Monday, February 13, 2006

cult of the week - Smalts

artist: Smalts

title: Werktitels

year: 1982

label: Plurex Records

personnel: KJ Boterbloem, W Dekker, F Van Manen, P Mulder, R Ootes, I Schalkx

tracklisting: werktitel 7, werktitel 5, werktitel 1, werktitel 8

cotw say…

jollyfied name to the contrary, Minny Pops were one Holland's premier synth/ wave gloom merchants. centered around the baritone of Wally van Middendorp, the Pops' Joy Division-esque sound was unmistakable, if occasionally an acquired taste. the sole EP from two-member side project Smalts, (almost) dropped the vocals altogether for a series of intriguing musical soundscapes.
rather than churn out a series of derivative, sub-par Eno experiments, 'Werktitels' contains some very interesting music indeed. drums and percussion are used to great effect throughout, with plaintive synths used to create semi-melodic drones that give the EP a fairly 'folky' feel that's most prevalent on 'Werktitel 5'. 'Werktitel 1', however, is undoubtedly the standout, perhaps because the remaining tracks are so criminally short. a seriously cool layered, live percussion loop fades in, synths soon following with a tongue-in-cheek melody that sounds like it's been lifted straight from a b-movie horror soundtrack. spacious production gives the EP an ethereal quality that keeps it in considerably lighter territory than one might imagine.
a neat series of pieces that remains as unclassifiable as it is interesting.

erik -

No comments: