What EpoX does is bring together two distinct voices to create an even harmony from both Hessel Veldman and Martijn Comes. Comes, whose solo work in the past of thoughtful electronics and a pastiche toward contemporary composition, pairs effortlessly with Veldman's stylized guitar improvisation (think of a pristine and well-organized radio program concert, not the pitfalls of jamming). Whereas collaborative efforts can seem as if a movement is directed solely by one, with another movement directed by the other, these two long-form pieces intertwine the two techniques and achieve something with legs and almost visual stimulation.
After having spent a period of time caring for his mother with the deteriorative ailments of schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease, Comes moved into a new home and closer to Veldman, lending itself to collaboration. The mood of the recordings is reflective of the scenery: Comes moved into the home of a former doctor who presided over a psychiatric facility nearby. The institution was widely considered more of a prison or penitentiary than a space that provided solace or healthy aid to the well-being of its residents. Here, the sounds depict a sort of tunnel beneath the surface of musicality and speaks to the disconcerting nature of thoughts in the unhealthy mind. Like a hand beneath a sheet, the principle sounds trickle and tease, with the occasional rise to melody and rhythms. Vocal ASMR, prepared guitar clicks and rattles, and sound-bath generate real presence over two meticulous CDs.
The crux of the album is subtlety. Patience with ones own fidgeting is required. Find a piece of furniture in which you can become the throw blanket or shelved knick knack. Take in the album as a single room you decorate. Wait for someone to enter. Bide your time until they leave. Hold on to one of their belongings. A train pass, a plastic lighter, a mechanical pencil. Never return it. They will always wonder. Sink deep. Sink further.
released June 26, 2020
prepared guitar vibrations; improvised and real-time electronically manipulated and captured in space, during long winter (2018/19) sessions in the EXART studio environment in IJmuiden, The Netherlands.
harmonic tapestries, acoustic guitar and noise clouds; at Immovable Substance studio in Bloemendaal, The Netherlands. In tribute to my beloved mother.
Mastered at STEIM studios, Amsterdam, Netherlands by Martijn Comes
Artwork by Marilena Petropoulou
Photography by Jan Kees Helms
Design by Takashi Makabe / Zodiak
Creative direction by Salem Rashid Skourlis
Gratitude: Salem, David, Constantine, STEIM, Bob Rusche, Kassen, our beloved families, and Life itself.