Beast - Ens - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Beast - Ens

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2018-11-09
Beast - Ens
Beast - Ens

Koen Holtkamp who to some would be known as one half of Mountains, has made another shot at his Beast project. For Ens, (or entity/existence in Dutch/Flemish) this third outing under the moniker, Holtkamp, who is also a multimedia artist, takes a bit of a shift.

While the first two Beast projects (Vol.1 and Vol.2) where tied with his 3D laser projections and were more beat-oriented, Ens is closer to the European modern classical tradition, ie processed music and good old Krautrock, where the beats take a back seat and give more space to sonic build-ups of music patterns, as if Holtkamp is constantly trying to build maximalism out of minimalism.

Whether he did that as a conscious process or not makes no difference, because he certainly succeeds to achieve that effect. To be able to do that you have to have the essential musical elements both in your consciousness and subconsciousness. The second element is particularly of notice here because Holtkamp recorded during a period of expecting his first child, and first months of the newborn’s arrival, which usually means sleepless nights (that you never forget, mind you).

That is why the music in pieces like “Color Feel” and “For Otto” as anywhere else on the album, except "Paprika Shorts" the busy introductory piece, has this natural and quite gentle flow as if they were done more by instinct than by intent, a situation where all the feelings and knowledge show themselves as they truly are.

The overall effect created by the seven pieces on Ens is a quite natural one, where you stop noticing the difference between electronic and acoustic instruments and music sounds just like…music. I don’t know whether Holtkamp is playing Ens to his child, but he certainly should - it evokes pleasant dreams. Definitely a nighttime album.


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