Author Archives: thebenelux.music@gmail.com

ENJOY THE SILENCE?

BNLX Victorie oktober 2015Picture by Fabian Postma

Hey there you fun loving children of the night. We know it is rough times, so try to remember that if your top worry is how to keep going on without any new The Benelux tunes to guide you then that is not so bad. Also I am here to tell you that it will not be long now. Our new studio is a machine and it turned out a first few future sounds of the Benelux. These sounds scare us like they will terrify you, somewhere soon.

The picture above shows Milan and Jaap in a synchronized moment of concentration playing the new live set at Podium Victorie Alkmaar last friday. It was a weird but fun evening, the first silent set of The Benelux ever. Kids in the room wearing earphones, choosing between us and two DJ’s playing Backstreet and Venga Boys. You know we don’t mind a challenge. Also we learned our lyrics should have the word “everybody” in them more.

This of course is all part of the master plan to get geared up for this season. The coming months there will be a lot of writing still, but also a few first shows are being toughly negotiated by our bookers. First date is a nice Sugarfactory Amsterdam show on friday December 18th, alongside the deft Taymir rock squad, amongst others.

ON THE MERITS OF PATIENCE

Maarten

So how have you been? We know you’re up to stuff and feel that our conversations, however infrequent in these times of ambition, should reach a level of intimacy that at least equals your last 2 am Tinder hook up.

Our status is and has been “in the studio”. We are very aware of the suggestive nature of this status. We all know bands that never really got out of the studio again. It might leave you questioning our determination to deliver to you a next hit record. We really do spend a lot of time there, and spend it well. Maarten, pictured above, is championing that aspect, for he has built the damn thing and keeps filling it up with equipment, love and saw-it-yourself wall panels.

And so we are writing, recording, producing and playing the occasional live set. We are figuring it out as we go, we are failing and succeeding, building the playground whilst eager to play. Taking in new inspiration, from unexpected places. Writing songs that are at least eight minutes too long. Creating the new The Benelux sound in Milan’s backyard shed. Doing all this, we really should take our time, don’t you agree?

Of course you don’t. You live in a mad world of time-to-market and first-time-right and efficiency and instant success. You listen to bands that don’t exist yet. You switched to summer time a week ago. You don’t know what the hell I am talking about. You just want our dark electronic funks.

Well.

What can I do but ask you to look at Maarten, sat behind his drum kit. You noticed it in the video. He is not easily rushed. Go ahead and roll up those xlr cables any way you want to. Have your hardware rattling in your pedal case. Estimate you could easily leave for Groningen an hour later and still have dinner and soundcheck. Figure you can have that final mix done by April. Do all those things we would do if it wasn’t for Maarten.

Not me. I’m sticking with this guy, even if he needs an hour to pack his drum kit.

Jaap

PS keep a look on the Facebook. We might be playing a free show in Amsterdam West next friday.

A NEW VIEW

A New View

I never much felt the urge to change my view. To look a crowd straight in the eyes, unbothered by some complex apparatus getting in the way, that always seemed to be the most straightforward way to go. I am a front man. I always thought myself a striker, no number ten or wing man. But in the past try out shows we have been moving things around a bit. The above picture shows a face to face setting with Milan, for our recording sessions last weekend. Loads of buttons too, exercising a gravitational pull on my fingers. Oh look at them. Like erect nipples, they want to be twisted.

Speaking of the new view: we have a new home, after moving from east to west Amsterdam. We’ve left other Jaap and some good people at Melodyline. We will also not return to the nice spacious rooms at MuzyQ. We have checked in at our new base camp, where Maarten has worked overtime to make us feel at home. New beginnings and all good vibes for The Benelux. Hope to be able to have you listen to some of the new tunes soon.

Jaap

THE BENELUX ARE THREE

BNLX last showphoto by Lieke Donkers

This weekend we ended our summer in the southern city of Maastricht. It was a great show in front of a large crowd and so many things were happening in the same time we need this post to reflect on it. Some say we had a slow start, but didn’t fail to notice that an hour later we were shouted back on stage for one extra song. By that time hundreds of people were dancing. Up front and in the back, from kids on sugar to girls on fire to fifty-year-old madmen on something.

That last song became an unapologetic version of Pet Needs Friends. Halfway into the song I stepped to the side so I could see Sven take the stage and rock it once more. And then that was that.

The last show with our good friend, our much respected and well-tuned guitarplayer. He looks like Jesus, his name is Sven. He is responsible for many a funky THE BENELUX riff and his undisturbed personality was a baken during the more than 200 shows we played together. Sven is sure to rock out under any circumstances. But don’t forget the little brown case. Who forgot to load in my little brown case? We have to go back now. Sven will continue playing bass for the lovely Bird on the Wire, and he will still find Milan on his side in their Project Wildeman. So if you wish to see him live, you can and you will.

THE BENELUX has chosen not to go the way of trying to replace Sven. For one thing, I’m sure we would need at least two people, he was that good, and he was that busy. We decided however to take the other route and see what happens when we are three. We have been experimenting and writing together for a month now and we are already finding some new ways into our music. First show to come is in Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht 2nd of october. It will be the first try out of the new BNLX. It will be an experiment. We’re having fun with the old material, we’re inspired by new material, and we will continue this becoming a new band on stage in a few weeks. Hope to see you there and share the excitement.

Much love, Jaap.

 

 

 

 

SUMMER

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This picture finds THE BENELUX mid show at Oranjepop Nijmegen. To us, it was one of the best shows this year, with hundreds of people dancing on a hill at nightfall. These pictures just show you how good everybody was looking that night. The smells, the dancing, those two smiling girls in the middle of the crowd, well, you just have to imagine those.

We’ve also had good times letting freedom ring at bevrijdingspop Wageningen (where we made veterans dance) and Amsterdam where we were the closing act. And yesterday at Sniester Festival we returned to the warm embrace of our The Hague friends. Ever since that show on the Scheveningen beach at Jam de la Crème 2013 there is something building between THE BENELUX and the beat city.

We know what you are thinking. It’s either HOW COULD I HAVE MISSED OUT ON ALL THAT or I DIDN’T AND NOW I’M NOT THE SAME. Well, let’s get together. Or let’s get together again. How about next week at Beeckestijnpop near Beverwijk? Or next month at Metropolis Rotterdam? Forever keep checking that agenda and you will find that there is a place and a time for us. Again and again.

TEN SHOWS, NINE DAYS, MORE TO COME

A little update from our side. We have played quite a few shows these past weeks and we’d like to update you on some of the numbers. We estimate a rough 1.5 million people have seen us play this january, all around the Benelux. We’ve played three festivals, three venues, three bars, and a broadcast studio.

The below picture captures the band on one of those precious off guard moments before the show. Sven is sipping on coffee, getting ready to rock out one last time at Patronaat Haarlem. Like often, it is not clear what Milan is doing, exactly. And while Maarten is in touch with his fan base, Jaap is drifting off to summer festival fields.

You starting to love this bunch yet? Because they love you. And they’re coming at you again and again. Don’t take it from me. Check out the agenda section.

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THE BENELUX AT EUROSONIC NOORDERSLAG 2014

Yesterday THE BENELUX was endorsed by Radio 3FM Serious Talent. This means our single I Don’t Dance Enough will get some nice airplay on national radio and we get a spot on the infamous ESNS showcasefestival in Groningen on Saturday January 18th. A great opportunity to show everybody what we are up to and capable of.

The festival is sold out on Saturday, but if you are in Groningen or if you are thinking about visiting one of The Netherlands nicest cities you can come anyway for the FreeSonic Festival that we will also be playing. On Friday we will play a free show at midnight at Pakhuis. On Saturday we play an acoustic gig at 2 pm in Café de Toeter, as a warm up to our Noorderslag show Saturday around 9 pm.

With tickets to the official festival (you lucky bastards) or without them, it’s a good time to head to the North. Hope to see you there!

REVIEWING THE REVIEWS

THE BENELUX is signing off for 2013. But it looks like we have a great year to look forward to, lots of stuff cooking, much to be confirmed so we hope to keep you real close in 2014. There was a lot of talk about us releasing our debut album and after reviewing all the reviews THE BENELUX have to admit everything that was written about the album is true.

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De Volkskrant called our album “inescapable” and gave it four stars. In a tweet the De Volkskrant reviewer even called our album his favorite Dutch debut album of 2013. De Volkskrant then went on to say we are the nephews of LCD Soundsystem. This is true. We used to live in Brooklyn with our uncle James but moved to Amsterdam to, you know, have some creative space.

Thepostonline was one of several online webzines to look forward to many a 2014 THE BENELUX show on many a 2014 festival. We are expected to rock out and cause a stir. These are all expectations that THE BENELUX collectively feel fully able and are willing to live up to.

We were humbled, and felt quite exposed by comparisons to INXS, Simple Minds, Yeasayer, Mika, Daft Punk, Phoenix, New Order, and LCD Soundsystem. Some of these we did not see coming. But we gave it a listen, and boy you were right.

In further review of the reviews we find that having a song called “I Don’t Dance Enough” headline the tracklist of an album containing more than one musical stimulus to bodily movement sure enough gave our reviewers some material to work with. And we can only join them in expecting that ‘not dancing enough’ will not be the problem this spring. We will do our part, if it is given to us.

THE BENELUX have had a good year and this here just to say thank you to the reviewers that made it all happen. Also we would like to thank everyone that subsequently came out to see us play, bought the record or listens to it endlessly online. Let us know if you want to write a live review on info@thebenelux.com (we will review it). First chances at Eurosonic Groningen January 17th. Later that month Gent (Be), Arnhem and Haarlem.

See you in 2014!