One of the many hidden gems in the Dutch landscape of pop music: Enfant Terrible. The website of the record label states: ‘Elitist Pop Culture since 2004’.
Is the label elitist?
Well, yes. In a way. Founder and owner Martijn van Gessel knows his niche, and he knows to use words well. In interviews, he states that the music he releases has nothing to do with nostalgia or retro, although many of them have a minimalistic feel that could be associated with those terms. Of course, Van Gessel is right: using instruments that have been around for a long time, doesn’t mean making old music.
Instead, Van Gessel uses terms like (post) industrial muzak and weird pop. He manages four labels to make sure he is able to provide a broad range: Enfant Terrible for the more electro wave and synth-pop stuff, and sub-labels Gooiland Elektro (more dance-oriented stuff), Vrystaete (music related to folklore, psychedelic, lo-fi/lo-tech and experiment), and Cabaret Curioux (for the weird stuff).
In the past 16 years, Van Gessel released a lot of albums in limited editions on vinyl and some of them on cd-r. This compilation is a collection of his favourite songs he released in the past few years. The tittle Reality As A Stage Set refers to the weird current situation:
“We conceive the world around as reality… as a solid state of being… but it is not… it is a stage set… a construct… a frame… a bubble in which we float…”
The collection reflects Van Gessel’s thoughts on the corona virus being able to make cracks in our static construction of the world. Reality as a simulation that doesn’t represent the real anymore. It’s a dark, minimalistic and sometimes rough journey through eleven releases. The compilations ends with the beautiful, distant ambient elektropop of 11 RADKO.
Have a listen, download the compilation if you like, order some cool 7″, 11″ or 12″ at Enfant Terrible’s website, and visit the individual Bandcamp pages of the artists.
And, as Van Gessel puts it, take “a moment of recognition […] for contemplation… sit back… think…read… listen to music…”
Reality As A Stage Set is released by Enfant Terrible.