A brand new band/project, established in 2016, doing their first (mini) European tour… That must be something to look out for! The band members Remy Stroomer and Petter Janse are far from unexperienced, they have worked wonderful together a couple of times before in a project named Free Arts Lab, which is also still active. Mäläskä’s debut album Uncle Jim’s Cidney Factory was just released before their tour started, and I had the honour to see them at music pub De Hommel in Vlaardingen. They told me it was going to be an evening completely based on improvisation, which made me very curious!
The pub itself is not too small, and looked very cosy and warm. There was no stage (which isn’t necessary in my opinion), so the band played on the same floor the audience was standing on. There was even a psychedelic screen projection, which fits the music perfectly. The music the gentlemen played that evening is a combination of eclectic electronic music, psychedelic music, and serene soundscapes/sampling interspersed with heavy moments. Remy has a wide range of keyboards/synthesizers, sequencers and (sound) panels. Petter plays guitar, has a lot of guitar pedals/effects and also uses a laptop in combination with sound panels. The music never bores one moment, they know when to change the musical themes and drag you into a new atmosphere of refreshing sounds. Petter and Remy are well attuned with each other. They give each other enough space to improvise when needed. Some guitar solos of Petter remind me of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree.
They played one long set, and the audience really loved it. It was also their intention to stick to one set, but the men surprised the audience with a second, unannounced set! The started the set with a blast. Petter grabbed a bow and used it on the guitar strings, making a special sound. The men played until deep in the night, and I had no clue that it was 1.20 AM when their performance was finished! It’s a very good sign when you totally forget the time during a gig, it means that you got totally sucked up in the music and forget anything else.
I had a wonderful evening and enjoyed the complete performance, and I’m sure Petter, Remy and the complete audience had a fantastic evening as well. The gentlemen know how to improvise and make splendid music. I hope I will see them live again soon!
Remy Stroomer – Keyboards/synthesizers, sequencers
Petter Janse – Guitars, guitar effects/pedals, sequencers
I also interviewed the band after their performance, you can listen to the interview here:
You can also read my review on Background Magazine:
You can also read my review on the website of House of Prog:
I also did some filming during their performance, you can check out the video here:
All photos by me.
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Me with the band members!