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Badminton In Tehran

by Zwerm

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Sinter 06:30
Leftovers 04:42
Cradles 05:19
Der Groove 04:43
Mabok Laut 05:16
Sotol 06:06


Zwerm has never strived for a one-sided artistic profile. During the past ten years the quartet dallied between pure noise-impro, English renaissance music and contemporary composed music. The common denominator being not so much a particular stylistic view but rather a shared curiosity, Zwerms projects typically start with the question: 'what would happen if …'
Badminton in Tehran started with the question: 'what would happen if we would worked with grooves for a few months?' After that, anything was allowed. We created an online space where each one of us could drop our personal demos, which could then be used freely by the others. Within a few months a primordial soup of beats and grooves and little snippets of text was created. And once we started the recording sessions with producer Rudy Trouvé this served as the raw material out of which 10 new songs were crafted. Badminton in Tehran is the first record in which all tracks are composed by Zwerm and it grooves like a Rube Goldberg-machine – DIY and slightly irregular.

Johannes, Toon, Kobe & Bruno about Badminton In Tehran:

A Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, sitting on a bench in a park in Tehran. Kids run on the grass in between the trees; two girls are having a conversation sitting on a bench across from us; a man and a woman are playing badminton on the path - like people do in parks.
'Badminton in Tehran?' someone suggests.
Since at this moment every second sentence we utter is potentially the name of our new record, we all know it's a title.
'Why not...'
It's a nice park. The constant noise of traffic is slightly reduced and there's more oxygen in the air. (Johannes)

What got to me the most in the captivating documentary, “Beats Of The Antonov,” is the spontaneous and natural way the local people of South Sudan were making music. There’s no stage, no separation between audience and performer - There are people and they make music. It’s this spontaneity that might have unconsciously inspired me when making “Badminton in Tehran.” A musical spontaneity without predefined concepts that, for Zwerm, feels like something new. (Toon)

It reminds me of how a former guitar teacher of mine, and avid collector of rare and bizarre instruments, once told me that whenever he's touring he'd often pass by the local guitar shop and ask the owner if he has a 'backroom' where he keeps his weird stuff. Often they do and he would complement his collection with, say, a rusty tuba mouthpiece, a jew's harp, or a stroh-violin, for example. This new Zwerm album feels like a kind of musical equivalent of this 'backroom' full of weirdness and rarities: a sinter, a saz, an old drum with torn skin, a dusty Fender Rhodes, some home made electronic devices and sound effects... The music maybe doesn't have the coherence (and predictability) you would expect from the shiny stratocasters hanging in the front window of the shop, but it grooves quite nicely. And if the word 'groovy' once meant 'having a tendency to routine', Zwerm paradoxically seems to be the least groovy band in the country... (Kobe)

“Badminton in Tehran,” rebellion at its most frivolous, light resistance on a heavy spot, der Groove or Ethio endlessness, moving along with the waves or mabok laut, let me float or let me crawl. (Bruno)


De Standaard (★★★★)
'Wat een geluid, wat een energie, wat een ideeënrijkdom. Fantastische plaat.'

HUMO (★★★★)
'This Heat, Pere Ubu, Pierre Bastien en Red Krayola zijn de sterren, maar grooves doen ook mee.'

De Morgen - 10 beste albums van de week
'Wie bands als The Ex kan smaken of, pakweg, de platen op avantgardelabel Unsounds, aarzelt niet!'

“An obvious contender for album of the year,” blokletterde The Wire in 2010 over The World’s Longest Melody, het album met muziek van Larry Polansky waar Zwerm aan meewerkte. Woorden die terug van stal gehaald mogen worden voor deze klepper.'

Dansende Beren (★★★½)
'Een knoert van een trip op die de luisteraar helemaal uit zijn dagelijkse sleur haalt. Prima oorstof dat ook bij meerdere luisterbeurten blijft intrigeren.'

Luminous Dash
'Uiterst boeiend.'


released November 30, 2018

all music written by Zwerm and arranged by Zwerm & Rudy Trouvé
all guitars, bass guitars, sinter, percussion, saz, fender rhodes, analogue synths, electronic devices, piano, tubular bells, vocals by Zwerm
all lyrics by Bruno Nelissen & wikipedia
produced by Rudy Trouvé
recorded on tape by Marc Dedecker at Studio Finster, Antwerp
Mixed by Tom Pintens at PintensPalace
artwork by Rudy Trouvé
mastered by Uwe Teuchert
Thanks to Joris Caluwaerts for some additional Fender Rhodes (track 8) and to Jeroen Stevens for the bass drums (track 4).
With the support of the Flemish Government and deSingel
Zwerm is Johannes Westendorp, Bruno Nelissen, Kobe Van Cauwenberghe & Toon Callier
copyright Time Goes By 2018


all rights reserved



Zwerm Belgium

An exciting, sometimes alienating and always quirky musical discovery you rarely get to hear.
- Goddeau​

​Obvious contender for album of the year. - The Wire

In an nonacademic way they made a fresh translation of the spirit of the experimental avant-garde. - De Standaard ​​

Zwerm has played
Concerts in the UK, Europe, Iran, Mexico and the USA
... more

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