You may remember KLEM (Stichting Kontakt Liefhebbers Elektronische Muziek) that had a large following in the Netherlands (and beyond) during the 80’s and 90’s.. In 2004 Frits Couwenberg – chief of KLEM- decided to stop the KLEM, and the very likeable KLEM magazine.

Because the existence of Alfa Centauri was partly made possible by the promotion through KLEM, we felt that we should organise a tribute ‘Thank you’ for Frits. This tribute was published in Alfa Centauri Magazine issue #37. Nice thing is that many fans and Electronic Musicians wrote a personal thank you.

Dear Frits, In a time when everything changes quickly, you also see that people change quickly. From one to the other and from the other to the one. The fact that you have served electronic music for 25 years makes a very deep impression on me. In fact, words fall short. When I think back to 25 years of KLEM, I also think back to that first “Klaus Schulze” fan club day. It was there that electronic music lovers met for the first time. It was also the day when I presented myself as an electronic music artist and I met Ruud van Es and Peter Kommers who were already working with PERU at the time. A day that determined my further career. Like me, many others, directly or indirectly, will owe you a great deal. Frits, thank you again from the bottom of my heart and I wish you a lot of listening pleasure with your favorite music. The music that means a lot to you and for which you also meant a lot! Also a big thank you to your partner who has supported you over all these years! With deep respect, Rob Papen, ps. Proud owner of “all” KLEM’s

Frits… what should I say? Nothing too much. Just something simple:
A HUGE THANK YOU for all your support and hard work with KLEM. A real achievement! You should be very proud of yourself… we are of you!Best wishes, John Kerr

Dear Fritz, I will never forget meeting you when I came to perform at Klemdag years ago. I was astounded to see that you had single-handedly produced such a remarkable magazine for so many years. Although I was never quite adept at reading Dutch, I always enjoyed the photos and whatever info I could gleen. I am someone who throws out most stuff, but I have kept a large collection of your issues. Thank-you for all those years you gave us! Best wishes, Suzanne Ciani

Hi, Of course I heard news of the end of the Klemblad, which I think is a shame, but I understand Frits 100% and support him in that. After 25 years of practicing traditional electronic music myself, I also drew a line myself at a certain point and also for family reasons and also to avoid falling into musical repetition myself. But I can thank Frits and the Klemblad a thousand times for the support during my glory days, which included 4 Klemconcerts, 2x present on the Klemcd’s and all that other support for which I can say too much. I can only say to Frits, thank you man for so much dedication and love for the EM and the artists, there will be a big gap, but it is now up to the new generation of EM musicians and fans to do something with it and preferably without conflict of interest because otherwise I fear it could be more negative than positive. Frits enjoy life and “live long and prosper” Yours faithfully, thanks and love. Patrick Kosmos 1975 – 2000

Hi Guys, I am more than willing to thank Frits for all he has done for me and Electronic Music in general. It’s easy to sit back and enjoy a CD. It is quite another thing to help keep a scene alive for so long without any personal benefit. All the best to Frits for the future, David Law, Synth Music Direct

I wish you, Frits, all the best for present and future and want to thank you with full respect for your work the last decades regarding E-Musik and beyond. Warm wishes, yours MATHIAS GRASSOW

Thanks Frits for your honest reviews and your good work in compiling all interesting informations around EM. KLEM was always enjoyable to read. Kind regards Lambert Ringlage

Thank you Frits for your great work during the last 24 years supporting EM. Without you and your magazine the EM-world would have been a “bit” smaller! We wish you all the best for your future! Johannes Schmoelling & Andreas Hedler (webmaster)

KLEM und Frits, das war überviele Jahre die wichtigste Informationsquelle für Freunde der Electronics Musik. Nirgends sonst konnte man sich einen und umfassenden berblick über das aktuelle Geschehen in dieser Szene provide. Damit hat Frits zur Entwicklung der Electronics Musik einen erheblichen Beitrag geistet. Durch sein, weit über ein normals Maß hinausgehendes, Engagement gelang es, ihm neue unbekannte Musiker zu ermutigen und zu unterstützen, sicherlich auch ein persönliches Anliegen von ihm. The realistic und dem Wesentlichen connected Blick blieb ihm dabei immer erhalten. There may be new Projekte und Herausforderungen found, which ihn ebenso fordern und befriedigen. THANKS !!!! NIK TYNDALL

I’ve been working in the field of Electronic music for 25 years now. Some of my happiest memories have been my concerts in The Netherlands and in particular my appearance at the 1993 KLEMdag concert in Nijmegen. I can remember the last words I heard before walking on stage to an audience of over 1000 people was the nice introduction by Frits to the assembled through. Great stuff – thanks Frits. Cheers, Ian Boddy

dear frits, I came into contact with the foundation in 1989 as a result of the book “klaus schulze – eine musikalische gratwanderung” (boy, that was about fifteen years ago, when I was 17) because I was very fond of the music of schulze (which has certainly also influenced my own work to a certain point). then I was very happy that there was finally an opportunity to make contact with people who are interested in the same kind of music. since 1990 I have experienced almost all clamp days (except 1992) and I still carry a warm feeling in my heart when I remember these days because they were so special. so i was also shocked when in 1997 you, kees and maranka decided to stop the clamp day. I do understand that it takes a lot of time and energy to set up something like this, so it was no real surprise to me anymore when I heard on e-live 2003 that you are also going to stop clipping. I’ve already written something about that in clip 119 (I believe), so I’ll be brief about that. I would like to thank you very much for the contacts that I have been able to make through your support and for the effort, time and energy you have devoted to publishing the clip-sheet. partly because of this I started to learn Dutch, which has opened a lot of doors for myself. although my taste in music has completely changed in the meantime (and I myself sometimes had a bit of trouble understanding some of the reviews… musical tastes differ), we will definitely meet again at some concert or another. thanks, frits, and take care! I hope you continue to listen to beautiful (electronic) music. stephen parsick / [´disaster]

Hello Fritz, Thank you ton support efficace pour la musique électronique; merci également pour ton overture d’esprit et ta franche sympathy. Bonne chance pour la suite. Cordialement Jean-Luc Hervé Berthelot / TALES

Dear Frits, danke für Dein persönliches Engagement während all der Jahre, damit hast Du Vallen Musikern geholfen Ihre Musik Ihrem Zielpublikum näherzubringen. Auf miscellaneous KLEM-Dagen konnte ich immer wieder meinen Fans und Musikerkollegen persönlich begegnen und auch mehrmals live Spielen, was mir immer großen Spaß gemacht hat. Ich wünsche Dir everything Gute für die Zukunft, und dass Dir die Begeisterung für die Electronic Music auch weiterhin erhalten bleibt. GANDALF

To Frits and KLEM: It is with much appreciation that I salute your efforts over the past years in bringing the electronic music arts to a wider public. Your encyclopedic coverage of electronic music recordings and events has broadened the awareness for those of us in North America who too often only hear of events in Canada and the US. Thanks for all of the fine work which has helped us as artists and as a community. Larry Fast, SYNERGY Electronic Music

Keep on listening to E music! So long, Joerg Strawe

Dear Frits, On behalf of Wave World, we would like to thank you for everything you have done to keep electronic Music alive! We will miss you, but your work will live on! All the best. Gert van Santen, Harry Kessels and Rolf van Slooten.

One thing I’ll remember about Klem is that it was thanks to Frits’ dedication the magazine became more than just a TD or Schulze fanzine. Frits looked beyond these narrow boundaries realizing that electronic music has a quite expansive range of styles and over the years he managed to combine them all. And this was unique to our region of Europe. vidnaObmana

The genre of music that we broadly know as `Electronic’ relies heavily on people like yourself who have devoted many hours to the cause with little personal gain. Ignored by the mainstream rock press and radio it is thanks to your efforts that the likes of RMI could play a beautiful venue in Nijmegen for a thousand people. Thanks for all the opportunities you have given artists to express themselves over the years, and audiences to hear this music in a live environment. Have a happy retirement! Steve, Duncan and Gary (RMI)

орогой Fritz! Большое спасибо тебе за всё то, что ты сделал для популяризации электронной музыки в мире. За ту помощь и поддержку, которую ты всегда оказывал мировому сообществу музыкантов и композиторов, занимающихся электронной музык музык о, что елал для всех нас бесценно! Ты был, есть и будешь отцом основателем CLAMP в мире! с нами, мы с тобой! асибо ебе! емий емьев

Hi Frits, Thank you for your many years of super effort of supporting the EM universe with the KLEM magazine. Please know that the rest of us will try to keep the EM flame alive and that your presence on the scene will be missed. Kind regards, Bill “Willem Vos” Fox

Well ! I never could read the magazine , it was in dutch ! But I really felt how nicely one was looked up to by all the readers! Have a happy time off, Frits! Tim ‘Moonweed’ Blake

Dear Frits; It has been great to receive KLEM in my letter box every two months for the last four years. As I said when I met you in 2002, we are all very grateful for the enormous efforts you have put into this very influential magazine. I doubt that we will ever see another magazine that reviewed albums and concerts as honestly as KLEM did, and this will be a big loss for our community. I am sure that many artists as well as myself have thought as they make music “What will Frits say about this?” and this has helped us strive to make our music better! However, we all fully understand that after dedicating 25 years of your spare time to this, it is time for you to have a change! Wishing you the very best, Rudy Adrian (New Zealand)

Frits, I want to thank you for this. You have spent years spreading the EM. Together with you and a thousand other readers, I learned a lot from and about EM. You helped me get to know other musicians who gave me knowledge and inspiration. Partly because of you, this ‘cult happening’ has not been able to disappear. Let’s hope it doesn’t end after this so that you can continue to enjoy it yourself. A ‘huge thank you’ to you Frits. Syndromeda

Dear Frits, ich lernte deine Arbeit für KLEM erst 1987 durch die Plattenfirma IC/DigIt, die mir damals neben einer kurzen Review aus der ESOTERA eine mehrseitige Copy einer Plattenbesprechung meiner ersten LP MUSIC FOR PARADISE in einem deiner sister KLEMbl. Ich war erstaunt, who fell different Schreiber sich außergewöhnlich intensiv mit meiner neuen Musik beschäftigt hatten. Auch verblüffte mich in welch großen Umfang diese Review im CLAMP SHEET Platz fand. Vielleicht innerst du dich noch an meinen ersten Brief an dich, in dem ich diese Gedanken lobend hervorhob. Auch in the following Jahren wurden meine Werke immer wieder fair durchleuchtet, nichts wurde überschwenglich “hochgejubelt”, nichts unrechtfertigt niedergemacht. Auch live bot mir die KLEM-Plattform und ihr Festival mehrfach die Möglichkeit, meine Form von Musik aufzuführen und das everything in einem Rahmen, der weit entfernt von dem businessmäßigen Abspulen des mir sonst nur all zu gutfandesnten Rockgeschänten. Nun, da du dich verständlicherweise dazu entschlossen hast, nach sovallen Jahren einen neuen Weg einzuschlagen, bleibt mir nur zu sagen: Danke oder besser THANK YOU for so many Mühe und Arbeit, für endlose Stunden im Dienste der Musik und für uns alle, die wir gerne “nice sequencertjes” und cosmischen Tönen lauschen! Dir und deiner Familie alle Gute für die Zukunft, Gesundheit, Zufriedenheit und noch ganz Fe beim Musikhören. Wir sehen our wieder! Mit den cosmischsten Grüssen (auch für das neue Jahr) Klaus COSMIC HOFFMANN-Hoock (Mind over Matter)

“Thanks Frits for all the hard work , dedication and enthusiasm for all those years…it kept the spirit of electronic music alive.” All the best Mark Shreeve

Lieber Frits,ich möchte Dir ganz herzlich für die Vallen Jahre im Dienst der Electronicen Musik thank. Es ist damage,daß Du Dich nun etwas zurückziehst,aber Du hast es yes auch deserves nach sovallen Jahren etwas zu ruhen. Ich hoffe aber,daß Dir die Musik auch in Zukunft Fell Spaß und schöne Stunden bereiten wird. Danke auch für die liebevolle Begegnung mit Dir und Deinen Kollegen von Klem,wenn ich mit meiner Crew bei Euch live playing dared,es war immer etwas Besonderes und ich höre gerne Deine Ansage auf meiner CD LIVEDATES. Danke auch für die journalistische Fairness in den CD-Besprechungen,Interviews usw. Für die Zukunft wünsche ich Dir Alles Gute,viel Spaß,Erfolg und vor allem Gesundheit herzlichst Peter Mergener

I would like express my deep admiration and appreciation for Frits due to his many years of supporting Electronic Music with KLEM. Even though I do not understand the language, I have been a constant “reader” in any case since early on. KLEM was literally full of great information and contact addresses. No one has supported and promoted the EM scene internationally due to the pure love of the music so well and so long as Frits. As I am far away from the scene, he was a great help in my discovery of much great music that turned me on, and many musicians that I was able to promote to a wider audience. EUROCK was the first magazine back in the 1970’s to cover the International Euro scene, so we both shared the same experience of excitement and discovery. I know very well the thrills he felt and long hours of hard work he put in to produce his magazine. Now that the scene is filled with sellers, and the fans are fewer, I can understand his desire to move on. While KLEM may not exist any longer, I know Frits will keep on listening, as like me, the music after all this time has became a part of his life and made it infinitely better. Frits my friend, Thank you! Archie Patterson

If one reads this paper many years from now, he will think “George and Jan? Did they also make a CD? Who the hell are they?” Well folks, those are the two weirdos who helped that other weirdo with his hobby that got completely out of hand. The very first time I was not allowed to ring the bell because otherwise the baby Rinske would wake up. So that’s been a while back. In the beginning, Jan had another colleague, Arie. “When I hear Tangerine Dream I see everything blue”, speaking of weirdo. Soon after, George came and we were able to have normal conversations about, for example, gnome beer that was only really tasty if it was past its best-before date. In the course of time I think that together we have seen almost 100 clip sheets x circulation of approx. 1000 pieces = 100,000 labels. Sticking crooks stickers, writing bundle notes (note! Abroad, 48-hour service) and then the grand finale! Frits putting on his surgical gloves and the job is done again. Frits, we have always done it with a lot of love and pleasure. Thank you for all your work and serving as a tour guide in the world of electronic music. George and Jan. (ed: two KLEM fans that helped out Frits during the years).