ means crawling, ‘Bloed’ = blood, but I think the translation ‘crawling blood’ doesn’t cover the intended meaning of the title.
The first Meer Staal release on Limbabwe was a cassette tape. The cover was a big cardboard about 6 inches wide, 12 inches high, silk printed with ‘Metropolis’ style images.
The cassette in box was taped with packing tape on the back. The tracks on this tape where recorded in Bauplatz basement (see introduction). On their first tape Meer Staal is still a bit rough and leans more to the ‘industrial’ style although the title song shows strong Gamelan influences. The recording contains few ‘heavy’ songs like ‘Bulldozer’ and ‘Das Bose Sucht Das Bose’. Also included is the ‘Alle Honden Blaffen’ song ‘Steady Heartbeat’ in a bit different edit.
Recorded, mastered by Matski (Steady Heartbeat by Koos Behrtel and Hans Nijssen) Produced by Meer Staal.
1) Blues in the Sky
2) Don’t not Me Hurt
3) Taste My Brain
5) Steady Heartbeat
7) Das Bose Sucht das Bose
8) Kruipend Bloed
You can download the blood here:
MEER STAAL – HARTSLAGEN (Limbabwe vinyl 8 / 9) 1987
‘Heartbeats’. One of the last Limbabwe releases. The LP came with a single (enclosed in cover), that explains the two numbers 8 & 9.
The recordings where from 1984. The LP contains tracks from a live concert recorded for Dutch National radio at Don Quishot in Sittard, NL.The single is two studio recordings.
On this album the band sounds more mature in control and ambient experimental. This is probably the best Limbabwe product from the 80ties.
The album came in Black/White – Silver/Gold colors. The vinyl sites were titled as ‘Gold Side’ and ‘Silver Side’. Front cover and labels showed a drawing made by Floor.
Recorded by NOS & Matski. Produced by Meer Staal.
1) Hold Me
2) Taste My Brain
3) 100% Soweto
4) Hey you Watch It
5) Material Brain
6) Kruipend Bloed
7) Baby Talk (single)
8) Mountain of Ideas (single)
Download the heartbeats here:
MEER STAAL – DIE DINGE
This was never released. I found this song on a tape while going through my archive. Only one short track as an extra bonus. I added the AHB LP version of ‘Steady Heartbeat Makes a Clear Voice’ to the zip. It’s a bit different edit than the version on ‘Kruipend Bloed’.
Recorded by Koos Behrtel and Hans Nijssen (Heartbeat) and Matski (Die Dinge). Produced by Meer Staal.
– Steady Heartbeat Makes a Clear Voice
– Die Dinge
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