Funkstörung – Funkstörung

In the 90’s I discovered Funkstörung , the first track was a remix for Wu tang clan, which I thought was amazing. Turns out they made a whole lot of excellent remixes.
One of my all time favourite tracks being A Guy Called Gerald – Humanity (Funkstörung Remiks).

It was Funkstörung and acts like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin who got me into experimental electronic music. Then Plaid, Boards of Canada and Autechre followed. And many more,
I was happy to hear Funkstörung made another album. On Monkeytown records this time.

I might not be as forward thinking as it once was, and it’s a bit more laidback to my ears. But it’s a very nice album. Lot’s of subtle background sounds but less dense then before. Loads of room between the sounds which is always nice. Favourite tracks are Drown in Time, Killers and All the things. Solid release and hopefully they will not wait another 10 years for another album.

Dividend in 2015

Well 2015 has generated the dividend revenue you can see in the table below. It has been the first year where I am trying to build a portfolio around dividend income. It’s has been a learning experience and for this year I have to look harder at the price I am willing to pay for a certain stock, making it yield a bigger dividend percentage wise.

The market has been down a lot in the first few weeks and this move down is a nice start to being able to buy at a lower level.

I really like the research that goes into selecting the stocks. The main goal is to be better at this.

The dividends without tax, in Euro are :

18-12-2015 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EUR 42,99
15-12-2015 COCA-COLA COMPANY EUR 3,30
10-12-2015 EMERSON ELECTRIC EUR 4,75
10-12-2015 MICROSOFT EUR 3,60
09-12-2015 UNILEVER EUR 3,02
12-11-2015 APPLE INC. EUR 4,42
26-10-2015 GENERAL ELECTRIC EUR 1,95
15-10-2015 W.P. CAREY INC. REIT EUR 8,12
1-10-2015 COCA-COLA COMPANY EUR 2,80
21-9-2015 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EUR 42,27
10-9-2015 MICROSOFT EUR 2,63
9-9-2015 UNILEVER EUR 1,51
13-8-2015 APPLE INC. EUR 4,42
22-6-2015 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EUR 41,95
14-5-2015 APPLE INC. EUR 4,42
20-3-2015 ROYAL DUTCH SHELL EUR 8,66
12-2-2015 APPLE INC. EUR 1,32

Total EUR 197,56

Favourite labels – Bloody fist records

When I first got into music around the time Hip-hop was pretty big, and besides that the first wave of house music was there, and at some point the styles began to shift. One one hand there was the mellow sound, more house/club style music. And the harder stuff, originated from the harder Techno records. This developed very fast in a very unique sound originating from The Netherlands. Starting out of Rotterdam, the Gabber sound, later dubbed hardcore, was becoming popular fast.

The fast, aggressive sound was right up my ally, so I started buying records from labels such as Ruffneck, PCP (which was one of the best labels in my opinion, more on this later), Rotterdam records, Mokum records, etc etc later I really got into the Italian stuff and Industrial strength records.

One day It was a bit busy and I started to browse in some of the more obscure corners of the shop, and found this section of bloody fist records. I got a few out and waited for one of the turntables. I really wasn’t into the terror style as to my idea most of them just pushed up the tempo with not much else. This was different, loads of cool samples, breakbeats and crazy sounds.
The records all sounded nice and gritty as well. Tracks like Shaftman and later 21% by Template where a more experimental view on Gabber. Most records had became more party oriented and based around a build up. Less experimentation and more formula. Which made it boring, at least for me. Bloody fist records was the first label I checked out that offered more experimentation. Off course they were around since the early nineties as well, I just was late.

Most of the earlier releases I missed, but I got hold of a few later on. The label stopped in 2004 , just a few years after I discovered it. It triggered a search for more experimental gabber besides other more experimental music I was getting into. It also made me record more music myself which was a good thing as well. The Bloody fist website is still there and be sure to check the Discogs website for all the releases, most of them are on youtube, be sure to check it out.

Northern Monkeys by William Routledge

William Routledge has done an excellent job with his book Northern Monkeys. If your into music, fashion and the evolution of youth culture this is your book.

It’s about the different styles in music , fashion and trends that swept across Great Britain from the 60’s right up to the 90’s. And the underlining cement is the Football terrace. But it’s not a hooligan memoir. So everybody who’s expecting a season by season tail of violence better leave this book alone.

It’s way better than that. The story’s will ring a familiar bell with everyone who has lived in those days and discovering new music , cloths or went to their first rave or concert. Remember this was the pre internet era, when you someone had new music from let’s say New York or Belgium even , you couldn’t look the artist or label up and place an order in a web shop. If you were lucky, you got the phone number or location of the record store and you could travel there. If it was in a city nearby that is.

Or if you saw some new brand polo or jacket you had figure out where they got it. And most didn’t tell you when asked.

This discovery, search and excitement of the adventures surrounding all these encounters told by various people are a lot of fun to read. I have had the book for a while now but once I started I couldn’t put it done.

This is truly one of the best books on British youth cultures I have read so far. Hats off to William for making this book happen.


Chemical waste

The whole world applauded the Paris environmental treaty. Which mostly covered the restriction of the fossil fuels. This all to prevent the rise temperature worldwide. Good work on all fronts. Everybody happy, mostly because everything that has been agreed can be easily outmanoeuvred. Simply because you can travel the world with all the carbon emission rights and buy or sell any paper deficit or surplus you might have. As with all matters which nobody really cares about. It’s near impossible to check.

Same thing with waste. Mountains of waste. And these massive amounts of waste is a more pressing problem at the moment I think. Since a very large part of the industrial waste is simply dumped around the world, where it should be disposed of in the proper way. And on paper it most likely is, at least when people are able to track it and check it. There is a massive waste trade around the globe. And hopefully somewhere someone is doing the right thing and getting rid of it the way it’s supposed to at the end of it all. Well that assumption is wrong.

I had read about the illegal dumping of loads of industrial waste in Italy in the book Gomorra by Robert Saviano. And in some articles in newspapers and magazines over the years. Last week I watched a documentary on 2doc a Dutch documentary about these illegal dumps. they used to dump it and dump tons of clean soil on top. The dumping nowadays is done by orchestrating fires , and once the fire is burning the chemical waste is dumped on the fire. This produces toxic fumes. And a lot of the toxic materials end up in the bottom due to the rain and the water used by the fire department when extinguishing the fire.

This has resulted in extreme levels of heavy metals and other toxic materials in the fruits and vegetables that farmers grow on the lands surrounding all these illegal dump sites. It has caused variations of cancer which you normally come across with elderly people , now people as young as a couple of months have been diagnosed with these types of cancer.

More shockingly the money to clean up this mess, paid for by among others the European tax payers , ended up in the pockets of the criminals that dumped it their in the first place, cleaning absolutely nothing. All this has never been checked , although there was a nice piece of paper outlining all the parameters of the cleaning. But nobody cares after the ink is dry. And in the statistics it’s probably marked as clean again. In the meantime everything stays the same. And nobody wakes up.

The documentary (in Dutch). De gifcirkel

Strange China markets and debt

It has been a strange beginning of the new year in the financial markets. China crashed a bit, and then the trading was suspended. And it happened again. Then as quick as the rule was implemented. It was withdrawn again.

The worries about the Chinese economy, and with that the rest of the world maybe justified. I don’t know. What I do know is a lot of the trading in China is more gambling than anything else. A lot of people borrow money to speculate rather then invest. And if the market doesn’t go your way the need to sell fast is much higher with borrowed money. So it may not even be a problem of the ‘real’ economy but more a problem of gambling with borrowed money. But it could mean a debt problem in the near future. Which will slow the ‘real’ economy.

Debt in all forms is bad, in my opinion. If you can’t afford something, simply don’t buy it. The only exception being to buy a house. And even then it’s very much advisable not to overspend on a house.

A lot of people are always talking about the beauty of compounding interest. Well buy simply paying off all your debt , you will save a lot of money on interest payments which you can then save or allocate to other useful goals. It creates space in your monthly budget. If you have debt and are thinking about investing in any shape way or form. Just keep it simple and start by paying off your debt. It might sound boring but it works like nothing else.

Portfolio news – December additions

So it’s December again, end of the year and the last stocks I bought this year. Rocky markets all round with declining commodities , nervous currencies and bond issues. Hopefully I have managed to select a few nice stocks. I am also researching alternative energy company’s away from the oil, gas sector. Which has not been easy, most don’t pay dividends yet and are heavily indebted. So this is something to work on more in the next few months. I also want to invest more in technology and engineering. Any helpful insight will be much appreciated.

Ok back on topic, what did I add to the Portfolio. New to the portfolio are Accell, Whole foods and Disney.

An interesting addition is Accell which is a Dutch bicycle manufacturer, a steady growing business , especially the e-bikes, which allow older people to still enjoy long distance bike tours. More importantly there may be a nice future for longer distance commuting using the battery packs and the electric power to ease the bike ride. So you don’t need to take a shower upon arrival at the office. If everyone does this the Paris eco agreement goals are easily obtainable.

I personally like bikes very much, I don’t own a e bike since I have sufficient condition to take longer rides and since being fit is the new wealth I can only see this business grow. The products are of great quality and the sale numbers are solid. They also pay out a bit of dividend, not a lot percentage wise , but I think the dividend will grow along with the business.

Disney is something I had set my eyes on for some time. It’s maybe a bit expensive , but it has come down somewhat from the 120 dollar per share earlier this year. Having seen the new Star Wars film I am sure they will generate a lot of business from this franchise. They also have been paying dividend for a long time. I think this will be around the 120 again soon. And hopefully they will rise the dividend payment.

Last addition this month is whole foods. They say they are the healthiest supermarket in the US, well a lot healthier than others I have visited and they are building more supermarkets in area’s where fresh vegetables and fruits, and all other healthier foods are not available. And have programs for sustainable fishing growing etc. This is a very good thing, so this purchase has been done more from the fact I like their view of things than anything else. They do pay out dividend and I think they will raise this in 2016. It’s a bit expensive now but as with everything, it’s all for the long term. Hopefully lot’s of people will see the benefits of healthy food.

Star wars – the force awakens

As a Star wars fan, this was a no brainer. So on the second day of the release we managed to get tickets and go to the cinema.

I really liked the movie, it all feels very old school, and got me hooked from the first minute. Everything was done very well and although the story is far from complex , It didn’t bother me at all. Just loved the ride. Well just go and see this one ! Simply not much more to say about it.

star wars the force awakens