**Edition of 300** While the Sound Reporters imprint, which ran intermittently between the early 80s and 90s – specializing in the sounds of anthropology, ethnomusicology, religion, travel and history, hailed from Amsterdam, those aware of this obscure cassette label will probably only be the most developed fans of Italian avant-garde. It was Sound Reporters that issued the incredible collaboration between Pit Piccinelli, Fred Gales, and Walter Maioli, Amazonia 6891, reissued by Black Sweat in 2016, and a series of wonderful albums by Harry Van Essen, Walter Maioli, and Raffaele Serra, as well as the Vox Voice Voix Voce Stem Stimme complication and Ethnoelectronics. Het Jacoba Prieel, part of growing focus on the imprint by Black Sweat, was issued by the label on cassette in 1986, billed as solo effort by Fred Gales. It can also be seen as the only other recorded work by the trio which gave the world Amazonia 6891. Within, Gales is joined by the incredible voices of Piccinelli and Maioli – famed for his seminal contributions to Aktuala, Futuro Antico, and Gruppo Afro Mediterraneo, etc).
Fred Gales is an obscure figure in the history of recorded music – an avant-grade ethnomusicologist. Other than this album, Amazonia 6891, his name only appears as the hand behind recordings which appear on the Musicworks complication, Phenomenascapes, from 1988, and two stunning albums comprised of his recordings of the tradition music of Thailand, issued by PAN in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Het Jacoba Prieel is a wild series of semi imagined soundscapes, in which every coordinate seems lost, throughout which Gales, in collaboration with Maioli and Piccinelli, presents his remarkable notion of an organic form of musique concrète – a diary of signals and sounds, inspired by numerous global traditions of music, taken into the future in unpredictable ways. Across these four side, the sounds of synths bubble and drone against the disembodied sounds of the natural world – modulating fragments of natural and electronics, taking form as flickering sequences, fleeting images, and rumbling oscillations.
A crucial, almost entirely unheard artifact of its era – radical, revolutionary, and unlike anything else, Het Jacoba Prieel, like Amazonia 6891 presents a futuristic vision of musical tribalism, driving the ear toward which improbable spaces and times. Absolutely wonderful on every count. Just when you think the actives must and have been emptied and we’ve heard all there was to hear, Black Sweat brings another revelation from the dust of history. Like everything this one spins you like a top and is as essential as records come. Not to mention, this is the first ever vinyl edition, spread across two glorious LPs.