De Fabriek - “Schafttijdsamba” (1982)

When going through the used “New Arrivals” section at a shop, sometimes a pattern emerges, groups of records that seem to have come from the same collection.  It’s a bit less noticeable with more mainstream rock and pop, though you’ll still find groups of Zappa or the Stones or Yes together and think, yup, these records have been in close proximity to each other on a person’s shelves, and now in this box, for a long time, and they will soon to be spread among the seven collecting winds.  I’m more intrigued when there are interesting genre groupings, veins of punk or early new wave or soundtracks.  I find myself wondering who this person was and why the records ended up at the store.  Did they leave them at their parents house when they went off to college and the parents eventually got rid of them?  Were they moving and needed to downsize?  Did the owner die?  Or did they just lose the passion for them over time.  I’m as interested in these stories as I am in the records, but most of the time all I’m left with are the albums and my imagination.  If you’re lucky, every now and again you may find a hidden surprise in one of these used records that gives you just a sliver of insight into the owner.  I once found some  stamped postcards from Yugoslavia inside the jacket of a rock band from Sarajevo, and I imagine someone picked the album up while on vacation.  Maybe they were there for the Olympics?  I’ll never know, but it was kind of cool.

Anyway… it looks like someone with some very intriguing and specific tastes sold a collection to Easy Street Records, because they have three big crates out listed with various phrases like “industrial” and “avant garde” and “Krautrock”, and they all seem to fit the same general aesthetic.  I’ve been through them a few times now, and each visit yields something interesting I passed over last time.  This visit it was the 1982 debut album by the Dutch band De Fabriek, Schafttijdsamba.  I’m not sure what it is that attracts me to these experimental albums, but I can’t seem to help myself when I come across stuff like this.  Schafttijdsamba is definitely experimental - electronics, samples, strange random vocals.  The individual tracks manage a certain level of cohesiveness, but with strange structures.  They’re like the drawings people make on LSD - you get a sense of an underlying form in what they are trying to show, but everything is off in different directions that both make sense and don’t make sense at the same time.

As near as I can tell Schafttijdsamba has never been released on any format other than vinyl, the original pressing in 1982 and a gatefold re-release in 2018.  The good news is that you can listen to the songs on Bandcamp HERE if you want to expand your horizons a bit, and I encourage you to go check it out, especially “Spacepatrol” and “Es Lebe Die Freiheit”.