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Buy this CD at ProxisCD OF THE WEEK (March 1999) :

NOORDKAAP "Massis"
(Double T Music, distr. Sony Music - DTM915125-2)

Songs (click on the -icons for audio)
1. Pretentious Moi
2. Verhalen
3. Massis
4. Overvolle steden
5. Luwte
6. Rode LED's
7. Geweldig mooi lied
8. Over & Uit
9. Rustig blijven
10. Er is iets mis met de lucht
11. Technicolor volk van hier
12. Fier
13. Dit komt uit Amerika

Musicians :
- Stijn Meuris : vocals
- Lars Van Bambost : guitar
- Wladimir Geels : bass
- Mario Goossens : drums
- Anton Janssens : keyboards

Guests :
- Cesar Jansen : percussio,
- Tom Vanstiphout : pedalsteel-guitar.
- Yannic Fonderie : programming

Production : Jo Francken
Recorded at Galaxy, Mol and Vitanova, Antwerp

Press Release (my poor translation from the original text in dutch)

Because six albums is next to nothing, the Flemish formation Noordkaap has been working very hard this last year to bring a seventh one. With new people, and a relaunched ardour.

Next to singer/lyricist Stijn Meuris and guitarist/composer Lars Van Bambost (both now older and wiser) the group now contains also Mario Goossens on drum (you might know him from the Hoodoo Club) and Anton Janssens on keys & enthusiasm. You might know Anton from the band that single-handedly put Ghent on the world map : Soapstone. And finally there is Wladimir Geels on the bass. There's little chance you knew him already, or otherwise you will be from Maastricht.

With this line-up Noordkaap now releases "Massis", a 13-track album that was produced by Jo Frankcen. He was a studio-technician for the likes of Zita Swoon, Zap Mama en Evil Superstars, and now has a reputation as "that young dude with the good taste".
"Massis" was recorded at the Galaxy Studio in Mol & in the VitaNova studio in Antwerp, and was mixed again at the Galaxy. Nice rooms, even nicer sound.

A part of the songs on "Massis" (for the young or Dutch readers : the title is based on John Massis, the late strongman & philosopher from Ghent) is, according to Stijn Meuris, about the "busyness that doesn't stop". Terms as "fun-shopoing", the calculation of when to produce a milenniumbaby, Elvis giving dead concerts, Dutch traffic jams that stretch for 600 miles ... don't make his world any happier. But we guess they don't for you, either.
That's the reason for songs as 'Pretentious Moi' (about how the thirtysomethings in the West think that it's all very bad, but that the blame is somewhere else), "Overvolle steden" en "Rode LEDs" - that last one probably the strangest song Noordkaap has ever produced.
The ingredients Tempo & Anger are to be found in 'Rustig Blijven' & 'Dit Komt Uit Amerika' (this comes from America). This last one was originally intended as 'Dit Komt Uit In Amerika' (this will come out in America), until the crew managed to convince Meuris this would be a big illusion ...

But there are also a lot of slow songs. Take for instance 'Over & Uit' (a plea to the radio stations to take it easy), the titletrack 'Massis' (a hate/love-tribute to a turbulent man), or 'Geweldig Mooi Lied', a song in which the singer tries to imagine himself in the role of a one-hit-wonder that sing about their so-called true love. Only to be forgotten after that.
In 'Verhalen' Noordkaap asks itself the question why the there so little content, certainly when music is involved. Listen, while you're at this song, to the ... castanets. Yes.

In the year that the group was working on their new album, there were also some typical Noordkaap-tracks popping up. Songs that you can feel come from the wrists of Van Bambost & Meuris, equipped with that "je ne sais quoi". The songs we're talking about here are 'Er Is Iets Mis Met De Lucht', 'Fier' and 'Luwte', where Meuris mixes real stuff with strange fiction.
This process is also used, with a superb result, in 'Technicolor Volk Van Hier' - a bizar kind of waltz, but nothing is for sure - about how the most beatifull boys & girls populate the saddest parties.

In short : no-one has restrained himself.
We don't expect anything more or less from you.

Bron : L&S Agency.

This Album in the Press

- Surf-Inn : "The wild years of the group have switched places with acrobacy as regards to content & lyrics. Knowing that Meuris has flat feet, this walking on a tight rope is a tour de force already. The newborn has rightly been called "Massis". Meuris and the rest have once again moved their Cape"". For the complete review : click here. note : Surf-inn is an initiative of Concentra, where Stijn Meuris works as a journalist.

Did you see a good (or bad) review of this album ? Tell me about it !

My opinion

This little barrel of Limburgian explosivity, miscontent, anger and hyperactivity that listens to the name Stijn Meuris ("get out, get out, my ego wants to pass") has once again found 13 things to complain about, to kick against, to declare his love to ...
Bref : le nouveau Noordkaap est arrivé. But it's not only a new CD, but it's also a new band : not less than three fifths of the group is now new blood, and one fifth is even Dutch now. To re-assure the old fans: the voice & accent of Stijn Meuris are still on front, and the mighty guitar and inventivity of Lars Van Bambost are still colouring the song, so you do not have to fear you won't recognize your old band. The new people certainly know their way around their instruments, so the band even picked up where they left it at the time of their cd "Gigant".
John Massis, the mand that had about the same naïeve amazement & anger with the world as Stijn Meuris, was the inspiration for the title of the cd and for the content of the title-track. But the life of this man, a combination of triumph, astonishment, melancholy & bitterness is sort of a fil rouge for the mood of the other songs on the album.
The title song is far from the best one on the album. This honorary title is without a doubt in my mind for the song "Geweldig mooi lied" , a song that is sung with such a strong conviction & contrast that is goes come into being. Brilliant.
Also in the highest division are "Verhalen"(would be the logical choice for a next single), "In de luwte" (where the singer incorporates the vocal equivalent of four mad rottweilers, including the silence that falls after the final injection), "Over en uit" (calm is beautiful), the disco-single "Pretentious moi",and the sympathetic waltz "Technicolor volk van hier". A bit below these are all the other songs, but nowhere the gap is too deep.
So, the new Noordkaap resembles the old one rather good. Nice compliment for a beginning band, no. I hope that someone will make a film about the life & times of John Massis : there's already a fantastic soundtrack for it.

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 !

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More about this group :

- Satelliet Suzy, the official Noordkaap-site.
- Noordkaap of course has had a page in this very webarchive since the beginning.
- Good fanpage with an interesting overview of all the press the band has got.
- Booking & management :
L&S Agency. Tel : +3211/671701. Fax : 3211/673331. Mail : ls.agency@village.uunet.be.

Where to buy this CD ?

You can order this CD from a number of locations (prices researched on March 18th, 1999, but nothing guarantees they still are the same when you read this).

Shop
Price of the CD
Shipping + other expenses
Total
Direct Link
Frontstage
655
50
705 BEF
Azur
753
0
753 BEF
 
HVH-Megastore
678
54
732 BEF
 
Proxis
598
95
693 BEF

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 on the net, do you own an online-CD-shop with Belgian products in it, or if there's something wrong with my calculations : let me know.

 

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