(2019 - Off Records - Belgium)
There is never a stagnation about Pierre Vervloesem (co-founder of X-Legged Sally, among many other projects as producer, mixer, mastering chief, and multi-instrumentalist genius), to which the world will never see another exactly like him. There is however, a guarantee that he will never allow you to predict him. With what the maestro says is his 52nd album (he is including all the previous recordings he has ever worked on such as Flat Earth Society, and a host of other artists/groups), and 23rd solo (in 28 years), 'Artiste Belge' lets Pierre stretch, fling, and bounce around like a rubber cricket. He creates mini masterworks of bridges over rumbling water, stacks glorious rhythmic complexities like mysterious pyramids, and tricks the light fantastic with technical skills beyond the majority of all other humankind.
On Vervloesem's planet, there is always space for growth, new germination of experimental seeds, and permission to invent as one sees fit. THAT HE DOES! This new solo is packed with all sorts of technical goodies, and a mindset far above the clouds. 13 tracks of anything can happen. The album is all instrumental, as fans might expect, but remember no one can predict until it is released. And as much as I hate it, since I am a physical format lover, on this release, if you buy the download, you get 5 more bonus tracks. This of course defies logic of trying to sell the CD (which is a limited edition of 200), since the ones who do so are punished with less music. *raspberry* But I forgive him, and live with the decisions of Off Records and P.V. both.
With hermetic mind control, Vervloesem played, recorded, mixed, and mastered this imaginative hurtle of libertine document. All in a selfless act, so his true fans could partake of more brilliance by the one of a kind inventor. If you think I am laying it on heavy, just buy the album and take a listen, but pay close attention, and keep a focus on what is going on at all times. This is music from a sordid think tank of checkered bickering between melody lines, prickly notes across a set of measures, often invading the sanity of the norm (and normal), finally throwing pale hands up in the air with surrender, in the acknowledgement that Mr V. will have his way, no matter what. RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 5 - 26 - 2019