Solex Ahoy! Sound Map of the Netherlands
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|Official Release Date||Mar 05, 2013|
- Manufacturer: Bronzerat
track listing1. Nood-Holland2. Friesland3. Groningen4. Drenthe5. Overijssel6. Gelderland7. Limberg8. Noord-Brabant9. Zeeland10. Zuid-Holland11. Utrecht12. Flevoland13. Nood-Holland14. Friesland15. Groningen16. Drenthe17. Overijssel18. Gelderland19. Limberg20. Noord-Brabant21. Zeeland22. Zuid-Holland23. Utrecht24. Flevoland25. Solex Ahoy! the Sound Map of the Netherlands [Dvd / Documentary]
descriptionThe Solex albums Elisabeth Esselink released in the 2010s were more high concept, yet more restrained, than some of her earlier work, and Solex Ahoy! The Sound Map of the Netherlands is no exception. In 2008, she and Bart van Poppel recorded their travels around the Netherlands' 12 provinces in an old motorboat as they collaborated with musicians from each region. Esselink then sampled and edited the results into this loose-limbed set of songs, which also functions as the soundtrack to the documentary made about the duo's journey. While Solex Ahoy! is arguably as sample-heavy as previous works like The Pick Up, Esselink uses her skills to turn her source materials into tracks with a flowing, sustained mood instead of showy collage-pop. While this music might have been made on and inspired by the Netherlands' waterways, there's a distinctly earthy feel to most of these songs: "Drenthe," with its chugging groove and bluesy slide guitars and fiddles, defines the balance of rustic and sophisticated sounds Esselink achieves throughout most of The Sound Map of the Netherlands, while the honking geese that punctuate it show she hasn't completely downplayed her flair for cheekiness. The way she combines and contrasts sounds is subtle but compelling, whether it's the casually jazzy way "Noord-Holland"'s drums and guitars fall together or the tension between "Flevoland"'s taut riffs and boisterous trumpets, and it grows more intriguing with repeated listens. As the album unfolds, Esselink allows more of Solex's whimsy to peek through, as on the mod hodge-podge of organ, flute, and street traffic on "Zuid-Holland," but her witty melodic sense ensures that even more subdued pieces such as "Groningen" never seem staid. From beginning to end, Solex Ahoy! The Sound Map of the Netherlands has a playful groove that makes it some of Solex's cohesive music. While this album isn't as immediately dazzling as some of her other work, it's an affectionate musical portrait of Esselink's homeland that emphasizes how versatile she's become over the years.
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