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Did John and Paul know about Kid Baltan and Tom Dissevelt?
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14 December 2012
Funny Paper
Apple rooftop
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1 November 2012
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In the late 1950s, some Dutch musicians -- including Kid Baltan and Tom Dissevelt -- were engaged in a project that was in a way the beginning of "electronic music" (with partial government funding and funding from the American corporation Phillips, using what is known as the Phillips "Nat Lab" -- a bunch of industrial looking buildings in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

("Nat Lab" is short for the Dutch Natuurkundig Laboratorium)

These pioneers in electronic music created various sounds to construct melodious tunes, often "sampling" natural sounds, and spending hours or days splicing tapes to achieve just a few minutes.

Some of their stuff reminds me of what John and Paul were experimenting with on Sgt. Pepper's, Magical Mystery Tour and later the White Album.

Here's a 1959 video of Kid Baltan and Tom Dissevelt demonstrating and explaining (in Dutch) their process (I pasted in a partial translation below the video):

Partial translation:

1:32 Here is this loop that is recorded on a tape recorder and I will show you how this sound is repeated
1:48 And we have the possibility to duplicate the sound we just heard and adding it by this machine
2:11 Besides electric sounds we can record natural sounds and cutting a loop of it

2:17 Of this I will show you some examples

2:20 I have here a sound of a alarm clock a foot step a wriggeling like figure and a tower clock

1:00 I want to show you this while this magneto phone is running by rewinding and fast forwarding of the tape
1:08 This way the pitch of this accord changes

1:10 I have recorded this on the tape recorder and by cutting a little piece of it also by indication of the composer of course and by joining the ends together you get a loop

1:26 And I can play back this loop on a magneto phone so this sound will be repeated...

(P.S.: the name "Kid Baltan" is a nickname, from "Nat Lab" spelled backwards, and his first name "Dick" backwards without the c -- his real name being Dick Raaijmakers)

Here's one of their songs:

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
14 December 2012
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
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26 March 2012
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I wouldn't be surprised; their increasing interest in the scene of avant-garde, electronic music and musique concrete probably brought them across the work of these guys. I know at some point in '66 or '67 Paul attended a lecture by Karlheinz Stockhausen, who was devoted largely to experiments of a similar ilk.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
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