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«New Dance Moves»

More than a decade ago Dutch drummer, now a sound artist, and Belgian Fender Rhodes wizard Jozef Dumoulin played together in an acoustic jazz band Narcisuss («No.2», W.E.R.F., 2010) but little by little their interest shifted to more abstract sound explorations. Now Van Hemmen lives in New York and Dumoulin in Paris, but at the beginning of 2020, after experiencing a personal tragedy, and when the world was still in its early stages of pandemonium, they showed interest in each other’s musical endeavors and decided to make an album together.

Van Hemmen and Dumoulin played ping-pong with sound files. They agreed that both can transform these sound files, often in a quite drastic or dramatic way, and send it back and forth until the dust settled. Everything was allowed, and all instruments and sound sources were welcomed:  percussion, piano, keyboards, electronic programming, and above all: a whole lot of sampling and field recordings.

Van Hemmen and Dumoulin are not shy about being weird and enigmatic or dreamy and introspective. «New Dance Moves» offers nine nuanced, elusive and suggestive soundscapes that move between the cinematic («Little Bird of Bad Omen (Ty-Yt)», to current urban sceneries («You Cathedrals», «We’re Not Doing Much Socialising»), twisted, minimalist melody coupled with abstract percussive sounds («Familie»), or quite disturbing in its subtlety («Horror Vacui»). The 17-minute «Treinlandschelp» is a detailed and imaginative sonic travelogue into this era’s most strange moments, stressful and unsettling fears, hesitant thoughts and some optimist hopes.

This unique album suggests a portrait of a world turned upside down. A world that became minimalistic, as many of us experienced the depressing feeling of being imprisoned between walls. The vivid, insightful sonic map of «New Dance Moves» most likely will not encourage us to get up and dance but will make us appreciate the most precious and essential in our lives.

Eyal Hareuveni

Flin van Hemmen (samp, p, perc, v), Jozef Dumoulin (samp, p, keys, e-dr, prog)

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