NM033: spoelstra - i got issues the shape of italy

NM033: spoelstra – i got issues the shape of italy

format: transparent 10″ lathe cut polycarbonate (sold out)
released: january 26 2009

1.i breathe country
2.i got issues the shape of italy
3.pig in japan
4.post war germany always rings twice
5.how to run an empire
6.the south east disneyland separatist party


Narrominded presents an extremely limited (50 handmade copies worldwide) first solo outing from musical wunderkind Spoelstra, guitar player and vocalist in Boutros Bubba. This is a release in co-operation with the brand new Vloeken Tegen Bont imprint.
This is the country album. For this occasion Spoelstra strictly limited himself to the sounds of a guitar, a drum kit, a sampler and some effect pedals. This EP contains six songs, desperately trying to bring together slide guitar driven countrylicks, hectic rock, bleeping electrosounds, robotic atmospheres and the occasional sad melody here and there. Just to show that there is also a sensitive side behind all this.
To prevent any discussion about wether or not this is indeed a country album, all the songs are about souvereignty issues in the broadest sense.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpRnzTNyR80]

press downloads
hi-res image of cover
press release (english)
press release (dutch)


july 20 2009
by bob belmans

Jezelf Spoelstra noemen is een statement natuurlijk. Hij is uiteraard Nederlands, maar is met geen enkele van zijn landgenoten te vergelijken. Anouk, Ilse Delange of Kane zijn zowat het tegenovergestelde van waar Spoelstra voor staat. Zijn ‘I Got Issues the Shape of italy’ is een ep, verschenen op het Nederlandse Narrominded-label, een Nederlands label dat zich gespecialiseerd heeft in verdeling via internet, maar gaandeweg ook cd-r’s en later gewone cd’s en vinyl is beginnen te verdelen. Er bestaat dus wel degelijk een interessante beweging in Nederland, maar, zoals als dat meestal gaat in de underground, is die niet zo makkelijk te vinden.

Het loont de moeite om op zoek te gaan, want Spoelstra heeft een intrigerende plaat gemaakt. Het vereist een geoefend oor en de nodige moeite om door de slechte productie en de vele stoorzenders door te luisteren. Productie is overigens te veel gezegd want die is eigenlijk onbestaande. Spoelstra schrijft hele mooie, spannende dingen, er zijn prachtige melodieën te horen, maar die worden gecamoufleerd door heel veel gekke geluiden en een dikke laag noise. De plaat is door de Nederlander helemaal alleen gemaakt, hij heeft zelf drum en gitaar ingespeeld en ook de elektronica en de sonische experimenten met effectpedalen zijn van zijn hand.

‘I Got Issues the Shape of Italy’ is bovendien ook een themaplaat, Spoelstra noemt het zelf zijn country-plaat. Dat valt in dit geval wel erg letterlijk te nemen: de nummers refereren niet naar het muziekgenre country, maar wel gaat elk nummer over iets dat met een land te maken heeft. De titels die dit aangeven zijn allemaal foute woordspelingen: ‘Pig in Japan’, Post War Germany Always Rings Twice’ en meer van dat fraais. Het gebrek aan serieux en de instrumentale muziek doen een beetje denken aan I Love Sarah.

‘I Got Issues the Shape of Italy’ is moeilijk te beluisteren: de productie is van slechte kwaliteit en de hoes is erg lelijk; desalniettemin is het een erg spannende, smerige en bij wijlen ontroerende plaat geworden.

original article

june 2009

Well, who hasn’t. Anybody got issues, more or less serious ones. From the inability of performing at work to bad family traumas to the political situation to all kinds of nitpicking stuff that makes everyday life a fucking hell. Just look at food packaging in the supermarket and you’ll find enough reasons to go crazy right then and there – but as good citizens with education and manners we know that somehow we have to deal with it and then get on with life. I am not sure which shape mine are, for instance, or anybody’s, but Italy is as good a choice as any. Life is a bitch, and if you can get away with it, then do it. No questions and no second thoughts, and for god’s sake don’t discuss it with anyone. Nobody is interested in your story anyway.

A completely different set of issues comes in when you have been in a band for some time and then start self recording stuff that is in your head and then of course you want to get it out. The other bandmembers aren’t interested (they say it is fucking country music, but it is not.) and your label says, okay, but we’ll do a ten inch transparent lathe in a print run of 50 pieces. And you think, hell, nobody is gonna hear it, nobody is gonna write about it, what the heck am I doing that for? Or you don’t but anyway you are right in some ways and wrong in some others. Get along with it, it is just the way it is.

Speolstra is the guitar player in Boutros Bubba (whose new album is due to be reviewed in here soon enough as well) and he has laid down six tracks that mix weirdness and vision (where is the difference anyway?), jangling noise and strange rhythms, heavy drumming and original guitars, and an intrusive melody here and there. The only country-allusion is to be found in the first song, fittingly called “I breathe country”, whereas later on this EP is filled with post-futuristic synthie sounds, robo-dances, post-core fractality, electro beats and some more bad ass guitar playing. Like a mix of Shellac and The Flaming Lips without a singer. Not bad for somebody working from home alone, innit?

“Pig in Japan” stands out for being not a lot more than siren sounds layered over one another and “Post War Germany always rings twice” stands out for the songtitle and the mix of melancholic guitars with warbled effect noises. Other songtitles are as weird as those two mentioned, by the way. There is a lot in these simple twenty minutes of loner music. The most interesting thing is how easy most of it sounds, while in fact it is bursting with complexity at times and actually ruled by chaos in some ways. Maybe it is not complex, I am no musician, but it sounds warbled and like regular alternative rock kicked in the guts, so there has to be something to it. Otherwise everybody else would do it this way as well, right?

My real problem, though, is that I used the term “post-futuristic” in this review and nobody complained. What does that say about my readers? About me? About life in general and the state of the universe? Shit. Or was it, that this record has already been released in January and I guess all fifty pieces are now long gone? Well, write to narrominded and ask them for a mp3 release, if you insist.

vital weekly
june 16 2009
by dm

Dutch music label Narrominded releases records and mp3’s since 2000. Their releases cover electronics, electro-acoustic music, improvisation, indie and noiserock. With the releases by Boutras Bubba and Spoelstra we are in the noiserock and indie section. Boutros Bubba is a band consisting of musicians that have formerly played in Gone Bald, Petrified Host, Quarles van Ufford, SGP and Crowd Surfers Must Die, with Spoelstra as one of them. A tight trio of bass, guitar and drums plus vocals. They do their job very disciplined. They play a rough and straight kind of rockmusic with some interesting twists every now and then. Like the cleverly constructed “Intelligent Designer Pussy” that starts with a Naked City-like outburst of energy. It is in contrast with tracks like ‘Actor/Director’ that show rock from their dullest side. Anyway, from this music that incorporates influences from hardrock and hardcore, you should not expect too much new musical adventures. It is the performance that counts and make this music ‘new’, albeit in another sense. From that point of view Boutros Bubba’s is very up to date, enjoyable and very alive. Their ‘National Anthems’ is released in cooperation with Whosbrain Records and MOMI Recordings. In a extremely limited edition of 50 pieces Narrominded released the solorecord ‘I got Issues The Shape of Italy’ by Spoelstra. It contains 6 tracks that have Spoelstra playing guitars, drums, sampler and effects. The first piece ‘I Breathe Country’ starts with a waltz, making you think that we are dealing here with country music. But quickly enough the music completely deranges. ‘How to run an Empire’ is not only the funniest title on this record, it is also the most satisfying piece. It is a convincingly constructed piece with unusual rhythmical twists and breaks. Like on the record by Boutros Bubba, Spoelstra sells rock built from comparable ideas. In the closing track ‘The South East Disneyland Separist Party’ – a Chadbourne-like title – Spoeltra effectively de-escalates his country trip with his slowing down manoeuvres. I guess I’m too old for the rock that is contained on these two releases. The freshness of the recordings do not win from my dominating feeling that says I have heard it all so many times before. So these are for the young ones.

original article

subjectivisten – caleidoscoop
may 1 2009
by jan willem broek

Als tweede tip wil ik toch ook de extreem gelimiteerde 10″ I Got Issues The Shape Of Italy van Spoelstra meegeven. Slechts 50 exemplaren worden er beschikbaar gemaakt voor deze aardkloot. Dit is zijn countryplaat, maar niets is bedrieglijker dan dat. De thema’s zijn wellicht countryachtig te noemen, maar dan wel aangevreten door de hyena’s en gieren en overgoten met whisky. Wat er dan overblijft zijn dampende, hectische rocksongs met robotgeluiden. Dit alles is gemaakt met drums, gitaar, sampler, elektronica en effecten. Eigenwijzer en lekkerder dan dit krijg je het zelden.

original article

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