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Boomkat Product Review:
**Limited LP, includes insert** "This LP covers the works of Rob Van Wijngaarden with one Side covering his solo-works as Rob Van (dropping his last name as no one seemed to ever write his last name correctly) and one side with his band-projects Mental, Heavy Mental which he released on his own Tape-Label called Mental Cassettes. In addition Side B will also contain a Collaboration-track with Ruud Kluivers. Side A is covering the Tape he released on the famous Ptose Label PPP (Ptose Production Présente). in 1981 Ptose asked them to supply 25 minutes for a split-Tape- Release with french Les Chats. On this recording, Rob created captivating Low-like minimal synth instrumentals. Recording sound on sound, always using the first take for each new layer, he created series of dark moody melodic pieces that found their inspiration in Bowie’s Low and with the diy attitude of punk. Side B captivates the highlights of the short lived career of Heavy Mental and Mental. Heavy Mental was founded somewhere in 1980 when the Dutch post-punk label Plurex announced a compilation EP (17 to 7 on 33) on which every contributing artist payed for each contributed minute and received an amount of the released records in return. Rob bought 3 minutes and needed a band to fill these 3 minutes, so he asked a friend who owned a guitar and he bought a synthesizer (Korg MS-20) and a tape deck (Revox A 77, because Eno mentioned it on his Discreet music album). The band played several gigs (amongst them a supporting slot for the Bush Tetras) in several incarnations. Later, in their final incarnation the name was changed to just Mental playing with two guitars (Hans and Jacob) no bass and one pre recorded rhythm-box and synthesizer played by Rob. Finally they found their voice: a grunge-like wall of guitars on top of an industrial sort of bass, one-chord songs, typically no verse-chorus structures. They were at their best on the stage being very provocative to the audience and living from Robs improvising in lyrics by reciting and using solgans ending in the audience to even throw tomatoes and fruits at them. A feeling for these live-performances can be heard on the live-track ‘Charles Manson'. This song and several others leading to this special moment is the subject of this album. There are many tales concerning the Dutch Post Punk movement. Most are probably more captivating than this one. Mental lived far from the Ultra's magical center Amsterdam. Yet their experiences were just as intense. Most of these Studio and Live-recordings were released in his label Mental Cassettes which released 7 Tapes during 1980 and 1982 incl two Tapes by the Young Lions. Back in the early 80's many musicians all over the world traded their tapes through a lively network. Most of these connections started through the Throbbing Gristle's IR-newsletter (by mail!) that published snail-mail addresses of musicians they found interesting. Rob was part of this scene. At first he made one-offs (whatever he recorded that day was sent to the person who wrote him that day. One of these extremely rare tapes was found by VOD and is now part of this album. Later the tapes were given a cover and a catalogue number, but still they were never really sold, only traded with other musicians around the world. One of those Tape-Traders had been Ruud Kluivers who sent Heavy Mental their only letter when he heard the Plurex EP. He wrote that he had an MS-20 too and that he would like to jam. Ruud took the tapes home and later released them on his own nameless cassette label. One of theses collaboration-works between Rob & Ruud is also included on this nice Rob Van WIijngaarden-early-work-Retrospective.