From the blurb on the back:
Frans de Waard is perhaps best known for Vital Weekly, his online weekly review magazine for all things musical in the realm of experimental, electronic, improvisation, ambient, and noise, distributed for free, since 1995. Over 1200 issues have been published, amounting to some 15,000+ reviews. However, over the years Frans has also written liner notes, articles, obituaries, tour diaries, letters in support of artist grants, and personal observations. This book collects all of these texts and follows the hype of the day, from mid-1990’s ambient house to the post-2010 rebirth of cassette, and various reflections on the world of experimental music in the 1980s. Oh and there is a review (couldn’t be avoided).
The introduction to the book:
Writing About Music
Very occasionally people ask me how many music reviews I have written over the years. I have no idea. Maybe on average fifteen a week, 50 weeks a year, for some 25 years? That certanly is a lot of reviews; it’s what I do all day. If you do something for a long time you run the risk that people might that you’re an expert in something, which is not necessarily my opinion. I don’t regard myself an expert on anything. But if you’re regarded as an expert on ‘weird music’ (whatever that means), people will ask you to write a text that could go along with their latest release, a press text, liner notes, a text support- ing a grant application, or the odd obituary. And then, after all these years of doing this, you end up with a bunch of texts that aren’t really music reviews but a collection of lots of miscellania. A few years ago I decided to collect all of these texts and see if they could be a worthwhile anthology. If anything, these texts are about ‘weird music’ and the people creating it; in some cases, when I write about concerts and releases of my own music, that person is me. A won- derfully strange music world, a posse of like-minded people, of people who are entirely different, but in the end all making music outside the mainstream of pop music. Even the very first text, which has nothing to do with music, but describes how to re-use stamps as a way to save money was part of the underground music scene. I have no idea if this collection is complete, but I would like to think it is.
Native English speakers checked many of these pieces when I wrote them but I asked a few people if they’d tweak a few. In some cases we decided to leave texts as they were, in the always slightly mangled English of a non-na- tive speaker. I’d like to thank Chandra Shukla and especially Mark Poysden for all their work and everyone who asked me over the years to commit my thoughts about music to writing.
90 pages, hardcover