woensdag 23 september 2020

Twilight Princess

It was May 2018 when the First 4 Figures company announced another resin figure of one of the main characters of one of my all time favourite games, "The Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess" (released for Nintendo's GameCube in 2006).

Wolf Link and Midna (game scene).
First 4 Figures produces limited, high quality and officially licensed resin and PVC figures related to computer games since 2003. 
A couple of years ago the company already produced a figure with Midna on Wolf Link (which I unfortunately don't have), but now it was time for the highly anticipated true form of this Midna. 

I have always been an admirer of the Zelda franchise, but various aspects from this dark "Twilight Princess" definitely made this one of my favourite games from the series.
If you have played this game, you might eventually be familiar with the game's final scene. It is the moment when cursed Midna returns to her true form as the Twilight Princess. This emotional moment is one which had quite an impact on me.
True form Midna (final game scene).


True form Midna figure.
When I saw the announcement of this true form Midna figure, I 
didn't have to think twice to pre-order it. The amount of these company's figures is strictly limited (and individually numbered), based on the amount of pre-orders. So all their products become collector items as soon as the production has ended. Because figures are announced way before the definitive design and approval of licensing by the brand owner company (in this case Nintendo), and the fact all figures are hand crafted, it takes quite a while to have an entire production ready.

Last Monday, almost 2,5 years after I placed my order, the excitement was there! Midna finally arrived!
And the result is gorgeous. Love her in all aspects. The figure's nice size of 17 inch, amazing detailing and coloring, and the possibility to light her hair (option with the Exclusive edition, which I bought), really made her come to life. A truly amazing piece for any geek's game and merchandising collection.

woensdag 5 augustus 2020

Dutch Electronic Masters

I have contributed music for the sampler album "Dutch Electronic Masters".
My submission is one of the 20 tracks that are part of this download only (Bandcamp) compilation, to be released on Friday August 7th.

The proceeds from the download sales will go to the Underground-Äxpärten radio show for the financial support of their radio operations and other voluntary work.

My exclusive (and not yet released before) contribution - "View over the Dokkumer Ee" - is a recent 10 minute improvisation around a sequencer theme which I programmed for last year's Mäläskä sessions that lead to recently released "First Day of Spring".

Find below the release's press information (translated to English.
The original German version can be read on www.hippiesland.de/release_dutch_electronic_masters):

Dutch Electronic Masters
Release 07.08.2020

An idea was born.
The electronic musicians Harald Gramberg and Gerrit Johannes Vos (Adeptus Mechanicus), well-known through internet radio broadcasts, founded their joint band camp site The Cosmic Musical Connection in December 2018, not only to publish their collaborative works, but also to provide a platform for other electronic musicians To offer publication of joint productions

So the idea was not far off to try a sampler album, on which a number of artists are represented, who all have one thing in common. The foundation stone for the compilation "Dutch Electronic Masters", a journey across the Dutch electronic music scene, was laid.

Now it was necessary to find enough musicians who would like to take part in this project. The proceeds from the download sale should go to the underground specialists for the financial support of their radio operations and their other voluntary work. And lo and behold, 20 top-class electronics artists from the Netherlands agreed to participate in this mammoth project with one of their works. Some of them even composed a piece specially designed for this purpose. The result is a digital sampler album with a total playing time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. It will be available for download from August 7th on the above-mentioned band camp site, and from this date it will also be available in full or in part from internet radio stations.

CMCFrom the overall impression, without going into the individual titles in detail, I would like to assert that a very successful compilation is presented, which reflects the wide range of electronic music across the board. From Berlin School to Ambient, Dark Ambient, New Age, Cinematic, Instustrial (I could continue the list any way I want) almost everything is represented, whereby Harald has taken great pains not to simply string the individual soundtracks together, but into a meaningful one Bring order in order to achieve a smooth transition between the individual titles. I recommend you to just do what I did: take your time, maybe with good friends in a convivial atmosphere, and listen to this multifaceted album. It won't get boring in these two and three-quarters of an hour, because there is always something new to discover, not only for enthusiastic electronic music lovers, but also for one or the other active musician, just to be inspired.

Here are the individual artists in the order in which they are represented on the sampler:
Meesha, Gert Blokzijl, Arjen Schat, Adeptus Mechanicus, Eagle / Parallaxe, Harald Gramberg, Gert Emmens, Albert Steenbergen, Manorlogic, Johan ten Pas, René van der Wouden, Son of Ohm, Skoulaman, Northern Sound Productions, SPACEMANIAC, REMY, Romerium , SONICrider, Waveman, Phrozenlight.

Cover design: Gerrit Johannes Vos. Determining the order and upload: Harald Gramberg.
Bernd Jasper, 05.08.2020

Available on August 7th, 2020 from: https://thecosmicmusicalconnection.bandcamp.com

vrijdag 3 april 2020

REMY - The Other Side [new album release]

For April 11th there are scheduled three new album releases on my Deserted Island Music label:

- Mäläskä - First Day of Spring
- REMY - The Other Side
- Space Art - Entrevues

I have already spotlighted two of these albums on this blog the last couple of days.
And now concluding with my own new release: "The Other Side".

Pre-order your copy from www.desertedislandmusic.nl

REMY - The Other Side
Deserted Island Music | DIM-010 | CD and digital download | Release date: April 11th, 2020

“The Other Side” is about the other side of each story, everything we don’t know, and all those things we will never be able to imagine or understand.

1. A Different View
2. Everything is Distraction
3. The Perfect Dream
4. Lost in Reality  

 This most conceptual project to date by renowned Dutch musician of electronic music REMY (Remy Stroomer, 1979) reflects the composer's curiosity about our existence, presence and perception here on this place and at this time, and everything attached to it.

The Other Side consists of four extensive music pieces.
For the musical direction, Remy slightly refers to the kind of music from the beginning of his career, more than 20 years ago. Partially winking to the Berlin School of electronic music, but also including plenty of elements that make REMY’s unique musical style recognisable: stretched out, repetitive and story-telling pieces, evolving sequencer-patterns, and subtle details and layering.

The overture, A Different View, is about thinking different and opposite from the mainstream. Approaching things from another point of view leads to new or different insights.
The second track imagines a point of view which human being is never capable to imagine. We are constantly focussing on the things we know from experience, and all things we have been told and educated. What if Everything is Distraction from the real essence? If there is any.
The Perfect Dream questions how dreams and reality are connected to eachother. A dream so perfect that it could be reality. Or is it reality? With musical and conceptual winks to Klaus Schulze's 1986 album Dreams, which has always been one of the main inspirations for REMY’s music.
The concluding epos Lost in Reality is trying to find a way through a world of dreams and reality. Quietly putting things into perspective, while trying not to lose it from insanity.

The Other Side includes a number of interesting collaborations, which resulted into this dynamic project.

Bas Broekhuis (photo 1), Joost Verhagen and Judith Wesselius (photo 2), Nausikaä de Blaauw (photo 3).
The album's second track, Everything is Distraction, features drums and percussion by Bas Broekhuis (Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder).

For the project's finale, Joost Verhagen converted the project’s subject into text, and Judith Wesselius created the vocal structure. Both Grey Lotus vocalists make the second part of the 23 minute final epos Lost in Reality complete, trying to find a connection between dream and reality.
While Judith relativates tranquillizing, the narrating Joost becomes insane near the end.

Photographer Nausikaä de Blaauw did various photo sessions using a mirror to visualize The Other Side. Each of the selected photos is linked to one of the album’s titles.

Remy Stroomer is born on October 9th, 1979 in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Although Remy tries to let hear his own things and following his own intuition on his musical journey, Klaus Schulze is often mentioned in comparison to Remy's musical style.

At the end of 1999, Remy's debuts with the self-released Exhibition of Dreams. The Art of Imagination is released nearly a year later. With this album Remy wins a Schwingungen award. In the years after Remy releases various albums and performs in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
2011's i-Dentity marks a new era, with the establishment of Remy's Deserted Island Music label, on which his latest albums are being released.

Remy collaborated with a large number of established musicians, including Ron Boots, Eric van der Heijden, Harold van der Heijden, Bill Fox, Gert Emmens, Eric Wøllo, Francis Rimbert, Synth.nl, Thomas Betzler, Moonbooter, My Breath My Music, Wolfram Spyra, Mario Schönwälder,
Bas Broekhuis, David Wright and Space Art.

donderdag 2 april 2020

Space Art - Entrevues [new album release]

For April 11th there are scheduled three new album releases on my Deserted Island Music label:

- Mäläskä - First Day of Spring
- REMY - The Other Side
- Space Art - Entrevues

I will spotlight each of these albums on this blog within next couple of days.
Now it's time for the new album by the legendary Space Art.

Pre-order your copy from www.desertedislandmusic.nl

Space Art - Entrevues
Deserted Island Music | Limited edition LP | Release date: April 11th, 2020

1. Lunes
2. Psychadeliose
3. Retrouvailles
4. Meteo
5. Inox
6. Atmosphere
7. Space News
8. 2 B
9. Nous Savons Tout (remixed by Diakar)

Entrevues is Space Art’s first studio album since Dominique Perrier's Space Art Tribute (2012).
This new album is initially available as limited edition LP, and consists of two parts.
The first six tracks sound like they were written during the band’s early stages, back in the 70s. Brand new and fresh sounding electronic music compositions, partially co-produced by Tommy Rizzitelli. One of these typical Space Art tracks (Inox) features drums by Tommy’s father Roger - half of the band's original line-up - who passed away in 2010. For the other five of these music pieces, Tommy took place behind his drum kit, and perfectly succeeded to maintain his father's legacy.
To conclude the album, the classical sound makes place for three energetic modern style pieces. Including collaborations with Michel Valy, Marc Hazon and Lilli Lacombe. Familiar faces for anyone who attended any concerts Dominique and his friends in the last decade. Music that has only been performed live so far (Space News), an instrumental of a single track (2B) and a remix of one of the band’s classic themes (Nous Savons Tout), make this album a dynamic and varied journey though time and memories.

Space Art was founded by Dominique Perrier and Roger Rizzitelli.
They are considered pioneers of the French electronic music genre.
The three albums that were released between 1977 and 1981 sold more than 3 million albums worldwide. During this period, Space Art had various chart hits, including Onyx and Speedway.
The band opened and joined Jean Michel Jarre's tour in 1981, being the first Western musicians in the the early post-Mao China.
After having been part of Jarre's concert and studio team for almost three decades, Dominique Perrier quit Jarre's band in 2010. With Space Art Tribute (2012) Dominique gathered musicians for the second phase of Space Art, and pays homage to Roger Rizzitelli and Jannette Woollacott. From that point Space Art did a number of international concerts, had festival appearances, and new music and re-issues of the classic albums were released.

Dominique Perrier and Roger Rizzitelli in 1977 (photo 1), Dominique Perrier (photo 2), Tommy Rizzitelli (photo 3).

Dominique Perrier (1950) might be called a legendary collaborator from Jean-Michel Jarre. Recognized as a keyboard virtuoso, he collaborated on all Jarre's albums from “Rendez-Vous” (1986) to “Oxygène 7-13” (1997), and toured with him until 2010. Dominique was also involved into productions of Christophe, Gipsy Kings, Didier Marouani & Space, Stone Age, and composed a number of movie soundtracks.

Roger “bunny” Rizzitelli (1951-2010) also worked with many artists, including Christophe, Claude Francois, Didier Marouani & Space, Thierry Matioszek, Nicoletta, and Dick Rivers.

Roger's son, Tommy Rizzitelli (1987), partially co-produced Entrevues.
Besides having collaborated with Low Parade, Faze, Goyokin, Bleu Tonerre, Simon Widdowson, and many other artist as a studio musician, he is also educator at Jazz Action Valence.

dinsdag 31 maart 2020

Mäläskä - First Day of Spring [new album release]

For April 11th there are scheduled three new album releases on my Deserted Island Music label:

- Mäläskä - First Day of Spring
- REMY - The Other Side
- Space Art - Entrevues

I will spotlight each of these albums on this blog within next couple of days.
Starting with the new release of Mäläskä: the improviational project of Petter Janse and me.

Pre-order your copy from www.desertedislandmusic.nl

First 50 physical orders include a free poster!

Mäläskä - First Day of Spring

Deserted Island Music | DIM-009 | CD and digital download | Release date: April 11th, 2020

Then we felt the wind.
And we knew that this was an omen of things to come.
We’d let go of our luggage and personal belongings.
Then we threw away the map and the book of rules that kept us on well-known roads.
We’d forget all rhythms and melodies that attached us to the old world.
For the first time we felt freedom.
This energy inspired us.
It was the first day of spring.
From ‘The secret teachings of Gerhard Schultz’

1. First Day of Spring
2. Dialogue Between Birches and Oaks
3. Song for the World
4. Die Morgenlandfahrt
5. Green Glasses Don’t Make the World Green
6. Crisis? What Crisis?
7. Dawn for the Pollution Eating Elves
8. In Loving Memory

From November 29th to December 2nd, 2019, Petter Janse (guitar, electronics and stuff) and Remy Stroomer (synthesizers, sequencing and stuff) locked themselves into a house in the small village Jannum, in the Dutch province of Friesland. They brought a large amount of equipment which was put in the right place in the living room, all cables were connected, and from the moment there was any sound, the recorder was turned on. Within the next days, Petter and Remy recorded 11 hours of unprepared improvisations. Joined by Bas Broekhuis (drums and percussion) on the final day.

Although the musical output was quite varied, the over-all loom state of mind during these days resulted into the ambient mood of the tracks selected for First Day of Spring.

Anyone should listen to the music to know what it sounds like, however, the musical content has already been described as ‘classical electronic music of the future’ by one of the very early listeners. This soundtrack sets the mood for this year’s first day of spring.

Petter Janse (Rotterdam, 1963) and Remy Stroomer (Haarlem, 1979) are the core of the improvisational act Mäläskä since 2016.
Their first creative studio sessions instantly resulted into the well-received debut album Uncle Jim’s Cidney Factory. A soundtrack about party animals and dropouts at an American college.
After their first offense, Petter and Remy invited various artists to join their studio and live sessions, resulting into fruitful collaborations with Thomas Betzler (drums and percussion), Tristan ‘Lama Waaien’ (bass), Joost Verhagen (vocals) and Bas Broekhuis (drums and percussion).

Since Mäläskä’s establishment, the formation performed several times in the Netherlands, Germany and U.K. Own evenings, festivals, as well as support shows for Acid Mothers Temple and Monomyth.
From the very start, the promise of Mäläskä has been affirmed through international reviews and airplay.
With this second album release and some upcoming shows, Mäläskä threw away the map and the book of rules that kept them on well-known roads.

Bas Broekhuis, Petter Janse, and a lot of equipment in the living room.

Environmental view from the house in Jannum.

zondag 29 maart 2020

New REMY, Mäläskä and Space Art albums

I am delighted to announce three brand new releases! These new titles will be available on April 11th.

To start with, a new REMY 'solo' album, "The Other Side", was in first instance scheduled for the end of last year. But due to the "Exhibition of Dreams" 20th anniversary celebration, this release was postponed until April 11th.
The four extensive album tracks contain some elements from the traditional electronic music, but also touch the borders of my musical interests.

With artistic collaborations by Bas Broekhuis, Judith Wesslius, Joost Verhagen, and Nausikaä de Blaauw.

For what I had in mind, this would have been the only release for early 2020. But then, during the end of 2019, plans slightly changed.

The last weekend of last year's November, Petter and I - accompanied with lots of equipment - locked ourselves into a house on the other side of the country, to create and record new Mäläskä stuff. The final day, Bas Broekhuis joined us during sessions. Read about it here.
The weeks that followed, we made a selection from the 11 hours of music that was recorded.
"First Day of Spring", is described as 'classical electronic music of the future' by one of the very early listeners.

And then, also late 2019, I was contacted by Dominique Perrier related to a brand new Space Art album. Inititally to be released as limited edition LP.
The result is new music, which is for the largest part in line with the band's early music from the 70s.
"Entrevues" is a valuable collaboration with Tommy Rizzitelli on drums, who perfectly succeeded in maintaining his father's legacy.
While the first part of the album consists of typical old-school Space Art style, some never before released tracks have also been added to the album's tracklist.

Coming days I will dedicate blog items to these individual albums.

For now, you can pre-order the new REMY, Mäläskä and Space Art albums from www.desertedislandmusic.nl.

vrijdag 3 januari 2020

2019 / 2020

Happy new year to all of you!

I would like to take some time to shortly resume my past musical year and look forward to some exciting things to come for 2020. Follow the links for more details.

Planet of the Arps (and Schallwelle Awards pre-nominitions)
In April my ambient side-project "Planet of the Arps" was released.
The well-received collaboration with Wolfram Spyra and Roksana Vikaluk is also in the pre-nomination list of the annual Schallwelle Awards. You can vote for the album or me as artist: www.schallwen.de/swvoting/en

Ars Phantasia
At the same time the piano album "La Papillone" by Ars Phantasia was added to the Deserted Island Music shop. Although not directly in line with the electronic music my label deals with, it has a lot of connections with the traditional electronic music scene. Including artistic collaborations by Francis Rimbert and Michel Geiss, who are also known for their work with Jean Michel Jarre.

Exhibition of Dreams
On December 22nd, two decades passed by since my debut album "Exhibition of Dreams". For the occassion of this 20th anniversary celebration there have been released limimted edition boxsets. Read more about it on my blog.

New solo and Mäläskä albums
In my first blog of 2019 I announced a new studio album, as well as the second Mäläskä release. Both didn't happen before the end of the year.
First, the new album has been postponed, because of the 20th anniversary releases of my debut album "Exhibition of Dreams". The upcoming "The Other Side" is now scheduled to be released on April 11th. Coming weeks, until the release of the new music, I will post more about this on this blog, social media and www.desertedislandmusic.nl.

Then, the follow-up of Mäläskä's "Uncle Jim's Cidney Factory" (2016) is finally being worked on.
One month ago, Petter and I did a lot of sessions during a weekend in Friesland. From the 11 hours we recorded, a selection has been made. Which will be the upcoming album release. As we are currently in the mixing process, I can't say much about it yet, with the exception that it will be one long trip, and actually not at all in line with our debut album or recent concerts.

Space Art
After more than two years of 'silence' Space Art is back with brand new music! Dominique Perrier asked me to have an exclusive Dutch vinyl release of the new Space Art album "Entrevues". Further details and plans will be announced later, but the new music is going to be available from Deserted Island Music, also somewhere in the first quarter of 2020.
I have already heard the music, and if you love the early Space Art sound and compositions, you will adore this one. With participation of Tommy Rizzitelli. His way of drumming definitely reminds of his father's style. A real treat.

And more...
And, for what is currently scheduled, there should also be released another (Berlin School-like) project I am currently producing. So, concerning new music and releases, a lot is coming up.

Then, on personal level, I am aiming to get involved into music more than ever before. Let's see what 2020 has to offer!