If the name Pieter Nooten sounds familiar, there’s a reason. This name is a part of an emotional memory made of short musical sequences of travels in the past as it has a history dating as far back as the eighties. Starting out as the drummer in a local symphonic rock band in the late 70s Pieter Nooten quickly changes to bass guitar and keyboards playing in different bands and during the mid-eighties he meets Anka Wolbert and Ronny Moorings of Xymox. Shortly after they together sign to the prestigious label 4AD. Being part of the early line-up of Clan Of Xymox, Pieter Nooten is partly responsible for two highly acclaimed albums and before leaving COX in 1990 his famous collaboration with Michael Brook “Sleeps with the Fishes” also wins influential acclaim within the dark and ambient community.

Hence, perhaps what the name resounds most is an act of sympathy and authenticity in our head. Pieter Nooten is the kind of musician who features a sparkling, atmospheric mix of dark-ambient electronic backdrops all colluding for some of the most tranquil motifs. He combines simple melodic soundscapes of heartfelt immediacy sweeping orchestral moments. His third solo album of “Here is Why” is a music document of an inner lived life, an immersive listening experience of electronic textures where Nooten’s vocals alternate between his own voice and female vocalists. Susan Bauszat and Renee Stahl’s ethereal voices contribute to a result of a refreshingly raw quality in tracks Terror of Hearts and Darkened Haven .

We should also take into consideration the fact that the entire album is composed and mixed at home on a laptop. And although some of the tracks sound acoustic, it is all electronics. There is no doubt that contemporary musicians feel composing on a laptop is a much more immediate way of creating pieces of music than orchestral writing. So, even if the music is not always written down, they argue that developments in contemporary re/mix/digital music culture offer them vocabularies, models, and practices beyond the tradition of text-based composition or the conventional use of instruments. It’s obvious that the aesthetic experience itself changes.

Although Nooten’s album of “Here is Why” sounds light and delicate with minimalistic vibrations, Nooten insists his music is not inspired by pop, but by the depth and beauty of baroque music. Classical influences are obvious in tracks Playground and Gone Gone, which leads the listener on a pleasant sense of sophisticated fun and in general, it actually works quite beautifully as such and is a worthy addition to Nooten’s catalogue.

01. Woke To See
02. Terror Of Hearts
03. Left Lonely
04. Cold Water
05. Ease Away
06. Darkened Haven
07. Glow
08. The Form To Fall
09. Fading
10. Playground
11. Everywhere You Are
12. Gone Gone


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