New: Ozark Henry "Birthmarks"
The new album of Piet Goddaer is more accessible than the previous works of Ozark
Henry, and at times of a beauty that's unparalleled. Temporarily in a limited
edition with an extra 5-track CD. >>> Buy
this CD at Proxis <<<
Bfr - 19,66 Euro - 17,37$ (on
Oct 10, 2001) <<<
Ozark Henry is the project of Piet Goddaer. This musician from Kortrijk,
son of celebrated classical composer Norbert Goddaer, was the singer/rapper of
the group Word before Ozark Henry. Despite a lot of gigs, the group never
managed to get a record deal (the only release is a track "Henry Men-She"
on "Debuutrock 95") and died a subsequent silent death. At home in his
living room, Goddaer and his friend Filip Tanghe, were also busy fiddling with
computers and synthesizers. A few of these experiments landed on the table of
record firm Method (Double T) that offered the group a contract.
The debut became "I'm seeking something that has already found me",
in 1996. The record was recorded in the "Ozark Henry Living Room", but
was produced in the Synsound studio's by another electronic guru: Telex-man
Dan Lacksman. The result was a multi-layered cd that
was received well in the press. The originality of the music was proven by the
multitude of comparisons that were found to classify it in the press: Tricky,
Scott Walker, The The, Soul Coughing, Bowie, John Zorn, Frank Zappa, Moby, Gavin
Friday (perhaps nowadays Dead Man Ray would also
have been mentioned ...)
In Knack, Jan Delvaux reviewed the record as follows : "Ozark Heny fits
in the series of clever belgian recyclists (dEUS, Evil
Superstars, Vaya Con Dios ...) that surprise
the world more and more often. The mission of this duo is situated in dance-related
areas, although the apparent traces of rap, acid jazz, jungle, triphop and techno
are nothing but a vague first coating. On top of this come strange noises and
very complicated song-structures full of surprising twists and turns. It makes
this record a turbulent document with a filmic bias. The steadiest element in
all this is the voice of Piet Goddaer ... Despite the many layers, the entrance
gate is wide open. "I'm seeking" is, albeit a very unusual, a very impressive
In the summer of 1997, material for a second album was recorded. This cd never
has seen the light (only the song "Summer Junkie" made it to the second
album), because the first one was released in France by Sony and started doing
very well over there. (eg. from Les Inrockuptibles : "Ozark Henry : c'est
du triphop Zappien mariné dans le formol du jazz experimental et drappé dans les
fantômes de la new wave."). As Piet Goddaer said in de Morgen : "In
the meantime, the record had been lying there and felt like an old thing when
we came back from France. I want to release a cd when it's still fresh. That's
why we made a new record."
The second cd eventually became "This last warm solitude",
released in October 1998. Noticeable changes are that the songstructures have
become much more "simple", that Piet Goddaer now sings more than he
raps, and that quite a lot of melancholy has crept into the lyrics and songs.
The "layered-ness" of the music, the richness of the sound and the electronic
programming of the songs have remained. The production was in the hands of Goddaer
himself, aided by Roy Spong and Mark Phythian, the left- and right-hand of Gil
Norton (Pixies ...).
The melancholic single "Radio" (about an incurably ill friend) received
a lot of airplay, and the reception of this more easily accessible record has
been very promising so far : (vb. Teek : "This last warm solitude is like
a labyrinth lying in the sun, with every new junction sounding off an inviting
welcome" - vb. De Morgen : "Musically this colorful jigsaw of
triphop, eighties wave, experimental pop and minimal music has everything to make
a lasting impression, far beyond the Belgian borders."
On stage, the group gives a lot of attention to the visual aspect. Piet Goddaer
in De Morgen : "For me, sound and vision always come together. The record
is also a soundtrack to a non-existing film for me. On stage, we make the images
live, an organic process where image and sound feed each other. A lot can go wrong
in that chain, but if there were only secure things, I wouldn't be interested
in being up there." At the end of 1999, "This Last Warm Solitude"
was re-released, with an extra cd containing a live-show in Paris.
In March 2000, Ozark Henry did a contribution to the "Glittering
2000" project, on which belgian bands covered songs from the glamrock
era, by doing a version of David Bowie's "Suffragette City". Under the
nickname Sunzoo Manley, a pseudo which emerged for the first time on the
single "If This Is Love" of LaTchak
(a sideproject of Front 242), he then proceeded onto a totally different project.
In the band Sunzoo Manley, he joined forces with drummer Stéphane Galland
(Aka Moon) & saxophone player Frank Deruytter (Wizards
of Ooze). The debut CD "To All Our
Escapes", a fine exercise in crossing jazz with (break)beats, was released
in March 2001.
Also in 2001, he also released the third album as Ozark Henry, this time with
the title "Birth Marks" (thus, Piet Goddaer found himself twice
on the same day at Pukkelpop, with both his projects). The actual CD-release was
for September 10, but there was already a promo-single "Rescue"
at the end of August, distributed throught the website of Studio Brussels.
For the recordings of "Birth Marks", Ozark Henry got the support of
the Audrey Riley Octet, an ensemble that has a track record including work for
Blur, The Cure and Smashing Pumpkins. Started with no less than 90 songs for the
choosing, only 10 tracks made it to the actual album (which was released in a
limited edition, wit 5 bonus tracks). As the bio says : "10 songs that can
only be described as "rich": gospel choirs, brass sections, strings,
and the newly discovered Voice. The sum of all these parts: pop music with brains
and emotions, adaptable to every possible biorhythm".
Band members :
- Piet Goddaer (vocals, sequensing, programming)
- Dick Descamps (bass - on stage only)
- Stef Catteeuw (guitar - on stage only)
- Rik Debruyne (drums - on stage only)
- Filip Tanghe (programming)
- Paul Isaac (keyboards - on stage only)
Buy CD's of this band at
- I'm seeking something that has already found me (Method / Double T, 1996)
- This last warm solitude (Metthod / Double T, 1998)
- Birth Marks (Sony, 2001) Singles / Tracks:
- Henry (track on "Fresh Can" - Double T, 1995)
- Dogs & Dogmen (1996)
- Hope is Dope (1996)
- Radio (126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52) (1998)
- Ocean (slipping away from you) (1999)
- Rescue (2001)
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