What’s this? It’s more than record of the week, it’s another underground strummer with finger permanently on ‘space’. I can certainly connect with the ideas associated with the name of Het Droste Effect: the endlessly repeating image within an image. The picture of the woman on the cereal box, holding a cereal box with a picture of the... You dig it? Play this record once, you’ll get all the ambience, all the space garage rock, some saxophone rocking towards the end with no let up in sight; but the next time you lay this sucker down to play again, it’ll open up like Pandora’s box, spreading forth its tentacular reach to every recess of the room, taking hold of everything; unabridged by genre, style, volume or pacing. Rocking you back and forward for its twenty minute runtime again and again until your first experience is a distant memory, and you’re peering into the eighth picture within a picture, the groove within a groove, trying to interpret the tiniest movement of the strings while the solid raucous and upstandingly groovy sound cascades back and forth unnoticed. Its refreshingly raw, ripped right out of the groove bible copy book and passed to the teacher as a book report and well HOLY FUCKING SHIT the book report blew the book out of the motha’fuckin’ water. It’s a stunning debut and the kind of hard rollicking rocking kick start that dreary bands dream they could write and the sort of record that’s so quietly revolutionary you wonder how somebody hasn’t stepped in to stop it. Surely being this awesome and having this much fun has got to be illegal! Het Droste Effect is like a cocktail that tastes of fruit juice and after two sips blows your head off.
We’ve been addicted to the record since we heard it. It opens with a instrumental number sounding like a heavier Karma to Burn, and if that was all this record was, we’d be stoked, but it’s more than that. Het Droste Effect go on to have a jazz-inspired jam that fuses influences from the extended freestyle freeform funtimes of bands like the Grateful Dead. There is a wonderfully rewarding slower, quieter piece that is like a Drill Sergeant of the psyche, demanding that your dumb maggot ass get down and give him twenty... minutes of chilling the eff out. It sprawls languid across the middle section of the record, after that there is a thuddingly refreshing Melvinite trip that clocks in at just over a minute that could be compared to having relaxed over the sofa that is Sweet Dreams Bandito you now notice it’s actually an electric chair and the equivalent minute is spent getting zapped back to full awareness. It’s a superb debut of the sort I’m overjoyed I’ve heard all through this year. All of this invention, more than goes on in entire careers, is crammed (possibly) at gunpoint into a twenty minute EP. I am more than overjoyed to give this beast my stamp of approval. Don’t read any more of this until you’ve downloaded it.
I had a little talk with Hermann Blaupunkt (cool name huh?), guitarist for Het Droste Effect about this album, and I have to say I was a little too sycophantic but hey, credit where credit is more than due,
“We’ve been getting supercool responses from people all over the globe... it just exploded!”
What is it that makes the Het Droste Effect sound so freakin’ fresh?
“Actually the EP was recorded after only a few rehearsals, so that’s why we think it sounds so fresh”
And Hermann couldn’t help but give a plug to one of the more interesting and personable aspects of buying corporeal records from these groove knights.
“The EP is also available on cassette tape by the way, so not only mp3. Every tape gets a unique artwork which Thompson [Dubé – drums and percussion] makes”
Recording to tape has always fascinated me. As a youngster I used to record radio shows on tape while I was asleep (the music I liked was pushed out of waking hours by insipid pop) and was also an avid taper of borrowed CD’s (I had literally no money to fuel my music interest). The use of tapes by Het Droste Effect was really interesting. Herman also ran a tape recording studio so I was keen to find out, was it a conscious choice or some sort of nostalgia trip?
“My studio Casa Cassette actually just closed for business, so I had the time and space to record [Het Droste Effect]. I never learned to record with a computer properly. My choice for tape is not about nostalgia, however for many of my past clients that was the case. I record live as much as possible and I never correct stuff in the box (actually, there is no computer in the building). I just don’t like to look at a screen when I try to be creative. I just need some knobs and a set of big speakers to hear if it’s going well. And yes, I like the sound of tape. I’m not about high end or crystal clear sounds which you can get with digital. Life is not crystal clear, so why should music be?”
With sounds as genre-burning as these, I was dying to find out from the horse’s mouth exactly where the inspiration came from to play this kind of trip, and what Herman reckoned Het Droste Effect sound like.“I actually grew up on champs like Neil Young, Elvis and Bob Dylan and I still love those guys. Then Kyuss hit me like a freight train in 1995 and I picked up a guitar. I am not a stoner per se though. I love the albums Josh Homme put out, but I don’t listen to much stoner except for some old stuff like old Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Soundgarden... I prefer psychedelic rock like The Doors, Jimi, Zep, obscure 60’s stuff, Wooden Shjips, Six Organs of Admittance, African Desert Blues, Delta Blues, The Stooges!!!! etc etc. I am as broad in taste as a vulture. Thom is more of a stoner and a vinyl collector. He likes the wax if you know what I mean. He currently listens a lot to 16 Horsepower. I absolutely love Dave Eugene Edwards as well... [When we met] I was in a stoner rock trio called Lupu Negru in the beginning of this century. We broke up in 2005 and I didn’t touch a guitar ever since. I did have some riffs I really wanted to play with a drummer though. I already knew Thom and I just asked him last summer  if he wanted to be my ‘drumbitch’. He said ‘ok’ . It was instant magic. Thom’s drumming is very weird, very hard and is able to produce the right sound to complement my big riffs. We are trying out bassplayers at this very moment, because we want to do the live thing soon. I think talking about the first two or three Queens of the Stone Age albums really encouraged the both of us to go out and rock again. We just immediately decided to do whatever we want, without any restrictions or rules. We hope to keep it up... The new stuff is all over the place. From psychedelic mariachi surf to pure hard rock with a jazz twist. How’s that for genres!?”
I contacted Hermann and the Het Droste Effect because I found the album through checking out Eindhoven as a rock city. I’ve been digging a lot of 35007 recently and wanted some more hits from that town. I asked Herman how he feels about the underground rock heritage of the town he practices his dark magic in, and what place he feels he has in it,
“Eindhoven is an industrial town like Seattle or Manchester and was always very rock n’ roll. With bands like Candybar Planet, 35007, Peter Pan Speedrock to name but a few, the best rock from the Netherlands is not born in Amsterdam!”
So what is next for Het Droste Effect?
“Hey, we only just begun. I am very excited to hear what the future brings myself! We need a bassplayer, which we hopefully find very soon. We have about three tracks ready to record and tons of ideas. We are also thinking of recording some jams and putting them out for free as well. We’ll see.
And lastly, I gotta give a big ups to Hermann for lending us some of his time and being so cool about it. He’s a nice guy and the music is a slippery sultry siren of a piece that just keeps calling me back. I can’t think up a better sign-off than this, so I’ll let Herman say goodbye.
“We are just so thankful for the people like you who dig our tunes, it makes us want to go and record and play our socks off... That’s just the coolest thing”
Written under duress by Steven