IDM or intelligent dance music – when broadly defined as music derived from modern technology – ages about as well as any other specimen of the computer industry. What sounded fresh and futuristic five years ago now strikes jaded ears as tone-dated and often quaint, obsolete by the rampant revolutions of the tech-industry. Only a few songs, and a few artists, transcend the narrowly-set parameters of IDM, in terms of musical construction and overall lasting appeal: indeed, if anything, the set structure by which dance music is crafted – the standard build-up/climax/build-down – practically ensure that, fundamentally, what’s on the market now is the same as all that which was on the market, ten years before, with only the technology of production itself having improved.
But, as I mentioned, a few artists do break the mold, composing music that is both challenging and genre-defying, ‘ageless,’ consistently adventurous to willing ears. Most of these artists, viewed in the IDM subculture – Intelligent Dance Music, design music with tricky time-signatures, unique sound choices and diverse vocal melodies, shredding the rigid structures of mainstream dance and progressive pop. These more eclectic, creative and experimental artists like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Boards of Canada constantly stand the test of time.
Erwin Bauwens reigns as even more experimental and challenging, at the top of this IDM pantheon. In the past few years this Belgium artist has crafted a formidable oeuvre of sonic exploration, shifting from an early, complex ambient sound to the fringes of avant-garde Latin music experimentation.
The contrast between early and current Bauwens recordings constitute a journey of extremities, but when the various tracks are listened to in order, Bauwen’s artistic trajectory makes sense, and gives credence to the notion that this guy is so far ahead of his time like Mozart and Bach were in their days.
Erwin Buawens is capable of deconstructing music and then building it from the ground up in his way, with simple instrumentation and vocals, but intricate time signatures and rhythms.
This time on his multi-award winning track, “Nathalie Collova Latinas World”, he delivers his most conventional and accessible song ever. Cleverly mastered and mixed, Bauwens seems to have bowed down to meet his audience halfway, by giving them an easier, more mainstream and radio orientated track to enjoy. And as far as immediacy and accessibility goes, without a doubt this is his best track yet.
ABOUT ERWIN BAUWENS: 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.