Ultimately, what Erwin Bauwens seems to be doing with his music is somehow reinventing the utterly stale and banal schtick that’s been done for the last decade or so by scores of mediocre dance and electronic artists. The single “Marian” makes for an easier first couple listens, especially if you’re familiar with Bauwens’ other more complex stuff.
There’s an epiphany of sound to be had though, lurking in this track’s soundscape — and I think the listener’s changing feelings towards this music is a microcosm of this epiphany. At some point, after two, three, or several listens, the track just pops out at you, like a 3D magic-eye drawing.
And suddenly right before you, there’s a mad cyclone of jagged, clipped bits of beats, like being in a sandstorm of rhythms, only with fragments of vocals, percussion, and keyboard sounds hitting you square in the face.
If such descriptions strike you as insane, don’t worry…they are. But give “Marian” enough listens to get under your skin, and I guarantee you one day you’ll find yourself grasping about for your own metaphors to enclose, capture, and name the experiences this track evokes.
The eclectic rhythms and melodies that have always been a gift of Erwin Bauwens are still there, rest assured, albeit slightly buried in layers of static and metallic sounds that, in themselves, do nothing but bolster the music’s strength by providing atmosphere.
This is incredibly original stuff. I can’t say I’ve ever really heard song structures like this, and how they work I’m still trying to discern, but for now I’m happy to simply sit back and enjoy them. Perhaps the extreme abstractness and structure of the music is what I enjoy most about it.
It could be that I’m just drawn to blips and bleeps of strange shapes, the audible equivalent of shiny objects. You too, may find yourself drawing mental pictures resembling the sounds in the arrangement.
Multiple Akademia Award-Winner Erwin Bauwens, an artist and composer from Antwerpen, Belgium, who has suffered brain damage from an accident, has written many award winning songs for Justyna Stocka, Nathalie Collova and Claudia Van Linden. Bauwens who attended the Schilde/Zoersel Belguim Academy studying lyrics and music, has also been aired on radio stations across the globe.
His music has often been categorized in the Latin section, but Bauwens states that he has no genre, as he plays all kinds of music. More often than not his compositions are eclectic enough to actually defy genre.