Koen Holtkamp

Gravity / Bees

Thrill Jockey Thrill 254-LP
  • LP: Includes download
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The detailed and resonant music of Koen Holtkamp is disarmingly beautiful. Gravity/Bees is technically a very complex recording, but so directly emotional as to betray it?s origins, much like Holtkamp?s work in Mountains.
Originally spurred by an invitation to take part in the Dissolving Localities Project in Jerusalem in May 2010, Holtkamp?s decision to craft a recording from bees stemmed from a desire to create something he was attracted to from a production standpoint, something extremely detailed and resonant. On one level representing a continuous flow of sound like a drone but also having a familiar association making it human. In the beginning of the piece the instruments are sculpted around the bee recordings, as the piece develops the actual bees gradually become background and the instruments take focus loosely emulating the buzzing resonant characteristics of the hive. ?Loosely Based On Bees? is mainly a studio creation with only a few live additions from a 2008 New Years performance added on toward the end.
?In The Absence Of Gravity...? is a side-long piece based around a 2008 solo performance in Brighton. The technical set up was somewhat inspired by Terry Riley?s ?time-lag accumulator? pieces using a delay system where Holtkamp was constantly recording over himself in order to create a continuous and fluid overall sound. Holtkamp took a non-purist approach and combined the live recording with some of his more recent studio experimentations from the summer of 2010. The work is built mainly around processed acoustic guitar, analog synthesizers, and electronics but also incorporates recordings of harmonica, electric organ, small percussion objects, and an unlikely glass of ginger ale.
Holtkamp began working with sound in 1997, and co-founded the Apestaartje collective/label in 1998. Holtkamp has released two solo albums under the name Aero (Apestaartje) and four albums with Mountains (Apestaartje, Catsup Plate, Thrill Jockey), as well as an album under his own name (Type). Gravity/Bees marks his first solo release on Thrill Jockey.
Holtkamp has toured throughout the US and Europe performing everywhere from festivals, art galleries and museums, to basements, communes, churches, and rock clubs. He has performed with Fennesz, Radian, James Blackshaw, Nicholas Collins, Carsten Nicolai, Tony Conrad, Supersilent, and many more. He has also been included in several exhibitions and art projects, most notably at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the above mentioned performance series in Jerusalem. Holtkamp is staying busy by recording sound for a documentary in Japan and working on a companion piece that will be released on Barge Recordings in 2011. He will also be playing a few solo shows both at home and abroad, as well as doing a handful of Mountains US and European shows. Gravity/Bees was mastered and cut at D&M in Berlin and is presented in an initial pressing of 1,000 copies with a custom letter-pressed jacket.

Koen Holtkamp: Gravity / Bees

In the Absence of Gravity Please Note the Position of the Sun Koen Holtkamp 15'44''
Loosely Based on Bees Koen Holtkamp 14'53''

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