Das Stevens describes himself as an 'English/Groninger', meaning with Dutch roots. Around 35 years ago he started as a keyboard player in a Hertfordshire punk band Paramedic Squad, followed by New wave band Friday Book and in-between, one solo album entitled Flats Of Earth. Then a 35-year hiatus, until a very sudden spark of creativity. This resulted into Postcards Of England
On this album Das Stevens plays a variety of keyboards and synthesizers, Theremin, electronic percussion and harmonica. He is joined by Tony Voller (vocals, guitars, mandolin and bass) and Scarramooch (guitar). The sound on the 16 tracks (most between 3 and 5 minutes) is mainly ambient electronic music (lots of soaring strings, slow synthesizer flights and beeps and bleeps, blended with sounds of nature), with hints from Jean-Michel Jarre (especially Crosby Beach and Black Sands Of Horden), Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk. The epic composition is Sundial On The Wye (close to 12 minutes), it contains a lot of spectacular work on synthesizers. On some tracks Das Stevens presents the very distinctive Theremin, or some acoustic - and electric guitar. Or a more dynamic atmosphere, like in Clifton Bridge (blend of Eighties electronic pop sound and Kraftwerk, with organ, a catchy beat and pleasant synthesizer flights), The Wrekin (catchy sequencer beat with hints from Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and JM Jarre, a tribute to the masters) and Segedunum (catchy sequencer beat, electronic drums, synthesizer flights and Theremin, Vangelis and JM Jarre come to my mind.
A nice effort to discover for fans of electronic music, no more or less.
*** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Dave Smith)
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