Friday, 9 April 2021

ODG139 : Domenico Solazzo / Deadend

 

Cover art by Domenico Solazzo


ODG139 : Domenico Solazzo / Deadend

First album released by talented and obsessive Belgian musician Domenico Solazzo (see also his sumptuous album 'Kino' ODG113), 'Deadend' originally published in 2009, is an obscure concept album about God and death. 

At times dark but also bright (The Day of My Rebirth is a perfect pop song), it finds Domenico playing all the instruments but the saxes, empowering all his forces and energy in what could have been maybe his first and last album! Definitely worth checking out.

Nice reviews in gutsofdarkness and RifRaf.

Recorded at Goddess Studio, Brussels, Belgium,
November 2008 - December 2008
All songs and lyrics credited to Domenico Solazzo

Domenico Solazzo: ballaphon, bass, bells, keyboard, drums, e-bow, electric guitar,
electronica, grand piano, keyboards, korg ds-10, mellotron, organ,percussions, samples, shakers, tambourine, vocals.

Jean-Jacques Duerinckx: baryton and sopranino saxophones

Matthieu Duvault: mastering


Digital release on the 9th of April 2021.


Track listing:


1: Mr. Kewl

2: Length of Time

3: Mulunde

4: WWW Help Coma

5: Too Many Suns in My Sky

6: Mescaline

7: In the Womb

8: The Day of My Rebirth

9: God's Evil Machinery

10: March



And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 2 April 2021

ODG144 : Von Stroheim / Bucketful of Bile

 

Cover art by David Crunelle


ODG144 : Von Stroheim / Bucketful of Bile

First single of the forthcoming new ep from Von Stroheim (see also ODG101 and ODG116). Self recorded in their basement during covid and, as ever, powerfully telling the rest of the world about their feelings! It's rock, it's hard, it's doom, it's good!

Digital release on the 2th of April 2021.
Track listing:
1: Bucketful of Bile

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

OUC032 : Orgonon Sound Machine / Anima Mundi

 

Cover art by A.L.


OUC032 : Orgonon Sound Machine / Anima Mundi

'Anima Mundi' music was composed in three acts on the loss of the Hermetic vitality of the world. 
It was also written for an imaginary ballet if someone would like to dance on the music, with the idea of a mix between something like a clowning action and a "Butoh" ballet. 

Salvatore is an Italian musician who used to play with the "Orchestra Vuota project" and is now the sole member of his new "Orgonon Sound Machine" project.

His Electronic style is an instinct bred from years of listening to act like John Cage, Stockhausen, Reich, Faust Harmonia, Cluster, Brian Eno etc...

With the 'Orgonon' project he tries to mediate the experimental side with the pop - and sometimes even dance - side, revisited and distorted to his likings.
He doesn't premeditate songs and projects.
His approach is playing and finding an instinctive way to explore.

Definitely organic and fascinating music!

Digital release on the 31st of March 2021.

Track listing:

1: Anima Mundi: I. The Souls Dividers
2: Anima Mundi: II. The Big Machines Ruins
3: Anima Mundi: III. The Quite Frolic Ones


And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 26 March 2021

OVD044 : Pierre Vervloesem / Ruder

 

Cover art by Thierry Mondelaers


OVD044 : Pierre Vervloesem / Ruder

Ruder is the following of 'Rude' (see OVD010). 

'Rude' was originally recorded in 2005 in one day and only after one rehearsal with unknown musicians met only that day by Pierre. 

Ruder was recorded in the exact same tempo, only this time, due to Covid 19 and the extreme rudeness of the situation for musicians, there is no band...just Pierre!

7 ruder tracks then which demand a lot of courage to listen to as they are quite an experience and a journey. You'll be at the same time transported, energetic, questioning, open, closed, jumping, dancing and probably exhausted but thrilled and happy to have resisted till the end!

Digital release on the 26th ofMarch 2021.

Track listing:

1: Utograph
2: Varibotation
3: Phagoracismic
4: Puntagressism
5: Néobulism
6: Ternation
7: Nonagintism


And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 19 March 2021

OUW014 : Les Boucles Absurdes - Fredem / États d'arme

 

Cover art by Fredem


OUW014 : Les Boucles Absurdes -  Fredem / États d'arme

Les Boucles Absurdes is a duet act (with Pierre Vervloesem) or solo by Jean-Pierre Jonckheere (see OPV007OPV010OVD003OVD018OVD034 and OUW002). This time he is at the musical controls to support the lyrics of Freedom. Fredem is a visual artist draws and flutters in a maze of unusual, dramatic, funny, dreamlike alibis in order to engulf souls and eyes towards the abyss of the pleasure of unconsciousness.

Jean-Pierre

The richness of the mechanism of its labyrinths, organized, of meaning and emotions envelop in a gentle violence the relationship with creation.

Arrogant of exhibitionist pretexts, he dares to marry the absurd with life, death with poetry.

Sometimes a tightrope walker on a thread sutured with lace, he borrows a ballad of words, juggles transparently, deludes infinitely from the depths of his freedom.

His turbulent art is dripping with desire, to be seen and recognized.

Fredem

Digital release on the 19th of March 2021.

Track listing:

1: La route
2: Vivre
3: Le Bouillon
4: Le mur
5: Le doute
6: Hiver
7: Débordement
8: C'est la vie
9: Amour
10: Le Bonheur (feat. Ladr.Ache)
11: (Re)naissances
12: Réalité
13: Mort
14: Famille


And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 12 March 2021

ODG138 : Alex Louloudis / Words

 


Cover art by Alex Louloudis


ODG138 : Alex Louloudis / Words

Alex Louloudis is a drummer in the field of free jazz and improvised music; a composer of contemporary and experimental music; and a percussionist in Afro-Cuban style music. He is a graduate from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, has released two records and his work has been presented in various places all over the world, such as The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC, Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland, De Ruimte in Amsterdam. 

Alex

His new album was recorded in New-York with some of the best jazz musicians of the moment. Alex wrote the music and the words of the 2vocal tracks. The music is definitively contemporary jazz but with a some reminders of the classic era of musicians like Coltrane or Monk! Enjoy

Recorded at: 
The studios at The New School University in NYC, on June 27th 2018.

Personnel: 
Alex Louloudis- Drums
Rafael Statin- Tenor Saxophone
Dean Torrey- Bass
Rosdeli Marte- Vocals (#1, 6)
Kaelen Ghandhi- Tenor Saxophone (#1, 6)
Aaron Rubinstein- Guitar (#1, 6)

Digital release on the 12th of March 2021.
Track listing:
  1. Surviving
  2. Expedition in NOLA
  3. The Magic of 3
  4. Ochun’s Dance
  5. I Hear You Eric
  6. Words
All music and words written by Alex Louloudis.


And on Bandcamp:

Thursday, 4 March 2021

OCD051 : Augusteyns - Badenhorst - Thielemans - Pawlowski / De god van ongeveer

 


Cover art by Jürgen Augusteyns


OCD051 : Augusteyns - Badenhorst - Thielemans - Pawlowski / De god van ongeveer

Jürgen Augusteyns (°Ghent, 1972) is a Belgian guitarist/composer coming from a pop and rock background and not being happy by the limitations he encountered, he chose to carve his own path.

Inspired by guitarists such as Loren Connors, Noël Akchoté en Brandon Seabrook but also musicians and bands by the likes of Glenn Branca, Oren Ambarchi, Hella en US Maple, to name a few, he is constantly searching to refine and redefine his own voice and music.
Either when improvising or composing, contingencies play a major role in his work.

On “De god van ongeveer” EP:
"Just like “Auch ich in Arkadien”, my first solo release, this record started with solo improvised guitar parts. Soon I realised I found the blueprints of the global arrangements and structures of the first two songs of this record.
Joachim and Eric both were quite an obvious choice for me to invite as collaborators, Joachim played on my first EP and both Eric and I were planning a duo-release but then Covid suddenly happened and we had to postpone.
Joachim Badenhorst is foremost known as a renowned jazz musician, but he really is so much more, it was ultimately his trademark Flemish vocals and scattered lyrics, trademark of his Zero Years Kid project that I was after for “Droom, droom, droom” and “Vinger bij vinger”.
Eric Thielemans is a genre-bending percussionist with a classically trained ear. He has worked his way via jazz drumming and free improvisation towards his own realms in music and performance.
For “Vinger bij vinger” I needed a relatively straightforward drum part for the loud section, but also a much more open, almost lyrical approach for the quiet section.
Knowing I can blindly trust them with anything, both got carte blanche.
Unfortunately, due to the lockdown happening at that time we were limited to a virtual collaboration, sending files over and back again to each other.
“Droom, droom, droom” was finished quite easily, but I wasn’t happy with how “Vinger bij vinger” turned out, which eventually led me to cutting the song up and having it start with the heavy section instead of the quiet one.
By the time both songs with Joachim’s vocals were almost done, I decided on continuing the album in Dutch.
I knew Mauro had worked with lyrics in our native tongue, so that, added with his unmistakable recognizable surrealism proved exactly what was needed.
I had that pop song with quite a Pet Shop Boys vibe to it, which I kept turning back to, but as it was it didn’t really fit in with both other tracks. Still I proposed that one, not knowing how it eventually would turn out. After Mauro’s haunting vocals were recorded, I still was unsure about the vibe. All was there, all was into place, but still it didn’t work.
That was, until I decided to mute all instruments and play along the vocal lines with a drone synth, and that’s how “De god van ongeveer” took it’s definitive form..
“Binair gedicht” also started with an improvised guitar part on which I added Mellotron, Casio and more glitch guitars. For the vocals, I sampled my own voice (one - zero) and played a binary transformation of a poem on a keyboard. Initially this song was to be a hidden/bonus track, but eventually I decided to include it as a full fledged one."


Gang of four!


Teaser 1:

Jürgen Augusteyns - guitars, keys, Moog/CT5/Stamme(n) operator, vocals 
Joachim Badenhorst - vocals, clarinet 
Eric Thielemans - drums 
Mauro Pawlowski - vocals 

Arranged, mixed, recorded and edited by Jürgen Augusteyns except 
vocals and clarinet on Droom, droom, droom and Vinger bij vinger recorded by Joachim Badenhorst. 
Drums on Vinger bij vinger recorded by Eric Thielemans. 
Vocals on De god van ongeveer recorded by Mauro Pawlowski. 

Lyrics on Droom, droom, droom and Vinger bij vinger by Joachim Badenhorst 
Lyrics on De god van ongeveer by Mauro Pawlowski 

Mastered by Uwe Teichert at Elektropolis 
Design and photography by Jürgen Augusteyns

Physical and digital release on the 5th of March 2021.

Track listing:

1: Droom, droom, droom
2: Vinger bij vinger
3: De god van ongeveer
4: Binair gedicht


And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 26 February 2021

OVD043 : Pierre Vervloesem / Tâla Shit

 

Cover art by A.L.


OVD043 : Pierre Vervloesem / Tâla Shit

Once again, Pierre goes for more originality...and an extremely tough exercice! 

This time he has composed 8 tracks based on the Indian tâla.

A tâla literally means a "clap, tapping one's hand on one's arm, a musical measure". It is the term used in Indian classical music to refer to musical meter, that is any rhythmic beat or strike that measures musical time. The measure is typically established by hand clapping, waving, touching fingers on thigh or the other hand, verbally, striking of small cymbals, or a percussion instrument in the Indian subcontinental traditions. Along with raaga which forms the fabric of a melodic structure, the taala forms the life cycle and thereby constitutes one of the two foundational elements of Indian music. 

Each title track is followed by the tâlas number he used to compose the track... 

A crazy exercice but a beautiful result of a mix between Pierre complex music writing and India!

An example of how to count Tala

A good reference for Tāla explanation with lots of different counting here.

Digital release on the 26th of February 2021.

Track listing:

1: Impractical Packaging (13)
2: Desperate Rhythms (11)
3: Stuffed Cabbage (7-5)
4: Constant Pain in the Face (4-5-6-7-7)
5: Dig up Gingerbread (4-3-5-3-5-7)
6: Eel Mucus Under My Shoes (3-4-3-4-5)
7: Danish Giant with Velcro Skin (3-4-4-3-7)
8: Tâla Shit (4-3-4-3-4-2-2-5-7)


And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 19 February 2021

OCD049 : Machine Mass Sextet / Intrusion

Cover art by Elisabeth Waltregny


OCD049 : Machine Mass Sextet / Intrusion

MACHINE MASS started out in 2011 as an idiosyncratic MoonJune power duo made of longtime collaborators American drummer Tony BIANCO (Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker) and Belgian guitarist Michel DELVILLE (The Wrong Object, Vegir). Hailed as a «  feisty and rebel rousing exhibition that contains a surfeit of diametric contrasts and smoldering exchange » (All About Jazz), it has since then morphed into various forms and ventures involving guests such as Dave LIEBMAN (Inti, 2014) and Univers Zero and Wrong Object keyboardist Antoine GUENET (Machine Mass Plays Hendrix ; 2017). 

Intrusion, Machine Mass’s fourth official album in a decade of existence, is a full-blown sextet extravaganza comprising eight live-in-the-studio tracks (six originals and two covers) featuring Wrong Object bassist Damien CAMPION alongside two seminal members of the Belgian and international jazz scene: Laurent BLONDIAU (Mâäk's Spirit, Andy Emler MegaOctet, Octurn) and Manuel HERMIA (Slang, Orchestra Nazionale della Luna, Hermia-Ceccaldi-Darrifourcq Trio). 
Three years after the psychedelic fireworks of their acclaimed Jimi Hendrix tribute (which Brazilian producer Arnaldo de Souteiro described as « probably the best tribute to Hendrix since the legendary 1974 Gil Evans album ») Machine Mass’s Intrusion offers a set of steaming acoustic jazz laced with moderate yet significant amounts of electric and electronic guitar sounds. The album builds as much on modern-day jazz structures and rhythms as it harks back to the relentless ostinati and horizontal intricacies of modal jazz (the CD opens with John Coltrane’s « Africa » and closes with Joe Zawinul’s « In a Silent Way »). 

 

--LINE-UP-- 
Laurent BLONDIAU: trumpet 
Manuel HERMIA: saxophones 
Michel DELVILLE: guitar, Roland GR09 
Antoine GUENET: piano 
Damien CAMPION: double bass 
Tony BIANCO: drums 

 

An Off Records release powered by MoonJune Records  
All tracks recorded by Maxime Wathieu @ Studio 5, Liège. 
Mixed and mastered by Etienne Plumer 
Band contact : wrongobject@hotmail.com   

Physical and digital release on the 19th of February 2021.
Track listing:

1. Africa (Coltrane) 10:48 
2. Intrusion (Guenet) 14:17 
3. This Is (Bianco, Blondiau, Campion, Delville, Guenet, Hermia) 2:19 
4. Not Another Loud Song (Delville) 9:01 
5. Intro (Campion) 2:12 
6. The Roll (Delville) 9:02 
7. ED (Delville) 6:16 
8. In a Silent Way (Zawinul) 11:14 

Attention: the first 50 cds come with a download code for a 4 tracks live album of Machine Mass Sextet! Valid till end of April!


And on Bandcamp:

 

CD:
Price

Friday, 12 February 2021

OJP053 : OMEGA F2;K / Animal Mask OST

 



OJP053 : OMEGA F2;K / Animal Mask OST

"OMEGA F2;K" is an alternative electric music unit based in Tokyo, Japan. They are influenced by dance music and traditional music from around the world, as well as insignificant and silly pop songs.

They were formed in 2009 by DJ Jun Morita and sound designer Akimasa Yamada, who was previously with “Novo Tempo”. Later, the band performed live with Japanese actor Takeshi Kongochi of the rock band "yes, mama ok?" and Gomax Goda on keyboards.

The band released two songs on Pony Canyon in 2013. A very dubious DVD "The Decline Of The Orgy-Live Recording And Mixed Film 2010-2013" was released in 2015, selling well on the Tokyo underground scene. In 2016, they produced the soundtrack for “Animal mask Lesbian” by female pornographic directer Maboroshiko. In 2017 they released a remix for the rock band “Honeydew".

“Animal Mask OST” is a collection of soundtracks from 2016. Shuffling between TG's "In the Shadow of the Sun" and Jean Rouch's Ethnofiction movie, the music sounds like Jean Rollin eating peanuts. 

In conclusion, Ninjas survive. 
In a dream they walk by your side.


Digital release on the 12th of February 2021.

Track listing:

1: Prelude to Kawaii
2: Awesome Animals
3: Hypermetamorphosis
4: Banzai Living Creatures
5: Pet Food of the Waffle House
6: Hunting Tour
7: Bitch
8: Possession
9: The Curse of the Gagaku Mask
10: Secrets Exposed
11: Raptures Over


And on Bandcamp: 

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

OJP054 : Toshinori Kondo / Move Not Move - The Silent Melodies 15th Anniversary Reissue

 

Cover art by Kiekebiche


OJP054 : Toshinori Kondo / Move Not Move - The Silent Melodies 15th Anniversary Reissue

Originally recorded in 2006 and released in 2007, Silent melodies from Japanese trumpet player Toshinori Kondo still shine 15 years later. 

Unfortunately, Kondo San left us in the end of 2020 and The Silent Melodies will last forever to remind us how a beautiful and avant-garde trumpet player he was.

He developed a unique style mixing electronics with his acoustic trumpet, playing usually in bands or as guest. 

The Silent Melodies are Toshinori San in solo with only his instrument and nothing else and no one else. No synths, no beats but the man and his magic trumpet! Enjoy!

Kondo San in action

Digital reissue on the 9th of February 2021.

Track listing:

1. Clear Water
2. Gone Dream-1
3. Gone Dream-2
4. Resonant Space
5. Mountain Shadow
6. Song for the Small Planet
7. Sky Cry
8. Moon Cloud
9. Wind Temptation
10.Stars Night
11.Melting Stone
12.First Light


And on Bandcamp:
   

CD here:
Prices

Friday, 5 February 2021

OUC030 : WHALTHISNEY / Thisequilibria

Cover art by WALTHISNEY


OUC030 : WHALTHISNEY / Thisequilibria

Another album by WHALTHISNEY (see also OUC018 and ODG134searching for the perfect approach of using the piano in a very distant way, interfering with some touches of electronics... 

The music is a constant flow that lifts you in another world, a kind of limbo where you float indefinitely...

No more words needed, just drown yourself in his music! Enjoy!

Digital release on the 5th of February2021.

Track listing:

1: All Is Nothing
2: False Hopes
3: Fluidity
4: Silent Emptiness
5: Within the Flux



And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 29 January 2021

OVD042 : Pierre Vervloesem / Folklorik

 

Cover design by A.L., floral arrangement and photo by Caroline Lumia



OVD042 : Pierre Vervloesem / Folklorik

In his own self new challenge, Pierre decided this time to go for existing or non existing folkloric world dances, re inventing some or creating brand new ones in that same vein. 

The last track is the only one that exists as "La Pachanga Que no Cansa" from Manolin Morel but use a chromatically inversion keeping only the original solo. 

As Bowie sang: 'Let's Dance!'.

Digital release on the 29th of January 2021.

Track listing:

1: La carpatyo
2: 
La kizomba
3: 
La bachata
4: 
La bipolère
5: 
La décédée
6: 
L'entrejambe
7: 
La panikade
8: 
La sambrevilaine
9: 
La tristerie
10: 
Le felakon
11: 
La pachanga


And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 22 January 2021

OUC031 : Mac Dunlop / Somewhere Nearby

 

Cover art by Mac Dunlop and A.L.


OUC031 : Mac Dunlop / Somewhere Nearby 

'Somewhere Nearby' weaves between cool jazz compositions and experimental electronic ambience and improvisations. Each track narrates its own story like a movie soundtrack and lets you imagine a lot of things.

Mac lives in Cornwall, UK where he composes and records his work at the Blauhaus Falmouth Studio.  

His music ranges in style from experimental ambience to modern classical and jazz. He regularly features on the BBC, London's Resonance FM and other independent music and sound art broadcasters. He also creates soundtracks for film and video.

Mac Dunlop


"it's like narrative without words"   
- Sarah Gosling, presenter BBC Radio 6

“I love it – so fragmented and just kind of dream like – snapshots of sounds and motifs going round like some kind of slightly unhinged music box.”  
- Elizabeth Alker, presenter, The Unclassified Show, BBC Radio 3

Digital release release on the 22th of January 2021.

Track listing:

1: Bianka's Song
2: E-Flat Sine Wave
3: Wharf Interlude
4: Migration in Three Parts
5: Lockdown World
6: Sine Wave Curious
7: Somewhere Nearby
8: Steambeck


And on Bandcamp:

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

ODG137 : Bone and the Changing Orchestra / Tropicalisation

 

Cover art by A.L. - Emanuele Bonini


ODG137 : Bone and the Changing Orchestra / Tropicalisation

‘Tropicalisation’ music looks at the gypsy music, mostly free, improvised, fast and colourful, clumsy and dirty, recorded all together one afternoon in a three-by-four-meter room near Modena.  From modern lounge, to jazz, to brazen moods, the music is a vibrant moment of joy in the future. Contamination and pollution without rules! Freedom for the players, freedom for the listeners!

Drums: Gioele Merli - Nicolò Bertoni - Francesco Russo
Percussions: Natan Toselli - Giovanni Molinari
Bass: Alex Ascione - Matteo Pellegrini
Keyboards: Gian Marco Vecchi - Lucio Cavallari
Sax: Alex Ascione
Electric guitar: Emanuele Bonini
Clean guitar: Bone
Other percussions: Bone
Sound design: Bone - Lucio Cavallari on Santé

Recorded October 20th, 2019 at Mushroom Studios
Produced by Bone at Enzo Studios in Modena

Digital release on the 19th of January 2021.

Track listing and musicians:

1: Freshman: Nicolò Bertoni - Drums / Natan Toselli - Cajon / Giovanni Molinari - Congas / Alex Ascione - Bass / Gian Marco Vecchi - Keyboards / Emanuele Bonini - Electric guitar / Bone - Sound design - Ocean drums - Cymbals - Rain stick - Clean guitar


2: Helen lives in the Ocean: Gioele Merli - Drums / Natan Toselli - Cajon / Giovanni Molinari - Congas / Alex Ascione - Bass / Gian Marco Vecchi - Keyboards / Emanuele Bonini - Electric guitar / Bone - Sound design - Ocean drums - Cymbals - Rain stick - Clean guitar


3: Mushhrooms for breakfast: Gioele Merli - Drums / Natan Toselli - Cajon / Giovanni Molinari - Congas / Alex Ascione - Bass - Sax / Matteo Pellegrini / Gian Marco Vecchi - Keyboards / Emanuele Bonini - Electric guitar / Bone - Sound design - Ocean drums - Cymbals - Rain stick - Clean guitar


4: Hecox: Francesco Russo - Drums / Matteo Pellegrini - Bass / Gian Marco Vecchi - Keyboards / Emanuele Bonini - Electric guitar / Bone - Sound design - Clean guitar


5: Sally in Downtown: Gioele Merli - Drums / Natan Toselli - Cajon / Giovanni Molinari - Congas - Cowbell / Alex Ascione - Bass / Gian Marco Vecchi - Keyboards / Emanuele Bonini - Electric guitar / Bone - Sound design - Flute - Ocean drums - Cymbals - Rain stick - Clean guitar


6: Santè: Alex Ascione - Sax / Matteo Pellegrini - Bass / Gian Marco Vecchi - Keyboards - Emanuele Bonini - Electric guitar / Bone - Sound design - Rain stick - Clean guitar / Lucio Cavallari - ambient synth/sound designer


7: Little fisherman: Nicolò Bertoni - Drums / Natan Toselli - Cajon / Giovanni Molinari - Congas / Alex Ascione - Bass / Gian Marco Vecchi - Keyboards / Emanuele Bonini - Electric guitar / Bone - Sound design - Ocean drums - Cymbals - Rain stick - Clean guitar


 

And on Bandcamp:

Friday, 15 January 2021

ODG136 : Ben Sluijs Quartet / Candy Century

 



ODG136 : Ben Sluijs Quartet / Candy Century

Another re-release by the fantastic Ben Sluijs Quartet (see also Ben in solo, duo or quartet on OCD039ODG086ODG095ODG096ODG098ODG103 and ODG117).

What was written at the time:

"Barely 33 years old, saxophonist Ben Sluijs shows an astonishing maturity in the way he manages his musical career. Heir, like many current young talents, of a certain Coltranian tradition but also of Lee Konitz and cool jazz in general, Sluijs shows no desire to let himself be locked in any drawer with a label. He wants his music to be free and somewhat inaccessible, the product of an interior necessity somewhere halfway between a poetic reverie and perfect harmony. A state of grace that can only be reached when freed from physical and material contingencies. Suddenly, Ben Sluijs does not scatter and takes his time. Professional musician since the 90ties (he has played notably with Philip Catherine, Toots Thielemans, Michel Herr, Joe Lovano and Billy Hart), he recorded his first real compact (Food For Free) in May 1997. To do this, he placed himself at the head of a quartet of which he carefully chose the components above all for their capacity to understand, to integrate, to extend his music. By surrounding himself with Erik Vermeulen on piano, Piet Verbist on bass and Eric Thielemans on drums, the saxophonist has created a formidable springboard for the expression of his own ideas.

Two years later, he recorded this Candy Century again with the same team. And we are simply amazed at the beauty of the themes, the harmonies, the solos, which emerges from this music. While the album must have been meticulously crafted to be listened to in one piece, I can't help but give my preference to ballads, a genre in which Ben Sluijs particularly excels: After All Things Been Said, Every Now An Then and Pour Jacques, dedicated to the memory of Jacques Pelzer, are operations of lyrical seduction. More removed, Candy Century and Out Of The Garden are conducive to stunning variations, demonstrating the incredible path traveled by the leader in a few years. And to be convinced, just listen to the first part of New Life performed on saxophone solo: its inventive phrasing, its science of rhythm and its correct conception of space are exemplary. As for Zinaïda, a superb ballad with oriental accents reminiscent of Rabih Abou-Khalil's quartet, Ben Sluijs finds the flute there, an instrument already used with happiness on the title Daydreaming of the previous album. In total, this is music that is both intense and lovely, a perfect balance that evokes happiness and awakens hope for other beautiful works to come."

In the magazine Cadence, New York 12/2000

"Tenderness and muscularity are sublimely balanced in the form of a Belgian Quartet ostensibly fronted by Sluijs.The music quickly dispels the need for leadership distinction as these four men opperate as a fully integrated and egalitarian unit.... Sluijs and company has crafted an invigorating set imbued with a strong sense of artistry and direction and as a result it's easy to recommend their work."


Ben Sluijs: saxophone, flute

Erik Vermeulen: piano

Piet Verbist: bass

Eric Thielemans: drums

Originally released on the W.E.R.F. label as WERF019 in 2000.

Digital release on the 15th of January 2021.

1: After All Things Been Said
2: Candy Century
3: New Life 1
4: New Life 2 & 3
5: Out Of The Garden
6: Zinaïda
7: Every Now And Then
8: Pour Jacques


And on Bandcamp: