5 QUESTIONS WITH* Jorn Konijn
5 QUESTIONS WITH* Jorn Konijn
Hi Jorn ! For those who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself a little bit ?
I was born in Hoorn, The Netherlands in 1977 and I studied both cinema and architecture. Apart from my interest in films and buildings I always had a strong interest in music. First disco and house, then hiphop and later anything apart from mainstream.
I started dj-ing when I was young, around 14 then gave up for some time. I returned to dj-ing around the age of 30, with the start of online radiostation Red Light Radio where I am a resident dj. Apart from that I curate exhibitions, write about architecture and design and teach at the art school in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
“The story kept with me for some time, but after various attempts of reaching her, I gave up. Alice Vermeulen remained a mystery.”
It seems you have a special bound with Brasil, how come ?
I first stated going to Brazil in 2003 and ever since coming back each year about 3 to 4 times. I feel in love with the country, the people and most of all the music. I have been digging and collecting Brazilian music ever since. Out of these visits arrived some work, mostly curating exhibitions but also side projects, like writing the book on Gang 90 e As Absurdettes.
Can you tell us more about this book ?
I more or less stumbled upon this record, Essa Tal de Gang 90 E As Absurdettes and - as I always do - check the credits who made it. There was one name that stood out: Alice Vermeulen, a very typical Dutch name. I was immediately intrigued to find out more. The little info I find on her on the internet was at best confusing. This Alice Vermeulen was a backing vocalist for U2? But she was actually Australian, born in Brisbane? And she won De Grote Prijs in 1986 but also lived in Greece? I was puzzled. I tracked her down on social media, send her various messages but don’t receive any answer back. The story kept with me for some time, but after various attempts of reaching her, I gave up. Alice Vermeulen remained a mystery. Almost a year later, I finally received an answer back from her that she would be happy to talk about her crazy life in Brazil. Then she told me this Searching-for-sugarman-like story, which completely blew my mind. I made a podcast about her life which was picked up by Brazilian publishing house Cobogo, who asked me to write a book about the story.
“I feel in love with the country, the people and most of all the music. I have been digging and collecting Brazilian music ever since.”
There is also a forthcoming 7 inch of Gang 90 E As Absurdettes called « demo 1982 » out this month. Is this part of your book project ?
Yes, there is. Nada Nada discos did this really great 7 inch of three unknown demo’s of the band, which were found in the research by the former guitarist of the band, Miguel Barella. Customers can buy the book and vinyl in a package. Really nice works I think.
Last question but not least… Do you know the story behind the band’s name ?!
Julio Barroso, the originator of the band, was crazy about Kid Creole & the Cocounts and Gang 90 was very much modelled after that band. One lead singer (Julio), surrounded by all these beautiful women, so it should have been Julio and the Absurdettes. However, Julio was also crazy about the British new wave band Gang of Four, and what he liked about a gang was that it was not a very clear cut collective of a band, but that everybody could join in if they wanted. Lastely, he wanted their music to sound super futuristic, music from at least a decade later… from the 90s… That’s how the band name Gang 90 & as Absurdettes was constructed.
Thank you Jorn !
Gang 90 E As Absurdettes
Julio in New-York
julio djing in the club paulicea desverada
“Gang 90 & Absurdettes” by Jorn Konijn ed. Cobogó