Hyperbolic journalistic figures such as “cosmic continuum” and “music of the spheres” – so often pitifully utilized for materials undeserving of that verbal majesty – apply without a second thought to the work of Dutch audio engineer and composer Jaap Vink. Now 87, Vink has been operating quietly and unassumingly throughout a path that has given him more renown as sonic technician and teacher than creative manufacturer. Too bad, one would say: the selection of pieces comprised by this double LP demonstrates how gems that may remain unknown forever are hidden everywhere. We are lucky, and must be thankful, for the generosity of the people involved in this release: unwilling to keep secrets to themselves, they bring new cognition of the “right” kind to the few individuals already tuned with the “right” station, projected beyond the philistinism dressed in sacredness of this ego-driven world.
Speaking of the technical and aesthetic features of these works, whose temporal range reads 1968 to 1985, all it takes to understand where we’re at in terms of sonority is quoting from Kees Tazelaar’s liners: “Although his music was entirely produced with purely electronic sound material, its textures resemble the richness of orchestral sounds, or large natural sound-complexes, as a result of recursive processes”. Then, add the name “Roland Kayn”: Vink, together with Leo Kupper, had contributed to the German visionary’s milestone Simultan. All of the above gives rather precise coordinates for the listener to penetrate the essence of these magnificent tracks. The keywords are gradual suspension, imperceptible shift, bottomless wavering, undefinable interference, inner transformation; you get the picture. It’s the sort of experience in which a droning mass is not just “a drone”, but a means to comprehend why a cloud you’re watching is shaped like that, the explanation behind its apparent drifting, and the harmonic change occurring within the self at that moment. A bathing in frequencies, at once obscure and welcoming, causing time to literally stand still as the memories of a lifespan assemble in a huge signal of extraordinary profundity.
Any further description would risk to become yet another miserable representation of insincere holiness. So let me cut the excesses of obsequiousness and invite my twelve readers to pick up a copy of this album very quickly. When it’s over, put it close to Kayn’s Tektra and Tod Dockstader’s Aerial. It’s there that Jaap Vink belongs, among the attested researchers of the unspoken truth.