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Pieter Jansen releases UHF on his label yeyeh

December 18, 2023

Since 2019, Amsterdam-based curator Pieter Jansen has developed his yeyeh label as a vehicle for carefully considered (and sometimes unlikely) ‘first time’ collaborations between different experimental and avant-garde artists including Eversines, Carolina Eyck, Greetje Bijma and Oceanic.

The imprint’s next release, which is the result of a week-long collaboration between Berlin-based Polish saxophonist/composer/producer Jerzy Maczyński (whose previous collaborative release with Waclaw Zimpel as Jerry&ThePelicanSystem appeared on yeyeh in 2021), celebrated Chicagoan DJ/producer Hieroglyphic Being, and Amsterdam-based electronic artist Rein De Sauvage Nolting (RDS, who originally functioned as recording and mix engineer) – as well as countless hours of intricate post-production.

Those who attended Dekmantel Festival 2023, where Hieroglyphic Being and Maczyński performed live together as Universal Harmonies & Frequencies for the first time will know what to expect – namely far-sighted and futurist explorations that blur the boundaries between electronic-acoustic improvisation, avant-garde electronica, rhythmic ambient, free jazz and Hieroglyphic Being’s distinctively distorted, next-level Chicagoan rhythms. This act was accompanied by live visuals by Katarzyna Debska/VLF, who later created the artwork and visual language for the record release.

That performance, which took place at Muziekgebouw/BIMhuis, occurred a little over 12 months after the week-long residency in a rented studio below Volkshotel that laid the foundations for the project. Over five days, Hieroglyphic Being (synthesisers, vocals) and Maczyński (saxophones, vocals) laid down 26 extended improvisations, with Rein de Sauvage Nolting not only acting as recording and mixing engineer, but also contributing artistic input.

Following the session, Jansen and Rein Sauvage Nolting selected 13 tracks to provide the basis of an expansive double-vinyl album. While some of those spontaneous improvisations remain in-tact on Tune IN, many more were reconfigured, reworked and re-produced by Maczyński and Sauvage Nolting over over many months. Maczyński added more layers of instrumentation, creating a “whole band of reed instruments” using electronic tools – a method he previously utilized on 2021’s Jerry & The Pelican System album, Sariani.