In june 2014 Lennart Heyndels, Ruben Machtelinckx and Niels Van Heertum organized a trio concert in Ghent. This event turned into an impromptu improvisation session when Viktor Perdieus, Filipe Nader (both of whom, along with Van Heertum, constitute the Ifa y Xango horn section), Jakob Warmenbol, Seppe Gebruers and Laurens Smet arrived at the concert with their respective instruments. The set-up on the small stage became quite cosy with this unusual instrumentation of two double basses, guitar, piano, three horns and drums. Some small improvised changes were made (e.g. Warmenbol omitted his bass drum from stage for the band to have enough space) and the crowd was treated to two sets of spontaneous music.
This encounter proved to be satisfying, both musically and euphorically, and lingered in our minds (I’m breaking narrative here) for the following months. When the opportunity arose to get the whole band together in the studio to record, they added bassist Nathan Wouters to the band, resulting in an unusual three double bass line-up.
While the original session was very spontaneous, it comes as no surprise that the musicians easily found common grounds musically. All of them have a strong connection musically from playing in different bands together and can be linked together in one way or another. Or another.. no, not that one… the other one. The most obvious link between these musicians is their involvement in Troika vwz which is the home for Ifa y Xango; a collective of which Van Heertum, Perdieus, Nader, Gebruers, Smet and Machtelinckx are all part of. Last year saw the release of Ifa y Xango’s “Twice Left Handed \\ Shavings” which garnered great reviews internationally and was released on Ghent based label, el NEGOCITO Records.
Another musical family in which NEST lays eggs (ba dum psshh) is the Antwerp based Granvat label, home of Book of Air: vvolk. The large ensemble of Book of Air is another meeting point for Machtelinckx, Wouters, Smet, Perdieus and Van Heertum. Also Bolhaerd, the eclectic ensemble of Jakob Warmenbol, includes the same horn section as NEST and is completed with bass player Laurens – typing in the third person- Smet. Two new names to the Troika universe are bass player and composer Lennart Heyndels who is known for his band How Town and his work in groups like Jens Maurits Orchestra (which also includes Van Heertum) and bass player Nathan Wouters. Wouters is best known for his work with the Granvat label and his own solo work.
On this recording Gebruers makes use of two grand pianos tuned a quarter tone apart, a technique he pursues and further explores on his upcoming trio record with Paul Lovens and Hugo Antunes. Keep an eye out for this release, happening soon on el NEGOCITO Records. Keep the other eye out aswell. Thank you for reading.