Spinvis


(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Spinvis (2002), 6.5/10
Dagen van Gras Dagen van Stro (2005), 5/10
Ja (2006), 4/10
Ritmebox (2008), 4/10
Tot Ziens Justine Keller (2011), 6/10
Trein Vuur Dageraad (2017), 6.5/10
7.6.9.6. (2020), 5/10
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Spinvis, the project of Dutch songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Erik De Jong, who used to play in punk band Blitzkrieg (later renamed The Duds) and in Hi-Jinx, debuted with Spinvis (2002), when De Jong was already 41. Despite sounding like a professional recording, it was recorded in his attic. Despite his punk past, DeJong is a fan of moronic pop muzak and devotes half of the album to lo-fi synth-pop ballads like Bagagedrager the orchestral, Burt Bacharach-esque Voor ik Vergeet and the languid, Electric Light Orchestra-ian Herfst en Nieuwegein. The folkish Ronnie Gaat Naar Huis and the Sheryl Crow-esque shuffle In de Staat van Narcose are more in line with the traditional format of singer-songwriters. A rocking guitar riff surfaces in Astronaut to slightly liven up the moribund flow of the songs.

Nieuwegein aan Zee (2003) contains live music and leftovers.

Dagen van Gras Dagen van Stro/ Days of Grass Days of Straw (2005) contains Het Voordeel van Video/ The Advantage of Video and Ik wil Alleen Maar Zwemmen/ I just Want to Swim but inevitably cannot match the variety of the first album (composed over a number of years).

Goochelaars & Geesten (2007) collects rarities and leftovers.

Ja (2006) and Ritmebox (2008) are cycles of lieder based on poems by Dutch poet Simon Vinkenoog.

Some of his most original music could be found on singles, like the tribal dadaistic fanfare Holleeder de binnenwereld (2008) and the moribund piano litany Bericht van de binnenkant (2009).

Tot Ziens Justine Keller (2011) contains the single Kom Terug. The singles of the time include Clair obscur (2012), a rare venture into garage-rock, and the lounge ballad B-kantje (2012).

Trein Vuur Dageraad (2017), perhaps his melodic apex, contains the martial Hallo Maandag and the spirited Artis (two of his catchiest creations), the gentle lullaby Van De Bruid En De Zee, the lyrical and moving Tienduizend Zwaluwen, He can't resist to include a romantic ballad like De Kleine Symfonie but Alles Is revisits the genre with the pomp of a requiem. Folkish numbers like the seven-minute Trein Vuur Dageraad coexist with dance-pop meditations like the seven-minute Stefan En Lisette. Clearly, the album is littered with countless echoes of melodic music of the last 50 years, from Leonard Cohen to Magnetic Fields, from Don McLean to Apples In Stereo, but nonetheless they are well packaged, an elegant display of instrumental and vocal simplicity. The majestic synth-pop elegy Immortelle C appeared on a 2017 compilation. The single Je kan alles (2018) is one of his most creative songs, a dadaistic techno rigmarole. The single Napels (2018) is instead another moronic lounge ballad.

The Sonic Youth-esque single De Dag dat Richard Krajicek Wimbledon Won/ The Day Richard Krajicek Won Wimbledon (2020) was unusually experimental. Thanks to the covid pandemic, 7.6.9.6. (2020) was an album similar to his debut album: recorded at home. The highlights are Parel (a 2019 single), which sounds like a religious hymn, and Picasso.

DeJong kept surprising his fan base with the three-song EP Sunon (2021), which contains the pulsing, Velvet Underground-esque Tingeltangel Hersenpan (with a quote from Gene Vincent's Be-Bop-A-Lula) and the seven-minute instrumental prog-rock jam Sunon.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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