STEIM Radio #12 features a selection of rare live recordings from STEIM’s Studio 3 concert series between 2007 – 2012. The show will be broadcasted at Concertzender.nl on July 18, 2012 at 23:00 and streamed afterwards. Below is the text written for the broadcast. UPDATE: The show is now archived at concertzender, mixcloud, and downloadable.
Since STEIM moved to it’s current location 26 years ago, hundreds of artists have recorded, rehearsed, and realized projects in Studio 3. Numerous people have gathered for workshops, lectures, meetings, dinners, farewell parties, weddings, and a wake. But for the majority, this is one of the most unique venues in Amsterdam for experimental, improvised and electronic music. When Kees and Nico prepare the room for concerts, the horrendous blue concrete floor and uneven walls fade away, and the studio transforms into a stage where I have witnessed some of the most magical moments in music.
The first concert that I curated here featured Keir Neuringer opening the night with a powerful saxophone solo, followed by two solo sets by Pamela Z and Tarek Atoui. I remember being satisfied with the concert and relieved by the good turnout, but then a STEIM regular sneered at me and said “Concerts here shouldn’t feature artists like tonight.”
When Janek Schaefer finished playing his set at the second edition of Turntable Music Night, an audience member stood up and got right into his face – he had something to say about the concert. I saw Michel quietly leave the room when things got tense, and was left there to resolve the situation before fists were thrown.
This space was perfect for performances that required concentration, and whether it was loud or quite, details of sound weren’t lost. Drummer Martin Brandlmayr played his solo with extreme discipline, reacting to every electronic event from the laptop by counting beats in between. Rafael Toral made a tiny modified guitar amp sing like a bird or sound like Evan Parker on the saxophone. The Revox Tape duo by Jerome Noetinger & Lionel Marchetti blew my mind in how they captured and immediately transformed sounds with ancient machines. Equally mind-blowing was the ecstatic and outrageous voice duo by Jaap Blonk and Adachi Tomomi.
The environment is flexible and casual enough to try out new ideas. The first meeting between Joel Ryan and Sparks (Peter Evans, trumpet & Tom Blancarte, bass) brought out the aggressive side of Ryan’s wizardry on electronics, creating a storm that swirled around the room. On my concert day with drummer Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, violinist Jon Rose and saxophonist Otani Yoshio happened to be staying in the guesthouse, so I asked them join unannounced, and by suddenly emerging from the audience midway during the performance.
My last concert was on June 18, 2012. The 90 square meter room was packed with more people than I had ever seen in the space, and the atmosphere was everything that I wanted for a STEIM concert – focused, loud, unnerving, surprising and delightful.
Spaces like studio 3 are catalysts for new ideas and are true gems within the cultural dynamics of the city. Artists have complete creative freedom but under the critical gaze of seasoned audience members and other professionals. Once a visitor told me “At least the beer is cheap, and the performances don’t last for more than 30 minutes.”
Text, selection, mix by Takuro Mizuta Lippit (dj sniff)
1. STEIM Concert series (01/02/2007) / Keir Neuringer
2. Turntable Music Night Vol.2 (16/06/2007) / Janek Schaefer
3. STEIM Concert series (01/02/2007) / Pamela Z
4. STEIM@40! Last event: Patterns & Pleasure (17/12/2009) / Martin Brandlmayr
5. STEIM@40! presents: The Voice (22/09/2009) / Jaap Blonk & Tomomi Adachi
6. STEIM Concert series (21/09/2007) / Jerome Noetinger & Lionel Marchetti
7. STEIM Concert series (24/01/2008) / Rafael Toral
8. STEIM Concert series (06/05/2008) / Sparks (Peter Evans & Tom Blancarte) with Joel Ryan
9. Turntable Music Night Vol.7 (19/05/2010) / Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, Otani Yoshio, Jon Rose, dj sniff
10. STEIM Summer Party 2012 (18/06/2012) / dj sniff
All recordings made at STEIM Studio 3 by Nico Bes and Kees van Zelst except for track 10 by Andrew Levine