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cracked review: here is the night ep

hunter complex - here is the night ep outside frontReleasing a CD-single with one outtake of a regular album with four remixes and one unreleased track, and all that as a pre-release to the coming album, is a tactic usually employed by major labels. But here it is Narrominded, one of the most renowned, one hundred percent independent labels still around, and there is no idea that the Dutch label would try to get into the major charts or try its luck on the stock exchange. It is just to eclectic in its musical tastes and to openminded and focused on the music in its releases.

Lars Meijer and Coen Oscar Polack, the two minds behind the label narrominded as well as various musical projects, amongst them Hunter Complex, which is Meijer and his solo visions of music, can be trusted to follow their tastes more than their briefcases. Moreover, the remixers are all from the scene that has built around the label, such as Garcon Taupe (who have just released on Narrominded), Spoelstra (who have an album coming up called The Almighty Internet) and Oscar Coen Polack himself. And finally, this EP is also available as a free mp3 download, so it is really more an introductory card to the label.

Albeit a rather restricted one. The music, starting from the song Here Is the Night, is restricted to basic keyboard and synthesizer beats and harmonies, very much like the electro beat experimented with in the early eighties and which Mute records took its first steps towards eternal fame in. Narrominded haven’t found their Depeche Mode yet, unfortunately. Only the original track has vocals, sung in perfect mimicry of the dark, almost gothic electro-pop that I remember from my early teenage-hood. Hunter Complex really states that he used a lot of synties from the eighties (bad luck for anybody who sold his old synthies ten years ago for cheap, because now they seem to be in big demand and you may get top dollar for it) but also perused the boundary-less recording possibilities available nowadays.

To the remixes: Garcon Taupe focuses on the percussive parts and dabbles with multi-layered beats and synthie-congas. Spoelstra reduces the song to a synthie-bedroom wizard version and what is possibly a one-take recording. It seems to me that at one point he hit the wrong note and – which is always a good tactic – remained hitting it until it starts to sound meant that way and becomes meaningful and fitting. Coen Oscar Polack finally takes out the rhythm totally and turns the song into a slowly flowing ambient track with the vocals reduced to a humming, transcending instrumental layer adding bass in the back. No, it is not like Psychic TV, only somewhat.

The final track, another Hunter Complex original, is another odd pop song somehow re-vived from the eighties. Fashion Street has high pitched comic vocals on the intro, glass chime synthies and even that sort of echoy saxophone and wailing guitar that makes late night, rainy street scenes in action movies from the eighties so cool. You know, the point in the plot where the main hero is all alone and has to get to grips with all he has done wrong and how come everything seems to be against him. That is usually the point where he drives his sports car through Los Angeles at night and from there onwards everything turns towards his way and he kills the main gangster / gets the girl finally / saves his friendship.

I am currently looking forward if that time machine effect will work out on the full length album that will be released this month. Otherwise I will have to go and see if I can find Live and Die in L.A. on DVD.

Georg Gartlgruber

compilation: these pictures of you – a delicatessen compilation (book + cd-r / digital)

artwork: these pictures of you - a delicatessen compilation frontrelease date: january 16 2010
format: book + cd-r / digital
label: delicatessen

info

For four weeks in a row different music photographers showed their photos at Delicatessen. Each week different musicians and writers where invited to give their response to one or more of the photos shown in the gallery. They were not given a specific assignment, but kept free, or in the dark , whatever way you want to see it. A week after each opening they read and played their response in the gallery.

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written in music review: here is the night ep

hunter complex - here is the night ep outside front3.5 / 5

Achter Hunter Complex gaat Lars Meijer schuil, een van de drijvende krachten achter het Nederlandse label Narrominded, dat al geruime tijd garant staat voor sterke electro- en ambientreleases. Als voorproefje van het te verwachten album Hunter Complex verscheen onlangs de ep Here Is the Night.

Lars Meijers voorliefde voor synthpop uit de eerste helft van de jaren tachtig bleek onder meer al uit zijn bijdrage aan de Briano Eno cover-cd Another Another Green World (Narrominded, 2009). Het titelnummer van de ep Here Is the Night is enigszins vergelijkbaar: vlotte, vocale synthpop met een stemmige ondertoon en een scheut italo die zeker naar meer smaakt. Toegankelijk maar eigenzinnig.

Remixes
De ep bevat nog een drietal remixes. Garçon Taupe, regelmatig bejubeld vanwege zijn split-lp met Legowelt, komt verrassend uit de hoek met bijna tribale percussie over een relatief kaal old school electrotapijt. Spoelstra levert een robuuste versie af met een noeste beat en een scala aan elektronische loopjes, akkoorden en sequences.

Lars Meijer werkte in het verleden al samen met Coen Oscar Polack (onder meer in Living Ornaments en Psychon). De lange, experimentele interpretatie van Polack staat haaks op de eerdere mixen van Here Is the Night: we horen geen beat, maar wel een hypnotiserend stuk dat de luisteraar op niet onaangename wijze langzaam uit het lood trekt.

Hunter Complex zelf mag vervolgens de ep afsluiten middels het lichtvoetige Fashion Street waar piano, saxofoon en akoestische en elektrische gitaar opduiken. Verrassend, en wat vloekend met de overige nummers laat deze track wellicht het andere uiterste van het spectrum van Hunter Complex horen. Het maakt nieuwsgierig naar het album, dat weleens een breed elektronisch palet zou kunnen bestrijken. Op basis van eerder werk van Hunter Complex, én het label Narrominded, mogen we zeker rekenen op boeiend luistervoer.

Edwin Hofman

original article

ep: here is the night (cd / digital)

hunter complex - here is the night ep outside frontrelease date: december 17 2009
format: cd / digital
label: narrominded

info

Here Is the Night EP is the first release by Hunter Complex. Under this name Lars Meijer creates music with a clear influence of synthpop and new wave from the eighties. In January 2010 his debut album Hunter Complex will be released. As a starter, Narrominded presents this cd (also available as a free download) containing reworks of the track Here Is the Night by Garçon Taupe, Spoelstra and Coen Oscar Polack. Lars Meijer was previously active in electronic music acts Living Ornaments and Psychon and is the co-owner of the Narrominded label. Around the turn of the century, under the moniker Larz, he created two lo-fi pop albums that reached a cult-status internationally. ‘Call Larz another bedroom genius – which he is, but he’s got that extra bit of special something about him’, Allmusic.com said at the time.

Continue reading ep: here is the night (cd / digital)