(To Be Announced)
LINE_010 | CD | Edition of 500 (sold out/out of print) | July 2002
The first full length release for Roel Meelkop on LINE, (To Be Announced) showcases his amazing use of the sound field shuttling across low elements, high frequencies, quiet movements, and jarring unexpected loud events. (To Be Announced)‘s unique “acoustic” sounds and synthetic sounds makes repeated listening reveal a myriad layers and juxtaposition. Roel Meelkop (1963) studied visual arts and art theory at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. During a post-graduate course at the same academy he decided to dedicate his work to sound and music. His musical activities date back to the early 1980s when he started influential group THU20, with Jac van Bussel, Peter Duimelinks, Jos Smolders and Guido Doesborg. The working method of THU20 included many discussions about how to compose and why. This period was crucial in forming his ideas and concepts about sound and how to organize it, but it was not until the mid nineties that he was able to fully realize these ideas. The purchase of a sampler and later a computer radically changed his possibilities of working with sound, offering infinitely more control and freedom. Since then he has worked steadily on a body of work with releases on such labels as Trente Oiseaux (Germany), Staalplaat (Netherlands) and Intransitive (US). His other activities include working as a member of both Kapotte Muziek and GOEM with Peter Duimelinks and Frans De Waard and organizing sound events in Rotterdam. Aside from releases, Meelkop also creates site-specific sound installations, often in collaboration with other artists and has performed live around the world.
Throughout his continuing tenure with Goem, plus records for Staalplaat and the Intransitive label, Roel Meelkop has worked his muse through numerous experimental dialects. To Be Announced attacks the Line paradigm more viscerally than many of the label's other nematocists, a forty-minute reappraisal of industrialism turned back into itself. As with the CD cover's image, resembling a supernova's photo-negative, Meelkop's construct begins with trawls of innocuous buzzes and expired puffs of air; the buzzing suddenly vanishes, the rushing air duels with a cadre of successive tiny happenings, and then it all ceases. When these circumstantial sounds resume, doors slam, generators throb, and we are thrust deeply into the compositional fulcrum holding the work together: episodes of relative silence abruptly invaded by mini metal machine musics, noises chafing like rusting steel, and the incessant whine of mosquitoes, while Meelkop opens up the areas of vacuum between tool and die, massaging out of their vast resonant spaces cavernous drones left by the wake of great passing airships. Not many soundscapes leave much aftertaste ??? in heralding the idea of a post-anti-industrialism, Meelkop might very well have turned twenty years of brutish posturing right on its (pin) head.
(Vital Weekly, NL)
Roel Meelkop is not a man of many words, let alone big words. His new CD has not a real title, no information and just a thank you to Cedric Peyronnet (aka Toy Bizarre, with whom Roel Meelkop made a CD before). Meelkop wants you to listen to his music, rather then doing anything else, like reading liner notes telling you how the CD was made, with which sounds etc. (To Be Announced) is one long piece, a new feature in his work. Up until now his CD's had various shorter pieces, but here it's a 40 some minute piece that opens up in a soft Lopezian mood. But once sounds get audible, it stays audible for the pretty much the rest of the CD. With works like this, it's always hard to tell what the sound input is, ie the origin of the sound sources. It can be anything from Mr. Meelkop going on his bike to work, or factory noises or broken bits and pieces. As far as I know Meelkop selects these sounds from his vast library of sounds to use, but without going for a conceptual route. It's not limited to one category. If the composition requires a new sound that has nothing to do with the other sounds, it will be added. Unlike say Lopez, Meelkop presents his work in a collage form. Placing elements carefully next to eachother, juxtaposing them or simply transforming them, he builts a piece that requires listening, and nothing else. The music of Roel Meelkop is highly unusefull to do your vacuum cleaning, or even reading. Full concentration is required. But rewarded too!
(Vital Weekly, NL)