Describing frozen climes and slowly unfurling tundra winds, the experimental trio Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra (KBK) create deeply considered and quietly cinematic music that refracts like sunlight through wintered fog. Guitarists Romke Kleefstra and Anne Chris Bakker summon, through delicate improvisation, huge vistas of chilled sonics and uncannily natural sounds which act as a bed for Jan Kleefstra’s poetry, written and spoken in a dead language called Frisian. Their music is at once revelatory, it hushes you into a transcendental state, allowing you to survey their slow, meditative sculpturing of sound that bristles with the vibrancy of life, your mouth open in awe. Something unknown and ancient is conjured by these three men that could never be replicated by anyone else.
"Have you ever wondered what a Christmas card designed by Thomas Hardy would sound like? Just ask Tombed Visions Records
Kleefstra/Bakker/Kleefstra (KBK) make the kind of music that is inspired by Christmas cards. I don’t mean pictures of jolly overweight men in red and white or comedic scenes of families sitting around a table overloaded with food while a dog and a cat fight over the scraps. The Christmas cards that KBK soundtrack are of whited out landscapes and villages. All you can see is snow. No one is moving. Everything is silent. The sun is, either, rising or setting in the back ground, you know if Thomas Hardy made Christmas cards. There is an isolation and claustrophobia that screams from these paintings and pictures, but there is also a tenderness, that only comes when people are truly at ease and resigned to their collective fates.
The majority of the music on Desimber is minimal soundscapes that are constructed by guitarists Romke Kleefstra and Anne Chris Bakker. While these are improvised, there is a meditative structure that is hard to ignore. As these powerful audio panoramas, slowly undulate Jan Kleefstra’s poetry has the ideal backdrop. The poetry is spoken in Frisian, a language made up of Dutch, German and Lox Saxon. These lyrical tones add the dynamism that gives Desimber something tangible to grab hold of in the fug of music.
This is the kind of music that maybe you won’t play very often, which is a shame as it a flawless exercise of self-control and minimalism, but it does evoke a time of year, when people are on their own and others aren’t. Desimber indeed."
released December 1, 2016
Side A was recorded at De Vrijplaats, Leiden (the Netherlands), December 19th 2015, by Rob Badub and Kleefstra|Bakker|Kleefstra. Side B was recorded at Studio Loos, The Hague (the Netherlands), December 10th 2015, by Bjarni Gunnarsson and
Kleefstra|Bakker|Kleefstra. Both recordings were mixed and mastered by Rutger Zuydervelt.
Thanks to Rob Badub and all people at De Vrijplaats, Marie Guilleray and Bjarni Gunnarsson and all people of Ephémère at Studio Loos, Rutger Zuydervelt, Danny Saul, and the McLean brothers at Tombed Visions.
Tombed Visions is a Manchester based cassette label specialising in sound art, ambient music, experimental electronics and
improvisation and aims to showcase the fringes of contemporary independent music. All releases are limited edition and packaged with care, combining a love of graphic design, photography, typography with the wondrous sounds released....more