brunk – shelter (Vital Weekly review)

“Bert Vanden Berghe, the guy behind brunk, writes that he’s sending this but that he is not sure if this is something for Vital Weekly. I am sure he’s been reading these pages for some time, so I was mildly amazed/amused by his question. This surely is what Vital Weekly is about, Bert! Armed with an electric guitar, field recordings and perhaps some electronics, brunk creates ten minimalist pieces of guitar music that he says have ‘American primitive, fingerpicking and noise influences’ and which he calls ‘ambient, drone and soundscapes’ (how does that sound not like Vital Weekly, I wonder). ‘Shelter’ opens with ‘Safe Space’ and it sounds like a piano intro for a ambient house song being stretched over two and half minute, but then that’s just the piece as it is. In his other pieces, the guitar sound is more obvious, right from the next one ‘Stop Moving’, there is that fingerpicked guitar, playing some careful, sparse notes. But there is more to enjoy in this release than just a guitar playing thoughtful, atmospheric, indeed Americana inspired notes. Throughout Brunk adds crackles, a bit of hiss, a drone, some static sounds, such in ‘Todo Se Detiene’, in which the guitar very rarely present. Noise is something that is used almost next to nothing. ‘The Hyperthropic Scar Song’ has some mild distorted sounds to it, but on top of that is the guitar with a rather majestic tune, clean as a whistle. ‘Tectonics’ uses a synth sound (well, or a mobile phone app synth; quite far away) and provides a somewhat different approach to Brunk’s palette of atmospheric sounds, but such is the nature of this album. It veers between the total abstraction and the more pleasant guitar pieces, from pure ambience to mild noise. Thirty-eight minutes long, but with a fine amount of variation in approaches; why didn’t Brunk seek a label to get this material released, I wondered.
It deserves more exposure.”

(FdW – vitalweekly.net)


brunk – winter ep (mixside.com review)

“Otro de los trabajos que nos llamó especialmente la atención en mixside.com y que teníamos guardados en el cajón de álbumes a reseñar, fue el publicado allá por Marzo de este mismo año con el nombre de Winter EP.

Detrás de este pequeño compacto se encuentra Brunk, una formación que lejos que pretender llegar a los puestos más altos de la música belga, han decidido crear un sonido especial que haga resurgir la escena musical underground de un pais que nunca se ha caracterizado por tener un subversivo musical adorable.

En este caso vienen a nosotros con un EP puramente ambient en el que podemos dejarnos llevar por los inconfundibles pads alargados y difusos que nos hacen recrodar la última estación del año. Primitivas pseudomelodías que a medida que avanzan, nos transladan a situaciones y lugares jamás visitados con anterioridad, y donde el relax y la quietud del sonido son el elemento principal del juego. Todo ello, aderezado además con inteligentes detalles de afinamiento de sonidos, que hacen de este EP un trabajo que más de uno querría editar en su sello comercial de pago.
Música para disfrutar en la playa o en la montaña, en la piscina o en casa. Para ponerla en un viaje tranquilo de tren, o en una cansada travesía de coche.

Una muestra más de lo vivo que permanece un estilo que fue enterrado por muchos a finales de los años 90, pero que con la mezcla más pura de la electrónica y la música tradicional, ha encontrado un perfecto motivo de renovación.”

(mixside.com)


brunk – mudskipper (Vital Weekly review)

“In Vital Weekly 877 Bert Vanden Berghe first popped up, and called himself Invertrebrata. Now he sends me a release under the guise of Brunk. An older release if you will, as this was already available in 2009 on bandcamp and CDR and now is re-issued ‘digital (itunes, spotify, amazon)’ and CDR. The music is a bit different too. As Invertrebrata he played a very free form of acoustic guitar music, solo as such, except when he allowed some sounds of TV into his music. Here, as Brunk, he plays much more electronics, along with guitar and field recordings, and as a result things are far more organized than on that more recent release. A piece like ‘Plankton’ is a right tour de force of ambient/drone music, while in ‘Item 6095363′, he plays more fingerpicking like, bringing it to a noise level and in ‘Rustig LieDJe’ he feeds similar picking through a bunch of echo machines. Unlike his recent Invertrebrata project this is all more ‘musical’, in whatever conventional sense of the word – but surely conventional by any Vital Weekly standard that is – and while some of this might surely based on improvisations, it’s all more organized. Quite a diverse release overall, I thought and most enjoyable. Perhaps two sides of the same coin: working out quite diverse tunes on the guitar. Very nice indeed.”
(FdW – vitalweekly.net)


brunk – winter ep (Netlabels Revue review)

Si les 4 titres de cet ep ont été enregistrés en février 2008, on imagine très bien l’endroit où s’est passé l’enregistrement entouré de vastes entendues neigeuses tant la musique développée ici nous ramène invariablement à l’hiver. 4 titres ambient et contemplatifs qui sont signés du belge brunk/Bert Vanden Berghe. Avec une poignée de sons enregistrés, sa guitare et quelques effets, le flamand a su restituer une certaine ambiance, fortement évocatrice, dans une Ep intense et bien agréable à écouter. [8/10] (Netlabels Revue)


brunk – winter ep (Netlabels & News review)

brunk es Bert Vanden Berghe, amigo de este blog y músico residente en Ghent, Belgica, que lleva experimentando y grabando música desde 1998 y cuenta con trabajos en WM Recordings (donde acaba de lanzar otro album) o Dog Eared Records. En su primera vez para Resting Bell ofrece un álbum bello y calmado, con un sonido muy desnudo, melancólico y contemplativo. Las piezas están basadas principalmente en acordes y toques de guitarra mezclados con distintos microsonidos y texturas. (Netlabels & News)


brunk – winter ep (dream-rehearsal review)

brunk is the solo-project of Bert Vanden Berghe, homerecording musician, born in 1977 and now living in Ghent, Belgium. Bert started with brunk in 1998; he just wanted to record and experiment with music in a free way, without stylistic restrictions or a predefined direction.
The “winter ep” contains 4 tracks with a complete duration of 21 minutes, recorded in February 2008 and released at Resting Bell netlabel in 26.03.2009.

“Laika’s view” is a seven min track going first on ep, consists of drones waves play and faint guitar and field records. All together fill a great picture in my mind.
“surrounding”: beautiful combination of acoustic and overdrive guitar.
“Zon in februari”: Very interesting track, if I did not know I would have thought that this live performance at cafe or something.
When i listen “nachtwandeling” the last track on ep, imagine western movie or shots lake man goes through desert.

Verdict: winter ep is a good-looking release.
(dream-rehearsal.blogspot.be)


brunk – winter ep (Vital Weekly review)

From Belgium is Bert Vanden Berghe, born in 1977, who released before on WM Recordings and Dog Eared Records. He plays guitar and sound effects, along with some field recordings. It opens with a nice drone like piece, in which the guitar is remotely busy in the back. In the other three pieces of this twenty minute E.P., the guitar plays a more dominant role. Using e-bow, chord changes and field recordings, his music is quite a common place for ambient in the good old Brian Eno sense, but also a bit old fashioned in a Robert Fripp solo style, which is not really my cup of tea, although I must say its not bad either. The twenty minutes on offer is quite alright for moody, atmospheric music. (FdW – Vital Weekly)


brunk – sept 2003 (Netlabels & News review)

“No nos dejemos llevar por las apariencias, pese a la portada este album es cosa seria.
Eléctrico, acústico y electrónico, lleno de imaginación y creatividad. Gran esmero en los arreglos y una innegable habilidad para cambiar de género en los catorce tracks sin perder coherencia como album. El dialogo entre la guitarra y el bajo destacan por su destreza y riqueza. Todos los tracks por Bert Vanden Berghe.” (Netlabels & News)

(English:)
“Don’t let the cover picture fool you, this album is more serious than it looks… Electric, acoustics and electronics, full of imagination and creativity. Carefully arranged it shows undeniably a talent to switch between different styles without losing cohesion as an album. The interaction between bass and guitar show skill and maturity. All tracks by Bert Vanden Berghe.” (Netlabels & News)

(Nederlands:)
“Laat je niet misleiden door wat het lijkt: ondanks de voorkant is dit een ernstig album… Elektrisch, akoestisch en electronica, vol verbeelding en creativiteit. Een grote zorgvuldigheid in de arrangementen, en een onmiskenbare bekwaamheid te veranderen van genre, zonder de samenhang als album te verliezen. De dialoog tussen de gitaar en de bas benadrukken de vaardigheid en rijkheid. Alle tracks door Bert Vanden Berghe.” (Netlabels & News)


brunk – sept 2003 (dutch review by Corto M.)

“September! De maand die twijfelt tussen zomer en herfst, tussen melancholische introspectie over wat veel te snel voorbij is gegaan, en onstuimige verwachting over wat nog beloftevol in de lucht hangt.

Ook ‘september 2003’ van Zijne Brunkheid is op dit sjabloon ontworpen. De frisse en speelse opener frutsel baadt nog volop in een zomers sfeertje en heeft een rijke oogst aan klanken, sferen, stemmingen en onverwachte wendingen te bieden.
Het vinnige tumbling around roept een intense innerlijke strijd op, een clash tussen het zomerse en het herfstige en besluit in gemengde gevoelens. Enig minpuntje is dat de stem van brunk hier onder een dikke laag elektronische make up terecht gekomen is en zo wat aan oorspronkelijke kracht inboet.
In frisbee wordt gesmeekt om toch nog een paar extra zwoele zomeravonden en wordt schitterend muzikaal weerwerk geboden tegen het onvermijdelijk korter word van de dagen, maar het besef dat het bijna afgelopen is doet hier toch de weemoed bovendrijven.

Met ctb i wordt een moment van bezinning ingelast waarin besloten wordt het dan maar over een andere boeg te gooien. Wat volgt is een bijzonder geslaagd could there be dat zwemt in dezelfde psychedelische elektronicavijvertjes waar ook de flaming lips verkwikking in plegen te zoeken.
Na al het existentiële geworstel met verandering komen we in het stadium van de ontkenning, alle registers worden opengetrokken om de zomer te laten herleven: mediterrane en caraïbische elementen borrelen op in een perfect uitgebalanceerd muziekstuk dat tegelijk alle clichés van zomerse deuntjes aan flarden scheurt. Maar dit ontegensprekelijk very catchy en meest radiovriendelijke nummer zoekt de weerbarstigheid toch vooral in het onuitspreekbare karakter van de titel!

Helaas komen we onmiddellijk daarna in een ongure voorjaarsstorm terecht. We kunnen niet meer doen dan binnen zitten wachten tot die voorbijgetrokken is. En datzelfde gevoel hebben we een beetje bij de nummers die nu volgen. We zitten ze uit. Al valt er hier en daar wel iets te beleven. Maar we blijven een beetje op onze honger zitten na al de fraaie werkstukken waarvan we tot nog toe deelgenoot zijn geworden. Automatic Countdown en perfect for eachother kunnen absoluut de vergelijking met wat vooraf ging niet doorstaan en hadden volgens ons gerust achterwege gelaten kunnen worden. Insight begint heel veelbelovend, maar kan zich dan net niet waarmaken, hoewel het veel geslaagde elementen bevat. Het lichtvoetige, maar bij momenten ook enigszins drammerige lady penelope kunnen we ook onder de noemer ‘behoorlijk’ of ‘onderhoudend’ onderbrengen.

Maar wat dan volgt is verbluffend en pareert met een uiterste doeltreffendheid de kritiek dat we het beste al achter de rug hebben. Het was slechts een kleine inzinking, die we maar al te graag mild benaderen, daar brunk alles uit de kast haalt om die te doen vergeten.
Floating is een heerlijk voortkabbelend, klaterhelder bergstroompje dat aan heel verscheidene landschappen voorbijtrekt, maar zonder dat de luisteraar met storende discrepanties of abrupte hoogteverschillen geconfronteerd wordt en waarmee brunk zich een vaardige evenwichtskunstenaar toont. Floating is een heerlijke trip die na vele luisterbeurten nog steeds niet gaat vervelen en integendeel pas dan zijn veelzijdige karakter openbaart.
Little green man trapt af met de lijzige stem van Henry Kissinger en gaat met veel enthousiasme op het elan van floating door. Dit intrigerende nummer dat door een bijzonder aanstekelijk ritme wordt aangedreven, heeft ook weer allerlei lekkers in de aanbieding dat zich maar geleidelijk blootgeeft.
Test 1 2 betekent een waardige afsluiter van september 2003, dat tien toppers bevat, benevens twee de middelmaat nooit overstijgende en twee overbodige schepsels.
Een overweldigende bewijslast pro aanschaf van dit plaatje.

De herfst is nu definitief ingezet. Maar aanvaarding en berusting hebben de overhand gehaald. Tenslotte kan verlangen enkel ontspringen aan gemis. Een eeuwigdurende zomer daar zit niemand op te wachten. Op nieuw werk van brUnk daarentegen…”

(review door Corto M.)


INVERTEBRATA – 5 (Vital Weekly review)

“This is the fifth album by Bert Vanden Berghe from Belgium, who plays mainly ‘randomly detuned & often prepared (most acoustic) guitars […] sometimes combined with digital edits and electronic additions’. I have no idea about anything else from him, as this is the first time I hear his music. The music was recorded on a multi track recorder, which is something one can hear when playing this. Vanden Berghe plays in a free mode strumming the strings, letting objects glide up and down the fretboard, sits in front of the TV, and in general does all sorts of things that your guitar teacher didn’t teach you. It’s sort of thing I like to do on an acoustic guitar whenever I can lay my hands on one, thinking I am as good as Derek Bailey. Or as good as Vanden Berghe, as I think these nine pieces show a lot of strength. The electronic sounds play a small but vital role, add perhaps an interesting level of alienation to the music. Like being captured in a space ship and playing to save his life? But all of the electronic sounds are minor, it’s the guitar playing that counts here. Quite an imaginative release!” Address: http://invertebrata.bandcamp.com (FdW – review in Vital Weekly 877)


invertebrata 4 (Review by Ragnar Roeck)

“Sounded too weird to pass on it –
I mean it is aprils fools day, so there might be other intentions. The description is bang on, the quality of the recording is excellent. Einstürzende Neubauten comes to mind, but more in a chamber than an abandoned factory. Less lyrics. Yes, I think that sums it up quite well.” (Ragnar Roeck)


brunk – spondylitis ankylosans (Gonzo Circus / Mind The Gap review)

‘brunk’ (het alter ego van Vlaming Bert Vanden Berghe) bestaat al sinds 1998. In ruim tien jaar bracht hij een groot aantal, gevarieerde cd(r)’s uit. De nummers op ‘Spondylitis Ankylosans’ zijn erg directe, ongepolijste en vaak vrij dissonante gitaarimprovisaties (sommige met een loopstation, andere zonder, maar altijd met een gitaar die vrij willekeurig of heel intuïtief vreemd ‘gestemd’ is), opgenomen in ongeveer een week. Alles werd in één adem opgenomen, en niet meer bijgewerkt of gepolijst achteraf – het ging Vanden Berghe om de ruwe expressie. Ruis, fouten en lo-fi klankkwaliteit horen dus integraal bij het geheel, zoals ‘Cellulos. Microsist.’ mooi laat horen. (The track “Cellulos. Microsist.” was included as “track 13″ on the ‘Mind The Gap’ CD (nr. 80) by Gonzo (Circus) Magazine #93 (sept 2009).)


brunk – insert coins to continue (Review by Ragnar Roeck)

“Berts breakfast” –
I can only imagine Bert had a drumcomputer for breakfast, washed it down with some of the early Prodigys energy and a bit of Aphex Twins sugar while Mario fixed his plumbing. Then the sun came out and he wrote this music. (This is written to encourage you, not to repel, just to make sure!)” (Ragnar Roeck)


brunk – insert coins to continue (sonicspacefoundation review)

“Bert Vanden Berghe (BVB) is a 31-year-old Belgian (Flemish) musician from Ghent who is known by his aptitude to get embodied into many aliases. brunk, invertebrata, Passive Cable Theory are the names as the most known ones amongst his other projects. He has also appearing in the lineup of such groups like Karen Eliot (with Luther Blissett), The Returns, and SkullyS LandinG. As summarized, all it is a very diverse stuff, ranging from the examples of alt-folk, straightforward pop punk and twee-pop to free form guitar improvisations and noise music.

Though Insert Coins To Continue LP has been released under WM Recordings this year, this is an old album recorded and completed between 2003 and 2006. In some sense it is a kind of trash one, because the ICTC at first started as a bunch of leftovers and unfinished ideas. For a while BVB didn’t have definite plans what to do with them, they didn’t fit onto any album he had worked on until then (the albums so lo so fi and none of the above are mentioned herein). He has done everything on his own, has played some acoustic parts, bass guitars, a lot of electric guitar parts, recorded and edited in all kinds of ways, using an mexican Fender Stratocaster and an modified Epiphone Les Paul, a cheap acoustic guitar, and a Squier Jazz Bass, also used some cheap dynamic microphones. Some recorded sounds and voices are also derived from TV. Some samples are taken from seven-inch vinyl recordings ofsome kind of library music – farm animals, car and plane sounds, weather sounds. In addition of it, there are also represented scratches, buzzes, crackling.

However, face to face with previous brunk albums it is the absolutely different one. First 20 seconds consist of a blend of defective electronica, acoustic guitar touch, spoken word and ragged guitar riffs which will predict us what will be happening next – it could describe as in a fashion anti-manifesto per se. A kind of destructive posture in reference to his previous works as brunk. Furthermore, some song titles are also marked bellicosely, or otherwise just have a meaning referring somehow to deflexion (got it!; carcrash; blitzkrieg; mechanical errors; berror; violence on tv). At never ever ever, the blasting attack by three first tracks will be displaced and changed into dreamy mood music, as if we were back to quiet and melodic brunk again. However, shifts (a mix of heavy metal riffs and dub guitar), flipperkast dubde wraak van de kiekens (similar to zip) is dominated by jazz guitar-alike sound and programmed beats. Indeed, it would be very good chill out track as well if it had much more longitude to come over us. The another possibility is just to push “repeat track” button on, and keep enjoying it… . There run also some floating bubblegum funk undercurrents (this should be played at high volume… preferably in a residential area!) being so characteristic to sampledelic or samplecore music that I am pretty convinced Bert Vanden Berghe has listened to Chenard Walcker and Felix Kubin a lot indeed. violence on tv reflects through its sonic aggressiveness and insane variability the meaning of the song title at its best. Furthermore, some knotty organ passages and a haunting orchestration segment have added some odd dimensions to it all. However, in broader sense, the only artist who might have some reminiscence to BVB`s recent work is a Russian avant-garde combo Burrito (especially their doings and tearings around on the album Fridtjof Nansen (2008/2009). (experimental-fashioned dub with guitar solos and wah wah effects – one of the best tunes on the album!).

At first sight the ICTC would probably seem to be sounding too harsh to your consciousness to get broken through to. Indeed, it is like the tzunami of overloaded information flowing on you at high speed, destroying and flushing all around you, letting you live and waiting with dread the coming of the next wall of noise. The one and only question which could be is – are you able to channelize all this information into understandable form for yourself? In fact, the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it.”  8.6  (Kert Semm – sonicspacefoundation.blogspot.com.)


brunk – insert coins to continue (musicclub.eu review)

Atterrato a Parigi con 15 min. di anticipo. Non ho nulla da fare a Parigi e nemmeno soldi per andarci. E poi nemmeno sono atterrato a Parigi ma a Bouvais, ad un’ora e 13 euro di viaggio da Parigi. Però ho tempo ed una persona cara da accompagnare. E Bergamo è solo ad un’ora e 5 euro da Parigi. Mattinata libera e da buon accompagnatore vado a farmi un giretto turistico. Notre-Dame de Paris. Troppi italiani e troppi giapponesi che in fila per entrare socializzano tra loro con grandi sorrisi e massacri anglofoni. L’anno scorso sono andato a messa a Notre-Dame de Paris. Siccome c’era la messa l’entrata per i fedeli era gratis. Così sono andato a messa. Alla fine della fiera una jap che voleva portarsi in Japponia una particola come souvenir è stata inseguita placcata e il corpo di Nostro Signore recuperato da un chierichetto durante la comunione. Avrei pagato il biglietto per una scena così. Insert Coins to Continue. Oltre ad essere la nuova frontiera del linguaggio ecclesiastico ( […] l’espressione “Offerta Libera” nel contesto della raccolta delle elemosine a suffragio dei defunti si consideri decaduta a favore del più immediato “Insert Coin to Continue” […]. Circolare papale numero 437 del 27/11/2009 ) è anche il titolo dell’album che mi sparo uscendo dalla chiesa. Il lavoro è gratuito e scaricabile dal sito dell’etichetta WM Recordings che dispone tra l’altro di un’apprezzabile sezione “Latest free downloads”. Si tratta di un DIY: suona tale che (ma sarà proprio vero quel che sto dicendo?) se non fossero esistiti John Oswald, Negativeland, The ECC & C. questo album non esisterebbe… per intenderci… e se non ci intendiamo avete sbagliato rubrica: girate pagina e leggetevi le recensioni di Virginia o di MoonFish, che tra l’altro sono entrambi più belli e preparati di me. Divagazione sul DIY: Do It Youself è un genere musicale codificato, che ha una storia precisa, che ha regole compositive e stilemi determinati: non è “…mi faccio l’album in casa con quello che ho perché non ci ho i soldi per lo studio di registrazione…”. Il 98% dei musicisti che dicono di fare DIY non fanno DIY. Non necessariamente fanno MERDA, ma non fanno DIY. Il Signore sarà comunque indulgente con loro. Sopratutto se sono punk narco promozionalisti. Insert Coins to Continue, del belga Brunk, è un lavoro molto suggestivo che divarica magistralmente l’immaginazione. Ogni pezzo è una piece scenografica diversa, contigua e susseguente. Non è raro che gli esempi migliori di DIY sovrappongano le loro impronte al cinema. E non è un caso. Se siete curiosi e ignoranti andate a sentirvi il programma radiofonico di People Like Us: Do or DIY in onda su WFMU (http://wfmu.org/playlists/PL ). La musica si conosce ascoltandola. No leggere libri. Libri di musica brutti. Sì aguzzare le orecchie. E costa anche di meno. La bellezza di questo album e la bravura di Brunk stanno nella sua spontaneità: nonostante innumerevoli ed eterogenei campioni, VST e materiali vari il montaggio ed il mixaggio del musicista sono riusciti a rendere ogni brano scorrevole, piacevole, orecchiabile e quasi istintivo ma mai prevedibile. Ci sono campioni presi da ogni dove: frammenti di pezzi funky di cui s’è perso titolo e memoria, registrazioni prese dalla TV (in Never Ever Ever c’è il campionamento di una partita di calcio italiana! Atalanta – Siena o Atalanta qualcosa d’altro… incredibile… un musicista Belga che mi va a campionare una partita che magari io ho pure visto allo stadio. Ho l’abbonamento all’Atalanta), pezzi registrati direttamente da Brunk (basso, chitarre, rumori, percussioni, flauti… di tutto!). Tra i campioni presi dalla TV c’è anche un pezzo dei Simpson (in Violence on TV) e uno dei Thunderbirds (in Berror). Il disco, terminato nel 2006 risulta publicato da WM Recordings nel 2009. Tutto è stato montato con un vecchio Apple G4 ed editato con Cubase, registrate le parti acustiche con microfoni da 5 euro e beats programmati con Reason (non tutti, solo alcuni). Assolutamente da ascoltare prendendo appunti Informative Note (intro) e Allrighty Then (outro). Così si iniziano e si finiscono le cose! Yeah!