Ellende started off in the 1990's without a specific name. The name Ellende ('misery' in Dutch and Afrikaans) has been used only recently (It is quite difficult to operate without a name). Most of the concepts for the releases are based on the writings of Wim Bontjes. Of the 5 founding members 2 have died (Wim died in 1995). Ellende as a concept is based on the remaining members working together with other people the founding members do not know. The base for communications is Tokyo.