Mazal van Arend

A slightly unorthodox jack-of-all-trades (for musicians)
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Biography

Dirk Polak         voice/accordeon


Mark Ritsema    guitar/vocals
 

Mick Ness         guitar/bass/keys/vocals
 

Peter Jessen      bass/vocals
 

Sin                    drums

 

Idan Karucci      guitars/synth/effects

Media

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From the start in 1978 of Mecano Ltd, that soon became Mecano and finally ended as Mecano Un-Ltd., it took 38 years to present the sixth album in a row: Mecano Unlimited

 

Several personnel changes throughout the years were unavoidable; the only constant factor is front man and lyricist Dirk Polak. He kicked off with guitarist Pieter Kooijman to write the first songs and prepare the first output played by a real band. They were joined by Ton Lebbink (drums), Tejo Bolten (bass) and Cor Bolten (guitar, keyboards) and became a tight vehicle with memorable stage appearances in Holland and France on the edge of the eighties. The first two albums, Entitled and Autoportrait, became well sought artefacts after the unit broke up.

 

14 years later (in 1997) Polak made an album with his long-term compadre and label mate at Torso’s, Mick Ness and chose the name Erector Set (under which Mecano is known in the USA) to continue his visual arts based upon this well-known toy and to avoid using the name Mecano, although unofficially he had the rights. The album, entitled Rebuilt wasn’t released until 2014, because of several reasons.

 

In 2004 Polak and original member Tejo Bolten made the CD Snaketales for Dragon and found a new band to recreate the material on stage. Mark Ritsema (guitar) and Reinier Rietvelt (drums), both from Spasmodique, joined, as well Idan Karucci (guitar, keys) and Sonja Rozenblum (keyboards) from the band Sophya.

 

The summer of 2006 Mecano played the Rock Wave Festival in Greece, causing an almost residential stay of Polak, Bolten and Ritsema the following years. A second CD by Polak/Bolten, Those Revolutionary Days, was released in 2006. With the material of both albums plus highlights from the Mecano heydays, a small tour took them from Athens to Thessaloniki and Brest (France) before blown up for the second time. Bolten and Polak parted.

 

Polak and Ritsema started Polar Twins, in the first place performing as a duo but finally recording an album with a band, Wee Small Hours at Swansneck, for the highly sophisticated Tonefloat label. An invitation to play Tel Aviv in 2013 brought the third Mecano incarnation, from now on called Mecano Un-Ltd. Polak, Ritsema, Karucci and Rozenblum were joined by Peter Jessen (bass) and Sin (drums). An international outfit with Dutch, Israeli, half Danish and Croatian members.

 

The show at the Barby in Tel Aviv was a blast. De Melkweg (Grauzone Festival) and Paradiso in Amsterdam followed as well as Rotterdam (Rotown), before there was an ogled threat of hibernation. Sophya parted and went back home, Ritsema re-set Spasmodique, as a professional drummer Sin went on playing with all kinds of phenomena, celebrities and core while Polak wrote a surreallistic novel called Suicity.

 

From that moment on Polak and Ness re-united and decided to make an album, mainly based upon their friendship and some experience. The result, Mecano Unlimited, took them one and a half year and brought them endless hours of joy, to counter daily life properly! Mick mainly played, produced and mixed while Dirk wrote, sang and restored, in co-operation with Troy Jay, the old familiar style of the first records with his paintings on the sleeve, notes and lyrics on the inner-sleeve. Reinier Rietvelt mastered the sound and Charles Beterams’ Tonefloat made it happen together with Mecano’s Out of Print Records and some fine supporters, to release the album as decent as possible.

 

A forth incarnation prepared to play the new material life for a new world wide tour. Next to all sorts of Dutch stages, in 2017 they played again for the fans in Tel Aviv. In 2018 they performed at a sold-out Death Disco in Athens. And the tour continues.

Tour Dates

2017    Oct 6

International

National

2017    June 3

Paradox

Wavefest III

Gebr. de Nobel 

Melkweg

Patronaat

EXTRAPOOL

WORM

Paradiso

Mega Record Fair

Concerto

Tilburg

Rotterdam

Leiden

Amsterdam

Haarlem

Nijmegen

Rotterdam

Amsterdam

Utrecht

Amsterdam

Decadence Club

Death Disco

Abraham Hostel

Barby

Dimona (ISR)

Athens (EL)

Tel Aviv (ISR)

Tel Aviv (ISR)

Dimona Theatre

Dimona (ISR)

Melkweg

Amsterdam

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