Jan 23, 2013
In 1972 Belgian poets Nic van Bruggen and Patrick Conrad founded Pink Poets, a group of mainly artists from Antwerp that shared a love for quality restaurants and alcohol. In 1973 Conrad recorded Gelukkig als in het bijzijn van een vrouw with roots man Roland van Campenhout and two session musicians. The record is one of the very few psychedelic treasures in Belgium. Pressed on 300 copies and most of them vanished, it became a true collector’s item for psych heads and poetry lovers. Not only does it represent a crucial period in Conrad’s oeuvre, it is also a truly unique cross media collaboration of its time. We hear Conrad reading his poems through an echo chamber, backed up and interspersed with improvised hippyesque folk and effect experiments. On the cover we see Conrad the dandy posing next to a sculpture by Charles Albert Szukalski, the inside of the gatefold sports the poems against a background of opium smokers. This reissue comes with an elaborate essay on the work and a reproduction of the poster of the live presentation at gallery De Zwarte Panter in Antwerp in the same year.