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Aranis - Made in Belgium CD (album) cover





4.04 | 60 ratings

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5 stars When Aranis released their first CD 10 years ago they were praised as the new stars of the Belgium avant-prog scene. Aranis themselves were not aware they were part of any scene nor was this scene known inside Belgium.

I am a bit reluctant to call Aranis avant prog. Avant-prog is always associated with darkness and in accessibility, while Aranis isn't very dark or very inaccessible. For the people that haven't heared them yet: they area a completely acoustic band that play with intensity combined with accuracy. None of the tunes are longer then they need to be and they never show off individually. There music is probably closer to modern classical music then to rock.

10 years later Made in Belgium can be seen as a big tribute to the many different artists and composers that Belgium has to offer that try to cross the borders between modern classical music, pop, rock, folk and jazz. The album contains 12 tunes of 11 different composers. Some are known to me ( like Daniel Denis, Roger Trigaux and Joris Vanvinckenroye) but most unknown. Different composers naturally means a lot of stylistic differences. Some songs are aggressive, some more minimalistic, a couple of more impressionistic tunes, a few more folky things. There are many moods and atmospheres on this album. The great part is: it all still sounds completely like Aranis. They can play a quiet minimalistic piece, like Wim Mertens Men of Leisure, or a fierce piece, like Erzats by Roger Trigaux; there is no doubt that this is Aranis at work.

I was not aware of the work of people like Wim Mertens, Wouter Vandenabeele and Jan Kuykens but their tunes really click with me. In fact there is not 1 tune I dislike. Seems I still have a lot of music to discover from this (relatively) small country.

For me 'made in Belgium'is a musical triumph. Maybe not their very best album (for me that is still Songs from Mirage) but certainly not far behind. Too bad the Belgiums are not aware of their avant prog scene because otherwise they could be damn proud of what is 'made in Belgium'. Normally I would rate this 4,5 stars but I am glad to round off to 5.

thedunno | 5/5 |


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