Erik Van Den Broek :: Expressed (De:Tuned)

A quintet of works that explore a wide range of styles from a musician with a touch that subtly slips between genre divides. An EP that will have you, and me, fishing through Discogs for more from this Dutchman.

One of the many treats of electronic music is unearthing something new. This “something” might be by some unheard of artist, some unknown label but it can also be discovering a past gem, a musician who for some reason or other slipped under the radar. This happened to me with De:Tuned latest 12”, Erik Van Den Broek.

There will be some of you out there now saying, “What, ya don’t know Shiver!”, “Ya don’t know Acid Kid!”, and others nodding along in ignorance of this Dutchman’s work. Van Den Broek, for those not in the know, was quite prolific, in all fairness he was ridiculously prolific. Despite the absence of Van Den Broek in my own collection, he was responsible for a spread of slammers across electro, house and techno in the 90s and was a favorite of Djs like Dave Clarke.

Expressed brings together give tracks that show Van Den Broek’s admirable diversity. “Drag Me To Oblivion” refuses to sit in any genre. Bleeps and blips fizz and sizzle in a pan of clicks and pops, soaring strings flying above the crackle below. Rhythms are pulled, twisted and jerked, as in “01100110 01101100 01101111 01100001 01110100 01110010.” Deep pads sit atop this bed of crumbling beats. “Reserv Me” opens the flip. A beautiful and brittle work, the track strips back decoration and allows reduced bass, snipped drums and sweetened chords to melt the stress away. The 12” takes a menacing turn with the sinister “Breaking Down.” Sitting somewhere on the electro scale, the track ghosts on skeletal synths and echoed eeriness. The brief “P Interlude” closes, calling to mind the hoarse finale to the Ventolin remixes.

If, like me, you’re new to Erik Van Den Broek, Expressed is an excellent first introduction. A quintet of works that explore a wide range of styles from a musician with a touch that subtly slips between genre divides. An EP that will have you, and me, fishing through Discogs for more from this Dutchman.

Expressed is available on De:Tuned.

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