A while ago I heard someone say: “Rotterdam is the Dutch dubstep capital.” And I would have to confirm that.
It is a very accessible record mind, as I’ve hinted at before there’s nothing really arsty or difficult here, rather the sensibility is that of a weird kind of pop.
The Rommelmarkt feel that Bottelaars en Beesten has is given weight by the fact that this LP is a compilation of tracks that somehow have fallen by the wayside or have been overlooked for other releases.
There are two truly great things about this release: one is the spacey quality of the music. The other is its incredible patience. This is a powerful, slow moving beast, not looking to push you around.
To say that it’s interesting and often inspiring is a bit of an understatement: it’s not an easy listen but it’s a hypnotic one and one that you can easily get into the habit of listening to, especially if you need something a bit offbeat to tune into.
So there’s an ephemeral, delicate feel to this new record, Marc having imperceptibly shifted their sound folk-wards and looking to bring a more melancholy note to proceedings, utilising Brenda’s incredibly expressive voice in the mid-range.
I’ll stand by an old observation I made of them, that they are a loner’s band and as such best enjoyed in the confines of your bedroom.
Subroutine have put out some remarkable records this last 18 months or so. But this is certainly one of their best. A future classic. Enervating, intelligent, multidimensional and… most of all… Good Time rock.
...it’s one of those records that drift in and out of your consciousness, providing a shimmering backdrop to your daily chores…
I’m strolling down to the Melkweg. I see a huge queue of teens clad in black and the darker shades of purple and grey… hordes of gawky teens; liberally daubed with purple lipstick and violently, aggressively shiny black hair, wearing trousers that are wider than a turnoffon the A4. Eh? Where are the Subbacultcha butterflies?
Because it’s a real growler this one, the opening track Believer instigates a headlong charge into bozo territory – where the rest of the album happily gambols about like a herd of bullocks let into a new spring pasture.
And yes, the single is a blast, ballsy too; when did you ever hear a pair of songs so unconcerned by what’s in fashion or so wrapped up in themselves? Nothing wrong with that m’lud.
It’s ridiculous, I’m 43 and this sort of music is for nice girls who keep diaries, not me. But I want more. Now.
It seems this new Herrek are interested in setting up their tracks as morose mixes of downbeat soliloquy and tough social commentary.
Ostensibly -this is still music for clubs, or maybe music for people who would like to go to clubs but don’t anymore.
Invariably the music is of the highest quality, if focussed pretty heavily on things that could be herded up into the ambient / post-post-industrial / white noise / alt-jazz bracket.
You get the feeling that this is a band that feels the need to hide their light behind a bushel now and again. Despite their incredible power.
This record is everything and nothing. Just like the band. They’re just a bunch of people from Groningen. No more than that, and they’re not looking for your approval.
Simple stuff it may be, but sometimes adding just a little bit extra significantly increases the value of the whole.
So old and new, continuity and change, standstill and motion. Minny Pops are still the same intriguing bag of contradictions. They play their last live gig at the Quietus / Lexington bash in London on 26th November. Don’t miss it.