Frans de Waard – This Is Supposed To Be A Record Label


Timeless Editions, English, 196 pages anno, France

There are important histories that are written from different authors and scholars and there are important histories that are left to the public memory, never documented or seriously researched. The Staalplaat label has been one of the major nodal points of experimental music, and definitely one of the most important music labels ever, using strategies and practices with extreme types of music for more than three decades. This unique combination stems from unique human elements, including the founder and main instigator Geert-Jan Hobljn, who has long since declared that he is “not interested in looking back. I’m going forward, if I ever look back I’d stumble upon or hit something”. Frans de Waard is serving a need here, even if what he writes is limited to the eleven years he personally spent working for the label. If some important chunks are missed, one of the most important and exciting periods of the label is recounted here. And that’s probably the most that can be done with such a label. This is a narrative, written as a subjective personal account, but recalling plenty of episodes, names, facts, anecdotes, quotes, figures and attitudes, as de Waard seems to exhaust his memory, ending with a kind of precious oral history of Staalplaat. He also interviews Geert-Jan Hobljn, whose genius clearly emerges from the stories. Including unpublished personal pictures, this becomes unmissable (if not so easy) reading.