In the early eighties EXART label owner Hessel Veldman regularly went to the city of Rotterdam to visit the creative minds behind local act Rotterdans. Their base was a house that both served as a home studio to record sessions of improvised music and a dealing spot for marihuana, which means customers were ringing the doorbell all day and all night long. During a late-night session one of the Rotterdans members told Veldman about a certain coworker, a ship welder working in the harbor, who was in his mid-twenties, lived with his parents in a typical workers' home and was totally obsessed by analog synthesizers. Collecting all the different types and playing them every night.
A meeting was arranged and Veldman met Aart Zwaans for the first time. They went to his room upstairs where he spent his evenings experimenting and writing his own tracks, that turned out to be a mixture of melancholic ambient pieces in the vein of synth wizards like Enno Velthuys and the early electronic music of Klaus Schulze and the Berlin School. Zwaans was a real outsider, not interested in the underground tape trading scene and preferred to be left alone. He did however promise Veldman to record some tracks and draw a cover for a cassette on EXART which was releases in 1982. Although plans were made to release more of his music, the Sémi Hóra cassette turned out to be the only remaining proof of his mysterious existence.
Sémi Hóra stayed an obscure must-have for collectors of underground music only, until some of the tracks were uploaded to the internet, where it reached a modest new audience. Overlooked by the various reissue labels, some of these hidden gems from the golden age of home taping are now finally presented on vinyl for the first time. In association with Veldman and archivist Bence Meijer, we selected 4 tracks from the original tape to be remastered for a convincing sample of one man’s imperturbable vision. Hopefully it prevents this idiosyncratic and talented musician from fading into total oblivion.
Dead Mind Records, 2023