Pick-Up - Loop End
Plinkity Plonk 023
LP only - Limited edition of 150 copies

Martin Luiten and Frans de Waard are both from Nijmegen and both part of the same musical 'scene' - if there is such a thing. They played together in 2003 when their bands Girlfriends and Beequeen played a collaborative concert, and the two met on the sunday afternoon improvisation concerts. Yet its not been until this year that they decided to work together, Martin on guitar and electronics and Frans picking the sound up with his laptop. Extremely fruitful sessions were held, and resulted in one LP to be released soon by Important Records and this LP, released by Plinkity Plonk. Five pieces of repeating guitars, swirling electronics and the finest drones. Laptop blues? Call it what you like. Sit back and relax.

This LP is available for 19 euros including worldwide shipping. You can pay with paypal. Send an e-mail to order

listen to excerpt


PICK UP - LOOP END (LP by Plinkity Plonk))
Frans de Waard's fascination with that most popular of instruments the guitar is well-known. In the 90s he used the guitar as sole source of sound in his project Shifts. This despite the fact that De Waard couldn't play the guitar in a traditional way to save his life. Shifts was therefore all about guitar-treatments. This resulted in a couple of albums, some really good (Trees/Leaves), some not that good (Pangea). After the demise (or should that be possible demise as De Waard leaves his Shifts-options open) of Shifts, De Waard has now formed another guitar-outfit. This one is called Pick Up (the name for the elements - copper wound spools - on the electric guitar, which transfer the vibration of the strings into sound). However, in Pick Up it is not De Waard who plays the guitar, he is responsible for the computer treatments of the sound, which is what he does best. The guitar itself is played by guitarist extraordinaire Martijn Luiten, who is an accomplished guitarist of the Japanese Makaboto/Haino-school, not afraid to improvise and make a structured noise. So what does the combination of these two spirits sound like? The album Loose End features 5 tracks. Side one starts with 'Row', a one-note droney opener with subtle treatments that gradually become more prominent. 'Cone' is quite different as here the guitar playing is more recognizable, loose tones are picked and string-scraping sounds can be heard. The open nature of the track allows the music to breathe more than the opening track. Side two hits off with 'Portal', which is my favorite track. We are treated to gated guitar chord playing, subtle and friendly. 'Assignment' is next. Easily the noisiest track of the album, but somehow also relaxed enough not to raise the pulse too much. The end fade is rather abrupt, which is one of the things I don't like. Closing track 'Loop Ends' (not the title track of course, that should have been 'Loop End') is another favorite. Here Luiten plays the E-bow, a wonderful but difficult to play properly device that creates long, droney sounds on the guitar, combined with gentle finger picking, this is a fine ending of a fine album. Packed between two grey carton bits and with only the image of a package of guitar strings on the front (cleverly altered of course to read the title and the catalogue number), the package is as downbeat and minimal as the music. Personally (and knowing Frans de Waard's love of DIY minimalism) that is fine with me, but somehow a splash more spendour in the packaging would have been a bonus. The music does deserve that. Loose End is one of those albums that is destined to sell out its 160 copies without any problem and then fade into obscurity. Until one day, when it will be re-discovered as a classic and you will tear your hair out for not buying a copy when you had the chance. (FK)
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