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De Beste Muziek Verhalen van 1945 tot Nu
samengesteld en ingeleid door Leon Verdonschot

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Black Dub
Black Dub

posted [03.11.2017]
released [2010]



I always admired the brittle poet dreamer Chris Whitley was, and I still do. The first time I took note of him having a daughter was when she sang backing vocals on his 1997 single Automatic. She was only 10 years old at that time and I never suspected this Belgium born would evolve into a full-blown artist. Trixie began playing the drums at age 10 and started touring theatre and dance companies at age 11. At 14 she gained name as DJ in the rave scene before she returned to New York age 17. Her first EP, released in 2008, triggered an invitation from Daniel Lanois. The same Daniel Lanois who landed Chris Whitley a record deal back in 1988. Their collaboration on I'd Rather Go Blind provoked a buzz and with the addition of Daryl Johnson (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) Black Dub was born. As Lanois, Johnson and Blade previously worked with U2, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, The Neville Brothers, Brian Eno and Emmylou Harris - to name but a few - Black Dub was soon dubbed supergroup. On the other hand Johnson and Blade performed on most of Lanois previous solo releases, and as all except two songs are written by Lanois, Black Dub could be labelled a solo project with a girl singer. Anyhow, Black Dub toured as a band and it did not prevent Trixie establishing herself as an independent artist. The project's name refers to Lanois' love for Jamaica; just close your eyes and Silverado takes you there. Black Dub blends rock, gospel, blues, jazz and reggae, where Trixie adds the soul and rough edges. And that's no luxury. The tracks themselves are so perfectly arranged and smoothly produced that things get somewhat sterile at times. The bassline on I Believe in You is insane, Surely straight from the heart and Silverado plain comfort. Ring the Alarm/Last Time, a Tenor Saw dancehall cover and a band effort groove and the final 3 tracks; a gospel (Canaan), New Orleans (Sing) and freaky rock instrumental (Sirens) could be left out to make it an exceptional 6-track EP. However Trixie makes up for all of that. She walks her own path, yet she reminds me of her father in many ways.
  1. Love Lives
  2. I Believe in You
  3. Ring the Alarm
  4. Last Time
  5. Surely
  6. Nomad
  7. Slow Baby
  8. Silverado
  9. Canaan
  10. Sing
  11. Sirens

The Black Crowes
Greatest Hits 1990–1999:
A Tribute to a Work in Progress...

posted [26.11.2017]
released [2000]
southern rock



A best of album in the middle of a musical career is usually a record label only decision, money-driven. And indeed the brother lead The Black Crowes' 5 album deal with American Recordings ran to an end. Six singles reaching US rock chart number 1 and close to 20 entering top 20 sounds like a business case. But the band wasn't done doing music, as the subtitle resembles. However in retrospect The Black Crowes' creative heydays do lie in this period and more specific with their first two releases: $hake Your Money Maker selling over 5.000.000 and Southern Harmony and Musical Companion over 2.000.000 copies in the US only. Greatest Hits 1990–1999: A Tribute to a Work in Progress... is a chronological overview of their unique blend of rhythm 'n blues, marijuana, smoke-and-gravel vocals and Afghan rugs. Hard to Handle actually being an Otis Redding original - I was unaware for a long time - points out the influence soul music had on their signature sound. The ZZ Top-ish muscle car tunes Kickin' My Heart Around and Go Faster that sneak on board towards the end of this compilation, however, are not my cup of tea. From 2000 onwards The Black Crowes released three more studio albums, a couple of live albums and two compilations. One with unreleased material and the other with reworked acoustic versions. The band toured extensively, went on hiatus twice until the final breakup followed early 2015. Though not a part of any 90s pivotal music genres (grunge, nu-metal or indie) The Black Crowes stood out and delivered a timeless body of work, that should be present in everyones music collection.
  1. Jealous Again
  2. Twice As Hard
  3. Hard to Handle
  4. She Talks to Angels
  5. Remedy
  6. Sting Me
  7. Thorn in My Pride
  8. Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye
  9. A Conspiracy
  10. Wiser Time
  11. Good Friday
  12. Blackberry
  13. Kickin' My Heart Around
  14. Go Faster
  15. Only a Fool
  16. By Your Side

The Black Atlantic
Darkling, I Listen EP

posted [15.10.2017]
released [2012]
[sub]genre: dreampop



It's hard to imagine that Geert van der Velde once fronted Shai Hulud - a New York based hardcore punk band - once you've heard this delicate Black Atlantic masterpiece. I suppose that's what studying philosophy does to you. After Van der Velde quit Shai Hulud he wrote a valentine song, posted it online and aroused label interest. In a cabin in the Adirondack Mountains The Black Atlantic worked on their debut. Reverence for Fallen Trees was released to critical acclaim; the free download no doubt attributed positively to the worldwide distribution. Darkling, I listen - the title derived from John Keats poem Ode to a Nightingale - is not an in-between album - as their label Beep! Beep! Back Up The Truck states on their website - but "a small, dreamlike time capsule of a nightly universe". At the same time it was the last The Black Atlantic released as a band. Shortly after Darkling, I Listen Kim Jansen and Simon van der Heide decided to quit the band to focus on other musical projects. Van der Velde was left devastated, produced one more minimalist 3 song EP and next teamed up with I Am Oak, forming Black Oak. It's a crying shame, because - even though this isn't easy listening - Darkling, I Listen has so much to offer. Musically multi-layerd, lyrically drenched in literature, structures intertwining, angelic harmonies and even cosmic supernovas, challenging Sigur Ros. Impossible to box in any certain genre. Close your eyes and let the songs pick you up gently and make you float onto that nightly journey. Repeat often and every listen will make you discover something new in this - now closed down - Black Atlantic universe.
  1. The Aftermath (Of This Unfortunate Event)
  2. The Flooded Road (Built on Sand)
  3. Darkling, I Listen
  4. An Archer, A Dancer
  5. Quiet, Humble Man