Freudian Backroom 1985 / Espacial Discos 2018
Undeservedly underrepresented record from Dutch electronic scene from the age of plastic.
If this record’s album exudes minimalism, it also relays a certain level of honesty, because that’s what Eindhoven dwellers Don Minx and Aldomir Zimmerman aimed at with their only joint outing. Not a lot is known about either but the obscurity of what could give Martin Gore a run for his money, had the duo took their songs overground, is unjust, because the numbers that are on there defy expectations based on the said cover.
As emotion-drenched as synth-pop gets, “Song For Alice” marries simple beats to deadpan vocal delivery by way of threading a mesmeric melody through it all, with scintillating ivories driving the almost intimate performance to crepuscular secrecy and beyond, yet never leaving the closed space of one’s mindscape. Still, there’s no walls to conceal the bright flashes of “Dreams That Money Can Buy” that’s anchored with unhurried singing and memorable refrain before cosmic sounds and percussive detail let the piece take off, while the punchy line which “Days On A Mountain” bounces off doesn’t care to develop, lending the “caught in the undertow” diagnosis a strange gravitas.
But it won’t prepare the listener to the perfect song which is “Good Old Days”: an electronica-stricken elegy where slide guitar licks seem to make an appearance to complement the bluegrass-esque keyboard vignettes, although the drops-like rhythm behind “Tearoom In The Rain” offers another bout of claustrophobia, despite the cameo of a delicate folk motif. This might unfold into a march for “Batavia” to suggest the duo were no strangers to prog perspective; sadly, such perspective couldn’t roll out further, and Zimmerman and Minx’s LP would remain their sole offering.