Profile: Fetisj Sound Studio – The Sound of Fetisj 1981-1982

Fetisj Sound Studio

Recording studio in the early 1980s, located in Amsterdam, Holland.

Associated with the cassette label Fetisj.

The founders and driving forces of the studio and label were Ernst Voss and Jan-Willem Vaal. Two students at the Audio Visual department of the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam who started a band as their graduation project in 1980. It resulted in their very first recording “For Neil Young” under the monnicker Necronomicon. Released on the vinyl compilation ‘Maakt De Rietveld Betere Muziek Dan Schilderijen’ by the Rietveld Academy in 1980. The band consisted of Ernst as singer and synth player aka Judy Teen and Vache. Jan-Willem on bass synth under the monicker Gerhard V. aka Young Boy Wonder.

The dance of the dark has begun

The Fetisj studio quickly became a meeting place for ambitious creative people who recorded with Ernst and Jan-Willem. Amongst them musicians like Hans van Hagen  -synths, Michiel van Garling –bass, his brother Jeroen van Garling -drums, René van Rijn and producer Bob Pieck who would introduce singers Jopie Vriend aka Jovanna and Denise Mann to record under the name Rite De Passage.

Dutch singer Richenel, of Surinamese origin would join the club of kindred spirits in the studio to add vocals to the instrumental jams. He would release his first ever album ‘La Diferencia’ with self-written songs like ‘Autumn’ on Fetisj.

Most artists of the Fetisj studio belonged to Amsterdam’s punk, squat and art school scenes who wanted to do everything themselves. According to the Ultra philospy they took control over their own music.

The Fetisj Sound Studio was located in a squat in the Jordaan in Amsterdam, many visitors kept a key to the building. Some even stayed overnight, making music all night long. Tracks and grooves were recorded, overdubbed or sometimes vocalized by ‘who-ever -passed-by’ the next day.

The equipment in the Fetisj studio consisted of those first drum-machines; Roland TB-03, Roland TR-08, Roland TR-8S and Cubase, a TEAC 6-track recorder, microphones and some other stuff. Quite a sophisticated set-up for 1981.

The sound was raw, grim, coming from untrained musicians who were experimenting with Disco, New Wave, Boogie and all styles that were regarded in the early 80s as dance-able. The Fetisj Sound became also the first mutation of electronic dance music in Amsterdam in 1981-1982. Released as limited self-made cassettes only with photocopied DIY artwork to match.

Cassettes originally released on the Fetisj label

Artist / Title / Cat # / Year

Necronomicon The Messenger Of The Dark (Cass, C46) 001 -1981

Various For There Is No Heaven (Comp) 2 versions 002 -1982

Necronomicon / Rite De Passage Sport (Cass, C46) 003 – 1982

Richenel La Diferencia (Cass, C46) 004 -1982

Electric Party Work (Cass, C46) 005 -1982

After almost 40 years ‘The Sound Of Fetisj 1982’ comes back to life. As a collection of demos and original cassette tapes from the collection of DJ Eddy De Clercq. Remastered from the original tapes and re-released on Testlab Records. As digital formats and vinyl editions in progress.

℗ + © 2021 Testlab Records

thanks to Hans van Hagen, Ernst Voss, Oscar Smit, Knekelhuis and Diggin’ Demos ‎

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