“Dett” is Dutch artist Kevin Verwijmeren’s first album since 2016’s “Those Glorious Heights”. It is currently available for pre-order and is released on limited Colored Vinyl, Black Vinyl and Digital. The official release date is October 23. He first came on the scene with the Soft Corridor release “It’s the Color of the Cloud Covered Sky”, the liberty notes refer to him as being a physics student and living in a remote area. Whether or not both of these still apply to him, but you sense that his music has a bit of an outsider and theoretical approach embued in it.
I would not confidently classify Verwijmeren as an ambient artist. I think that this genre certainly makes up for a section of his sound, but for me I feel sound artist is more an accurate appraisal or descriptor. For that reason, the mastering of this and his previous album by Stephen Mathieu makes sense, as although Mathieu is renowned for his vinyl mastering, I feel that they are from a similar field of sound art and exploration.
“Dett” is a flowing piece of music which is probably best heard as a continual piece of work. Taking tracks on a singular basis (which is usually my review M.O.) would take them out of context. As the tracks flow into each other, with only a gap between “Who Trip” and “Paradise state of a fool” (presumably where the vinyl album is divided into Sides A and B), you get the sense of being on an open ended journey. The textures change from track to track from darker, cloaked mysterious sound sources, such as the murky opener “To me” with its cut up, wind swept hazy soundscapes through to the cavernous fractured “While breathing right now” with the previously mentioned “Paradise State Of A Fool” being the closest to Ambience.
“Ego Trip” sounds the most electronic with its rhythmic tones, fractured glitches, rumbling bass, while “Become None” aims for the wall of sound approach to impressive results. “Oh Myth” mixes up the electronics, dense soundscapes, rumbling bass and synth ambience to transcend genres and “Burned by the Sun” ventures into harsher territories with its cut up oscillating sounds that start to fall apart as more choral dark synth drones take their position. The album ends on “To All” which features melodic tones, glitches, dark ambient motifs all constructed together with a nice balance of styles. You get the impression that Verwijemeren is an artist that is interested in sounds , their construction, juxtaposition of elements and the experimentations that can be performed with their sonic investigations.
With my initial listen to “Dett” I wasn’t following what Verwijmeren was doing with the album, but after several listens, especially as a complete piece, the parts of the puzzle were starting to fall into place. Where I was going wrong was looking at the album through the Ambient lens that I thought the album would fit in. Once I removed any expectation or attempt to classify it, then it made more sense to me and I was able to appreciate it with a clearer view. If sound art with a foot lightly in the ambient camp and a desire to take the listener on a journey of sonic textures and sounds is up your alley, then “Dett” could be right for you.