Focus on Barreuh Records

Barreuh don't promise an easy ride but, when experienced as a whole, and over time, their catalogue is certainly something that allows a (Dutch) reappraisal on avant-garde electronic music.

https://barreuhrecords.bandcamp.com



"We do stuff we like. We don't do stuff we don't like. Quite simple, isn't it?"

It is; and if only the rest of life could be as simple, we'd be laughing. Still if you scale down, and focus on going about your business solely within the "confines" of the Dutch music industry, specifically the more alternative areas, you can do pretty much what you want. This is in no small part due to the fact that many in the industry here don't give a fig for what happens outside of the traditional structures or daily merry go round; despite the odd prick of conscience they get from time to time when they feel they're missing out. In short, working in this industry can be seen as a positive or a source of endless frustration. Luckily, Barreuh see this stand off as a massive plus. This "Eindhoven-based" label has been knocking out challenging music now for the best part of two years. The accent is on electronic-based experimentation (in the broadest sense of the word) alongside forays into Dutch language alternative "folk" or spoken word. Each new recording is (as the current zeitgeist demands) given a limited physical release, usually on tape; replete with handmade (or screen printed) artwork and the usual gnomic sleeve notes.

It's not really fair to handpick a few, as Barreuh's real strength (its headstrong indifference to anything else around) can be seen in the breadth and consistency of the whole output. Frankly cherry picking misses the point; Barreuh seem more interested in cataloging, or creating a state of mind. They share this with other (resolutely gauche) Dutch online / tape labels like Purple Noise, Samling and Smikklebaard.

But we should point to a few recent highlights. One marvellous release is Skymme's LP Huone which seems to weld the most introspective elements of Aphex Twin's early 90s sound with a sort of late 60's Studio G / Radiophonic Workshop daftness. THAUMATURGIST's Der Wechsel is a dizzying non-dance dance record, its whirl of non-informative sounds not too far away from the stuff being released on Pas Musique or Kythibong. With things like the enervating racket of 60 Seconds Man (the alter ego of Antoine Panaché) and Kaiserschnee's Hoyle Toad, Barreuh also seem to be plugging directly into a tradition of diy/brutalist/futurist experiemtation in Eindhoven that has roots in Plus Instruments' kraak doos, or some obscure labs in the back of the Philips building. Maybe the outsider electro pop of Andre de Saint Oban could be another reference. This uncompromising, mains-driven pixie dust can also be heard in other releases such as the unrelenting lofi gay disco from Heidi Unterpantsch, or Bert Scholten's Figuratieve Popmuziek; both incredible (and often dark) bricolages of words, noises and cut and paste electronica.

Barreuh don't promise an easy ride but, when experienced as a whole, and over time, their catalogue is certainly something that allows a (Dutch) reappraisal on avant-garde electronic music.