Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Solex Vs the Hitmeister
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
As Dutch record-store proprietor Elisabeth Esselink watched the pile of CDs that would not sell in her Amsterdam shop grow larger, she figured out a way to make them useful after all. She listened intently to each crummy d... more »
As Dutch record-store proprietor Elisabeth Esselink watched the pile of CDs that would not sell in her Amsterdam shop grow larger, she figured out a way to make them useful after all. She listened intently to each crummy disc until she found an amusing melody or fresh beat. Then she recycled them all into the magnificent sound panorama that is Solex Vs. the Hitmeister. Her innovative musical ideas were then expanded on by the introduction of a character named Solex who inhabits every song. The sludgy trip-hop of "Solex in a Slipshod Style" is reminiscent of Portishead, but beyond that there is little with which to compare her music. The cut-and-paste jazz saxophone of "Solex Feels Lucky" and distorted banjo of "Waking Up with Solex" are utterly original. So are her sexy and literate lyrics about snagging her tights in a backseat make-out session and how the straps of her dress keep slipping off her shoulders. Rock & roll needs more enigmatic Europeans like this. --Lois Maffeo
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(5 out of 5 stars)
"i bought this largely out of curiosity - expecting a sort of quirky diversion but not much else. paydirt! if the story about the genesis of solex is true, then ms. esselink has created a more innovative and finely crafted album as a lark than most of the thousands of djs who devote themselves to cut-up tunesmithing full-time can cobble together in a single track. it's concomitantly hypnotic and organic, occasionally frantic, frequently fun, and always brilliant.
i'm not sure i get entertainment weekly's comparison to bjork. ms. esselink's voice isn't the strongest bit here. she coos and mutters insistently over strange frozen vignettes, but her voice never soars exactly. but her voice is perfect for her purposes. she repeats herself like a teletubby in a padded cell as she relates and obsesses over mundane anecdotes and suggestions of subtext. don't try to follow her with the lyric sheet! she'll drive you nuts as she circles back around to the beginning a couple times before working her way slowly to the end of the "story". just ride with her as she skitters off the track and back on again.
and the music matches her issues; she's thickly layered and warped the disparate samples over meaty beats and swarms of chiming percussion until it's appropriately claustrophobic, paranoid, and neurotic but never hostile. what a great way to slowly lose your mind!"
Solex is the hitmeister in disguise
ptitchitza | Leiden, Netherlands | 01/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Snappy collection of cute pop miniatures, like sketches of a day in life of Solex. And just as I'd think one of them is perhaps a liiitle bit too "sweet" some new interesting detail brings the balance back, be it a less-than-ordinary beat or passage. Somewhat reminiscent of a crossover between Portishead and Bjork, with singing having a kind of "girlie-freshness" (pardon my English, folks) comparable to Kate Pierson of the B-52's. If qualities of "Solex vs. the Hitmeister" were a prevailing standard for the songs they play on most of the FM radio stations in my area, I wouldn't have to hit that frequency button on the radio so often."
A Great Little Hard-To-Define Album Thingy
firstname.lastname@example.org | Hempstead, New York | 03/24/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is FUN - that's the first word that comes to mind. Snappy little beats, clever lyrics, and a rollicking little sample-laden sound that never stops to take a breath. It actually sounds like Solex had fun making it... a minor miracle in itself. (Most musical artists these days sound so world-weary that you wonder why they get out of bed in the morning.) If you can appreciate a bizarre little slice of life from a clever gal who owns a used record store, check it out.P.S. I wrote Ms. Esselink, who "is" Solex, and she wrote back, politely and charmingly. A musician who answers fan mail - who would of thunk it?"