Friday 1 May 2020
Zandvoort & Uilenbal – Folk Triumfator Out Now
NIGHTWIND RECORDS NW024
A new ZANDVOORT & UILENBAL album -> Medieval music expert Jimi Hellinga teams up with Legowelt for an 11 track dark medieval spacejazz ambient dungeonfolk album called “FOLK TRIUMFATOR’ the successor to their ‘Geruis Uit Somberdorp’ album from 2016.
Its available on bandcamp for free/pay what you want. Think of the more experimental non guitar stuff from Current93 mixed with Kenny G mingled up with Luciano Berio sauced with Amateur Space Jazz and lots of sinister old instruments like the hurdy gurdy and harmonium.
FOLK TRIUMFATOR is the second album by Zandvoort & Uilenbal, a ‘paramusical academic’ project of medieval musician Jimi Hellinga and Danny Wolfers. As Zandvoort & Uilenbal they appropriate historical instruments such as a 19th century Victorian harmonium, a medieval hurdy gurdy, an electro acoustic thumb harp and an mid 20th century German Mixtur Trautonium. These are cross bred with the usual arsenal of contemporary electronic instruments and seasoned with some sinister poetry in their North Sea coast temple of sensory sonic delights.
We can write how conceptual and arty this all is but let’s just say this is hardcore dark ambient with lots of medieval drone space jazz influences to trip your mind out into a region where time and your opinions cease to exist.
A bit more about some of the instruments used:
The mighty medieval hurdy gurdy is a curious, and for its time, highly technologically advanced instrument in which sound is produced by a rotating wheel’bow’ that strikes strings while a little Keyboard that pushes wedges is used to play the melodies. Special dedicated strings can be set to play a continuous drone that can accompany the melody. You can hear Jimi Hellinga playing his hurdy gurdy on tracks like “Safe Sailing for the Galleon Caladrius” and “Folk Triumfator”
The late 19th century Kimbal parlor organ/harmonium was already used intensively on the first Zandvoort & Uilenbal album (the 2015 “Geruis Uit Somberdorp”). With its grotesque wooden carvings and ornaments it is still a pièce de resistance in the studio. This colossal instrument produces creaking haunting drones that have become the signature sound for the Zandvoort & uilenbal project.
An electro acoustic mbria / kalimba – an electrified thumb harp using a contact microphone going directly into a tape echo and spring reverb -instantly brings forth endless rusty metallic sounds of chaos like a dark Ligottian music box. It can be heard on ‘Always a Nice Story Before Bedtime’ among other songs.
The mixtur trautonium, just like the parlor organ, is also revived from the preceding album. This strange early electronic instrument originally invented in 1929 by Friedrich Trautwein at the Berlin Musikhocheschule music and radio lab provides spookily electro acoustic sounds that can be played in an intense expressive manner with a special touch controller. The one we use is based around a Doepfer modular that emulates more or less the classic Mixtur Trautonium build by Oskar Sala in the 1950s.