Massive Trance…’Het Zweet’ uncovered

October 10, 2007

Marien Van Oers - Het Zweet

Het Zweet/Marien Van Oers. South London 1986.

Nenad Vujic asked me to write something about ‘Het Zweet’ . Nenad said that there is a lot of music from the 1980s which no one knows about because the musicians at the time didn’t have access to the pervasive digital promotional methods that we all have at our fingertips now and that these musicians have no interest in promoting their work from twenty(!) years ago.

(This is quite an interesting idea – How do we cut through the noise of supposedly democratic acces to self promotion now? i would also argue that only music that suits self promotion becomes visible i.e. ‘products’ that have certain attributes that allow it to ‘cut through the noise’ attributes that are not necessarily musical – over time this effect creates a self regulating system that refines and defines the music itself – hence the overwhelming blandness of current music that we are sold by traditional or non traditional means. This is obviously not a new effect but when applied en masse through so called ‘social media’ is amplified, exagerated and fed back into itself…)

‘Het Zweet’: Not a group but one man; Marien Van Oers, native of Breda in the Netherlands active from 1983 to about 1988. The music consisted of long 10 minute percussion pieces played on self built instruments (shopping trolleys amplified with pickups, blown cardboard tubes etc.) whith repetetive shouted vocals by Marien. The music was often placed in the industrial camp and linked with the likes of Test Dept but infact Het Zweet wer more concerned with ‘tribal’ music, physicality and trance effects.

During their lifetime Het Zweet released one LP ‘Het Zweet’ originally intended to have been released on my label ‘Recloose Organisation’. Unfortunately the break up of Bourbonese Qualk and Recloose prevented this and it was eventually released on the Berlin based Dossier label – much to Marien’s chagrin. Other titles were all cassette releases on various labels and contributions to compilation records (including ‘psycho pomp’on the Recloose organisations sampler ‘songs from the new international in 1986). We (Recloose) also worked on various video and film projects with Marien (the cover shot of ‘Het Zweet’ LP shows a frame from a video loop of Marien hitting a metal boiler with a pickaxe which was used as a projection during live performances). Het Zweet performed live around Europe often as a support group for Bourbonese Qualk whom he toured with on a number of occasions. The last i heard from Marien was ten years ago – he had stopped ‘experimental’ music and was working playing accordion in a wedding band.

Het Zweet LP 1987

‘Het Zweet’ LP Dossier 1987.

MP3 Recordings. click to download:
A1 Cry Or Laugh
A2+A3 From The Lowland – Topsy Turvy
A4 Wild Man
B1 Ram
B2 On Earth
B3 Red Robe
B4 Massive Trance

Releases:
Fase (Cass) Staalplaat
Massive Trance (Cass) Zweepslag
Zweepslag 1+2 (Cass) Sound Of Pig
Het Zweet (LP) Dossier 1987

Compilations:
Homo Sexpiens Project (Cass) Dante’s Second Circle 3Rio Tapes
Beyond Step One (Cass, C60) El Voz Sound Of Pig 1984
Katacombe Vol. 3 (Cass) Untitled, Untitled Korm Plastics, Schrei Records 1984
Katacombe Vol. 3 (Cass) Untitled, Untitled Industria Tepa 1984
Thee Book (2xCass, Ltd, C90) The Ice Graf Haufen Tapes 1984
Katacombe Vol. 5 (Cass) Vacuum Voice Industria Tepa 1985
6×10=60 Vol. 2 (Cass) Indus I. Korm Plastics 1986
Live Series 2 (Cass) Repeat Recloose Organisation 1986
Songs From The New International (LP) Psycho-Pomp Recloose Organisation 1986
The State Of The Art (VHS) Repeat Provision, Recloose Organisation 1986
Q.E.D. (2xLP + 7″ + , Ltd, Gat) Tribal Noise 2 N.L. Centrum 1988
Q.E.D. (CD) Tribal Noise 2 Staalplaat 1990
6×10=60 Vol. 2 (CDr) Indus I. Korm Plastics 1999

10 Responses to “Massive Trance…’Het Zweet’ uncovered”

  1. Nenad said

    excellent ! thank you, Simon, very much for the precious insight.

    about the tribal aspect of Het Zweet’s music, in retrospect it seems to me that Van Oers had been the most enthusiastic researcher in the domain of ‘plain tribal’ sounds: around 1983 ritual music became a sort of a trend in industrial music [with bands like Ain Soph and Vienesse-based Zero Kama establishing a sort of cult-underground following]), but these bands gave primary importance to the ritual itself giving it mystical pseudoreligious associations whatever the form that ritual be and on the other hand we can claim that Einsturzende Neubauten, Test Dept or Crash Worship had somewhat similar beginnings/notions as Het Zweet, the results on their recordings soon proved fully that their tribal intentions were much more narrow, limiting themselves just on i.e. banging scrap metal and tearing down walls, drumming and shouting.

    and that’s where Van Oers stepped in – tribal was not a means for him, it’s was his area of research. He might have very likely been the first trance-musician because of the ethos he adapted so early on (as early as 1983) that was one of the main characteristics of later trance-music genre with his first two cassettes. a true explorer of the sounds of primitive human cultures.

    zweepslag 1+2 cassettes are an assembly of long 4 droning hypnotic trance-patterns, while Fase is probably his best work, variety of instruments involved, many interesting nonidentifiable sound-sources and some amazing ethno-tracks !![middle-eastern flutes&chanting,hollow pipe-drumming,mammothian horns, etc] LP on Dossier is definitely the most accessible peace he released, probably a bit diluted and versatile with some new elements added and studio-techniques applied. best tracks: Wild Man, Topsy Turvy and On Earth.

    definitely unlike Het Zweet – Van Oers previous project Forced Run was a rather unusual post-punk mixed with walls of noise, martial beats, shouts, with elements of rock and even funk, completely unlike everything you ever heard. a genuine 80s product.

    The bands that have a remotely similar sounding to Het Zweet would include Vox Populi!, Last Few Days and i guess Bourbonese Qualk [hah, just realized most of these debuted in 1983 !]. Maybe Esplendor Geometrico when they are at their “most oriental” moments.

  2. W. said

    I’ve also got an untitled tape release by Het Zweet that was put out by the Stride label in 1984 (Catalogue No.STEP 38).

    The cover shows a Crucifixtion reenactment and states…

    “HET ZWEET is a Dutch band with two members. At live performances they make use of basic tracks – bassguitar – voices and vocals – and instruments made from all kind of materials found on the day of performing. So every concert will be different from the other.”

    I’d love to hear some of those compilation tracks from Het Zweet, especially the Recloose Live Series 2. Any chance of posting them?

  3. Сталкер said

    most like Gamelan ?

  4. Waldemar said

    Hi, I just connected a tapedeck to the computer to convert my ‘Het Zweet’ tapes into Mp3. I’ve got two tapes, Zweepslag 1/2 and Massive Trance, bought at Staalplaat Amsterdam, Sept.15, 1986.

    In the past year I’ve listened a lot to electro music (at Kink FM / Electronation.nl) and recently a set of that music made me remember these tapes and now it’s time to get it on the speakers again.

    The quality however appeared to be not that good anymore, so I tried a chance on the net – but I didn’t expect anything to find. So, I’m realy realy pleased to find even more! Thanks ‘Crab’ for posting the music!

    (In a quick glance on this page I also -see a link to Muslimgauze, I filled up the B-side of the Massive Trance tape with music from them. I think I’ll stay for a while ;)

  5. Frank Gorissen said

    Long ago I invited Marien Van Oers in the free radio station “Radio Demervallei” in Diepenbeek, Belgium, to do a performance for live broadcasting there. I’ve recorded his concert on tape. I’ve got the 2 tapes + the Lp he has released. He stayed at my house overnight and returned the next morning to Holland, but I’ve never heard of him since then.

  6. Frank Gorissen said

    Long time ago I invited Marien Van Oers to perform at the free radio station “Radio Demervallei” in Diepenbeek, Belgium; I recorded his concert on tape while it was being broadcasted. I’ve got his 2 tapes as well + the only album he made (vinyl). The next day he returned to Holland with a copy of his concert recordings and I’ve never seen him again. The music on the radio show tape is just great and it would be great also if it could be released officially, even after so many years!

    Frank Gorissen

  7. Subterra Recordings (Belgium, label run by MILITIA’s founding member Frank Gorissen) has launched a CD containing a live performance by Marien Van Oers a.k.a HET ZWEET: previously unrecorded and unreleased songs by the Dutch tribal specialist.
    A must have item for those who admire the pure industrial and tribal rhythms of the 80-s!
    Orders: see http://www.militia.be/subterra or mail to
    frank@militia.be

  8. mark said

    Im very sad to inform that Marien Van Oers died on January 8 in the morning after a long struggle against a disease. I will miss my friend terribly, with who i made music and organized several performance/theatre happenings in the town of Breda. Marien gave me a lot of music during the years and from that music i made a selection i maybe will share on the internet (probably in the form of a mix). He was one of the most pleasant people i know, always continuing making his things and live the way he thought it would be the best.

    i hope his music will live on

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