Boomkat Product Review:
Shabby chic, ‘80s-style dance jams
“Moving on from their time holed up in a leisure resort relic, the Dutch retrogressive, analogue synth machine obsessives and tape fanatics Betonkust & Palmbomen II have teamed up together once more for a new EP. An immediate follow up to their debut LP Center Parcs, the new EP pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music. Once more replete with esoteric experimentalism, analogue jams, drums machines, synths, and a healthy dose of acid basslines, the production duo advance upon their aesthetic with a new extended EP of nostalgic, melancholic electro.
With Palmbomen II a.k.a. Kai Hugo, based out and working in Los Angeles, collaborations with Dutch-based partner Betonkust happen less frequently than they should - especially when you acknowledge that they do not use, or record to computers. When they do happen though, their distinctive sonic palette of saturated distortion, and warm melodic wavey house shines through. This time recorded in a bungle somewhere in the Dutch countryside, the two producers have created a concept record about Bart, a local hero and his imagined life in a parallel universe. In this reality, instead of making it in TV, Bart is a successful music producer, the track titles detailing his journey through this new and imagined life. 'Bart Is Alone Again' kicks off the record with its wistful melodies, and harmonic leads, before 'Underground Dance Floor' kicks in with its predominate bassline, and squelching deep-rooted, undercurrents of hardcore. Along Bart’s odyssey there are moments for 'Bart's Jam', an early days Warp Records / Detroit belter; 'Rejected Demo Tape' a downbeat moment of anguish; ending with 'A Series of Bad Decisions,' in which the EP plays out to somber, yet harmonious conclusion.”