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Out Of Control

by Weerthof

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  • Limited edition USB, encased in bar of soap

    Special limited edition release: engraved maplewood USB stick, encased in homemade soap bar.

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Awaken Scape 02:24
Soapy Swing 01:04
Sewing Song 02:42
Dozy Ditty 01:40


The Out of Control EP takes you on an electro-acoustic journey through a (not so) ordinary day.

Glitchy electronics, neo-classical and unlikely musical instruments such as sewing machines, toothbrushes, daxophones, elastic bands, pvc pipes, balloons, whirly tubes and vuvuzela's.

Originally this music is the soundtrack for circustheatre play 'Huis op Hol' (previously known as 'Out of Control') by Wietske Vogels about a peculiar female inventor who builds overly complicated contraptions to make her everyday routines into something gracefully awesome.

This release is available as a pay-what-you-want download, but also as an exceptional limited edition. Here it comes... a wooden usb-stick, encased in a bar of soap, home-made by Weerthof! No more vinyl or CD's clogging up your house if you don't want to! Only 50 numbered copies of these are made, straight from the Weerthof cooking laboratory.

(Some reactions to the smell of the Out of Control soap: "This smell reminds me of the boat of my grand-parents", "It smells a bit electrical", "Somewhere between an scullery and a workshop", "Like drinking mint tea on Texel".)

Weerthof is a musician, artist and producer of soundtracks and catchy pop songs hailing from Den Bosch. This is his fifth release, and his first instrumental one in almost 10 years. He seems to have returned a bit to his roots of fusing classical music with IDM, modifying trivial sounds and building objects to create those specific sound combinations. Yet bringing along the exploration of pop and early music from his 2012 album 'Hoi', resulting in a light, somewhat eclectic yet distinctly Weerthovian flavour.


Review in A Closer Listen:
ACL 2013: The Year's Best Packaging

... Michiel van de Weerthof has been around for a little longer, but his latest effort is another marvel that combines the old and the new. Out of Control is an EP on a USB stick cooked into a homemade bar of soap. Only 50 copies were made, but one can appreciate the time and love that went into such an endeavor. The music matches the appearance, as instruments include balloon, bathtub, rubber bands and wooden ruler. The initial run sold out within a matter of days, but the artist has created a waiting list just in case people are interested in a second run. We think such a thing would be worth it...


Review by Atom Davis in Jumbly Music:
I used to wander around the net and find out of the blue record labels to follow. I just so happened to be checking one of them on prep for my trip to DC, and found this guy from the Netherlands, Michiel Van De Weerthof... He calls himself a songsmith, which makes sense. He also has an extensive resume on his site, so you know, if you want someone to make music for a videogame on par with Katamari Damacy, you should totally give him a call.

You will start this album feeling like its going to be very gentle and melodic...  And then it jumps on your table and bounces up and down for a minute, stops, then calmly sits down, cocks its head to the side, and begins making strange music while staring at you.

It is very glitchy, wiggly music. Which reminds me of plenty of IDM bands I've enjoyed. It is a pretty pleasant overall experience, barring the spazzy bit right at the outset. Also, you should know that physical copies of this album are available... in special usb sticks in the middle of scented bars of soap.


Review in Yeah I Know It Sucks:

‘Awaken Scape’
Just as the title implies the first opening track feels as a great awakening after a good night rest. The birds slowly sing their song, making way for the arrangement between human and it’s collection of alarm clocks. The rooster does his morning call a little too late, but nonetheless supplies the extra push to wake the listener up in a cozy and effective way.

‘Squeeky Polka’
The second track of this sample fest is also corresponding tightly with the title. A cute little work based on manipulated home baked sound recordings, arranged in a fun little squeeky polka.

‘Pantoffle Skiffle’
With this very pretty and friendly petite track, the lovers of the braindance genre will be delightfully entertained. Pantoffle Skiffle does everything in a tight but lose friendly structure, mixing odd sounds that form rhythms with sweet and funny musical melodies.

‘Toothbrush Tune’
With a sweet sound covering the base and easy going friendliness the artist guides the listener through lots of bubbles and the complete toothbrush ritual. The sweet tune leaves the ears squeaky clean, although a bit soapy. Which brings us to the perfect transition of this work into the next one.

‘Soapy Swing’
Within this soapy track the listener gets a nice slice of a slow jazz swing. It’s amazing how such a short tune captures the essence so perfectly here.

‘Sewing Song’
This sweet little record keeps providing good and sweet sounding vibes that seem to blend simple innocence with creative intelligence. With this ‘Sewing Song’ the artist has possibly created an very sweet musical highlight of this record. It has a nice french feeling to it, quite possibly infected by the outstanding choice of accordion prettiness sewed in the cut & paste electronica.

‘Aerial Alegretto’
When still being pleased by the previous tune, the artist provides simply more epic but petite sounding friendliness. This time more instruments with snares like a violin are being added to this wonderful mix of adult and child-friendly entertainment. There is even the awkward moment of hinting at the the music used for the mister Bean series, which will probably tickles a smile to anyone lucky enough to be able to listen to this cute collection of musical tracks.

‘Dozy Ditty’
This is the unfortunate moment that artist Weerthof is saying goodbye to it’s listeners. Luckily the artist keeps the Dozy Ditty in the same style as to leave this release with a very happy ending.

Weerthof’s – Out Of Control was originally released on a wooden USB stick, encased in a homemade soapbar. This physical appearance has unfortunately sold out to collectors with a good nose and a sense of hygiene, but the music on its own is enough to convince me to convince you: to get this sweetness in your musical playlist for happy times!


Review by Richard Allen in A Closer Listen:
Out of Control is a completely bonkers idea that works: a USB stick cooked into a bar of soap. The concept is fun, the music is engaging and the soap makes a great show-and-tell item. Netherlands artist Michiel van de Weerthof made 50 of these bars at home, which sold out quickly (sorry), but fortunately the packaging is only part of the appeal.

The album was born as the score to Wietske Vogels’ circus theatre show of the same name (now “Huis op Hoi”). The plot – “a peculiar female inventor builds overly complicated contraptions to make her everyday routines into something gracefully awesome” – is integral to the understanding of this release. Weerthof has also been known to build things at home, including his own instruments. Like the protagonist of the play, he makes good use of whatever is around him to make music. The sounds include pendulum and cuckoo clocks (very effective on “Awaken Scape”), toothbrush (actual toothbrushing becomes an instrument on “Toothbrush Tune”), wooden ruler, rooster, bathtub and rubber bands. Familiar instruments are present as well, from violin to vibraphone, autoharp to accordion. It seems as if Weerthof is constantly in motion, asking, “What can I do with this object? What would these five things sound like together?” The result is like Pawn’s Kitchen EP gone totally off the rails.

Melody and beats are crucial throughout the EP, which often sounds like a toybox come to life. Take all of the melodic instruments from a playroom, add the toys that sound interesting when whacked against other toys, and we’re almost there. The childlike wonder of the female inventor is evident in every track, from opening clock to closing kazoo. When heard from a musician’s perspective, the entire world can seem percussive. The difference here is that Weerthof never loses the plot. There’s a method in his madness, and it goes beyond sampling sewing machines and sodium chloride. A creative remixer might have a field day with “Pantoffle Skittle”, which is already beat-laden, but the point is that one never need wander too far afield in order to make music. The “peculiar inventor” makes ordinary routines into “something gracefully awesome”, and Weerthof echoes her journey. When the faucet makes a beat, brushing one’s teeth can seem more like a rhythmic experiment that a necessary chore. Out of Control inspires gratitude in the everyday, and its outer appearance is its metaphorical coup de grâce.


Review by JS in Vital Weekly:
Esc Rec is an interesting label, started and still steered by Harco Rutgers. The label’s catalogue releases a wide range of styles which tends to put people off (listeners like to see a label stand for a clearly defined style or genre, like Factory Records, INA GRM or EG Records) but quality of sound and packaging is in general perfect. And one might say that this level of quality is the label’s defining selling point. Aside from different musical styles Esc Rec also has a knack for special packaging. This case is no different. The music was sold on a USB stick inside a bar of soap. Since the process of making soap is quite intense and since this is low budget personal release the number of soap bars was very limited and has been sold out now. What rests (for a long while) is digital release on Bandcamp.

So, let’s dig in to the music. It’s main protagonist, aside from composer Michiel van de Weerthof, is a sampler. The sounds sampled and played are instruments (in the classic definition) and personal and household nature. This brings a homely and non-pretential atmosphere to this release. The tracks are short, are of a sketchy structure and because of their MIDI basis tend to be in strict tempo (although there are tempo changes). And I don’t know what to make of it, actually. It’s interesting, one moment pretentious and quite cheesy the next. Composers like Nicolas Bernier, whose works also are for a major part sample based, include sampling as a kind of meta-layer into their music which gives them a reason to go much deeper with the technology of sampling and be more adventurous in slicing and layering and juxtaposing. Weerthof didn’t go there and stayed closer to home. But I guess that’s exactly what Michiel van Weerthof wanted it to be and in that sense it’s a successful project.


Review by Rónai András in Quart:
Ismer?s és szokatlan hangszerek, valamint mindenféle hétköznapi tárgyak szerepelnek Weerthof letölthet? ep-jén, viszonylag rendes dalocskák lesznek bel?lük. Szappanba csomagolt usb-n is kapható volt.

Harmonika, fürd?kád, madarak, celofán, szék, számítógép, kristálypohár, kakukkos óra, ev?eszközök, daxophone, csap, padló, kazu, maracas, zongora, kakas, radírgumi, szaxofon, varrógép, fogkefe, szelepek, vibrafon, favonalzó, xilofon - ez csak kb. a fele annak a listának, hogy miket használt a holland Weerthof az Out Of Control cím?, innen szabadon választott összegért, akár ingyen is letölthet? ep-jén. Persze a hétköznapi ésnem hétköznapi tárgyakon történ? zenélést nem ? találta fel, a kérdés az, hogy mi jön ki ebb?l. Hát egy szórakoztató b? negyedóra, laza történetszövéssel, amennyiben ébreszt?vel kezd?dik, valami elalvásszer?séggel végz?dik. A klasszikus zene szórakoztató oldalával, illetve musicales gesztusokkal is kacérkodik, másrészt a számítógép idm-es megtört ritmusokat, felcsavarodó digitális zörejeket hoz. A lényeg azonban a sok apró kis ötletecske, kacsintgatás; vagyis nem az, hogy jé, fogmosás hangja van a számban!, hanem hogy ezt a hangot hogyan sikerül a hangkulissza részévé tenni, a csap csöpögésével ellenpontozni, az elektronikus bugyborgásokkal szinkronizálni. Van annyira szórakoztató az eredmény, hogy többszöri hallgatást is kibír. További érdekesség, hogy ötven példányban szappanba csomagolt, faborítású usb-n is kiadták (képek itt); sajnos már elfogyott.


Review by Richard Foster in Incendiary Magazine:
When it comes to formulating your response to music, to choosing what you want to write about, there are times where you have to take a deep breath and shut down, to attempt not to focus, to see past the welter of nonsense thrown at you; you have to dismiss all the pretend whacky, pseudo-serious, nakedly ambitious or just thick attempts to get your attention. In the case of this EP I’m really glad I got past the prose. I mean, forget all the usual instrumental hoops releases like these make the poor reviewer jump through – forget trying to work out what a fucking daxophone or a pvc pipe sounds like or how to best describe their noises; just consider this, consider that if you really, really like this EP, you can, as a token of your affection, buy a WOODEN usb stick, and not only that, a wooden usb encased in a bar of soap… what new form of culturally elite inanity will we be presented with next? The mind doesn’t boggle, it just closes the door, whimpering and praying for release from other people’s good intentions.

A picture may be forming in your minds of something so whacky that it’s either irrelevant as a listen, or a cultural object so far up its own arse you will need an industrial plunger to dislodge it. You’d be wrong; I want to make clear that this is a great record; daft, spiky, silly and possessing the sort of sure-footed approach that only great pop music possesses. This is pop; even if it things like Awaken Scrape plays with the same old sonic tricks that Faust did on The Faust Tapes, or Toothbrush Tune and Aerial Allegretto have a feel of the sort of breezy fun Spike Jones and His City Slickers would have attempted back in the day. Pantoffle Skiffle even comes on a bit like Belgium’s Loden. It’s also far too short as a listen to get irritated by it, and like an early morning cuppa it brings you round, gives you a bit of focus and, weirdly enough hope. Hope. Now there’s a pretentious thought…


Review by Jan Willem Broek in Caleidoscoop:
Michiel van de Weerthof heeft al enige tijd geleden de rust van de Randstad verruild voor de hectiek van Den Bosch. Daar opereert deze zanger, muziekontwerper, liedjesbouwer, organisator, performer, vormgever, producer, gastmuzikant en concertorganisator onder zijn verkorte naam Weerthof. Mijn eerste kennismaking met hem is met de cd Hoi die vorig jaar is verschenen. Hierop trekt hij er als een ware Don Quichot gewapend met onder meer draailier en Barokke muziek om elektrobeats, IDM, wave, dark cabaret, folk, break beats, avant-garde, minimal techno en klassiek te bestormen. Daarbij brengt deze moderne troubadour zang in het Nederlands, wat zoals hijzelf ook aangeeft een meedogenloze taal is om in te zingen. Toch werkt zijn kruisbestuiving van genres en bijzondere aanpak verslavend en laat daarbij een uniek geluid horen. Een stuk doeltreffender en minder belachelijk dan Don Quichot, maar wel net zo avontuurlijk. Daarna ben ik de geschiedenis van deze ietwat bevreemdende maar unieke artiest ingedoken en daar vind ik werken vanaf 2004 onder zijn eigen naam, maar ook in groepsverband als Vinex, Kakofonia Orchestra, De Vier Harries en Man Met Pijp. De muziek is veelal elektronisch maar met een folkloristisch, jazzy en Barok hart gemaakt, al dan niet met zang. Hierdoor komt de muziek ergens uit tussen Autechre, L. Pierre, Prokovjev, Dvo?ák, Miles Davis en Igorrr, zonder dat dit helemaal sluitend is. Ik kan eenieder dan ook van harte aanbevelen hier eens te gaan rondneuzen, want daar is meer te beleven dan in het drukste pretpark. Voor mij is Hoi een zeer aangename kennismaking naar meer geworden; oud en nieuw en totaal anders vanuit een parallelle, caleidoscopische realiteit.

Zijn nieuwste werk Out Of Control komt uit op het avontuurlijke, innovatieve Esc.rec. label uit Deventer. Weerthof zou Weerthof niet zijn als daar niet iets bijzonders van gemaakt zou worden. Je kunt deze nieuwe mini release tegen een vrijwillige bijdrage downloaden, al hoop ik van harte dat men deze kunst wil ondersteunen met een gift. Voor de echte liefhebber is er echter een heel bijzondere, gelimiteerde uitgave: een houten usb-stick verpakt in een door Weerthof vervaardigde zeep. Vroeger heb ik nog met enige regelmaat cd’s teruggebracht naar de winkel omdat ze stonken, maar met deze eerste luistersoap is dat echt verleden tijd. Hoewel, mijn zeep ruikt naar de leuning van een treinstoel met een likje graffiti. Zeep heeft als doel dat je er schoon van wordt. Deze zeep brengt dan ook schone muziek. Weerthof brengt hier een elektro-akoestische mix van accordeon, autoharp, beats, harmonica, piano, klavecimbel, kazoo, xylofoon, vibrafoon, viool, vuvuzela, computer, sax, daxofoon en carillon aangevuld met geluiden van tandenborstels, water, haan, klok, digitale wekker, vogels, naaimachine, ballonnen, cellofaan, pvc buizen en omroepsignalen van een treinstation en ga zo maar door. Geen gezongen liedjes dit keer, maar veelzeggende mixen van instrumenten en alledaagse geluiden. Hiermee smeedt hij uiterst originele speelse composities, die zowel verwant zijn aan de muziek van Pierre Bastien, Pascal Comelade en Yann Tiersen als aan Loren Nerell, Igorrr, Fred Frith, Stavros Gasparatos en Francisco Lopez. Toch past er geen enkele vergelijking helemaal, omdat de combinatie van elementen volslagen uniek is en de combinatie van de elementen ook een eigen leven gaat leiden (out of control). Ergens tussen glitch, neoklassiek, IDM, toytronica, folk, Barok en musique concrète vind je de eigengereide speelruimte van Weerthof. En daar is het simpelweg genieten. Alleen oppassen dat je niet over het zeepje uitglijdt! Misschien zijn deze ruim 17 minuten dan wat kort, maar er gebeurt op deze ze-ep meer dan op de gemiddelde langspeler. Laat je oren dus vooral eens lekker wassen door de unieke pracht en kracht van Weerthof, waarbij ik enkel garanties durf af te geven op het luistergenot en niet op de geur.


Review by Drizzi in NetMusic Life:
Una ricca lista di ingredienti dei più disparati fanno parte di questo divertente e originale album di Weerthof, eclettico artista olandese giunto alla sua quinta release. Palloncini, rubinetti, spazzolini, elastici, vari elementi chimici e quant'altro. Ritmiche imbastite su gocce di rubinetti guasti e spazzolini da denti in movimento. Idraulici travolti da un irrefrenabile spirito creativo. Spruzzate di elettronica sinuosa in improvvisazioni jazzy da cameretta. Ci sono tanti colori, quanti i suoni qui presenti, e bambini disposti in fila ordinatamente ad osservare incuriositi. Spiritosi allegretti neo-classici su ritmiche kraut-hip-hop fanno da base a sfondi fioriti di videogame naturalisti. Creatività che svolazza senza gravità tra soleggiate colline primaverili. Giocoso e burlesco. Numerosi sample presi in prestito (e generosamente segnalati all'interno delle info di ogni traccia) da quell'enorme biblioteca sonora che è Freesound. Un'acrobazia perfetta tra strumenti acustici, oggettistica ed elettronica. E, come se non bastasse, un'originale chiavetta usb racchiusa in una saponetta distribuita dall'ottima esc.rec.


released October 2, 2013

Music : Michiel van de Weerthof
Mastering : René de Wilde
Design : Michiel van de Weerthof & Harco Rutgers
Original artwork : Amanda Majoor - www.swingundbratwurst.blogspot.nl

Thanks to : Marijn Moerbeek, René Genten, Jyoti Vennix, Harco Rutgers, Yves Brandsma, Amanda Majoor, Marleen de Puydt, Carlijn Stevens, Mark van den Heuvel, Lot Broos & Wietske Vogels.

Ingredients : Accordeon, Autoharp, Balloons, Bathtub, Beatboxer, Birds, Carrillon, Cellophane, Chair, Computer, Crystal Glassware, Cuckoo Clock, Cutlery, Daxophone, Digital Alarm, Faucet, Floor, Glycerin, Guiro, Harmonica, Harpsichord, Insedit Olea Redolentia, Kazoo, Lauric Acid, Maple Wood, Maracas, Pendulum Clock, Pentasodium Pentetate, Piano, Polyvinyl Chloride Pipes, Propylene Glycol, Rooster, Rubber Bands, Saxophone, Sewing Machines, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Stearate, Sorbitol, Stearic Acid, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Toothbrush, Universal Serial Bus Data Storage Device, Valves, Vibraphone, Violin, Vuvuzela, Water, Whirly Tube, Wooden Ruler, Xylophone.


Out of Control contains samples from freesound.org. See individual tracks for credit list.




Esc.rec. Deventer

Esc.rec. is a small, critically acclaimed record label for adventurous music, founded in 2004 by Harco Rutgers in Deventer, NL.

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