NEWS / spotlight
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.
Various Artists – Nieuwe Electronische Waar 15
This is the 2021 selection for Nieuwe Electronische Waar, the most important platform for electronic music in the Eastern part of The Netherlands. From nearly 80 submitted tracks, a twenty-headed jury of miscellaneous music professionals selected 10 of this year’s most promising production talents for the 15th edition of Nieuwe Electronische Waar.
Nieuwe Electronische Waar releases this compilation album with the tracks that got these producers selected. Esc.rec. supports this by taking care of production and digital distribution of this release. And, for the first time in several years, the release takes physical form again, as a limited edition CD. It’s also available as a free download and on all relevant streaming channels.
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 (sold out!). 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. These are now completely sold out already, but for people unimpressed by limited editions or crayons ‘Schakelbreuk Jozef’ is also available as a totally unlimited download and/or stream. Released on February 9th.
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.
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), Monday W., Martijn Comes & Lukas Simonis, 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.