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Orphax: De Tragedie van een Liedjesschrijver Zonder Woorden (Moving Furniture)

Sietse van Erve is the man behind the bleak sounds of Orphax. This is his first official full-length for the project, and my first exposure to his music. The album is divided into 6 tracks, starting with the shimmering, drony haze of “Onder Het Noorderlicht” (“Under the Northern Lights”). It crackles with electricity, with some tense, crackling feedback just below the surface while an undulating tide of metallic drones does its thing. These tracks take their time and are relatively shapeless; I think of them as differently shaped clouds that slowly float by. “Geluiden Van De Eerste Dag” (“Sounds of the First Day”) is the second track, even more subtle. Its taut, minimal drones and flutters of bit-crushed texture remind me of the drone music that initially hooked me on the genre in the 90s (that’s a good thing!). “Samen Aan Het Water” (“Together on the Water”) continues the trend, even more sublime and sedate, lacking the grit that provided the dark underbelly of the first couple of tracks; this sound gives Machinenfabriek a run for his money, patient and elegant. There is a subtle push and pull between the more pastoral beauty of some of these tracks, including the gorgeous glide of “Winterslaap in de Zomer” (“Hibernation in the Summer”) and the more tense layers of drones in the opening track and “Ochtengloren Boven De Ijzige Vlakte” (mangled in translation, “Jungle’s Dawn Symphony Over the Ice”). “Het Bos” (“The Forest”) brings it all down with an elegant decline in its final moments, until there’s nothing but the faint sound of nature. It’s not an easy album to describe, because its gestures and ideas are vague and more like suggestions than tracks. Fans of drone music will no doubt enjoy it, touching on familiar sounds but with a bit of its own elusive personality that reveals itself on repeat listens.

<a href=“” data-mce-href=“”>De Tragedie van een Liedjesschrijver Zonder Woorden by Orphax</a>

Buy it: BandcampBoomkat | iTunes