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KNEKELHUIS

De Ambassade

Wat Voel Je Nou (2018 Blue Press)

Knekelhuis offer a welcome reprise to those of us too slow to grab a copy of this modern wave classic with a 2018 reissue in icebox blue.
Hunkered down in the concrete grayscale of the Amsterdam suburbs, we find  Pascal Pinkert (Dollkraut) working on his darker wave salvation under the De Ambassade alias. This debut EP forms an alliance between the past and the present, housing a pair of one take recordings, drowned in reverb and captured on vintage technology. The result are poppy wave tracks that shiver your spine and let you chant along to lyrics from the Dutch lowlands. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: A perfect companion to Knekelhuis' recent compilations of Dutch Cassette rarities, this repress of De Ambassade's 2016 retro-ist hit "Wat Voel Je Nou" arrives right on time, dressed to impress on blue vinyl.

After last year's excellent discoveries from Volume 1, another batch of ‘lost’ and unreleased Dutch (cassette) material is coming back to the future. For this sequel Knekelhuis dug deep into the Dutch lowlands and again found some independent music that’s still relevant today. In the process we met even more amazing musicians and heard great stories from a distant-not-so-distant past. Expect a wide palette of DIY and experimental sounds by artists from Groningen, Zwolle, Arnhem, The Hague, Rotterdam, Tilburg and Deurne. Volume 2 also features a beautifully designed inlay with liner notes in Dutch and English.Mastered by Wouter Brandenburg, designed by Steele Bonus and compiled by Mark van de Maat. 

Patricia Kokett’s sound is shrouded in a veil of mysticism. The brainchild of Lithuanian Gediminas Jakubka, "Diabel"’s metallic heartbeat underlies a magical superstructure that evokes some kind of DMT infused trip. Or possibly even some kind of ancient ritual, where one is intoxicated by serpents blood. Guided by repetitive drum patterns, it creates a slow joint dance that opens the path towards transcendence. Slow, low and riddled with robo-termite chomp and bleeping sequence "Diabel" trips the light fantastic before A2 offering "Mmuo" takes a more euphoric tack into the entheogenic ecstasy of kosmische chug. On the B1 "Serpiente" takes us to see the machine elves, all twisted crystalline waveforms and ork-ish bass growls. Finally "Mmuo Trance" blasts through acid pulses, microtonal oscillations and low BPM crunch on its way to final cosmic apotheosis.

Taking a brief diversion from their usual fare of clattering industrial stormers and minimal wave magic, Knekelhuis take us off into the upper atmosphere this week with a killer 12" from Meo. A pseudonym of Daniele Mei, a key DJ on Rimini's cosmic scene, Meo dropped debut 12" "Fine Corsa" back in 1985. In those days Meo was active in what was later considered to be the most famous Afro Dance Club in Italy: Melody Mecca. As you'd expect, the freestyle approach to sonic selection and total disregard for genre confines informed Meo's production style, resulting in a glorious hybrid of styles and feelings. The set opens with the rolling bass, syncopated percussion and soaring synth-flute of "Chichita", a proggy piece of slow disco with hints of jazz, astral accents and chanted vocals. Next up, "Oriental Lodge" leads us into pastoral plane with calming harpsichord, operatic vocals and a drifting rhythm. Flip the disc and the titular "Fine Corsa" comes through with cop show clavs, pulsating bass and smudged sci fi vocals - totally nailing all those intergalactic ingredients needed for a full scale cosmic bomb. Finally, "Monday's Coma" closes the set with shoulder rolling percussion, prominent bass and trippy keyboards emphasizing the mystical melodies at play.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Knekelhuis come through with a cosmic killer here, reissuing Meo's debut 12", originally released in 1985. If this one's new on you, expect OG Rimini cosmic packed with loose funk, proggy tones and low tempo grooves.


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