Rutger Zuydervelt ~ Hinkelstap

Rutger Zuydervelt is no stranger to the CD3″, having released many in his early days as Machinefabriek.  With Hinkelstap, he revisits the format, offering a club-friendly confection: six pieces retooled from scores to TV, dance projects and a podcast.  The cat looks happy, the plants look healthy, and Zuydervelt seems to be in a good mood as well.

The tracks are mastered particularly well, making the bass sound deep and the electronic hi-hats crisp.  This makes for a smooth, exciting listen, whether in the car or at home.  As might be expected, the only downside is that one wants more.  On the other hand, it’s better to have six cuts than none, a soundtrack for a round trip to a store 8 minutes away!

The tracks are modestly titled “Hinkenstap 1-6,” and jump right out of the gate because they don’t have any time to spare.  All are percussive, each in their own way.  “1” includes a melody that may be played on a handpan, as well as mini-melodies reminiscent of the classic dance track Popcorn (written by Gershon Kingsley but made famous by Hot Butter).  “2” is pounding in nature, first with drums and then with chimes, the highlight of the set.  We’d love an extended mix!  “3” is slower and darker, flirting with industrial music without toppling over.  The percussion recedes for an early breakdown, reemerging in a surprising segment of drum ‘n’ bass.  It’s easy to hear why Zuydervelt revisited these tracks, short as they may be; there’s meat on these bones (or for vegetarians, crops in these gardens).

The tiny interlude of “4” leads to a calmer “5” before the set ends with the xylophone-laden “6.”  Are we ready for another round?  We are.  Whether spun on a tea break, a car break or a dance break, Hinkelstap provides much more fun than its handheld size implies.  (Richard Allen)

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