bwaa.'s personal guide for dissociation
When thinking about music labels, one can only agree that there is a certain charm in working with different artists, exploring various musical languages, and experimenting with new techniques and approaches. Ghent-based label bwaa. wholeheartedly embraces this sense of versatility as their strength, and it clearly shows in the broad range of artists on their roster and the diversity of their releases.
Expanding on their openminded dedication to sonic exploration, this selection reflects their stance on how dissociation, in every meaning of the word, can enrich a listener’s personal musical library by emphasizing elements beyond its sonic capacity and shedding light on previously unnoticed aspects of an artist’s repertoire.
Victor shares, “We approached this list from two different angles. On one hand, we included spoken word pieces that are highly textual. On the other hand, we focused on the more musical and sonic aspects.” Talking about music is based on this associative act, as without it, listeners may struggle to relate and recognize themselves. To learn something new, you also need a certain capacity to disassociate. Roel adds, “There is a difficulty in explaining what truly resonates with us in all of these records. Maybe that’s why dissociation emerged as the main theme for this list?”
Doseone - The Pelt
Victor: Spoken word works have a strong dissociative effect on me, and the phrasing in this record becomes almost musical. I don’t think there are many records that have had such a significant impact on the way I listen to music as cLOUDDEAD, with Doseone as one of the members. This record is actually part of a book, and what you hear is him reciting his poems.
RoeI: We are both very much into the releases of Anticon, an independent record label based in Los Angeles. I could really stand behind all of these Doseone recordings. Here, it almost becomes this sort of onomatopee: repeating the same thing over and over again until it develops its own unique sound.
Odd Nosdam - Trish
Victor: One of the Anticon artists, as well as one of the three members of cLOUDDEAD, he was primarily the sound engineer and beat maker. This album serves as a tribute to Trish Keenan, also known as Patricia Anne Keenan and was a member of Broadcast. Interestingly, this record has no beats at all and instead it has this texture that’s very unique for his doing. There is a percussive quality, a kind of rhythm, but the actual beat is absent. The B-side is the exact same album but reversed.
Roel: What’s also interesting is that this record was originally intended to be released with beats, but for reasons still unknown, he decided to leave them out. If you’re familiar with his work, you can almost imagine the beat that would go with it.
Avey Tare & Kria Brekkan - Pullhair Rubeye [original reverse]
Roel: This record from Avey Tare, a member of Animal Collective, and Kria Brekkan, a member of múm, is a very simplistic but clear example of the ability to dissociate. When unreversed, you can really pick out each of their voices and distinguish their unique characteristics.
Victor: If I remember this correctly, this album was initially released in a completely reversed order and received a devastating Pitchfork review.
Ivor Cutler - Dandruff
Victor: I’ve always thought of this piece as something bizarre, much like Robert Wyatt, for instance. Wyatt’s influence led me to explore Cutler’s repertoire, where I discovered this record featuring short pieces and spoken words. Some are accompanied by music, while others are not. Sometimes they feature jokes and even children’s songs. Listening to his solo work was a revelation.
Roel: The album possesses a puristic naivety that renders it incredibly captivating. In a way, all the pieces are interconnected, almost as if they are collaborating with one another. If you delve deeper, you find new connections all the time.
Jenny Berger Myhre - Here is always somewhere else
Roel: I really appreciate how she uses field recordings and her approach to creating collage-like music. It is an art form in itself to transform something inherently chaotic into something coherent. The voice messages she incorporates also have something so sincere and honest. In one of these messages, she explained how she felt stuck in the whole process of music categorization. Her descriptions of life and her experiences as a musician are very accurate and relatable.
Verhalen - Verhalen
Victor: To continue on this sense of honesty and the challenge of positioning oneself both as a musician and a label within the limitations of categorization, we’ve selected one of our newest releases, verhalen. I honestly do not know how to categorize this. Even after listening to it multiple times, it still remains a mystery to me how we will describe this record.
Sonny & Linda Sharrock - Black Woman
Victor: This record is incredibly weird. It’s almost as if he just asked his wife to shout amidst these crazy guitar riffs. Even though it sounds weird, I think it’s just fantastic.
Roel: I’ve been thinking about why we chose this particular record, and it’s because it occupies a certain space where concessions are made for its kitschy clichés. That Bialero piece is just phenomenal in its segmentation structure: the melodic repetition intertwined with the rattling guitar, followed by the vocals.
Uchronia - Field recordings from alternate realities
This record was released through Sahel Sounds. It is essentially a collage of recordings that form a fictional whole. Its title, Field Recordings from Alternate Realities, also sounds very lyrical, as well.