Boomkat Product Review:
Astral Industries bid adieu to Dutch ambient catalyst Jacobus Derwort [1952*-2019†], aka Bamboo Music, with a sublime collection of ambient flute recordings produced by his Chi bandmate Hanyo van Oosterom
Stemming from Derwort’s 1987 solo debut tape ‘Bamboo’ (1987), this expanded and reshuffled compilation of ‘Bamboo Music’ celebrates more than 30 years of J. Derwort’s deeply focussed yet dilated and richly spirited recordings which have come to define an etheric strand of late ‘80s ambient pursuits. Pairing his gentle, breezy gestures with spongiform layers of subbass, colourful canopies of bird calls and trickling, fluid electronics, the recordings speak to a bucolic and blessed conception of ambient ecological music which is both atavistic, futuristic and timeless in its elemental logic and tranquil effect.
Arguably a cult composer to a far flung but smaller network of ambi-nauts in the ‘80s and ‘90s, J. Derwort’s music has more recently come to acclaim with a broader lot of heads via Astral Industries, where it’s beautifully fulfilled a need for intimacy and ambient romance in the modern age. The abundant love for his solo recordings and work with The Chi Factory can be attributed to the spacious elegance and unchallenging pathos of his music, whose sincerity of approach and minimalist efficiency has patently future-proofed it for incoming generations.
‘Bamboo Music’ epitomises Derwort’s magick in a seamless suite patching together moments from the hard-to-find ‘Bamboo’ tape and his 2000 digital release of ‘Bamboo Music’ with further works commissioned for commercial use. Captured on Revox Tape deck, Tascam 4-track cassette, and Zoom Harddisk Recorder, the results can be heard as a distant echo of the exotica pursued by Mike Cooper or the earliest, ritualistic Coil carried on prevailing winds from David Toop’s conceptual ‘Ocean of Sound’, forming an enchanting raft for the imagination or a lilting mini-break from the pace and stress of everyday life.