Genre/Influences: Ambient, electro-dub, electro-dance.
Background/Info: Nevel is a solo-project set up by Bart Van Meulebroeck who’s already active for years now in the Belgian electro fields. He got involved with very different projects such as Propulsion, Ex.Es, Nebula-H ao. “The Hageland” is the Flemish region in Belgium where the artist is living and, which has inspired him to compose this work. “The Hageland” is a new chapter in Wool-E Discs series “Belgian NeuMusik” devoted to ambient music.
Content: The first disc entitled “The Hike” is not really ambient at all, but a mix of instrumental dance-piece with groovy sequences and other dubby bass lines and rhythms. There also is something trance running through a few songs. The compositions remain instrumental versions, but sometimes featuring spoken samplings. Notice by the way Propulsion and Traumasutra each collaborated to one song at this disc.
The second disc “The Cooldown” is more into ambient stuff. We’re here discovering a sonic universe made of reverie and featuring relaxing sound treatments although there are a few darker passages as well. Sometimes close to soundscape and later on a bit as a wink to electronic pioneers “The Cooldown” is rather diversified.
+ + + : Bart Van Meulebroeck clearly is a man of many talents. He’s a kind of sonic chameleon, which can deal with very different music genres. There’re a few cool –and especially the dub-inspired cuts at the first disc (cf. “Hermansheuvel”, “Holsbeek”) are noticeable songs. I also enjoyed “Vlooiberg” featuring Propulsion, which is pretty danceable-like and even reminding me to a mix of Snowy Red and Universal Nation. The ambient lovers will be more pleased by the second disc and the colder-like “Gasthuisbos”, which even has something Klinik-al like and the ultra cinematic “Stort”.
– – – : “The Hike” is a cool work, which I even prefer to “The Cooldown”, but it’s not really fitting with the concept of the series. Some of these tracks would even be more efficient by the addition of real vocals.
Conclusion: “The Hageland “is an interesting exposure from an artist in love with the place where he lives and transposing images into sounds!
Best songs: “Vlooiberg feat. Propulsion”, “Hermansheuvel”, “Schoonbergen”, “Holsbeek”, + “Gasthuisbos”, “Stort”, “Doodbroek”.