Jurriaan Andriessen – Hardware Software


Louis Andriessen, the well known anti-elitist Dutch avant garde composer, has always been boasting about the fact that he incorporates popular music in his work and that he cuts through high and low culture. But the fact is, nobody on the street would be able to wistle a Louis Andriessen tune (maybe apart from his terribly cheesy soundtrack to the forgotten incest drama “The Family” in which he set out to “correct Morricone, Mancini and Quincy Jones” according to his own liner notes!)

Now Louis Andriessen has a brother, Jurriaan, who actually did what his brother could only talk about, namely puting out records that were actually bought by regular folks.

He recorded a couple of records with electronic music that now sound pretty fresh. This one is a concept album from 1978 based on computer lingo, so every tune illustrates one such computer term as explained in detail on the back cover. The title track Hardware Software (faded out here) is by far the best one, displaying many cool vintage synthesiser figures on top of a hypnotic repetitive groove. This track really builds up to something and is perfectly suitable for spacing out.

The track Cyclic Shift shows Jurriaan’s knack for catchy tunes. Good summer seventees feel and good for wistling while riding your bike zigzagging through green fields or through the city on a car free sunday afternoon.

Entry Point is a bit more uneven, with a synthy faux reggae rhtyhm, but there are some good changes and a synth riff that reminds me of Goblin’s Claudio Simonetti.

The track that was expected to have the most hit potential (assuming so because it’s the first track on the record), is the feeble funk tune Jack, refering to the term for “plug.” The woman shouting “Jack” is almost Shaft-like in intention, but the track is lost anyway because of terrible timing. It’s so bad, you want to actually reach into the record to take over from poor unfunky Jurriaan. But it’s a nice cheesy failure, so here it is anyway.

43 Comments

  • Very cool record but the first 2 sound files seem to be labelled differently than they’re listed here (the file for the track identified as Cyclic Shift is called Entry Point & visa-versa)–thought you might want to know.

  • Thanks for noticing. I don’t know what happened there. I’m fixing it now.

  • can never get enough of these vintage synths.
    Cycleshift is quite promising and i like nice E-piano synth combi and thing i have to sample Moog/Rhodes end tone. This will be great “tuned” intrument sample. Hardware/Software comes with a really whacky vibe and this MiniMoog,Clavinett rocker has to be heard to belived.
    But “JACK” definitely hits the jackpot. Awesome
    track. I wished he had choosen a real drummer over his lousy CV/Gate rythm approach …
    Sleazecore de luxe. I have to listen to this again… great post.

  • this stuff is funny! I wish I had a bicycle and a green field.

  • Hallo Milan,
    Nice find! Much better than “Awakening Dreams”, the LP that I have of Jurriaan. He is said to be a nice guy. He must still be alive and living in or around Amstedam. Maybe he has some unreleased material? It is a miracle that this LP was ever released. I guess it sold about 13 copies?

  • Jurriaan Andriessen died in 1996 on the age of 70.
    I like his elecytonic trance-symphony album The awaking Dream very much. I’ve got the LP Hardware/software [Mint/Mint] for trade.

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