Monday, June 2, 2008

HET PANDORRA ENSEMBLE-III, DISASTER ELECTRONICS (1978, LP, HOLLAND)

Het Pandorra Ensemble is an experimental group formed by Dolf Planteijdt that started around 1974 and ended in 1978. At the same time they played in the popgroup Door Mekaar.The band started with Gert Jan Blom (bass guitar), Roland Brunt (flute), Jean Eble (drums) and Dolf Planteijdt (guitar). When the band started to record an album, Brunt left, and he was replaced by Dolf's brother Wouter Planteijdt, who had just left the band Speed.After the group broke up all the musicians played in numerous bands, both as member and guest. Gert-Jan Blom played in bands like Bauer, Fay Lovski and The Beau Hunks. Wilfrid Snellens played in Black Slacks but sadly died in 1997. Dolf Planteijdt became a well known producer of punk bands, but also played in Morzelpronk. And Wouter Planteijdt was a member of (a.o.) Corry & De Grote Brokken, Morzelpronk, Sjardin's Terrible Surprise and Sjako!. He also appears on the album "A view from the valley" (1985) by Grin.
Tracklist: 1.Door mekaar (D. Planteijdt) [10:07] 2.Kanon pittoresk (D. Planteijdt) [10:47] 3.Ritme 7000 (D. Planteijdt) [2:40] 4.Drei (D. Planteijdt) [4:37] 5.Karotten (D. Planteijdt) [15:08]
Musicians: Gert-Jan Blom (Bass guitar), Wouter Planteijdt (Guitar), Wilfrid Snellens (Drums),
Dolf Planteijdt (Guitar), guest musicians: Roland Brunt (flute), Kaspar (organ).
Review: Let me start by saying that this album is Holland's best kept secret. It is an excellent album that contains some of the best progressive music recorded in the Netherlands. It is experimental, complex and very exciting.The Pandorra Ensemble was an experimental band led by the Planteijdt brothers, who both played guitar. The music is completely instrumental, and except from one track, it is bass (in the style of Chris Squire or Peter Vink), drums and lots of guitars. If compared to other bands, they have something in common with King Crimson. This shows in their avant garde type of rock and also in the guitar playing of Wouter Planteijdt which resembles the style of Robert Fripp. If Crimson had recorded an album in 1978, this is how it could have sounded. Other references are Djam Karet and mathrock from bands like Don Caballero.The album consists of three long tracks and two shorter ones. The first track is Door Mekaar. The main feature of this track is two guitars playing together and against each other. The opening has a Canterbury feel over it. After a quiet center part the song is build up again with a bass solo and ends with a fantastic guitar solo. A great track that really defines the sound of the Pandorra Ensemble. The second track is Kanon Pittoresk. With it's repetitive themes the start of this track is the closest they come to mathrock. Halfway, the most breathtaking minutes of the album pass you by. The rhythm of the song changes and a guitar solo that bring tears to your eyes start. At the end the same solo is played again, but this time up-tempo. To slow things a bit and for the listener to take a deep breath, the album follows with two shorter tracks: Ritme 7000 and Drei. The first is guitar and bass and on top of that a flute, played by Roland Brunt. It is a nice little tune. The second is best compared to the opening of Crimson's Lark's Tongues In Aspic, part 1. In the middle a few people shout numbers in German, although almost not audible. This is a sort of intro to the closer of the album, Karotten. This one starts very quiet but soon they pick up some sort of groove with a heavy bass guitar and some great soloing ( a mix between Akkerman and Fripp). When the song becomes quiet again and you think the album is over, they play a sort of reprise with a very beautiful and melodic piece of music.The musicianship of all players is very high. But a special word goes out to both guitarists. They can easily be added to the list of great dutch guitarist, where they complete the top three with Jan Akkerman (Focus) and Joop van Nimwegen (Finch). The production of the album is also very good. There is one point of criticism about this release: this album should be released on cd as soon as possible. And not some vinyl rip, but a proper remastered album. And then everybody who wants to add an excellent album to it's collection can get it. (Dutch progressive rock)
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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

A great record, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ans to think they were only 20 years old at the time...

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