vrijdag 15 juni 2018

Howart. Howart

It is not everyday a cd is dropped in my letterbox accompanied by art beside the artwork on the cover. Tiny Room Records' latest release comes with art complimenting the cover of the cd. A water colouring of another streetview. How Art indeed.

With any new album by Tiny Room Records it is impossible to predict what will come from my speakers. So there's no difference here with Howart.

Howart is the debut album of artist Anneke Nieuwdorp. Filled with compositions and soundscapes that, with the assistance of  Dave Mollen (drums), Gino Miniutti (bass) en Stefan Breuer (guitars, voice), were completed into a bandlike presentation. The six song mini album, with one word titles to all songs, is more a presence than a song cycle. Experimentation was not something to be eschewed during the making of 'Howart'. A process or project that was years in the making it seems. Now in 2018 it finally all came together.

If one word was allowed only for this review, it would be impressive. I am impressed by all that comes by. The soundscapes, the firm drumming, that just as easily drops away to return further down the song, the moods that are captured and released when the song calls for it.

There are no songs in the traditional sense on Howart. Still there is melody to be found just like a more popular sounding undergrowth around the electronic layers that make up the body of the work. Perhaps even found by accident. Yes, Radiohead was mentioned somewhere and the comparison can be allowed here. Like the mammoth U.K. band Howart manages to incorporate the unincorporatable it seems. 'Market' is the best example on 'Howart'. Layer upon layer is stacked creating an impressive composition.

Anneke Nieuwdorp is not so much a singer. There's a lot electronics to boost and change her voice. Her singing is half of the time a mere instrument, in other songs there are faint traces of lyrics. At the same time I'm reminded of Amber Arcades and 'Twin Peaks'. 'Draw' could be the soundtrack to Laura Palmer's last nightmare or to Agent Cooper's "Red Room" visitations. 'Draw' is downright scary. What ever happened to Ms. Nieuwdorp in the past it must have been serious to come up with a composition like this. It sounds like electronic primal scream therapy to me.

The sound the album starts with is 'Twin Peaks' as well. 'Dreams' has that Twin Peaks' dreamy state of music, where mystery roams North-western Washington, close to the Canadian border. There is more to 'Howart', although the dreamy, otherworldly atmosphere remains always close to this music. This music is meant to touch, to move and, as I wrote, to impress. Like waves 'Adore' rolls over me, sprawling my limbs in each every direction, threatening to pull me under before letting me go again to surface and breath safely. 'Howart' is no small record in that sense.

Again Tiny Room Records released an album that caught me totally unawares, pointed me in a totally different direction and comes out winning. For the love of music indeed.


You can listen to and buy Howart here:


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