Luisterend naar Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit krijg ik al snel de indruk dat Courtney Barnett maar zelden gewoon zit. Elf nummers in drie kwartier die allemaal lijken zijn voortgekomen uit diepe mijmering. Dinand kan in ieder geval trots op haar zijn, want Barnett maakt muziek die ergens overgaat. Al […]
It has been a few months ago since Joep van Son (who you could – or actually should – know as lead singer and guitar player of The Sugarettes, Nikoo, [V] and probably several other projects) recommended Kleinindustrie to me. They had just released a digital five song ep, their third already in 2012.
Ever since, I’ve been playing this ep occasionally. But with the recent demise of Wooden Constructions in the back of my head I thought it was the right time to pay attention to this Amsterdam post punk/noise rock trio. Taking inspiration from the (New York) no wave and noise rock scene of the mid 1980s, Kleinindustrie betray their love for Sonic Youth in the title song of this ep. This could easily be a lost track from the Bad Moon Rising, Evol or Sister recordings with its sharp, a tonal noise melodies.
It would be too easy and unfair to simply call Kleinindustrie a replica. They play with their influences and mould them into new forms. Somewhat like Serbian sibling Repetitor, this trio took from their parents what they like and made their own unique brand of broken down and chaotic noise out of it. Opener “Repetition” blend the pulsating repetitive mechanics of kraut rock with some fierce biting guitar noise. The band devises a subdued threatening atmosphere with the more brooding, energetic psych noise of S-s-sensational, slowly building up tension towards explosions that never come.
A method they perfected with Here Comes Limbo John. For most of the song’s duration, an eruption lurks around the corner, only to finally fade into Untitled. Chaos By Now has become the trio’s main point of interest. Somewhere there is a song in there, you know it, you hear it. But the three-piece broke it down at rehearsals and teared it to pieces, as if to say, “figure it out yourself”. Before falling into their obvious Sonic Joke, Hit It, applies the colour, jargon and song structure of New York’s noise rock-godfathers and reforming it as Kleinindustrie from Amsterdam, bringing New York back to its undeniable Dutch roots and origin.
Records that deserve recognition, there are many amongst those records that I have forgotten or shoved aside for a later moment. A later that of course never came. But, as with most people in December, I have been looking back on the past year. Which for me came with playing a broad selection of records I have received or bought over 2012. First only the sixty something Dutch release on shuffle, but the last week I just started 2012 at the A of A.C. Newman and proceeded from` there. Which after some hours brought me to Bailterspace and the ninth release of this New Zealand band, Strobosphere. Their first release since self-titled compilation in 2004 containing the first newly recorded material since 1999.
Eleven new songs that brings together the best of The Pixies, Seam and Dinosaur Jr. in one New Zealand trio. Indie-rock as played in the early nineties and the late eighties by the for mentioned bands, but also bands such as Hüsker Dü and others that are now considered highly influential and where mostly ignored or only known to a small group of music fanatics ‘back in the days’. Bailterspace being one of those bands, as they started playing in 1987 and actually were signed to two of the hot labels of the era, Matador and the small but influential New Zealand label Flying Nun. And even now, 25 years later, the band manages to make it sound vivid, wild and fresh.
Not a tone on Strobosphere sounds outdated or out of place in 2012, or for that matter 2013. Probably also because we are in the middle of a (nineties) noisepop, shoegaze and indierock revival, with band such as Cloud Nothings combining riffs and sounds of The Wipers, Superchunk and Seam into new songs and being hailed for that as the saviours of punk, indie and whatsoever. Or the Belgian band Believo! that revives the noiserock of Hüsker Dü and Sugar with an extra spark of noise and anger, still leaving the sunlight in. And also METZ that makes you believe it is 1991 all over again. Anyway, Bailterspace perfectly fits in, and should be hailed for that as well, if only because Strobosphere beats many of these revival bands in a unique and different sound. And therefor is but one of those records that should not have been missed out on in 2012.
There is this moment in the self-titled album of The Fire Harvest when you most likely will be cursing the quartet. Cursing them wholeheartedly from the depths of your soul. During the fifty-sixth second of the fourth minute in the fourth song on their debut you’ll feel betrayed. Betrayed for there is no fifty-sixth second in that fourth minute. Even though Secret Holy Place (that specific fourth song of three minutes and fifty-five seconds) has one of the best slow-core grooves of this year going on. The Fire Harvest lets the song die, starve slowly in a fade out. A fade out that comes ten minutes (too) early, because even on repeat that song is cut too short and you as a listener are left wanting. Wanting and waiting for more. Frustrated, as a junky who has set the needle but never got to the rush, the high or the damage. A trip cut short, the meditation broken.
In the line of artists like Low, Mount Eerie, Codeine, early Songs: Ohia and Karate, The Fire Harvest likes to take it slow (real slow). Two distorted guitars shriek and pound long stretched chords, whilst a drummer refrains from drumming most of the time and the vocalist proclaims his lyrics more than he sings them. Songs that have the same intensity as, and somehow remind me of, Dutch slow-core kings Solbakken (The Sounds In Our House and Laywer_Killer) pass by and just tear me apart. As with Solbakken, The Fire Harvest are mostly unknown in the Netherlands, but create a sound and – more importantly – an atmosphere that is comparable with the international sadcore/slow-core/whatever you want to name these bands that keep speed low and repetition high in their songs. Unknown (in which format does play a role, The Fire Harvest came on a limited Walkman with cassette), but nonetheless a gem to cherish.