A versatile album. Sometimes rhythmic with grooves/sequences/arpeggio's and sometimes ambient.
The Netherlands’ Groove label, perhaps the premiere label for sequencer-heavy electronic music, has been on quite the roll lately, releasing and distributing a number of albums by newcomers and veterans alike. This batch of releases presents the label’s stylistic range from ambient/drift electronic music through Berlin school and borderline techno styles.
- Coloured candy [6:23]
- Phantasy island [12:46]
- Pulsarz [10:44]
- The lakes of C. [5:23]
- Nightshift X [9:51]
- Mambo d'electrique [6:27]
- A virtual fertility [9:01]
- H2O [5:56]
- Dad's pillow [8:13]
Tranzit jumps nearly to the other end of Groove’s electronic spectrum, a style heavy on rhythm and bordering on techno and house schools. But where one could dismiss a lot of music like this as being the product of the amateur and uninspired, this is Dirk Nusink’s third release and shows a musician becoming vastly assured in his style. If one can imagine what Tangram, Exit or Thief might have sounded like had they been recorded a decade or so later, one can make a guess as to where Tranzit is operating.
Infectious, surging rhythms form the skeleton of the album, bringing the spirit of early Jean-Michel Jarre to the fore, although, unlike many a Groove artist, Tranzit always seems to have one ear to the future and the obvious influences of the past always seem subsumed by the current vision. I’m not a big fan of the more accessible, melodic styles of electronic music, but this one is so well done, that I caught myself grooving to the rhythms more than once.
Clearly Euro-electronic is striving to surpass its influences while attempting to evoke the same sort of emotion and impact these same influences did for the new crop of artists. And really there is no label more intrepid than Groove where this is concerned.
Het derde album van Dirk H.J. Nusink uit Hekelingen. Wederom een juweeltje, in tegen stelling tot veel andere artiesten maakt Dirk geen gebruik van 'samples', hij heeft er bewust voor gekozen met de hand ( en verstand ) te spelen. Het is een open album dat je graag vaker zal beluisteren. De cover is ook van top klasse kortom; geen enkele reden om dit album in de kast te laten liggen. Draaien en genieten maar.
2002. Ronald Boortman / Holland
This 2002 release features 75 minutes of the diverse electronic music of Tranzit (aka Dirk H. J. Nusink).
Deeply resonant electronics share the mix with airy tonalities and nimble, crystalline keyboards. Intricate E-perc lends compelling rhythms to the lush structure of these tunes. The synthesizers wail and warble, expressing pleasantly shrill riffs that invigorate as they entertain. There is a sparkle to most of the sounds utilized to create this music, a shimmer that is reminiscent of dizzying altitudes where the air is not rarefied but contains a euphoric concentration of oxygen.
While much of this music is dynamic and frolicsome, an ambient edge emerges every once in a while to pacify the audience. Even these sedate passages, though, possess a melodic presence, as delicate melodies are explored with a subtle pep and verve.
Mechanical overtones are tempered with rich humanity, producing music that is spacey but earthy.
A wide range of styles are displayed on this CD, from hyperactive Berlin School electronics to ambient passages to ethnic-tinged compositions that merge EM sensibilities with World Music. Besides showing Nusink's versatility, this variety makes this recording of interest to several genres.
2003. Matt Howarth / Sonic Curiosity
With this, his third release, Dutch musician Dirk Nusink is becoming an increasingly isolated voice in the realms of EM in that he has not embraced the current retro fad, developing a curiously offbeat style that proves pretty successful in some respects & less so in others.
"Coloured Candy", for example gets the album off to a good start, showing Dirk developing an appealing side of rhythmic synthmusic. He knows how to keep a piece going on this showing & it's a good opener. This is his strong point without a doubt & when he sticks to this the results are very enjoyable. The psycadelic deam-like opening to "The Lakes Of C" for instance shows that this very individual approach can throw up some very good tracks (it also matches the colourfully psycadelic cover!), with an offbeat but strangely romantic feel. "Mambo D'Electrique" has a definate Ron Boots influence as does "A Virtual Fertility" which is restful but emotive & a fine track by anyone standards. Both are demonstrative of his knack of knowing how to keep a track constantly developing without becoming to 'bitty' or repetitive. The bleeps & bassline of "H20" bear a resemblance to Jarre's "Oxygene 4" & contribute towards another fine piece.
Where things go a bit awry is with longer, less structured tracks such as "Phantasy Island" which, to be fair does have some good motifs & themes going for it but the opening solo sounds a little tinny & putting "Pulsarz" directly after it was a definate mistake as it's far too similar to the preceeding track & at 11 minutes it's far too long. "Nightshift X" suffers from a similar problem in that the freeform seemingly random selection of chords seem to have no direction to them & although the background sounds that attempt to evoke the title do add some atmosphere it's simply not enough. The closing "Dad's Pillow" makes a better attempt at this laidback style with some initially impressive synth strings although I'm still not totally convinced that Dirk is able to really get to grips with producing warm & majestic music & it sounds a bit cold when he tries to do so, evidence perhaps that his style of working does not work so well in such cases. The other tracks, however show where his true talent lies, producing tracks that are melodic without relying on cliched presets & full of unusual but always effective progressions so I'm hopeful that future releases will see Dirk pursuing this avenue further & thus make the most of his undoubted talent.
I found much to enjoy on Tranzit's prior release Transversal, and "Coloured Candy" picks up where that CD left off. Ron Boots mastered this CD, and the opening track could pass for a Boots track, upbeat and bright, with fun melodies and sequencing. It is a promising beginning.
Other high moments include "Mambo d'Electrique", a light playful piece with good balance of
various electronic elements, and "A Virtual Fertility", a soft lilting atmospheric number.
"Nightshift X" focuses on ambient noise, background talking, and a variety of effective subtle layers and sounds.
"Dad's Pillow" suggests a sentimental side, and ends the disc on the softer side.
Dirk Nusink, the man behind Tranzit, considers electronic music unique in its degree of expressiveness, and he displays a full range on these and other tracks.
In attempting to paint a broad emotional picture some of the tracks on Tranz-Rapid, while starting with a firm foundation, stray into occasional excesses.
"Phantasy Island" has some really nice atmospheric synths, but the lead synth line is a bit too warmly for my taste, going into hyper drive at times.
Likewise, "Pulsarz" has really cool backing sounds, and though I initially like the rolling up-and-down sequencer loop that forms the major backbone of the track, it isn't strong enough to be the whole song without significant changes. It would've been nice to see different themes or lead lines evolve, or at least have the major loop come and go instead of being ever-present.
Similarly, the main sequencer pattern of "The Lakes of C" is a bit busy, detracting from the other generally nice layers and pleasant lead line. A little restraint here and there could have made the different between pretty good and very good.
2003. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
Tranzit make a fresh, crystalline electronic music, full of light, energy and optimism.
The fast themes range from Techno to Synth- Pop. The slow ones are like kaleidoscopes of soft melodies that come and go, and changing textures of clear, splendid sounds. Likewise, some traits of Jazz and of symphonism can be noticed in some passages.
The style of this artist is rather personal, and it reveals a remarkable imagination to create environments that are not those typical of much of the Ambient and the Techno that are currently being developed today.
The latest album by Dirk Nusink aka Tranzit sees him consolidating his style while retaining his unique sound and approach to composition.
There are 9 tracks that range from 5+ minutes in length to almost 13 minutes. Some tracks are typically melodic and rhythmic with a trademark Tranzit sound, others are formless and abstract. One thing to note is that the pieces generally work better when they are more compressed, focused and melodic. Those long abstract pieces are just not up there with the rest of material, at least my attention tended to drift away from the music after several minutes. This is no big problem, of course, but it'd be nice to hear in Dirk’s next effort more of the melodic and rhythmic material (that he is particularly good at) and less flowing and abstract pieces (that he is not so proficient in, I.M.H.O.)
The album starts with "Coloured Candy" and it’s a real corker. Great rhythms and inventive sounds abound.
We then get "Phantasy Island" which has a nice synth solo, but does drag on a bit.
"Pulsarz" seemed a bit on the boring side, while "The Lakes of C." is a great track with once again great drum programming and quite unusual (but melodic) sounds.
It is typical Tranzit and overall one of the best tracks on the album.
"Nightshift X" consists of just abstract electronic sounds and concrete samples of city life (I think). It’s one of the weaker tracks and it shows the lack of ideas. I’m sorry to say so, but the track could’ve been 1 or 2 minutes long and it’d be fine. But because it lasts for almost 10 minutes with not enough variation, it just made me yawn.
"Mambo d’Electrique" is the best track on the album great sound, great atmosphere.
"A Virtual Fertility" is a bit bland and I would certainly do without "H2O" which sounds like a Jean Michel Jarre rip-off. Check out "H2O" versus "Oxygene 4".
"Dad’s Pillow" is a nice atmospheric (almost orchestral) track. Nice harp sounds and an appropriate way to finish the album.
I found this work a bit uneven but I still give it 4 points out of 5 for the good tracks alone.
2004. Artemi Pugachov / Encyclopedia of Electronic Music / Russia
"Sin ninguna duda, puedo decir que la música electrónica es, para mí, el estilo musical más difícil de explorar, componer, producir y ejecutar. Esto es por ser tan abierta a cualquier forma de interpretación o proceso creativo. [...] Como compositor sabes que los coros y las esctructuras lógicas de una canción son las partes más importantes de toda pieza musical. Y una canción debe ser corta de duración y pegadiza. Esos ingredientes son quizás insignificantes cuando te mueves dentro del mundo de la música electrónica. ¡No tiene limitaciones musicales! Y eso me produce una fuerza creativa, llevándome a explorar la magia del mundo de la música electrónica"
Estas palabras son del propio Tranzit y las puedes leer en la carátula de su tercer disco, Tranz-Rapid. Lo cierto es que son terriblemente descriptivas y resumen muy bien lo que te puedes encontrar al escuchar este disco. La magia de la electrónica es la que a su vez nos suele impedir explicar con palabras a un amigo o amiga "cómo es" esa música tan rara que escuchamos constantemente. La falta de limitaciones o normas provocan que cada artista pierda el miedo a explorar hasta límites insospechados y crear algo muy diferente a lo que hacen otros colegas músicos que, supuestamente, hacen música "parecida".
Dicho esto, reconozco que la tarea de intentar explicar cómo son los 9 temas de Tranz-Rapid es difícil. De otra forma estaría contradiciendo lo anteriormente expuesto... Casi podría resumirlo en "consigue un CD y disfruta sumergiéndote en el mundo de Dirk H.J. Nusink, más conocido como Tranzit. Sin embargo la pasión que siento por este mundillo musical me impulsa a escribiros unas poquitas letras al respecto.
Coloured Candy es el primer tema del disco... Bajo sintético con delay para empezar... y un desarrollo... digamos que electrónicamente progresivo. Si te gusta Tangerine Dream, quizás este tema te enganche.
Phantasy Island continúa en un estilo menos rítmico, más espacial. Acordes largos y melodía evocadora. Pulsarz comienza con una base rítmica de tempo medio, acordes, arpegios largos y loops con sonidos muy cuidados.
Nightshift X tiene sonidos cristalinos, electrónica pura, mientras que Mambo D'Electrique también tiene un tempo lento y, personalmente, me recuerda a otros músicos electrónicos holandeses... también al último trabajo de Jean Michel Jarre. ¡Lo que os puedo asegurar es que no vais a encontrar un "mambo" tradicional! Y hablando de ritmos, la gran experiencia de Tranzit como percusionista real, se hace en parte presente en A Virtual Fertility.
Dad's Pillow es el último tema del disco... Acordes se superponen sobre una melodía un tanto evocadora y sentimental y con un toque realmente personal...
Finalmente los casi 75 minutos de música terminan... demostrándonos una vez más que no hay mejor aliado para crear música que la pasión por lo que uno hace y las ganas de crear.
Dirk H.J. Nusink, the man behind Tranzit, explains in the booklet that in his opinion electronic music is the hardest style to explore.
This, because it is so open to any form of interpretation or creative process. This is completely true because with electronic music you can go in every direction. And that is also what Dirk does on Tranz-Rapid.
Just as on his earlier albums Voyage and Tranzversal, Tranz-Rapid is also an album with a huge variation of styles.
The opening piece "Coloured Candy" reminds of the music Tangerine Dream created in the eighties because of the rhythms and beautiful sounds. Because of Dirk’s background as a drummer, his music is quite rhythmic. Also, his emphasis is on melodies. The Eastern-sounding "The Lakes Of C". is a fine example of this, just as "Mambo D’Electrique" and "H20".
"Nightshift X", which is accompanied with some excellent effects (electronic as well as acoustic) and "Virtual Fertility" have more of an ambient feeling.
The last track on the CD, "Dad’s Pillow", has a classical strain to it through the use of strings.
Tranz-Rapid has become a CD that, because of the varying character of the music, may attract a lot of people (and not only lovers of electronic music).
2002. Paul Rijkens