Artist-in-residence: Under the Surface
Few bands have made the kind of radical transformation in their formative years as the internationally-acclaimed Dutch experimental trio Under The Surface. What started as an improvisational outfit rooted in jazz, prog rock and tribal music has become a band that has devised its very own language: one that finds vocalist and composer Sanne Rambags exhuming and repurposing Dutch language from the medieval age. Within the context of Under The Surface’s well-honed chemistry, their songs often sound otherworldly and breathtaking, engaging in swift tempo shifts and dreamlike melodic layers. Spanning three generations, this revelation inspired Rambags, Bram Stadhouders (guitars/synths/electronica) and Joost Lijbaart (drum/percussion) to take a dramatic U-turn from improvisation to carefully composing their music.
As some lucky souls have witnessed at the start of last year at Paradox, watching Under The Surface live often leaves a lump in the throat. The band can seamlessly veer from blistering cacophony to an almost hymnal tranquility; you can imagine this type of music being played in a distant age, but just as easily believe this is in fact music from the future. That sense of remove only makes the songs more affecting. Under The Surface will host two special shows during Roadburn’s two-day Paradox program. On Saturday they will play their own set as a five piece, joined by bassist Lennart Heyndels and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Annabel Laura.
Swiss minimalist rockers Schnellertollermeier are a streamlined sonic expressway, braiding a wide range of musical influences within their liminal, forward-thrusting sound. They play a unique combo of noise, proto-industrial, ambient and kraut rock with pinpoint precision, without sacrificing impulsiveness and inventiveness. This is rock music for patient and attentive listeners who go giddy from the smallest melodic shift, oddest tone or subtlest tempo change, in sheer wonder of how small details can dramatically change a composition. Schnellertollermeier are as good as any band at doing just that, composing tracks like chemists mixing a new concoction or landscapers setting off a controlled explosion. Furthermore, their music has an undeniably hypnotic quality. Like any record before it, latest LP ‘5’ shows off a new side to Schnellertollermeier’s honed inner logic, with sweeping jazzy deviations, trance-like swells, and, of course, instruments played in unconventional, percussive fashion. Without a doubt, this band continues to defy the notion that all possibilities of a three-piece rock band have been explored.
I Like To Sleep
Trondheim’s I Like To Sleep have coined their craft “powerjazz to the people”, which sums their music up to a tee. They forgo chin-stroking snobbery with a no nonsense barrage of doom-metal riffs, tectonic drum explosions, and metallic droning, courtesy of a vibraphone – an instrument commonly associated with easy listening. As you may have guessed by now, I Like To Sleep, despite their chosen name (after a famous Thelonious Monk quote), make anything but relaxing music. Their tracks sound like natural disasters gaining sentience, rumbling like some kind of colossal sedimentary engine. Applying the (lack of ) rules of free-jazz to heavier styles, these Norwegians are a live force to be reckoned with. It’s hard to imagine a sound as robust as this coming from just a baritone guitar, drum set and the aforementioned vibraphone. But make no mistake, I Like To Sleep are just as compelling when they simmer in atmospheric stillness, deftly flirting with elements of classical, jazz and folk music. A cataclysmic wonder of a band.
HEAVY JAM with Reinier Baas
Sometimes the coolest things happen due to unforeseen circumstances. Because of a cancellation last year, Roadburn revived the concept of the HEAVY JAM at the last minute at Paradox. This ad hoc improvisational show – featuring members of KANAAN x RRRAGS – was so successful and fun to witness, that it made sense to mark HEAVY JAM as a recurring Roadburn event.
The headmaster of this year’s edition is none other than composer and musician Reinier Baas, who has been somewhat of an enfant terrible in the fields of jazz, classical and pop music, always looking beyond treaded conventions. Whether its reinterpreting composers like Stravinsky or finding inspiration behind hip-hop lyricism, Baas is endlessly curious about all things music, which makes him the perfect candidate.
Currently, Baas is a member of Benjamin Herman’s punk/jazz group Bughouse, Ben van Gelder trio ft. Han Bennink, Simone Graziano’s FRONTAL and Peter Gall’s PARADOX DREAMBOX. As a composer, he has written works for Pynarello Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest and the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, as well as commissions for the North Sea Jazz Festival, Royal Concertgebouw, Bimhuis and November Music. As a soloist, he has performed with the Metropole Orkest, Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, Pynarello and the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra. Baas is on faculty at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Siena Jazz University.
Baas will lead a a quartet with John Dikeman on tenorsax, Jasper Stadhouders on bassguitar & rising star on drums the Korean drummer Sun-Mi Hong to plunge into unheard of musical depths.
14.30 - 15.30 h: Under the Surface
16.30 - 17.20 h: secret show
18.20 - 19.20 h: Schnellertollermeier
20.20 - 21.20 h: I Like To Sleep
22.30 - 23.40 h: Heavy Jazz Jam