Sterk Water – sw04

artist: Sterk Water
title: sw04
keywords: experimental minimal wave outsider music post-punk The Hague
reviewer: Willem van O.

Sterk Water brings this strange sounding release that for some reason has a hig demo feel; material to be send to labels interested in investing some hard earned cash in order to make these  tunes a bit more rich sounding in the mixing department. The tracks presented here are for sure material to invest in, clearly covering a vibe of shimmering Lo-fi material that is quite personal and yet a bit dark but sweet.

The alien language (probably created long time ago by aliens who had landed in the Netherlands) is used within these tracks, and I have no idea what it is about, other than that it feels a bit like listening to someone wishing we are covered with red ants or perhaps itchy termites that crawl under our clothes and slowly tickle the imagination. No idea if this feeling corresponds with the actual meaning of the spoken words, but that’s how it came across at first glance.

Still clueless about what any of the lyrics are about, it’s good to notice that the actual music really does it’s best to bring a creepy crawler kind of atmosphere; it’s intimate, dark and yet nicely melodic with good use of the bass. (who doesn’t love a good bass?) The voice might be a bit tucked away in the music, but in a way it also helps gaining it a sense of mystery and personality. Besides it forces a listener to pump up the volume to be able to hear the entire thing more clear and loudly.

But even on a loud volume the voice seems to be doing its thing in the shadows; it gave me an image of the vocal-provider being afraid of her own voice, afraid that it might come out and start to give hell to the nicely done rhythm and bass in ‘te laat’. Which would certainly not be the case as if you pull up the volume even an extra dose higher you could clearly hear that this voice isn’t afraid at all. Too bad for it hanging out a bit in the shadows, but perhaps it’s done for a conceptual choice, clearly keeping that homely feel of Lo-fi recoding at its highest particular quality.

The last track ‘volgende keer’ is strangely a nice keeper, really delivering a highlight on the release, featuring the voice in a better condition; innocent & perhaps even sounding very pure… It follows the music with words that has a strange pop rock space format that makes it in one of these rare tracks that gets secured in the memory compartment of a music lover’s brain. So yes, my tingling professional listening Spock ears had been having difficulties hearing this as a proper record, the alien language of the Dutch, and demo feel didn’t help; but I did hear them.. these raw pearls, these uncut diamonds… and why would anyone prefer to cut them up and polish them? Perhaps to shut the critics up or simply get those raw blinking ones polished and get their beauty out and about?

These raw crystals could be checked out over here (label owners please flash your credit card as Sterk Water deserves some financial backing for Sterk Water..)

Before you leave, please do watch and hear the following music video of the same Sterk Water, as they will erase all doubt that someone might have of Sterk Water, as quite frankly here Sterk Water can be heard and seen at its best. The video got everything a person could possibly wish for; flashy bright brain erasing lights, cool color schemes, the passionate image of a true smoker, lots of whistling on a flute. And the music is simply going very well with the visuals; it’s like an electroshock treatment; electrifying the innocent sounding vocal with heavy sound that will for sure gets the hairs in your ears waving in the wind:

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