Let’s talk about a pair of delightfully scented limited edition LPs received a few months ago by Timo Van Luijk (Noise Maker’s Fifes, In Camera, Asra among his past and ongoing projects). Translation for the inexperienced: this man – besides a considerable individual talent – has been joining people of the caliber of the late Geert Feytons, Christoph Heemann and Raymond Dijkstra. Always a pleasure to listen to such an erratic kind of unadulterated music, regardless of aesthetic assessments and personal appreciations.
ONDE – Purple
Onde is an improvising trio existing since 2006, Purple being their third release. The lineup consists of Van Luijk plus Greg Jacobs and Marc Wroblewski; here they play electric guitar, violin and metals respectively. Apart from a brief interlude defined by a quiet arpeggio, the first side is mainly occupied by a steady acid pulse rather reminiscent of Tony Conrad and Faust’s Outside The Dream Syndicate. The pattern is monochromatic and monotone, though absolutely not wearisome. It goes on and on incessantly, with minor variations in the enhancement of the timbres (presumably resulting from the use of pedal effects). The second half is founded on the same relentless cadenza, this time sounding like if reproduced by a reversed tape and enclosed by a horde of stridently inharmonious saturated sonorities, at times giving the illusion of a wild bunch of bagpipes. Here, too, we’re gifted with another short-lived hypnotic segments, oddly recalling Aidan Baker’s loop-based reveries. In terms of aural gratification and generation of uneasy mental states, this part is slightly superior to the former. In any case, this is a strange album: not something that one imagines to play endlessly or just repeatedly, yet imbued of pleasantly venomous substances that give it an aura of welcome cynicism, in turn eliciting an alarming sense of discomfort. But it’s also very energetic. (Ondemusic)
FREDERIK CROENE & TIMO VAN LUIJK – Voile Au Vent
I remember having written about Croene’s Hout CD in duo with Esther Venrooy quite a while ago but, other than that, my familiarity with his methods of expression was virtually nonexistent to date. Mea culpa: the absolutely brilliant Voile Au Vent – performed by him and Van Luijk on an array of unspecified instruments besides the evidently recognizable ones – immediately startles with the opening track “Vortex”, magnificently weird oscillations of pitches following a funereal bass line among echoes of warped pianos and hazily subversive chorales underlined by cheap beats. “Libersee” keeps things interesting by mixing what sounds like comatose reeds and different types of exhausted orchestral sources with acerbically echoing notes in the high register of a completely misshapen mysterious instrument (perhaps it’s piano again?) and assorted kinds of heavy percussion. Unique, to say the least. Side B begins with “…Pour Que Le Vent…”, a ghostly – and occasionally rather scary – accumulation of tolling metals, clusters of flutes, abnormal shrieks, hovering presences and rumbles from the underground likely to transport the listener straight into a luminously preposterous Puzzleland. The final “Triangle Du Diable” exploits the suspense elicited by a boundless tendency to the destruction of an actual harmonic tissue, doing it via practical suggestions in the shape of familiar instrumental voices, concise stop-and-go’s and wavering electronics assembled over various strata of improvisational inspection of the psyche. Halfway through flexible and delirious, this is a great record under any circumstance. (La Scie Dorée)