Shifts

Real Name:
Frans de Waard
Profile:
Shifts was a Frans de Waard’s solo project, started in 1995 to explore the depths of ‘guitar ambient’ music. In the mid-nineties Waard was frequently communicating with Richo Johnson of Fourth Dimension Records, who specialized in noise and loud guitar music, and eventually decided to make some music in the similar manner. He recorded a short improvisation on electric guitar with some effects, and then slowed it down via tape manipulations on 4-track recorder to create a longer piece. (This debut work was released only five years later, on limited edition Equal / Unequal 10"). A few shorter pieces were soon recorded and released by Frans through his own Korm Plastics label.

Without any skills of playing a guitar, Frans de Waard soon borrowed a tiny motorized device from Freek Kinkelaar (his partner in Beequeen) and repurposed it to mechanically play the strings on acoustic and electric guitars – in the manner somewhat similar to famous machine guitars of Remko Scha. Guitar sounds were further processed with various effects and layered on tape to produce a denser, textured noise ambient. The majority of tracks were based around Waard playing guitar himself, but a few pieces explored additional possibilities: on The Absent Guitarist 7" he treated and processed Roel Meelkop playing a guitar, while Love One 7" and Love Two (7" lathe cut) were created as plunderphonics experiment with guitars sampled from well-known bands. Two albums were recorded without guitars at all: Sonates & Interlude 10" on piano and One Piece For Cymbal CD-R with a single cymbal.

Even though it was always intended as a studio-only project, in 1998 Frans de Waard agreed to present Shifts material in concert. Several live performances were organized, most notably an improvised set with Zoviet France on MS Stubnitz moored in Stockholm. He also played at Extrapool in Aug 1998 and participated in (k-raa-k)³ Festival '99 at Democrazy, Gent.

In the late nineties and early 2000s, Shifts released three CD albums, several CD-Rs and limited vinyl editions through acclaimed European, American and Japanese independent labels, such as Meme, (K-RAA-K)³, BOXmedia, ERS, etc. The initial phase of the project was concluded with an epic 2xCD remix project, which contained Shifts source records recycled by Vidna Obmana and Asmus Tietchens. A couple years later, Shifts was revived with Vertonen cycle. Original seven tracks, recorded back in 1995 for a cancelled album on Freedom From label, were reworked on computer by Frans de Waard who shifted very far from a source guitar sound. These compositions were published on Vertonen 1 To 7 CD-R by Norwegian label Humbug. From 2004 to '07, he continued making new Vertonen tracks (most of them – by recycling previous Shifts recordings), ranging from full-length albums to shorter pieces. They were released on Public Eyesore, Verato Project, Beta-lactam Ring Records, The Locus Of Assemblage, and other experimental labels in UK, Europe and USA.

In 2004, Frans de Waard recorded three final pieces for Shifts project, all created on a 4-string Spanish guitar purchased for 1 euro. They were released on Branches (2006) mini CD-R by French label taâlem, and a limited edition Trees / Leaves LP on British label Entr'acte. In November 2013, a complete Vertonen cycle (consisting of 22 tracks) was published online via KormDigitaal, and soon after most Shifts albums were reissued in digital format. Lost and forgotten demo tracks from 1997 were rediscovered and released on a limited edition Fade (in) cassette by Maneki Neko Tapes in 2015.
Aliases:

Albums

Shifts - Pangæa album art Shifts Pangæa (Album) Elsie & Jack Recordings US 1998 Sell This Version
meme006CD Shifts - Seven Dots album art Shifts Seven Dots(CD, Album) Meme meme006CD Japan 1998 Sell This Version
kp 8298 Shifts - Leaving album art Shifts Leaving(Lathe, LP, Ltd, Cle) Korm Plastics kp 8298 Netherlands 1998 Sell This Version
Bake Records 017 Shifts - Two Dates album art Shifts Two Dates(CDr) Bake Records Bake Records 017 Netherlands 1999 Sell This Version
k015 Shifts - Mechanica album art Shifts Mechanica(CD, Album, Ltd) (K-RAA-K)³ k015 Belgium 1999 Sell This Version
Shifts - Afterthought album art Shifts Afterthought (Album) MSBR Records Japan 2000 Sell This Version
ERS 12/05 Shifts - Eight Line album art Shifts Eight Line(LP, Ltd) ERS ERS 12/05 Netherlands 2000 Sell This Version
none Shifts - 7 Monochromes album art Shifts 7 Monochromes(CDr) Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers none UK 2000 Sell This Version
BR 022 Shifts - One Piece For Cymbal album art Shifts One Piece For Cymbal(CDr, Album, Ltd) Bastet Recordings BR 022 Germany 2000 Sell This Version
Public Eyesore Number 82 Shifts - Vertonen  9 album art Shifts Vertonen 9(CDr) Public Eyesore Public Eyesore Number 82 US 2004 Sell This Version
verazität 022 Shifts - Vertonen 10 album art Shifts Vertonen 10(CDr) Verato Project verazität 022 Germany 2004 Sell This Version
Lac03 Shifts - Vertonen 13 album art Shifts Vertonen 13(Acetate, LP, Ltd) Beta-lactam Ring Records Lac03 US 2004 Sell This Version
CRCD 115 Shifts - Vertonen 17 / Six Layers To A Masquerade album art Shifts / Vertonen Shifts / Vertonen - Vertonen 17 / Six Layers To A Masquerade(CDr) Cohort Records CRCD 115 US 2005 Sell This Version
E43 Shifts - Trees / Leaves album art Shifts Trees / Leaves(LP) Entr'acte E43 UK 2007 Sell This Version
MN007T Shifts - Fade (in) album art Shifts Fade (in)(Cass, Album, Ltd, C60) Maneki Neko Tapes MN007T Germany 2015 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

kp 6496 Shifts - No Go Area album art Shifts No Go Area(7") Korm Plastics kp 6496 Netherlands 1996 Sell This Version
KP 6997 Shifts - Superimposed album art Shifts Superimposed(7") Korm Plastics KP 6997 Netherlands 1997 Sell This Version
kp 6797 Shifts - Near album art Shifts Near(Lathe, 7", Ltd, Num) Korm Plastics kp 6797 Netherlands 1997 Sell This Version
kp 7698 Shifts - Grond / Shore album art Shifts Grond / Shore(7", Ltd) Korm Plastics kp 7698 Netherlands 1998 Sell This Version
KP 8198 Shifts - Sonates & Interlude album art Shifts Sonates & Interlude(10", Ltd) Korm Plastics KP 8198 Netherlands 1998 Sell This Version
kp 8899 Shifts - Love One album art Shifts Love One(7") Korm Plastics kp 8899 Netherlands 1999 Sell This Version
kp 8698 Shifts - The Absent Guitarist album art Shifts The Absent Guitarist(7", Ltd) Korm Plastics kp 8698 Netherlands 1999 Sell This Version
FDTEN59 Shifts - Equal / Unequal album art Shifts Equal / Unequal(10", Ltd, W/Lbl) Fourth Dimension Records FDTEN59 UK 2000 Sell This Version
kp 9202 Shifts - Love Two album art Shifts Love Two(Lathe, 7", Ltd) Korm Plastics kp 9202 Netherlands 2002 Sell This Version
mass14 Shifts - Vertonen 15 album art Shifts Vertonen 15(CDr, Mini, Ltd, Num) The Locus Of Assemblage mass14 UK 2004 Sell This Version