NEWS / spotlight
Jos Smolders – Bagatellen
Visual arts have always been very inspirational to Jos Smolders. “I can really be knocked out by a painting, a sculpture when I first encounter it.” The same happened when he first set eyes on Jeroen Diepenmaat’s ‘co//age co//py’: black and white collaged images that are xeroxed and compiled into a booklet. “So, I saw the book. Online. Ordered it. And the minute I opened it when it had arrived I felt a connection to it. I know it sounds a bit exuberant but it pulled me right in, into an experience of feeling the paper surface, smelling the ink, interacting with the images. After leafing through the book I decided that it would be an interesting experiment to translate to music that first experience, complete with the almost meditative concentration that I had just experienced.”
This release is available in a digital format, as a limited edition cassette, and as an even more limited edition cassette + book. Pre-orders are up. To be released on February 16th.
Pels – Schakelbreuk Jozef
After taking a detour of several years wallowing in rhythmless ambient, complex IDM beat programming and improvised drone music constructed from sound recordings, Pels (Maarten Wesselius) returns to his fundamentals: short catchy tracks with beats and melodies, an idiosyncratic use of voice samples, and an eclectic mix of IDM, hip-hop, jazz, and jungle, also incorporating flourishes of breakcore, glitch and pop pastiche. Wesselius carries over all the things he learned during his various musical explorations of genres and techniques, and employs them in service of the adventurous, fast-paced and fun album that is Schakelbreuk Jozef. In that sense, this might just be Pels’ magnum opus. Diverse as it is, these 17 tracks are all haunted by the scintillating spirit of Schakelbreuk Jozef, an everyone’s friend offering the conceptual void that we have all been longing for.
This album is released as a limited and numbered edition; a custom-made box of crayons with a download. Each box has a different (reproduction of a) childhood drawing by Maarten Wesselius enclosed. Do not collect them all… For people unimpressed by limited editions or crayons ‘Schakelbreuk Jozef’ is also available as a totally unlimited download and/or stream.
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 will also be available as a download. Released on December 15th.
Some other recent Esc.rec. releases were ‘Sweet Surprise’ by Toxic Chicken, ‘Time Is A Spider’ by Monday W., ‘Always There, Somewhere’ by Frond, ‘Sluimer’ by Diepenmaat/Sallaerts, ‘Prosopagnosia’ by Daniel Vujanic, ‘Bentillse Berber’ by Karen Willems and ‘Untitled 2019’ by Francisco López.
Even more releases anticipated by the likes of Frond (remixes), Machinefabriek, OTONN, Monday W., Martijn Comes & Lukas Simonis, 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.