boom

Deeply intricate and esoteric experimental percussion music from Netherland’s own Paleis Van Boem, which aptly translates to “Palace of Boom”. Now known – if you’re Dutch that is! – for their film and TV soundtracks, Paleis Van Boem actually had roots in the lecture halls of the Rotterdam Conservatory. This duo consisting of Martin Vonk and Jaap de Weijer (with the help of Leo Anemaet) joined forces in hopes of making music that would be entirely percussion led, with sonic treatments added during and after their performances and recordings.

Mowgli Goes Kaka, although existing as their sole recording, I believe shares much of the same feeling and spirit of the pioneering work of Midori Takada. Piecing together all sorts of ethnic traditions, in search of a new, third way allowed them to create something that has the propulsion of dance music – albeit with a whole bunch of the otherworldly-ness found in early “fourth world” music by pioneers like Steve Reich and Jon Hassell. After debuting pieces of these ideas on stage with dance companies, over the course of three nights, Paleis Van Boem tookSt. Agnit’s Chappel, in the city of Gouda and actually recorded their complete vision there. Sampled bits of Islamic vocals even make an appearing in the second cut. Really, really neat stuff.

A lot of the pieces here start slowly then simply find themselves by going to some really unexpected places. Heavy tom work, gigantic tube instruments up in your earspace like no one’s business, and shape-shifting tape loop samples all make an appearance. What more is there to say about this unusual slab of Dutch tribal music? Other than not to sleep on it (album’s never been issued/reissued on CD)…

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