Orphax – Sietse van Erve
Structure is a new work recorded live on October 29th, 2022 during an exhibition of the work by Wladimir Zwaagstra (whose art I also used for the cover of my CD Less is More) at Factor IJ in Amsterdam.
The performance was fully improvised, but at my home studio “Studio De Baviaan” edited and mixed during 2023.
Fani Konstantinidou recorded it, and Jos Smolders mastered the whole in a beautiful proper way at EARLabs.
Structure is released as CD and digital in beautiful shiny red artwork. You can listen and grab a copy of the CD here: https://orphax.bandcamp.com/album/structure
Or find it on your preferred streaming service here: https://orcd.co/orphax_structure
A new year needs new music. And each year, I start with a little list that might become part of the ‘top releases’ list I intend to do. And each year, I forget to make that list … But I do know that in the last two years, almost every review of solo work by Orphax, a.k.a. Sietse van Erve, ended with a remark it was going to be included in the list. So, this year, I’m doing it partially differently. I’ll start the review by saying it will definitely be on this year’s list, and I’ll probably still forget about making that list … But my oh my, this drone is a work of beauty.
Reminiscent of the works by H30, T.A.G.C., Eliane Radigue and some more masters of drone, “Structure” has a significant build-up, some excellent play with feedback patterns, a few melody lines, microtonal structures (slightly detuned oscillators creating that ‘floating’ effect) and basically a lot of emotion behind it.
It’s a structure to enable the channelling of feelings. See the structure as a building where each room has a different therapist, and with each therapist, you get to talk about something you love, something bothering you, or something which hurts you, or even talk about someone you miss. Whatever your personal interpretation might be. You get to travel through the building and go through all those emotions; that is, “Structure”.
The second track on this album is the so-called Radio Edit. An – almost – five-minute re-arrangement of the sounds resulted in an outburst of every emotion you first had enough time to give a place. Very well done and, by the way, also perfectly mastered by Jos Smolders at EarLabs.
One thing, though, it’s just too short. Hence, the comparison with the therapists. When I visited mine I was always told ‘your time is up, see you next week’ and I had the feeling I was just starting! Many of the experiments I heard in the track could have easily been explored a bit further to make it more mesmerising and open to exploring the mind while listening. Because that’s what drones are for me: An enabler for mind travel. And even when this is a wonderful trip, I would have wanted to travel a bit longer. Still the Top material for 2024, though 😉 (BW)