Kasper van Hoek
A Light Year Of Sundays

CD (42:29 min.)
Heilskabaal 2008
1000 ex.

13 euro incl. shipping

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A selection of tracks recorded between 2006 and 2008.
Comes in a self-made, offset-printed packaging.

1: Untitled 2: Untitled 3: Untitled 4: Untitled 5: Untitled (download) 6: Untitled 7: Untitled 8: Untitled


Heathen Harvest by Mark Howitt

A Light Year of Sundays is essentially a compilation of songs produced between 2006-2008 which is imilar to his previous album Minerva LP which displayed choice pieces from 2004-2006. A Best of if you will, the album displays eight tracks of Kasper Van Hoek's experimental brand of Ambient music. The album is made up of field recordings and electro elements, including several drone-like sections and is fairly consistent throughout the entirety of the opus. A technique which proves very effective when creating ambient music of this formation. With each song averaging the five minute mark, the presentation here has lots of dimensions to offer.
An interesting aspect of this offering is that it seems the tracks have no titles. They are not written on the album layout, nor on the band or labels official web pages. This is perhaps something Kasper decided to do to allow the listener to depict their own image of each soundscape that is offered. A Light Year of Sundays is the thirteenth release by Kasper's label, HeilsKabaal Records and the first non CD-R release of his own albums.
The first and fifth tracks on this offering were originally released by Dirty Demos and are both based from field recordings. The violin passage toward the end of the fifth track is very captivating, creating a very dramatic change in the various sounds found throughout the entirety of the album. The opening sequence starts with a single midi note, ringing out for some time before it halts to a stop omitting silence, only to begin again with what sounds like someone walking along a path of tall crisp grass. As it snaps and breaks under foot, the listener is taken through several dark crescendos including what seems to perhaps be a brief journey through a cave. Travelling along a stream deep within its hospitalities the build up brightens with darkness till its finale. Both of these tracks are easily my favorites on the album. The first being very natural sounding, while the fifth is very modern sounding using more electronic elements.
The last two tracks of A Light Year of Sundays are tracks involving other musicians. The seventh is a remake of a Rutger Nieuwman piece in which I am not familiar with the name. The eighth and closing track to the album was created together with an experimental rock band from Groningen, Netherlands called The Sexton Creeps. Kasper used a broken Farfisa organ to achieve its core sound, giving it a very strange and unique element especially towards the ending of the album.
A never ending climax which looms overhead leading you to very dark and vivid locations within your mind, this album is very effective in achieving the heightening of visages in ones mind. I would not recommend someone whose perception is altered from the effects of LSD to listen to this album, as I am sure it would cause them to either lose their sense of reality or want to end their life. Especially if they had headphones on. Each sound is perfectly mixed amongst the other occurring elements to achieve a well blended product of unity and ambient structure.

Gonzo (Circus) by Peter Vercauteren

De Nederlandse geluidsonderzoeker maakt er een gewoonte van om elke drie jaar achterom te kijken en enkele losse stukken te groeperen.
Acht tracks uit 2006, 2007 en 2008 onthullen zijn voorliefde voor field recordings die gemanipuleerd worden tot drones en zachte noise met concrete stoorzendertjes.
Ook het toeval (een computercrash) blijft een rol spelen. Defecte dingen voeden blijkbaar de creativiteit van Van Hoek: zelfs zijn orgel blijkt stuk te zijn. Geen probleem, want het onding steelt de show in een bijzonder knappe samenwerking met The Sexton Creeps.
Deze cd is samen met de uitstekende lp ‘Minerva’ (2006) het ideale visitekaartje van Van Hoek. 'A Light Year Of Sundays' komt in een handgemaakte hoes, en die zal in Groningen voor uren werkplezier zorgen want er worden duizend exemplaren klaargestoomd.

Earlabs by Sietse van Erve

After the album Minerva we now have a second anthology by Dutch musician Kasper van Hoek called A light year of Sundays which contains music form the period of 2006 to 2008. On this release there is a step away from noise music and a step in the direction of drone and field recording based music.
Kasper van Hoek (main man behind Heilskabaal Records) is one of the growing stars in the Dutch electronic music scene. In the past I have heard a few of his EP's which dealt with improvised noise, though for his new album A Light Year Of Sundays he departs from this and turns it all into a more ambient sound.
A Light Year Of Sundays can be considered as a best of release covering the years 2006 - 2008, following his previous full-length release Minerva which contained material from 2004 - 2006.
On this new release Kasper van Hoek takes it all some easier. We find 8 untitled pieces build up from drones, field and instrumental recordings.
In 8 tracks we are taken through drones with heavy processed field recordings. The atmosphere you are drawn into is a familiar one, one of life in the city. With these tracks it sounds to me as if you are in a huge shopping mall and all these people are passing you by like ants in an anthill. You notice them, but they don't really notice you.
Walk from one shop to the other looking for the small things you need.
There is something alienating about this music, while at the same time it has so much recognizable elements.
Like in the fifth piece, you here these bells ringing and in the back voices appear. Haunted by dark soundscapes this gives the creeps. Fill this up with some melancholic strings (cello maybe) and you get a great piece that could fit in with a horror film dealing with human psychology.
Greatly done.
The last two pieces show a slightly different side from Kasper van Hoek, where he reworks the music of other musicians making it his own. In the 7th piece he works with a musician named Rutger Nieuwman. Piano sounds are slowly shifting past each other, pushing each other a side.
In the last piece the band Sexton Creeps is added to the line-up. This piece is based upon an organ piece with other unrecognisable sounds. Only by the end of the track the band can be recognized by some drums playing, but that's about it.
These two tracks are nice, but not the strongest of the album and it breaks with the atmosphere that was build up at first.
A light your of Sundays is for me a step in a more interesting direction by Kasper van Hoek which he can dive much deeper in than his older direction in noise.
A nice release which really deserves some more attention. 8.5 out of 10


I kinda like the light aspect of van Hoek's mostly hand-drawn CD-R designs; he keeps the same template for this 'pro' CD as well, and you know you can't ever front on a good carrot. But scrape off the surface and keep going... Realizing that within the 'usual' frame of inoffensive micro-dwellings, there are different kinds of thickening cartilages... of whatever swims downstream the carrot soup. Jellyfish?... Maybe some of crunchy-tender, not so quivering variety.
Sounds sometimes similar to airplane takeoffs, ringing bells, and barefoot walks in murky pools... Never hostile, never timid, but suspenseful and precise, and even delicate, to an appreciable extent. Someone who sticks admirably to his (com)position - clearly striving for plasticity/expressiveness; A Light Year of Sundays is frequently musical, using very unambiguous melodic fragments, yet always suggests an unforced touch of the beyond. The image of the surrealistic drawing stays - you've guessed - until the end...
And in the end? The album is abstractionism today, and Kasper - the disguised musician - the abstractionist.
Greatly appreciated over-average soundwork after several listens.

VeraKrant by Yvar

Op zijn eigen label Heilskabaal brengt geluidskunstenaar en stadjer Kasper van Hoek A Light Year Of Sundays uit. Kasper maakt muziek met fieldrecordings, elektronica en subtiele noise. Denk hierbij aan de stijl van Machinefabriek. Luistermuziek die heerlijk piept en knarst.
Kasper speelde ik oktober in de kelderbar van Vera. Samen met Stephane Leonard was dat. Ik was daar helaas niet bij, maar op de foto's op de site is te zien dat Kasper live met een uitgebreid instrumentarium en een batterij aan effectapparatuur speelt. Niet aledaagse zaken als een geluid dat ontstond na een computer crash en een orgal dat stuk is werden ingezet om het geluid dat A LightYear Of Sundays is te laten klinken zoals het klinkt: fascinerend.
De stukken klinken allemaal redelijk sinister en zijn niet opgenomen om de party people op je feestje te laten dansen. Typisch zo'n plaat om in stilte van te genieten. Ontzettend leuk dat er in rockcity Groningen mensen zijn die in dit genre opereren.

Vital Weekly by Frans de Waard

Recently I saw a performance by Kasper van Hoek in collaboration with some video guy, whose name right now eludes me. Van Hoek 'played' an old stencil machine and some direct processing. Nice, but a bit sketchy if he'd asked me, which he didn't. Not enough 'composition' and too much 'improvisation'.
Whereas from his releases so far we know he can do a real good thing. His 'Minerva' LP and 'Den Haag/Groningen/Froombosch' CDR were highlights so far. 'Minerva' can be regarded as a best of LP from the period he spend in art-school (2004-2006) and this new release, his first real full length CD 'A Light Year Of Sundays' is a best of from the period 2006-2008, and it may not be a surprise that it includes two pieces from the aforementioned CDR. I like that. Release CDRs as a more raw edged work and then a real CD with the best material. A bit like Machinefabriek did.
Ok, so the music, what is it? The eight pieces here are a far cry from his LP, which was based on crude electronics, worn out tape-loops and other broken machinery. The computer has taken over the role of the analogue equipment and this results in music that is much 'softer' and more delicately constructed than his early work. Perhaps micro-sound is an appropriate term for his music.
Van Hoek uses drones as the ground pattern of his compositions to which he adds highly processed field recordings, or sounds in action. The latter is a bit hard to trace back into this music. This all culminates in a rather beautiful final piece, which is a radical deconstruction of the rock band Sexton Creeps. Here too the drone persists, but various 'band' elements are cleverly mixed in.
Van Hoek knows how to create a composition that is not the culmination of loose sound events, but builds a strong, intense collage of sound, which is very nice to hear. Points of reference are Machinefabriek (but without the extensive use of guitar sounds) and even more to Roel Meelkop. This is a great CD, very well be a best of, from what I can judge. The only thing to complain about is the total absence of track titles and information about the pieces. Great print-work though!