Baskerville had us at hello with their debut album titled Disco Biscuits, which was released back in 2010. Ever since, the two Netherlands natives Thijs van der Klugt and Bart Possemis have left their mark playing multiple music festivals such as Sziget, Amsterdam Dance Event and Lowlands. They then relied on their two EPs released off Secure Recordings, Devils Town and Gimme 5 as well as two other hard-hitters on BNR Trax (Boysnoize label) to maintain their momentum. Unsurprisingly, these EPs copped Baskerville major support from the likes of Tiesto, Fakeblood and Laidback Luke.
It is now October 4 2013, and Baskerville present us with a new offering: yet another noteworthy album, this time called Strongroom. Released by One Dollar Dave Recordings, the indie-pop duo hailing from Haarlem accumulated inspiration from the very place they found themselves recording in: a former bank vault; hence, the album title. Composed of 11 tracks that each embark on dark pop, minimalist electronica and techno-infused pathways, the album is irresistibly diverse and can suit all moods.
Recorded with numerous guest vocalists including ElTen, Bart van Liemt and Johannes Sigmond, Strongroom elicits an electronic feel from a songwriter's angle, where the listener experiences the qualities of both synthetic and organic additives. Since Disco Biscuits, Baskerville has veered towards a more multifaceted sound, a sound where the layers and complexity are relentlessly energetic. We can most hear this on three tracks in particular, "Downhill", "Times" and the eccentric "Fruitfly".
"Gun For Hire", "Blackout" and "Lightminded" bring us back down with a "less is more" attitude, winning my vote. The three tracks remain in sonic control, allowing the vocals to soar and the production to breathe. Each song deviates away from the dance floor, and therefore introduce Baskerville in a new light: one of artistic discipline and experimentation.
"Gun For Hire", my personal favourite off Strongroom, has an accompanied music video (thanks to FOSS Collective), that was premiered today exclusively on Vevo Nederland. The scenery is dreary and depicts a day in the life scenario of a distraught male protagonist, who is (naturally) a hired gunman.