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 Actually, I wanted the other one...

 

 

 

 

         
 

 
 

Sadly, it looks like we'll be losing another of the original 1990's networkers from the fold now, Didier Becu tells me he too is ready to throw in the towel. It's always sad to write about old friends that are about to give it all up, but then who am I to talk? I also suffered the dreaded underground burnout and disappeared for a decade, shit happens. Back in the day, Dider produced a zine called The Original Sin in his home in Belgium. Much the way we all did, cut and paste (with scissors and glue, ask your dad!), typewriter et al. In spite of Flemish being his native tongue, the zine was in English (or 'rock & roll esperanto' as we called it), and frequently featured reviews of MMATT and M&E output, a great support indeed. Come the internet age, which seemed to catch many of us on the hop, the paper zines began to disappear and The Original Sin passed into memory.

 

As with many of my old network friends, when M&E decided to crash and burn in late 2003, I lost touch with Didier. It was only thanks to the cyber age that I'd so long rallied against that I caught up with him again on our return a decade later, by this time involved with a webzine called Peek-A-Boo, which Luminous Dash describes as 'goth-tinted'. More recently, he and a young lady by the name of Ann Cnockaert started up Luminous Dash. That webzine will be continuing and I had a brief chat with Ann about that a week or so ago; "Luminous dash originated from the love for music." She explains, "Inspired by Indie labels, the Manchester Music scene, many gigs and festivals home & abroad. The name Luminous Dash refers to the gene in our DNA which lights up when enjoying music." You truly do learn something new every day doing this, you know! I asked about the scope of the magazine, would it be as global as The Original Sin used to be? "We focus on Belgian artists." She says, "So very new and fresh music. Unsigned artists, artists they don't play on the radio. But we also write about the things we like - I like the Factory-label music, some writers like goth, indie, noise, jazz or metal." Fingers crossed we will have a good relationship with Luminous Dash in the future, and may I take this opportunity of welcoming Ann to our little world.

 

Didier, meantime, sounds like he is serious about his 'retirement', I recognised the tone of his answer when I asked why; "It was a mixture of illness, getting too old for this shit and some artists who pretend to claim my life when I was not in for their stuff." He states bluntly, "I must confess that by the age of nearly 51, I kind of lost the urge to hear 500 unsigned bands per day." Yeah, it resonates, I'm sure a lot of old time networkers will be nodding their heads in sympathy. Luckily, he was kind enough to review our "Creavolution Reborn" CD last October (6 months ago, I'm slack, I know, but I've only just caught up with him, sue me!) before heading for the sheltered accommodation at Happy Valley Retirement Home (where we hope he gets to put his feet up, enjoy life and know how much we appreciate all the support he has given us across the years) and picking up his bus pass. Here's what he had to say, both about the remastered album and the amazing underground network that was, first in the original Flemish, then followed by a quickie translation...


MAGIC MOMENTS AT TWILIGHT TIME – Creavolution Reborn (TMR Records)

Vroeger is beter. Hoewel we eerder geneigd zijn om dit soort woorden onder te brengen onder de blah-blah-blah zit er soms wel iets van waarheid in. In de jaren 90, lang voordat er sprake was van het internet, bestond er een echt netwerk van undergroundartiesten. Nu ook nog, dat weten we ook wel, maar toen verzopen de artiesten niet in de vaak te woelige zee van informatie die er nu is. Gewapend met een fotokopieermachine en een fortuin aan postzegels zorgden artiesten er zelf voor om de macht van de muziekindustrie te breken. Want tja, wie geen kans krijgt, moet het maar zelf doen. Hoe moeilijk dat ook is…

De fans maakten fanzines (tijdschriften, al dan niet op regelmatige basis gemaakt met een typmachine en fotokopieerapparaat) waarin ze schreven over bands die compleet genegeerd werden. Een mediagegeven die vooral in Engeland populair was en soms de springplank was voor bands die het later wel zouden maken (de Manic Street Preachers en Bis zijn de bekendste voorbeelden). En de artiesten brachten hun muziek uit op tape. Het aantal tapes die in de jaren 90 in eigen beheer is uitgebracht is dan ook ontelbaar.

Mick Magic, een legende in fanzineland, deed de twee dingen samen. Music & Elsewhere was dan ook een tapelabel met een immense catalogus. En net zoals iedere muziekfan het hoort te doen zonder zich ook maar één seconde te bekommeren om genre of land van herkomst. En net alsof dat allemaal niet genoeg was, had de man uit Surrey zijn eigen band: Magic Moments At Twilight Time.

De grappige naam is een samensmelting van een hit van Perry Como en één van The Platters die op zijn verjaardag hits waren, maar met de Atlantische Oceaan ertussen. Net zoals de meeste van zijn releases (het lot van de meeste tape-artiesten) was Magic Moments At Twilight Time op commercieel vlak allesbehalve een hoogvlieger. De band maakte muziek op allerlei (meestal bevriende) labels en de releases waren wereldwijd verkrijgbaar, naar het schijnt in Afrika niet. Lijkt nu een logische zaak, maar beeld je maar eens in wat voor een huzarenstukje dit in een wereld zonder internet was!

 

En hoe obscuur ook, is er vandaag nog altijd interesse in deze releases. Hoewel Magic Moments At Twilight Time al lang niet meer bestaat, werd onlangs Creavolution Reborn uit 1996 op cd gezet. De opnames vonden plaats in de Brain Dead Studios dat al 34 jaar ter beschikking staat voor artiesten van alle genres, van folk tot metal.

Studio-eigenaar Marc Bell die ook TMR Records runt, vond de oude opnames terug en hij was zo onder de indruk van de muziek die op de “verloren” DAT-tapes stond, dat hij besloot om de opnames te remasteren en ze op cd uit te brengen. Als de grote jongen zoals John Lennon of David Bowiehet mogen, waarom dan niet obscure bandjes als Magic Moments At Twilight Time, niet waar?

Muzikaal kun je Magic Moments At Twilight Time als een carrousel zien. Een bende die zichzelf geen seconde serieus neemt, en je meeneemt naar hun eigen wereldje. Een trip waarin je evenveel Electric Light Orchestra, de beginjaren van Genesis, Zager & Evans of simpelweg Monty Python in tegen komt. Muziek die nooit is gemaakt om geld mee te verdienen (laat staan ermee door te breken), maar zelfs met zijn gebreken deed Mick Magic en zijn gevolg iets wat anderen net iets te weinig doen: doen wat je doen
moet!

 

ENGLISH TRANSLATION;

 

It used to be better. Although we are more inclined to put these kind of words under the blah blah blah, there is sometimes something of truth. In the 1990s, long before there was the internet, there was a real network of underground artists. We also know that now, but then the artists did not drown in the often too turbulent sea of information that there is now. Armed with a photocopy machine and a fortune on stamps, artists themselves managed to break the power of the music industry. Because, well, who does not get a chance, you just have to do it yourself. How difficult that is ...

The fans made fanzines (journals made on a regular basis with a typewriter and photocopier) in which they wrote about bands that were completely ignored. A media story that was especially popular in England and often the springboard for bands that would make it later; the Manic Street Preachers and Bis are the best known examples. And the artists released their music on tape. The number of tapes released in-house in the 1990s is therefore countless.

Mick Magic, a legend in fan country, did the two things together. Music & Elsewhere was a tapelabel with an immense catalog. And just like every music fan should do, without worrying for a second or so about genre or country of origin. And just as if that were not enough, the man from Surrey had his own band: Magic Moments At Twilight Time.

The funny name is a fusion of a hit by Perry Como and one of The Platters which were hits on the day he was born, but with the Atlantic Ocean in between. Like most of its releases (the fate of most tape artists), Magic Moments At Twilight Time was anything but a high-flying commercial success. The band made music on all sorts of (mostly friendly) labels and the releases were available worldwide, though apparently not in Africa. Looks like a logical thing, but just imagine what a daring piece this was in a world without the internet!

And however obscure, there is still interest in these releases today. Although Magic Moments At Twilight Time no longer exist, Creavolution Reborn from 1996 was recently put on CD. The recordings took place in the Brain Dead Studios that has been available to artists of all genres for 34 years, from folk to metal.

Studio owner Marc Bell, who also runs TMR Records, recovered the old recordings and was so impressed by the music on the "lost" DAT tapes, that he decided to remaster the recordings and put them out on CD. If the big artist like John Lennon or David Bowie may, why not obscure bands like Magic Moments At Twilight Time?

Musically you can see Magic Moments At Twilight Time as a carousel. A gang that does not take itself seriously for a second, and takes you to their own world. A trip in which you meet as many Electric Light Orchestra, the early years of Genesis, Zager & Evans or simply Monty Python. Music that was never made to make money (let alone break it), but even with its flaws, Mick Magic and his followers did something that others do not do enough: to do what you have to do!


LINKS;

https://www.luminousdash.com/portfolio-items/magic-moments-at-twilight-time-creavolution-reborn-tmr-records/?fbclid=IwAR1cTtu38sXiLCLw9AtPYg9eo4JlT76Cf3UvxX-vr4zYrp11Hg8xFC4mQsA

https://luminousdash.be

https://www.facebook.com/Luminousdash

http://www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be