by WaSm

WaSm is the duo of Dutchmen Frans de Waard and Jos Smolders, and “Twee” is Dutch for “two”, as this is their second album. The understated matter-of-factness of project name and album title should not obscure the fact that these 'twee' have been major presences in the international experimental music underground, both as editors of Vital magazine (which Frans continues to run) as well as great musicians in their own right. On this album they join forces for seven tracks that could be considered an exhibition of sound sculptures.

Field recordings of everyday sounds that are molten by electronic processing and cast into purely musical forms. Piano or vibraphone notes from which the envelopes are chiseled away to give them smoother shapes. Bass drones that are so deep and warm that they almost acquire a tactile quality. A delicate spatialisation of sounds in the mix that makes listening to this album the exploration of a room in which sound objects are distributed, some in the spotlight, some in dark corners. An interplay between raw and 'dirty' field recordings and radio static and 'clean' modular electronics which ensures that the changing surfaces which the music presents to us alternate between rough and smooth. All of these aspects contribute to the sculptural, three-dimensional feel of this music. However, 'sculptural' should by no means be mistaken for 'static'. The album also has a flowing, oceanic quality that might appeal to fans of musique concrète composer Bernard Parmegiani as well as to those of Detroit's techno-funk legends Drexciya. And, of course, to anyone who liked Jos Smolders's most recent water-themed solo album “Submerge/Emerge” on Crónica!

File under: electroacoustic music, drone, ambient, psychedelic

ACU 1030

factory-produced CDr in cardboard sleeve

Released in 2021

limited to 100 copies

price: 7.00 EUR (excl. postage)

all music by WaSm, being Frans de Waard and Jos Smolders
recorded in 2019 at EARLabs Studios
mixed by Jos Smolders late 2019
mastered at EARLabs

design, WaSm logo & ©photography by Roger NBH @ 413

Also available here:



WaSm is the duo of Frans de Waard and Jos Smolders. “Twee” is (of course) their 2nd album under this name, and it’s a good one. The sound is sombre and meditative, molten and flowing with impeccable attention to space that makes headphone listening to a must. Some elements remind me of piano strings expanded into glutenous drones or bowed metallic shear that ricochets off distant stone cave walls. The introspective mood is a little too event-driven and active to fade into the background as ambience, though it leans in an ambient/drone direction. Sounds resonate and hover with empty space hanging between repeating electro-acoustic acoustic gestures. The fourth track, built around tuned percussion and electronic static punctuation like a gamelan played at 1/10 speed, is an interesting intermission… but the album returns to its initial sobriety for the duration. “Twee” is a wonderfully rich and detailed recording, each element tactile and alive as if a listener was sitting in the same room as the musicians.



Jos Smolders hat vor seinem großen Wurf mit "Submerge-Emerge" und Mallarmé noch Zeit gefunden, mit seinem Kumpel Frans de Waard als WaSm "Een" oder Twee (ACU 1030, CDr) Gläschen zu zwitschern. Wenn ich ...vijf, negen... die geleerten zähle, waren's zuletzt sogar zeven. Ausgeheckt haben sie dabei Klanglandschaften und Seestücke in altmeisterlicher Neutönerei, in der sich Wind und Wellen mit Schiffsmotoren und industrieller Dröhnung vermengen und wallend verdichten. Durch brummende Konvulsionen hallen dongende Laute. Aber wie tiefenerinnert, als würde der Wind der Zeit handwerkliche Klänge mit sich tragen, und prasselnder, tockender Regen Hufgeklapper, das sich berstend konkretisiert. Mit perkussivem Rumoren in einem leeren Metallfass und pfeifendem Bowing, durchsetzt mit wispernden, maulenden Funkstimmen, wird es gespenstisch narrativ. In gescratchtem 'Regen' wird metallophon und pianesk musiziert, ein kleines Motorflugzeug kurvt. Schnarrende Spuren kreuzen sich mit surrenden, jaulenden, froschig knarrenden, stehende Wellen mit rhythmischen - hat nicht ein Niederländer den Homo ludens getauft? Bis hin zu feinsten Orgeltönen mit elektronischen Verzierungen, über harmonischem Kurvem mit einem wiederkehrenden Klapperakzent.

WaSm Twee cover front
WaSm Twee cover back
WaSm Twee Inlay
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