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The Unovidual Story


Henk Wallays (aka "Unovidual") first started playing records on the alternative circuit in the pirate / free radio scene in Belgium and had his own music programm called 'Stalhwerksymgonie' (after Die Krups) on Radio Caraad, Kanegem, Belgium. This involved playing mainly electronic new wave music and he actively chased bands for demo's and interviews. Through it he came in touch with various bands and people like Polyphonic Size, Front 242, Vibo, Red Zebra, A blaze color, Neon Judgement, Chris & Cozy, Andy Oppenheimer, Attrition and a lot lesser known bands. The programm blended independant releases, electro-wave & selftape material and also contained a poetry side. Through the book "New Music discography", CLEM (Canadain Contact list for Electronic musicians), the Dutch Vinyl-magazine, adresses of bands were acquired and a lot of (independent) labels and bands were contacted for demo-tapes and records. Over the years he received quite some interesting things. The chase for electronic music also got him in touch with Peter Bonne (Micrart group) of which he later became an active (board)member. In the last part of this setup he started his own free-radio programm 'Paladium' at Aalter, Belgium, which excisted or about a year.


As he continued, he came more and more in touch/involved into the sefltape scene and met with Magisch Theater (Sandy Nys) and Absolute Body Control (Dirk Ivens). On the outcome of a meeting they founded the label "3rio tapes". Since all 3 of them had lot of contacts wordlwide they were able to compile a quite large series of International Audio Communication tapes, which were nothing less then a compilation tapes with independent a selftape material, issuing many unknown bands. During one of those meetings they also got kind of bored and wanted to test out the nex Casio synthesizer of Magisch Theater and got carie away into the action : they made a quite humoristical song called 'I hate to…' . The song was later issued under the bands name "The Maniacs". This was the sole musical cooperation between the 3 of them. Later Henk co-joined with the Micrart group and left 3rio tapes. At this moment it is surprising to read that 3rio tapes is considered to have been one of the 3 main selftape labels starting off/depicting the selftape scene. "All we did was bringing out tapes on low volume. Copying these tapes on double tape decks, with the charm of some personal end for some maybe amateuristical approach but nevertheless honest and conceptually new". On a certain moment they were in touch with over 100 people worldwide from Eastern Europe, Asia till Mid America & the States. By that time HW still carried the idea to start up his own a record label one day... going to call it 'His masters noise' and if he would have done so youn would have seen the wellknown dog with both his forefeet on his ears... if this wouldn't have banned altogether. Nevertheless .. his dream never realised.


A friend in HW class -room had a cousin playing electronic music and forwarded him a tape with contact info… with it HW came in touch with Peter Bonne from the Micrart Group. During a first visit Henk 'dared' to ask Peter how he actually made his music, then while showing how & playing live with the Roland TR808 rhythm composer and a sequencer, HW was immediatelly "sold" and realised that listening to music and discovering new groups was not going to be enough anymore. Peter awoke a feeling and as a consqequence Henk wanted to be more creative himself making his own music. Soon after this decision he started buying his first synthesizer, drumcomputer and & 4 track tape recorder. He also left the free-radio scene. Working in a restaurant while studying. Almost all the pocket money was invested into (low budget) music & studio equipment. "A wrong choice for becoming a millionaire, but a great choice when it came to constructive & enrichening experiences" he claims. In his own studio and under the name Unovidual, he first made experimental music, somewhat derived from time to time from what the old Cabaret Voltaire or Human League/Being boiled material was about. Due to his broad musical taste it was difficult to choose what to make and as such his music ranged from the hard to the rather soft & sometimes almost oriental sounding music. Influenced by Micrart's "Autumn" and some demo tapes he got by Jeff Greinke & the Nightcrawlers (in the 3 rio records period) and also loving the wide field of cosmic synthetic music he even made some 'ambient' B. Eno-alike music. The tape 'New Dimension' is a proove of that. The last tape 'Entropies' (1986) however go more into the style he adored most : electronical ryhtmic sequencing music with tape-cuts inbetween. That's the sphere he wanted to continue in. Currently the Micrart group is busy making a compilation of just those types of Unovidual songs, compiling the more rythmic and even some unreleased music (incl. some tracks with Tara Cross). Due to an acitve professional life and being more active in nature- photography Unovidual didn't make any new songs over the last years. "But each time I hear a good riff, my fingers do itch"… Hopefully one day , with the nex and easier computer techniques he may put some new life into it.


Being active in the home tape world and having lots of contacts meant that some of Unoviduals music was issued on over 80 compilation tapes in the world. The 3 first Unovidual tapes were also issued in Japan and in Holland. Unovidual was always interested in collaborating with various other artists. This happened either live or by means of switching base-track tapes, over which the other party played it's piece. He did so with many people from Europe and even some international contacts like Tara Cross (USA) & Michel Madrange (France). The collaboration with Michel resumed into a 60 minutes tape. However the mastertape got destroyed along the years and Unovidual no longer has this music on tape himself. Over the years some of his songs were issued on the Contact disc series but then under other names. 'Easy touch on silky skin' by Metall Thoughts = Unovidual. The other tittle 'Talkies' (which holds a tape cut on the theme of the "abolition of the death penalty" in the UK) as well. For the Belgian compilation collector's lp 1994 he co-joined with Peter Bonne for the first time and re-shaped the title 'Alienation ballade'. The basic idea/track and lyrics were by Unovidual and wander around the theme 'solitude' , but Peter Bonne is responsible of reshaping the song into what it is now (harmonical). "If it sounds as good as it is now, then that's in a major part due to him". Also some of the songs Unovidual & Tara Cross made were issued on the tripple album compilations set 'Rencontres sousterraines'. Tara played some of titles live in NY. The idea was that Unovidual would play his part live from Paris, France over the satellite, so giving one of the first intercontinental life performances. Unlucky for him ... he had examens at school at that time ...


One of his partnerships which was the most intensified and fruitfull was his vivid collaboration with Tara Cross. One can honestly state that they had a incredible musical link, they kind of felt the same hearing a riff : when Unovidual send out the base tracks to Tara "she always managed to add just those parts on it which I actually had in mind without telling so… An encredible enrichening experience". Tara once flew over from the US and they went into the studio trying to finish one of the titles called 'Finance'. After 2 days of studio work they came back with a rather commercial polished version under the well meant influence of the technician, not bad , but ... a slightly drifted away from what they had originally planned. Arriving in the 4track studio they made another tittle in less then 2 hours : 'Like I am/comme je suis' was born. This, they felt, stood closer to what they had in mind. If only they'd skipped the studio and worked on the 4 track alone... they would probably have recorded a whole set of songs.


Being an adept to electronical music for a quite long time Peter always carried the idea to set up a Belgian organisation to support this type of music. Unovidual just happened to be standing along the road and jump into the bus at the right time. Micrart Group was created and up to now both Peter, Geert and Henk are still running it for their projects.