Achwgha Ney Wodei
NO! Achwghâ Ney Wodei (ANW) is not a Bourbonese Qualk side project. ANW was a real art-band.
Its saga starts in 1983 when members François Boitière, Didier ‘Higgins’ Copp, Eric ‘Riton’ Sterenfeld and Phillippe ‘Wodi’ Royer create their own peculiar genre: Razz! Influenced by the likes of Jacques Tati, Blurt, Neu!, Les Frères Jacques, Captain Beefheart, Tex Avery soundtracks, French working class Chanson and music hall, Razz! is an unpredictable sound mass, a comedic blend of oddworldly jazz-funk, repetitive motives, binary syncopated rhythms and narrative voices. Continuously exploring new ways to express ANW’s vision, they expanded their sonic spectrum with concrete sounds. Crushed glass, toys, broken violins, metal tubes… were used and the sound palet was widened even further with the addition of non-european instruments such as the Balinese gambang, Trinidadian steel drums and the Malian balafon.
The band’s first performance in 1986 immediately set the mark for things to come. It had more in common with happenings rather than the usual rock concert. The setting, the make-up, the costumes, the absurd humour… music was just a fraction of the ANW experience.
The band’s first release arrived that same year on the V.I.S.A. label (created in 1982 by Thierry de Lavau & Yves Lecarpentier, V.I.S.A. is the acronym for Visuel, Information, Son, Archives). A limited edition cassette enclosed in a now cult plaster Citroën DS model. ANW left the listener/collector with a dilemma: Keep the car intact and the music remains a mystery, or tear the model to pieces and listen to the sounds. Needless to say this Citroën DS model instantly became a cult object. It was sold in alternative music stores, art galleries and auction houses, and the 600 copies vanished in no time. The cassette was soon followed by compositions used as backing for dance, painting and cinema, all of this while scouring the alternative music scene.
In ‘87 ANW sent its final release into the world. ‘Triptyque’ is a 3×12” produced on New International Recordings by Simon Crab. The LP box sets had handmade cover art commissioned to 10 French artists (Alfrede Stailey, Bertille Gentil, Constanza Aguire, Gut (7), I Grec, Isabelle Pechou, Isidore Pechou, La Trace, PC+T, Pierre Bismuth, R Stayle, Tonio Garcia, Xavier Veylhrn). Each canvas was first photographed and made into postcards. The canvases were then gradually disassembled by the audience selecting their favorite art fragment to accompany the record. The only time the release was seen in its entirety was at the launch party in Paris.
This brings us to Table Sports. Both releases were highly influential and life changing to our fellow crew member Hugo Mitsuhirato, and It just felt natural to invite ANW to collaborate for the second LP release of the label. It is the realisation of a dream to release ANW on vinyl for the very first time. ANW’s self titled cassette remains an important statement of musical and artistic freedom. It’s also worth mentioning that the original masters are long gone. The tracks we transferred from an original tape and then mastered. Any strange noises or trembling sounds shouldn’t be blamed on the vinyl. One last thing, the cover is handmade in true ANW fashion! Several techniques were used, ranging from stencil and silkscreen printing to licked and postmarked stamps. The cover you are currently holding and/or looking at is UNIQUE! As are the other 299. Also, you can play Scrabble with the covers. If you manage to assemble ACHWGHÂ NEY WODEI, congratulations, you hit the maximum word score.