Boomkat Product Review:
Adroit electro-acoustic improvisors Karen Willems & Jean D.L. conjure a dynamically unpredictable side erupting in noise and diffused into spectral swarms
“Aurora Borealis returns once more to Belgium, with the release of ‘Twee Lindebomen’ by the duo of experimental drummer/percussionist Karen Willems and avant guitarist Jean D.L.
After recording their album ‘Lyra’ (Luik) and playing various concerts since then, Karen Willems & Jean D.L. sought to explore their duo in a different context, searching for new modes of harmony between acoustic and electric performance disciplines. The duo were able to discover this new territory with the opportunity to record in the church of Saint Nicholas in Le Roeulx, Belgium, the village where Jean grew up.
Recorded live over the course of a two day long session last summer, the mystic atmosphere of the church provides a touch point for the musical explorations on the album. Using the echo and natural reverb of the architecture gave the duo new challenges. Space forms an important part of the duo’s work, as they respond to each setting and it’s unique architecture, both physical and acoustic.
“The reverb in the church gave us an extra force and a spatial element. We were able to play with distance and movement” says Willems. “It was a different way of playing, and we thrive on that, the uniqueness of the moment”.
The album covers 8 diverse tracks of improvisational interplay between Willem’s drums, free percussion with vocalisation, and D.L.’s palette of guitar work and tape manipulation. ‘Twee Lindebomen’ captures the duo at the height of their ﬂow, seamlessly working together to create a highly expressive and emotive album.”