Now here’s some reflective austerity that knows how to cut deep - an entrancing trek through the vacillating borders of drone, noise and the titillating void between it all. Geel-based Jef Mertens has been researching, documenting and subtly exploring the experimental music scene in Belgium and beyond for the better part of two decades. As a filmmaker, he’s dug deep in the realm of Flemish primitive fringe (Dronevolk) and chronicled the makings of giants like Sonic Youth and Borbetomagus. After running the now-defunct free tape label Dadaist Tapes, Mertens comes with a release of his own: NO MATHEMATICS, the first record collab between KRAAK and Feeding Tube.
This entrancing debut sees shruti box and guitar conjoining to create circling ragas of solemn yet resounding force. Additional contributions from US composer and multi instrumentalist Nickolas Mohanna provide an orphic sheen to the whole, amplifying its psycho-sensorial energy through ringing zithers and pulsating electronics. In essence, NO MATHEMATICS fosters a portentousness that is tenuous and vibrant, completely in line with Mertens’ work so far and proving that the heart of Belgian dronevolk is alive and very much beating.
Jef Mertens - Guitar and shruti box
Nickolas Mohanna - Electronics, rhythmic pads and treated zithers on A Variable Degree and Metal
Thanks to Nickolas Mohanna, Gabriela and folks at Kraak, Byron, Ted and Feeding Tube Records, Nicola Giunta, Ben & Freek, Isabelle & Romy