(Bang! Records 1998 - BANG 20450 Distribution in Belgium : Sony)
Songs (click the -icons
for audio) 1.
On Your Side
4. A Touching Fantasy
6. Won't Let You
8. Flip The Coin
9. The Oyster-Line
12. Still Alive
13. The Hype Inside
- Niko : vocals, piano, guitars, bass, drums
- Oop : guitars, samples,
- Gilles Martin : samples
- Jan Kuijken : cello
- Georges Van Dam : violin
- Igor Semenoff : violin
- Paul De Cleck : viola
- Jan de Haas : vibes
- Roeland Van Noten : upright bass
- Fabrice Alleman : Tenor Saxophone
All songs written & arranged by Nikolaas Westelinck
Published by Great American Nude
Produced by Niko and Gilles Martin
Design : Vincent Fortemps, Pierre Huygebaert
He was born in Ghent, but spent his adolescent years in idyllic Switserland.
he came back to Belgium, he came to live in Brussels and enrolled in the Antwerp
Academy of Music (jazz-department), where his main focus was on playing the drums.
And drumming is what he has been doing for the past ten years, non-stop.
Apart from playing with "Les Cicatrices", "Koen & Oop &
The Beanswinkle Big Band" and a few others, Niko also was part of the Swiss
punk band "The Silence Lies" and the better known Flemish group "Mercelis",
that got quite a number of very good reactions from the press.
But Niko had the ambition to take matters into his own hands. He has been dreaming
about a solo-project for years, composing his own songs, making them better, letting
them ripe like superior wine.
The result is here : "A.S.A.P.", an album written, composed, arranged
and executed by Niko.
What else is there to tell about this album ?
it is almost completely "self-made" : apart from a few guestmusicians,
Niko has played almost all the instruments : drums, guitar, piano, bass.
That it was Gilles Martin who was in charge of the artistic production.
That it is an album that sounds really "different" (we know, cliché,
cliché), almost impossible to compare with other productions, be it from Belgium
or international. The only thing we can hand you are a few of his influences :
The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Serge Gainsbourg, Joey Baron, Crowded House, Tom
Waits, Steely Dan.
But namedropping Niko's influences doesn't bring us anywhere near. Let "A.S.A.P."
speak for itself ... ENJOY!
In the press :
- "Niko is a first class craftsman above all, as is proven by the refined
polishing work that has been done on "A.S.A.P". Modest songs become
family of Elvis Costello, Lenny Kravits & Beck by virtue of the pure but warm
sound" - Teek, January 1999.
- "With his debut-album Niko proves that music making in the old-fashioned
tradition can still be done : 13 nicely finished songs all composed by himself,
all song with a voice that reminds of the timbre of Peter Gabriel. Who was it
that said that "drummers are good for nothing but banging" - Jempy
Samyn in Stage.
- "The songs of A.S.A.P. are characterized by simplicity and splendour.
A group like Crowded House is the best referral, because Niko brings unpretentious
eighties pop." - Koen Depuydt in de Standaard.
Did you see a good (or bad) review of the album ? Send it to me !
Just a few loose thoughts :
- The CD has a splendid layout and you can fold the CD-booklet into a cube, as
it is shown on the CD-cover. After which you don't have a CD-booklet anymore,
but a form made of paper that isn't child-resistent at all.
- I don't think Niko will be asked to join the Bee Gees : he has a warm and low
voice that fits nicely to his music both in the quiet and loud passages. This
voice is also the main contributor to the atmosphere of the album. The successor
to Rick Tubbax has finaly been found !
- The best moments of this cd are among the best Belgian songs that were written
in 1998 (On your side, Flip
The Coin, Pearl, A.S.A.P.).
Better still, there is not a single "weak" song on the album (although
I'm not a fan of the jazzy pieces like "Still alive" and "Carribbean").
- The lyrics however, are a dissapointment (my wrecked CD-booklet from my first
remark wasn't such a loss after all) : this is clearly more a musician than a
writer. Niko hasn't got any clear messages he wants to make, but I don't think
- Balanced Score Card : this was thé pop debut of 1998, if you ask me.
The promotion campaign told us a bit too emphatically that Niko is a new prodigy.
"Don't believe the hype, that everyone is good inside" - he sings
himself in "The Hype Inside". If he remembers it, this has a lot of
And your opinion?
Did I get it all wrong, or was I spot-on ? Do you want to share your opinion about
this cd ? Send it in, and I'll put it up here !
More about this group :
- I haven't found anything on the web concerning Niko
- But in my Archive, there's a webpage about his former group Mercelis
- Contact :
Bang! Productions. Tel : (32) 2 223 54 50
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to buy this CD ? :
You can order this CD from a number of locations (prices researched on Janyary
20th, 1999, but nothing guarantees they still are the same when you read this).
The Lowest price is in yellow, the highest in red. This price comparison doesn't
take things into account like deduction of shipping expenses when ordering more
than 1 cd, bonus points, differences in guarantees ... Shipping prices are those
for customers in Belgium.
Have you seen this record elsewhere, do you own a CD-shop with Belgian products
in it, or if there's something wrong with my calculations : let me know.
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