In this week’s Unsung Heroes, we take an adventurous odyssey towards the Underground scene and showcase some of the most forward thinking music that is currently crushing the mainstream in terms of quality and musicality. As EDM reaches a feverish high in America, it has inevitably become overly saturated with stale tunes, overplayed anthems and tired ideas, (which are being shamelessly replicated at a ridiculous pace). While some people may complain about the mainstream destroying the core of EDM as a whole, it has also allowed the ever present Underground scene to thrive to the highest point that it has seen in years. Typically, a musical journey through EDM goes like this: People start out listening to the mainstream scene with fresh, impressionable ears. Some may only stay on that stage, but others tend to branch out to different genres, (such as Trance and Dubstep), and settle into their personal niche. However, select individuals who are both bored with the cookie cutter artists and are hungry for more unusual and eccentric music might move onto more acquired tastes, such as Deep House or Techno. With that in mind, this release is for those who are in the last category. It is a highly complex and intrinsically detailed work that demands multiple listens to fully grasp the full musical blueprint that is presented. Make sure you have an open mind when listening and to possess the mental maturity to comprehend. It is not a festival banger, but a musical journey whose level of quality is in a completely different league from what many average listeners are accustomed to.
But that’s why we are here: to learn about these new sounds and what they ultimately represent. We now turn to an artist who is a true musical prodigy; whose sheer mastery of musical and technical concepts have elevated his status as a respected and highly intelligent guru of House. While his production skills have achieved stratospheric levels of quality, he patiently awaits in his corner, writing what he loves with complete musical freedom. As a 10 year veteran within the House and Techno industry, Eelke Kleijn may be one of the most talented producers that you have never heard of and is certainly one of EDM’s best kept secrets. He has already released two full length albums and has done extensive film score work throughout his career such as This Means War and Wrath Of The Titans. His unique sound is almost impossible to categorize with traditional analysis methods. Rather than being trapped in his own style, (as many artists are), Kleijn creates what he wants such as Deep House, Tech House and even some that can only be categorized as ‘Electronic’. But most of all, Eelke truly understands the meaning of timbral diversification and musical pacing. His productions tell a story through the most mature and confident means possible and his execution of anthropomorphism within his creation of sounds are on point with talents such as Eric Prydz and Richie Hawton.
[Ed note: This must be heard from beginning to end with no interruptions in order to fully understand the potential behind it.]
Kleijn‘s superior skills are explored in full detail with his Original release of Levensgenieter on his own record label, Outside The Box. As stated above, it is not a race, but a slow walk through a mystical spectrum of sounds and timbres where even the tiniest little detail brings forth a significant shift through the music. It starts off from the lowest point possible, with carefree deep space ostinatos bleeping along in bliss, supported by rolling basslines and simple kicks. Even with only three instruments, his imprint of organic, personal expression effortlessly breathes intimate human life through his orchestration. Ever so slowly, Kleijn adds a very thin layer of paint to the canvas through each phrase. A shuffle hi-hat. Claps. Tambourines. Crisp ride cymbals. Each part adds another puzzle piece of complexity to the picture while gracefully crafting an entire ecosystem of sounds through tight, consistent grooves. Simple pads emerge as they begin to morph and grow like the flow of water hitting rocks as 20 different instruments assault your mind in dumbfounded bewilderment. The atmosphere transcends mental comprehension as each timbre combines to provide a sense of spiritual awakening through sounds. What is most miraculous about this piece is that the Original idea is never altered once. The fact that one simple idea could be expanded and grown to such levels of artistry puts other ordinary producers to absolute shame. The end of Levensgenieter is the pinnacle of musical might as the full expressionistic world of Eelke Kleijn is exposed through futuristic Tribal grooves and piercing synth declarations that envelops the entirety of listeners through waves of sensory shock and pure, relinquished peace with themselves and the entire world.
Eelke Kleijn‘s virtuostic masterpiece, Levensgenieter, is out now on Outside The Box Music on Beatport, so make sure you grab this extremely high quality release today. Make sure to also check out the fantastic B-Side of the EP entitled Flierefluiter!
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).