Secret Thirteen Mix 084 - Koen Holtkamp


The author of the mix is Koen Holtkamp, an American multi-instrumentalist and experimentalist who lives and works in Brooklyn, United States. After several years of focusing mostly on film and video, Koen Holtkamp began working with sound in 1997. In 1998 while studying at The Art Institute of Chicago he co-founded the Apestaartje collective/label. Holtkamp has released four albums under his own name (Type, Thrill Jockey, Blackest Rainbow, Barge Recordings (with Chris Forsyth) labels) and seven albums as Mountains (Apestaartje, Catsup Plate, Thrill Jockey labels), a duo project with Brendon Anderegg and two albums under the name of Aero (Apestaartje). Holtkamp's pieces are shifting from digital processing on computers to the physical world of creating patches via modular analog electronics in order to create a continuous and fluid overall sound. His work is mainly built around processed acoustic guitar, analog synthesizers, various analog filters, array of pedals and electronics, also it is incorporating recordings of harmonica, electric organ, small percussion objects and everyday surroundings. Holtkamp has toured throughout the US and Europe performing in festivals, art galleries, museums, basements, communes, churches and rock clubs. He has performed with Fennesz, Radian, James Blackshaw, Nicholas Collins, Carsten Nicolai, Tony Conrad and many more. He has also been involved in several exhibitions and art projects including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Dissolving Localities Project in Jerusalem.

“Secret Thirteen Mix 084” is a slightly flowing magical audio selection that ensures for its naturalness and intentional development. According to its author, it recreates a semblance of the relaxed intimacy of sitting in front of the turntable with a few friends taking turns as the selector. Purposefully left some surface noise lets the imperfections of age and the medium exist to illustrate the moment of recording. The mix contains 16 emphatic, relaxing and absolutely monumental records released between 1967 and 2011. It is undoubtedly a world music mix based on employment of different traditional instruments, charming vocals and the whole improvisational atmosphere. Smooth archaic compositions with a contemporary touch from diligent artists such as Alice Coltrane, Alan Watts, John Cage, Popol Vuh, Faust and others create versatility, immeasurable sensitiveness and a strange feeling of eternity. Due to continuous and thoughtful Holtkamp's mixing and the whole emotional development this mix becomes a sustained collage of musical diversity, sincerity and pleasant unexpectedness of different arrangements.

“Secret Thirteen Mix 084” is like an intimate and nostalgic Albert Gleizes' proto-Cubist painting “Bords de la Marne” where scenic surroundings in a modern art perspective create an essence of the world that could be gained by sensations. From an epic visionary figuration to total abstraction that is covered with spectacular evening afterglow colour tones, Gleizes' expressive painting touches observer's heart and enriches its spirituality. Holtkamp's picturesque selection and all its gradually maintained solid character smoothly mirrors Gleizes' work's essential principles - analysis of volume relationships, literal understanding of solitude, social and cultural meaning. It is a mix that melts any age or cultural polarization and brings people of different generations together, strengthens tolerance to the races, inspires to create and to dream.

Show Playlist
1. Alan Watts - Tambouras For Meditation (excerpt) - Om (The Sound Of Hinduism) [Warner, 1967]
2. Alice Coltrane - Journey In Satchidananda - Journey In Satchidananda [Impulse, 1971]
3. V/A - Akazéhé Par Deux Jeunes Filles (excerpt) - Musique de Burundi - [Ocora, 1968]
4. John Cage - Experiences #2 - Voices And Instruments [Editions EG, 1976]
5. Alvin Curran - Songs And Views From The Magnetic Garden (exerpt) - Canti E Vedute Dal Giardino Magnetico [Ananda, 1975]
6. Franco Battiato - Agnus - Juke Box [Dischi Ricordi, 1978]
7. Suni Mcgrath - The Harvest - Childgrove [Adelphi, 1972]
8. Faust - Side One (excerpt) - Faust Tapes [Virgin, 1973]
9. Vincent Le Masne et Bertrand Porquet - Rafales - Guitares Derive [Shandar, 1976]
10. Popol Vuh - Ja, Sie Sollen Gottes Kinder Heißen. Agnus Dei, Agnus Dei - Seligpreisung - [Kosmische Musik/Think Progressive, 1974/1999]
11. Par Lindgren - Houdinism - Electronic Music [Fylkingen, 1986]
12. Peter Michael Hammel - Song Of The Dolphins / Storm Over Asia And Calm (excerpt) - Aura [Wergo, 1972/1981]
13. Huelgas Ensemble & Paul Van Nevel - Spem in Alium - Choral Masterpieces [Harmonia Mundi, 2011]
14. Catherine Ribiero + Alpes - Jusqu'à Ce Que La Force De T'aimer Me Manque - Paix [Phillips, 1972]
15. Canned Heat - Parthenogenesis (excerpt) - Living the Blues [Liberty, 1969]
16. Nuno Canavarro - Untitled #9 - Plux Quba [Ama Romanta/Mokai, 1988/1998]

More about Koen Holtkamp: Website

About Author

An interdisciplinary journal, offering eclectic mixes and smart interviews with original artists and label owners as well as contemporary art reviews.