Lately i’m detecting  a growing movement  toward the combination of spoken poetry with ambient or experimental music, particularly amongst the netlabels and creative commons artists distributing free music in these genres on the web. Artists such as Alicia Merz http://soundcloud.com/birdsofpassagemusic Benjamin Dauer and Michelle Seaman (see Pollinators and Recent Works sets) http://soundcloud.com/benjamindauer/sets and Antye Greie (solo and with Laub) http://www.poemproducer.com/haus.php are just a few of the artists I have come across and many more are sure to follow.

Happily the mainstream independent labels now seem to be recognising this interesting new cross fertilisation between poetry and music and releases are starting to appear. Piiptsjilling are a quartet from the Netherlands consisting of the brothers Jan and Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars (who plays solo as Soccer Committee) and Rutger Zuydervelt (better known as Machinefabriek). Wurdskrieme (meaning “Cry of Words”) is their second album and was recorded in March 2010 during an improvised recording session.  

The music is distinctly electro-acoustic with Romke Kleefstra and Mariska Baars playing effects laden guitar and Jan Kleefstra performing the poetry readings while Rutger processes and layers the sounds to create a rich mix of shifting drones, textures  and deftly mixed electronic noises. On the opening track, Unkrud, Mariska provides vocal tones that blend with the backing drones while Jan’s Frisian poetry lends an almost melancholic feel that fits perfectly with the gently pulsing drones, interspersed with electronic static and glitch sounds.

The other tracks on the album follow a similar pattern with the short poetry readings generally joining the mix about half way through as if Jan is biding his time to let the music develop to a point where he feels immersed enough to let the words flow into the soundscape that swells around him.

The whole concept works brilliantly and although the live recording has been subsequentluy edited and mixed you still feel as though you are listening to a live performance. 

I hope more artists collaborate in this way and that we get to hear the product of their creative inspiration via the independant labels. This is an exciting new vein to be mined in the ambient and experimental genres and we have barely scratched the surface yet.

Artist: Piiptsjilling
Title: Wurdskrieme
Cat#: explp013
Label: Experimedia
Format: Deluxe Limited 180gram 12inch Vinyl LP + download coupon (housed in 24pt jacket printed with metallic inks)
Purchase: http://explp013.experimedia.net (includes instant digital download)
Album Preview: http://soundcloud.com/experimedia/piiptsjilling-wurdskrieme-album-preview  

Worldwide release: November 09, 2010
Preorders begin at Experimedia.net: October 13, 2010
CD and Digital formats will be released in January 2011

Band Website: www.piiptsjilling.com

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