Frozen Ducks - Frozen Ducks LP
Frozen Ducks were the two brothers Hans Grauwen and Lex Grauwen. The short-lived duo had Hans doing vocals, and Lex playing synths and doing the production of the tracks. The 9 electro / new wave songs sound a lot like the Tranquil Eyes “Walks” album (OS15) and this release can in many ways be seen as the accompanying release to the Walks album. In fact: the Tranquil Eyes song 'Television' started out as a Frozen Ducks track. The line-up of the bands is almost the same, the bass and the overall production is just as deep, rich and poignant; only this time the drum patterns are more apparent and the atmosphere is much darker with lyrics about a troubling childhood and a vague view on what the future will bring.
During the mid-eighties Hans & Lex recorded well over 50 tracks of early electro / new wave for Frozen Ducks, about 15 could be rescued and remastered. Beginnings and Lost Freedom were released on the legendary Dutch experimental compilations Contactdisc 4 and Contactdisc 5. Which included bands like X-Ray Pop, Twilight Ritual, Tranquil Eyes, Kapotte Muziek, De Fabriek. All other tracks on this album are previously unreleased and come from the vaults of Lex Grauwen. With much dedication and joy these tracks have been unearthed and compiled into this posthumous album. A true pleasure to listen to and a must for every minimal synth, new wave and lo-fi Italo disco fan.
Some words by Lex Grauwen:
Even though Hans and me had been recording since 1970, things didn't really start out until 1980, when the 'Korg MS-20' synthesizer entered my living-room. A living-room that would soon turn into a studio. A 'MFB 501' drummachine was added, an 'Electro Harmonix Instant Replay' sampler, bucket-brigade delays, chorus, flanger, phaser, reel2reel recorders, cassette-decks, a ‘Portastudio’ and of course guitars,bass, sitar, percussion. The tracks made were usually not destined to be 'Tranquil Eyes', 'Frozen Ducks’ or ‘ Cheiron . This usually depended on who came by and who was in the mood to sing.
Hans was a steady visitor, who lived close by, so, he did a lot of the singing. I played all the instruments, often helped by friends such as Ruud Braumuller, and did the production. Not everything Hans and I recorded fell into the line of 'Frozen Ducks’. We did different styles as well. Hans could do a fine falsetto too, so we recorded some tracks leaning more towards 1960's psychedelia. That project was named 'Lemon Dust’ and is all unreleased. So, throughout the 80's and 90's we kept buying lots of equipment, recorded and re-recorded our material, until it slowly came to a halt. Of course there had been the 'Contact Disc' releases, but there never was any feedback, no reviews, nothing.
Hans's health was failing in 2003-2004 just after he had started recording with Lex again. Then, in July 2004, he died, quite suddenly. He never knew there was any interest in his music. It wasn't until 2005 when I got contacted through the Internet about possible re-releases. Soon after that Ruud Braumuller, a close friend since 1984, and Lex started working on the tapes. First 'Walks' by 'Tranquil Eyes' was finished, then we did 'Frozen Ducks’, and there's more to come. Paul Oosterbaan of 'Tranquil Eyes’ and i have teamed up again, and we’re working on a new album.
'Frozen Ducks' was never a band as such, they never performed. Hans was not the kind of guy to be on stage. Way too shy, introverted, troubled and burdened. The lyrics say it all I guess.
A1 Green Train
A3 Lost Freedom
A4 The Past
B1 Why Don't You See Me
B3 School Room
B4 Walk Down The Lane
B5 Kill Them All
° Music by Hans Grauwen and Lex Grauwen
° Mastered by Ruud Braumuller
° Edition of 500 copies
° Double-sided innersleeve