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- Faroe Islands by Wouter Van Veldhoven
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"Ooh, is that a lathe-cut?" I said out loud when putting this on the turntable a minute ago. It is indeed lathe cut, hence the super-short run of 70 and hefty price tag. On it sound artist Wouter Van Veldhoven (rumour has it he came up with his stage name after trying to say "Ludwig Van Beethoven" with a mouth full of cake) conjures up three gorgeous passages of gently melodic atmospheres, too structured and melodic to really be "ambient" but with the same quiet grace you'd associate with that genre.
Operating a live set-up so elaborate he's unable to tour outside his native Netherlands, Van Weldhoven's music is played on a series of reel to reel tape machines as well as electronically triggered devices such as toy pianos and water clocks. The resultant compositions are patient, repetitive and intriguing. 'Brume' has an almost gamelan-like effect of sleepy looped gong chimes which ring out and then return in breath-like waves, eventually disintegrating into a Basinski-like tape decay flutter with string-like overtones.
It takes a little imagination to figure out what he's actually doing a lot of the time and I kind of wish there were pictures of his Heath Robinson-esque set-up in the artwork since his processes are such an important element, but it's still the next-best thing to booking a flight out to Holland to watch him.
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