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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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Slab!

I thought this would be a cool post to make.

It has nothing to do with Slackware – or computers – at all. It is about my past as a musical “junkie”. Before computers became the rage, and when there was no Internet, I spent a lot of time and money on my main hobby which was music.

My musical taste was definitely not mainstream, and I should really write some more about it someday. But for the purpose of this post, it suffices to say that I visited the local “pop temple” a lot. Eindhoven’s Effenaar was well-known in the indie circuit (and still is, although it’s targeted audience has changed quite a bit). I have seen so many bands there in the 80′s and 90′s that I lost count of them (not to mention it was less than healthy for the condition of my hearing). One of the bands I saw there, early 1988, was Slab! I was used to a lot but their concert blew me off my shoes. The sound was vicious and the bass guitar sounded simply amazing. I had bought a vinyl album before the show (Descension) and was fascinated by it. But the live experience was so much better!

After the concert, it appeared to me like no new material was released by the band. I assumed they had dissolved and I kept playing that old album from time to time (when no one else was in the room – the Slab! sound is quite dominating). Now that we have arrived in the age of computers I started looking for more information on the Internet about Slab! at irregular intervals, and I was very surprised to actually see some signs of life.

A blog site (Unfit for Print) wrote an article on Slab! in mid-2007, some of the former band members found out about it, a lively discussion started and the result was that two of the Slab! band members actually dug up their unfinished recordings and took these into the studio to work on a new album. This was 19 years after they sort of decided to discontinue the Slab! adventure. The new Slab! homepage has more information about what they are up to. The blog as well as the Slab! homepage made it clear that the Slab! discography was larger than I had originally thought. Some of it can be found on the internet in mp3 format now (even the Slab! members no longer had possession of some of their old material), like the Peel Session they recorded and their “Music from the iron lung” and”Sanity allergy” albums. I am afraid I will have to digitize the crackling Descension vinyl myself, because there is no digital version of this to be found. I think it is the best album they made and really need to have a digital version now that my old turntable is no longer hooked up to the stereo.

Somebody was friendly enough to digitize old tapes of Slab! live recordings and posted them to YouTube. Here is one – keep in mind that this was 20 years ago:

I am in anticipation of what they are cooking up in 2008!

Eric

Comments

Comment from stephen dray
Posted: September 22, 2008 at 19:02

A legendary gig! Somewhere we have a cassette of it. Myself, Paul Jarvis and Dave Morris have quite badly affected hearing in our right ears after one of the sidefills fed back during the soundcheck…. we were blisteringly loud… but that feedback was incredible!!!
I always remember Eindhoven as a particularly brutal gig… probably the best of that tour… we played some of Descension and Ballard of the Dullard fromthe last Peel session…
I’ve always wanted to find someone who saw that gig…as we were pretty formidable that night….

thanks for the kind comments

regards

stephen dray

Comment from stephen dray
Posted: September 22, 2008 at 23:36

Descension was re-released in America on CD in1999 by Relapse records… you can probably still get old copies on Amazon or Ebay…

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 23, 2008 at 01:00

Hi Stephen

Thanks for visiting my blog, and even more for leaving a wicked comment :-) Try to visit Eindhoven again (or at least Holland) when/if you do a new tour.

It would be awesome if you will someday have the time, and possibility, to digitize that cassette you own. The poor old tape’s distortion will undoubtedly add to the experience!

Hope you’re having some good fun in and out of the studio, and I will start looking for Relapse on Amazon. Nice tip.

Cheers, Eric

Comment from alienbob
Posted: November 25, 2009 at 16:01

An update for those who find this blog through he Internet:
Stephen has his own “Darker than deep space” blog at http://themosesman.blogspot.com/ Added there are download links to some of his own and Slab’s stuff. Check it out!

Eric

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