Warped Dreamer is a Norwegian-Belgian quartet of experimental sonic alchemists – trumpeter Arve Henriksen and guitarist Stian Westerhus from the Norwegian side, both collaborated in Supersilent performances; and drummer Teun Verbruggen and Fender Rhodes wizard Jozef Dumoulin from the Belgian side, both play together in the International Bureau of Atomic Tourism and collaborated together with Japanese Keiji Haino. These restless improvisers employ a dazzling variety of electronics and effects, used for creating extended intergalactic soundscapes that launch the listener into futurist, post-industrial worlds with an almost physical, frightening intensity.
«Live at Bimhuis» was recorded live at the legendary club in Amsterdam in June 2016, like the debut album of Wrapped Dreamer, «Lomahongva» (El Negocito/Rat, 2015) that was recorded live at Het Bos club in Antwerp, Belgium in January 2015, and is released before a short European tour of Warped Dreamer. «Live at Bimhuis» lasts about 40 minutes, but every second of it explodes with unpredictable, mad ideas and sounds but it also offers a masterful command of sound, texture and dynamics. In a way, «Live at Bimhuis» sounds like a natural extension of the live, free-improvised performances of Supersilent.
The five soundscapes are shaped and transformed constantly between sonic extremes and carefully constructed labyrinths. «Live at Bimhuis» begins with the intricately detailed, subdued and ethereal «Ixwele», where the lyrical trumpet playing of Henriksen meets the manipulated, electronic, effects-laden sounds of Westerhus’s electric guitar and Dumoulin’s Fender Rhodes and a distant, leisured pulse of Verbruggen. But the temperatures rise steadily and soon Warped Dreamer dives deep into urgent, restless onslaughts, but with an addictive groove as on the following «Golden Geek Award». «Lights Out – Darkness» slides even deeper into a chaotic and steamy swamp of fragmented yet unsettling sounds and vocals, and deconstructed and reconstructed textures. «Umgaba» returns to the sparse, spacious mode of «Ixwele», but soon gravitates into a manic, noisy texture with a loose ritualist twist. The last piece, «Camphor Bush», already sounds logical – obviously, only in Warped Dreamer terms – of this highly intense journey. Henriksen’s fragile vocals solidify the emotional dimension, Westerhus and Dumoulin swirl this nuanced sonic concoction into deep space and Verbruggen guarantees that this quartet would never land on solid land.
«Live at Bimhuis»’ boiling mass of schizophrenic sounds promises to collide the cerebral with the visceral and the poetic with the mundane. Warped Dreamer suggests, even forces the listener to let his guards down and fully surrender totally to the terribly exciting chaos, most likely even inspired by this kind of chaos.
Arve Henriksen (tp, v, elec), Teun Verbruggen (dr, elec), Jozef Dumoulin (Fender Rhodes, eff), Stian Westerhus (g, elec)