Jurriaan Andriessen – Hardware Software
Louis Andriessen, the well known anti-elitist Dutch avant garde composer, has always been boasting about the fact that he incorporates popular music in his work and that he cuts through high and low culture. But the fact is, nobody on the street would be able to wistle a Louis Andriessen tune (maybe apart from his terribly cheesy soundtrack to the forgotten incest drama “The Family” in which he set out to “correct Morricone, Mancini and Quincy Jones” according to his own liner notes!)
Now Louis Andriessen has a brother, Jurriaan, who actually did what his brother could only talk about, namely puting out records that were actually bought by regular folks.
He recorded a couple of records with electronic music that now sound pretty fresh. This one is a concept album from 1978 based on computer lingo, so every tune illustrates one such computer term as explained in detail on the back cover. The title track Hardware Software (faded out here) is by far the best one, displaying many cool vintage synthesiser figures on top of a hypnotic repetitive groove. This track really builds up to something and is perfectly suitable for spacing out.
The trackÂ Cyclic Shift shows Jurriaan’s knack for catchy tunes. Good summer seventees feel and good for wistling while riding your bike zigzagging through green fields or through the city on a car free sunday afternoon.
Entry Point is a bit more uneven, with a synthy faux reggae rhtyhm, but there are some good changes and a synth riff that reminds me of Goblin’s Claudio Simonetti.
The track that was expected to have the most hit potential (assuming so because it’s the first track on the record), is the feeble funk tune Jack, refering to the term for “plug.” The woman shouting “Jack” is almost Shaft-like in intention, but the track is lost anyway because of terrible timing. It’s so bad, you want to actually reach into the record to take over from poor unfunky Jurriaan. But it’s a nice cheesy failure, so here it is anyway.