Slagerij Van Kampen – Wakarimasen
From Slagerij Van Kampen – Out Of The Doldrums
Released on Megadisc, 1987, Netherlands

If there was a prize for the most radical shift in a band’s carreer, Slagerij Van Kampen could have been a strong nominate in this category… Following a quite generic Dutch pop album, Out of the Doldrums is an amazing piece of percussion-based minimalism.

The structure of the album reflects the brutal shift towards « modern classical » music the band did, for the album is divided in 4 songs which really work as a whole, like 4 movements of the same musical piece ; moreover, each of these « movements » adopts some codes taken from classical music compositions.

Mkwaju fans may consider the fact that the second track on Out of the Doldrums has a japanese name (wakarimasen = « do not understand ») as a clue to whether or not Slagerij Van Kampen is not secretly paying tribute to their favorite japanese minimalist band (what a seductive idea)… and we have to admit that the ressemblance with Mkwaju’s sound on their eponymous album is impressive !

As it is mentioned on the sleeve, the « home-made samples » triggered by a Roland pad are responsible for the very organic sound of the band ; however Slagerij Van Kampen differentiates itself from the seminal Japanese band by the extremely complexe structure it gives to its compositions and which provides this weird impression that they are going in many directions at the same time, and which makes Out of the Doldrums so unique.

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