The Metamorphosis EP

by Gluid

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ECUT Fantastic synthesis of classical & specialized modern music components - an Ep which is building up a huge arc of suspense and that happens mostly without any bloated beats. That's characteristic, how Gluid is transforming all his choosed musical elements in a multiple differentiated & intelligent way. I always love the moment, when the last & till then lost element is taking its time onstage. Great dramaturgy - a strong, creative work!! Favorite track: Faulty Narcosis.
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about

Initially this music was commissioned by theatre company Noortje Licht as a soundtrack for 'De Gedaanteverwisseling' (The Metamorphosis), based on the book by Franz Kafka.

The show/installation (2010) was a seamless combination of acting, extremely inventive video projections by Douwe Dijkstra and music by Bram van den Oever (Gluid). Quite exceptional for such a small theatre company. See www.youtube.com/watch?v=04PMZX2CkvQ for a promo video.

After some minor alterations, this soundtrack now became a breathtaking stand-alone Gluid release. And just like the world famous psychological thriller by Kafka, it haunts you with hallucinatory beauty.

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Review by msch in Gonzo Circus:
Voor 'The Metamorphosis' baseerde Bram van den Oever zich op de muziek die hij eerder maakte voor de voorstelling 'De Gedaanteverwisseling' van theatergroep Noortje Licht. Wij hebben die voorstelling niet gezien, maar afgaande op Gluids soundtrack is ze bijna sprookjesachtig. Met elektronica, glockenspiel, strijkers en andere klassieke instrumenten creëert hij een mooie soundtrack, die steeds een klein beetje raar is, alsof er iedere moment iets raadselachtigs om de hoek kan komen zeilen. Zoals bijvoorbeeld een kafkaësk insect, al mist de muziek het kale en strenge dat ik me van Kafka's verhaal herinner. Als het de muziek voor een kleine Europese film was geweest, had ik het ook geloofd. Kamermuziek? Soundtrack? Hoorspel? 'The Metamorphosis' laat zich, de titel getrouw, niet goed in één genre vangen.

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Review by Mark for Eclectro:
Tijd voor weer eens wat ambient uit Oost-Nederland. The Metamorphosis EP van Gluid (Bram van den Oever) was oorspronkelijk muziek voor een toneelvoorstelling gebaseerd op het verhaal ‘de gedaanteverwisseling’ van Franz Kafka (je weet wel, die schrijver die iedereen briljant zegt te vinden maar niemand daadwerkelijk gelezen heeft). Zo’n conversie van theater-soundtrack naar EP is iets dat Bram wel vaker heeft gedaan; zie bijvoorbeeld de charmante creatie Binnensuis. Net als bij de meeste van Gluid’s andere creaties worden melodieën op The Metamorphosis EP vergezeld door field-recordings, die soms onheilspellend om het geheel heen krioelen en de boel soms voortstuwen met dreigende ritmes.

Duistere doch melodieuze ambient die prima werkt als soundtrack voor Kafka’s absurdistische thriller. Misschien een reden om dat boek toch maar eens te gaan lezen.

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Review by Alex Spalding for Yeah I Know It Sucks:
… Kafkaesque is a term that gets thrown around pretty loosely these days in relation to almost anything conceivable, but in this case it’s totally warranted! Gluid’s The Metamorphosis EP was, in it’s original incarnation (larval, perhaps?) a soundtrack to De Gedaanteverwisseling, a multimedia event by Noortje Licht that was based on Kafka’s original novel The Metamorphosis – which is to date and unbelievably the only work of Kafka’s I’ve read, though like many others, I will talk at length of / expound upon the brilliance of the author regardless of that sad fact. Now in it’s full-fledged adult state, modified to be listenable as a stand-alone album, this work feels more like a butterfly! Yes, I’m jumping a few evolutionary progressions here in saying so, cutting from one specie to another at will, but is this not so much a leap as from human to roach? I think not. Let’s… now talk about the music, before things get too weird up here in the introduction.

‘Prologue’ begins with beautiful, deep harmonic pads… into this field of sound, very bright electronic noises ascend, sparkling almost, maintaining intransigence against the background. These sounds then begin to wind down as we head into the next track…

… ‘The Metamorphosis’ continues the mutational feel with some bizarre electro-animal calls, maybe? There’s a shuffling modulated bit of white noise, some semi-vocal howling, lots of wind. Into this, a very pretty bell! There are more strange noises filling your head, like visions of sugarplums or maybe the dead? Strings come in with gradual tension, there’s almost a Danny Elfman quality to this and it’s very professional sounding so far! I’m totally amazed and thrilled to be listening to it. Toward the end I hear something that sounds between a scream and a car tire coming to a sudden halt. Then really dramatic ambient textures and what might be synth toms with lots of decay.

Then it’s ‘Knock Knock’, which begins with a highly resonant bell-tone drone and what might be a very, very subtle backward rhythm. There’s a tribal feel emerging, some bells and very reverb-laden clicks/pops. Ghostly synth leads of a theremin-like nature come in for awhile, lots of tremolo. I hear a violin, the melodies are very whimsical and dark. There’s the creaking of a door, more of those beautiful ghoulish theremin things, a pizzicato string! I’m in love. The bell melody that comes in next is wonderful, just the right touch of strangeness, it really makes you feel as though you have just realized you’ve metamorphosed into something alien, are experiencing a morbid fascination with new forms. The progressions of the song are very expert, lovely and seamless. There’s a synth bass that sounds really nice, just touches of it here and there, as well as flute/feedback tones.

A scratching, rhythmatic sound is shuffling around at the beginning of ‘Don’t Take My Furniture Away!’, as well as some lovely bells and yelping sounds. I begin to wonder if something isn’t trying to come through my walls? Hopefully not, though I’m prepared for the worst sitting in a circle of salt with just a computer and headphones. The music has a very ghastly vibe, like someone’s trying to jump-start a car in the middle of an isolated, foggy street set upon by a looming darkness. The noises begin to arrange themselves into an avantgarde rhythm just before disappearing completely, to be replaced by howling, bell tones, creaky gates in need of oil. A door opens… stabs of broken piano, low growling, chains rattling… g-g-ghosts! I love this track!

‘Faulty Narcosis’ features very low wisps of bell and then sudden cello/synth bass and rhythmatic bits of noises and sfx. Theremins like ufos descend upon us… and then an orchestral section too, very beautiful. It drifts away from us gradually and is followed by a solitary cello which leads us into…

… the last track, ‘Finally She’s Playing / Epilogue’, which continues with cello at first. There are strange sounds, like the flapping of steel wings, or the chattering of keys on a typewriter. The cello is accompanied by violin, then… viola, maybe? I hear three distinct timbres, playing in unison. Soon comes a fourth, pizzicato strings, which work together with a shaker to create a sort of phasing rhythm to the music. Everything eventually seems to filter off, a low drum sound keeping sixteenth time.

All in all, it’s hard being a giant roach. The neighbors are always threatening to call pest control if I don’t mow my lawn, and it’s difficult to get my legs into pants. This album is a bright point, though… it gave me a very squishy feeling on the inside, in the best way imaginable. It has that soundtrack quality to it, very professional and evoking a dualistic feeling both of morbid estrangement from humanity and disappointment.

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Review by De Subjectivisten:
In de categorie Download Dropje zullen we met enige regelmaat digitale releases onder de aandacht brengen, die gratis te downloaden zijn en naar onze totaal niet bescheiden mening de moeite waard zijn. Er lijkt namelijk bij het gratis aanbieden een zekere voorselectie weg, hetgeen vrijheid oplevert maar ook tot kwaliteitsverlies kan leiden. Aangezien er zoveel vissen in de zee zwemmen, doen wij een poging het kaf van het koren te scheiden.

Eerste in de Download Dropje serie komt van eigen bodem. Gluid, het geesteskind van Bram van den Oever, komt na twee geweldige, reguliere albums en legio releases voor dans/theatervoorstellingen met de epee The Metamorphosis, uitgebracht op het prestigieuze label esc.rec uit Deventer. Hij heeft deze in eerste instantie geschreven als soundtrack voor de dansvoorstelling De Gedaantewisseling van theatergroep Noortje Licht, gebaseerd op het werk Die Verwandlung van mijn favoriete schrijver Franz Kafka. De voorstelling bestaat uit een bijzondere mengelmoes van acteren, videoprojecties en geluid (zie beneden voor een impressie). Nu is dit album dus voor iedereen beschikbaar. Gluid brengt zoals vaker fraaie elektro-akoestische muziek, waarbij je hier breekbare stukken krijgt van subtiele elektronica en (elektronische) geluiden van strijkers. Het zit ergens tussen ambient, neoklassiek en licht experimentele muziek in. Bram heeft hier echter vooral extra aandacht besteed aan de sfeer. De 6 tracks, die bij elkaar bijna een half uur duren, zijn allen dan ook onheilspellend, surreëel en bevreemdend of je kunt gerust zeggen Kafkaësk. De muziek bevat ook wel iets van een Twin Peaks-achtige sfeertje. Maar net zoals bij eigenlijk alle werken van Kafka slokt het je op door alle wonderlijke vondsten en ontwikkelingen. Dat zorgt er ook altijd dat je er intens van kunt genieten door de unieke pracht, zoals ook op deze epee. Een schitterend kleinood.

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Review on Ambientblog:
The Metamorphosis refers to Franz Kafka's classic 'Die Verwandlung'. This music was originally written for a theatre production based on Kafka's 1915 novel. Gluid (dutch for sound but missing the first vowel) is Bram van den Oever, and this is his fourth release. Musically, it is not unlike his remarkable 2007 release "Binnensuis" (dutch for 'home interior', but missing a consonant), describing a woman's neurotic compulsive behaviour in a way too close for comfort - but this time without the spoken word. There's a thematic resemblance between these two releases, an undeniable uncomfortable aspect to the seemingly lightweight music. Always something underneath hiding; things are never just what they seem to be. The Metamorphosis EP is not released in physicial format, it can be downloaded for free! But please consider to donate to support the artist and his label Esc.Rec.

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Review by Drizzi on NetMusic Life:
Carovane che proseguono il loro percorso all’interno di menti sedute ai bordi di un precipizio. Ossessioni racchiuse in una camera d’aria sgonfia. Tutto può ancora succedere in questo lento divenire stratificato. Rimbalzi ristretti dominano il pensiero prigioniero e indifeso dinnanzi alla sua schiavitù compiacente. Faticose marce, schiene dolorose e Renè Aubry che invade la scena sorridente. Sogni in 3/4 dissolti in evoluzioni piramidali. La musica di Gluid cattura con il suo incedere felpato e tenebroso e permette di fare passeggiate tra le vie più oscure della mente. Un'elettronica che si adagia tra morbidezze ambient e rigidità classiche. Questa musica inizialmente è stata la colonna sonora per una rappresentazione teatrale della Metamorfosi di Kafka. Ora, dopo qualche modifica e grazie al supporto dell'olandese esc.rec. questa musica diventa accessibile in forma gratuita. Thanks.

credits

released January 3, 2013

Produced and mixed by Bram van den Oever
Mastered by René de Wilde
Songtitles for track 3& 5 invented by Emile Wauters (Autumna)
Artwork and design by Harco Rutgers

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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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