Following 2012’s collaboration with Dirk Polak (when we released the Polar Twins album he recorded with Mark Ritsema) we are proud to once again welcome aboard the enigmatic Dirk Polak with a brand new Mecano Unlimited studio album, their sixth in nearly forty years.
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 a 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 as Sophya (Idan Karutchi-guitar, keys and Sonja Rozenblum-keyboards).
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 Unlimited. Polak, Ritsema, Karutchi and Rozenblum were joint by Peter Jessen (bass) and Sin (drums). An international outfit with Dutch, Israeli, half Danish and Craoatian 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 (Ro-town), 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 in kinda joint venture with Mecano’s Out of Print Records and some fine supporters, to release the album as decent as possible.
Meanwhile, Mick participates in a new band called ‘Stakbabber’ while Dirk is translating Suicity to English. A forth incarnation is preparing to play the new material life, added with some classics, though less. Mecano Unlimited in 2016 is Sin, Mark Ritsema, Peter Jessen, Mick Ness, Dirk Polak and occasionally Idan Karutchi. They roll once more!