Boomkat Product Review:
Well this is delight; Belgian multi-instrumentalist Ann Eysermans drops a remarkable debut with her elegant, invetive studies for the train as a musical instrument, beautifully, metaphorically speaking to a richly evocative subject
With train-spotting all the rage thanks to that posh pube Francois Bourgeois (we much prefer pre-Tiktok trainspotting), Eysermans’ inspired takes in ‘For Trainspotters Only’ are bound to bring out a sense of the childlike wonder that the artist draws upon, but mercifully sans the middle class affectations. Calling to mind the raw thrills of Gonçalo F Cardoso & Ruben Pater’s recordings of flying drones from ‘A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics’, as much as Pierre Schaeffer’s ‘etude aux chemins de fer’ (1948) and Chris Watson’s ‘El Tren Fantasma’ (2011), yet with a much sweeter approach resonating with the string plucks of Colleen, the album beautifully binds those aspects into a dreamlike rush of motion and iridescent extended melody that has us by a thread.
The recording stems from the artist’s formative experience of climbing on a train from Antwerp to the seaside resort of Ostend as a five year old. It craftily uses the contemporaneous sounds of diesel locomotives (HD 51, 54, 55 and 60) from the Belgian Train World Heritage collection, prizing their hisses, clanks, and atonalities while both mirroring, and contrasting them, with an impressive range of sounds wrenched, knocked, and coaxed from her harp and organ, plus gorgeous slivers of vocals comparable with Eysermans’ fellow Belgian artist Oï les Ox. There’s also a fearless deployment of quiet/loud dynamics at play that feels all too rare and thrilling with it, approaching the classical and concrète dimensions with gloves off and deflating any preconceptions that this stuff has to be prim or neat. Nah, it’s sooty, human, and gloriously messy in the right way; a fitting elegy for the fossil fuel age?
Keep a keen ear on this artist. We will, at least.