NEWS / spotlight
Comes & Simonis – Regering
With the album ‘Regering’ (dutch for ‘Government’) the duo Martijn Comes and Lukas Simonis release their first record together. The title and track names are derived from the works of B. Traven (aka Ret Marut), which says something about the atmosphere of the work and the way it was constructed. Although there are signs of Traven’s criticism of capitalism, freed of blatant moralising, there is also a sense of nostalgia as far as the atmospheric side of the music is concerned. A longing for the days when social media and the lot were not involved in the struggles for justice and freedom. Of course this is ‘only music’, and how can you criticise anything by just making sounds and suggesting an aural world that goes beyond that? That being said, listening to this ambient meets improv meets film-score album is its own reward, so it may be best to let the listener decide.
Martijn Comes comes from a film-score background while also moving in circles of experimental electronics, ambient and drones. Lukas Simonis is a seasoned improviser/sound artist with a post-punk edge.
This release is available as digital download/stream and as a limited edition CD in a 3-panel cardboard sleeve, with an impressive painting by visual artist Daniel Verkerk on the cover. When the predominantly black cover opens up, the painting is revealed in closer detail, splashing over all three inside panels in radiant colour. Released on May 18th. Pre-order is up right now.
OTONN – Two Crumbling Shapes
OTONN is an impressive electro acoustic duo, comprised of two young and very talented artists: singer Andrea Silvia Giordano and drummer Nicholas Remondino. ‘Two Crumbling Shapes’ is sound that crumbles and cracks. A constant degeneration that shapes the substance of the music. It’s the relentless evolution of an impro-session – then intensely manipulated – based on destructured sounds, music languages and the development of the single parameters that compose them.
Featuring artists Pierre Bastien, E-cor Ensemble, Gianluca Verlingieri, Maria Dybbroe and Torstein Lavik Larsen helped push the sound of OTONN even further.
This release is available as digital download/stream and as a numbered limited edition cassette in handmade covers with different versions of the artwork, created by Harco Rutgers. Released on April 8th.
Machinefabriek – With Drums
While Machinefabriek’s ‘Drum Solos’ was a solo affair that processed drum sounds into more abstract shapes, ‘With Drums’ is bursting at the seams with the actual sounds of drum kits and percussion. Over 40 musicians were asked to record one or more short fills/phrases. These recordings were the building blocks for the 24 short, focused tracks on this album – each track combining material by three contributors. The result doesn’t sound like any other Machinefabriek album out there, and the namedropping in the list of contributing drummers is awe-inspiring.
This release is available in a digital format, as a limited edition LP, and as a limited edition CD. Artwork is a ‘scrap-face’ by Henk Loorbach.
SNACKBAR the Ambassador – Iedere Dag Vakantie
SNACKBAR the Ambassador is a moniker of transdisciplinary artist Matthias König, based in The Hague (NL), interweaving music, performance- and visual arts. The sound of SNACKBAR the Ambassador is best described as a toxic concoction of deconstructed folklore, electronic beat and space explorations, otherworldly sounds, dub, cumbia, schlager, humpa and experimental electronics. Endearing, ugly, attractive, abrasive, compelling and taunting at the same time.
This limited edition 7″ turquoise coloured vinyl is packaged in a printed brown paper inner sleeve, a high quality reproduction of König’s drawing ‘Iedere Dag Vakantie’ and a transparent PVC outer sleeve. The original drawing was made in 2020 with color pencil and acrylic marker on silkscreen-print, 78,5 x 50 cm on paper. The single is also available as a download or stream. Released on December 15th.
Other recent releases
Even more releases anticipated by the likes of Frond (remixes), Monday W., Nobuka, Roel Meelkop & Marco Douma, Evan Lindorff-Ellery, Jon Doe One, Wouter van Veldhoven & Jeroen Diepenmaat and Jared Sagar.
In yet another attempt to revive the Esc.rec. backcatalogue, there’s this monthly curated Spotify playlist of selected top tracks.