After her debut Ngelem in January, Alberta Balsam releases a 2 track single ‘I Can’t Save You’ on the 8th of March. This release contains the song ‘Feels’, a track that features dreamy kalimba bells, mysterious vocals and a dark deep bass. In the next track ‘I Can’t Save You’, arpeggiated, retro-wavey synths tumble over chopped op vocals and breakbeat drums. This second track comes with a music video. The music video follows a lost spaceman on a journey through a desolated city filled with alienating architecture. The video is shot in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Alberta Balsam’s hometown.
Listen, watch or buy here:
Noisey did an interview about this release! You can read it HERE
What people have said about this release:
“It’s the enchantment of synthetic regularity and modern-day decay and what that decay leaves roiling and gushing behind in its wake – absence void – that fills the soundscapes of Rotterdam’s very own Alberta Balsam…” – YES/NO Music.
“We get the feels when we listen to Alberta Balsam’s “Feels”. Bringing a lot of different influences into one track and making it all their own something special.” – New & Notable section of Schmutz.
“Just as the video twins the ideas of alienation and exploration, the track creates a sense of dislocation within its haunting rhythms. All rather fitting for an artist whose name is inspired by the AFX track with a very similar name. Dreamy and unsettling, with the bass and percussion adding to the sense of things not being quite right, the minimal and ethereal vocals act as a counterpoint to that, giving a feeling of reassurance and light in the abstract darkness of the song.” – Electronic North
The Lowriders collective are back in town and this time they’ve come strapped with some serious heat in the shape of Beatitude Volume Two. The (funnily enough) second installment in their name your price compilation series that looks to showcase the ridiculous range of styles their roster brings. From beatless, ambient dreamscapes to crunching industrial sounds and grimey synth waves there’s all sounds for all ears and we’re premiering Anik’s dubbed out, garage inflected Caged Bird; a beautiful piece suitable for dance floors and bleary eyed night-busses alike.
Aniek de Rooij is mostly known for her productions as part of the experimental electronic pop duo
Lowriders have also provided us with a little background on the female producer too:
“Aniek de Rooij is mostly known for her productions as part of the experimental electronic pop duo DOOXS. The group has been performing across the Netherlands last year with most notably at the
Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival in Groningen. Their music has been gaining traction across Europe too with the ladies playing to crowds in Iceland and beyond. On her solo projects Anik creates an estranging yet familiar blend of House and Techno as well as more atmospheric and organic styles of electronica. Caged Bird is a dancefloor catalyst with hints of UK Garage and Techno. The hypnotizing track is a perfect intro for all that is to come on the compilation and more work from ANIK on our label.”
The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision’s RE:VIVE initiative returns once again with Fog Mountain Records to present V/A-010, a conceptual, 14-track compilation composed solely out of historical archival sounds related to Rotterdam. The music is inspired by the city’s devastating past and Rotterdammers’ insatiable ability for hard work, disregard of expectations, pride of being from Rotterdam and neglect as being consider a “Second City” to Amsterdam.
The compilation features tracks from experimental stalwarts like Roly Porter and FIS, Rotterdam heavy weight Bas Mooy, Dutch up-and-comers ANIK, BZGRL, Lemontrip, Nukubus, and HOEK as well as more international artists such as Iowa City’s Lwa, Montana based Meta and Perth, Australia’s Consulate.
When discussing Rotterdam it’s impossible not to address the city’s annihilation on May 14, 1940. It was a destruction that may or may not have been intended. Controversy remains as to whether or not the Nazis should have bombed the city while surrender negotiations were underway and questions as to why the planes were not called off. A few hours could have saved the city from its ultimate doom. But from the ashes a new city was reborn, one subject to taunt and disregard from many but one with a work ethic that every Dutch person will acknowledge.
With 010 (the Rotterdam area code), 14 artists blend Rotterdam’s new fangled modernity with its middle-American esque blue collar way of life. The artists’ source material allowed very little melody aside from the medieval bells of the Sint-Laurenskerk. Instead, the Port of Rotterdam, the cold concrete and glass architecture of the city’s skyline, the wide boulevards, the hustle and bustle of a working class community challenging and embracing a rapidly modernizing society served as the sonic basis.
The compilation is representative of a city that comes to life when no one is looking. Where the good sadly goes unnoticed except by those who are there to witness it. Oaktree’s “City is a Jungle” induces a feeling of being lost in a neglected modern metropolis while Consulate, Drvg Cvltvre, Nukubus, Lemontrip, Mill Burray and Bas Mooy deliver the aggressive, deep, cold and pounding techno that translates the city’s industrial machine to refill the now derelict warehouses. HOEK, BZGRL, Meta and FIS look forward with thrilling experimental walls of sounds that sound so un-Dutch they could only grow in Rotterdam. ANIK captures the energy of a 24-year-old taking on the city by night and Roly Porter investigates a working class city’s relationship with God.
After having its own fate handed to it, Rotterdam is a city that refuses to let the ubiquitous gentrification that is becoming more apparent in Amsterdam take control. “It’s too modern”, “it’s too cold”, “it’s not ‘gezellig’”, “it’s not safe” are just a few common associations one will hear from a Dutch person talking about Rotterdam.
Amsterdam dreams while Rotterdam works is another common expression. With 010 we explore what happens when Rotterdam dares to dream. The compilation is available for free download via Fog Mountain under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license and the companion photobook is available for purchase. Get it here.