......And he does his own projects, like this one.Now, let’s turn to the music. It’s subtle. Once the mood is set, and you’re into the groove, you feel you know where you’re going. But then, incident by incident, your expectations are skewed. Tunes that start so sweet and harmless they almost slide away into the background suddenly employ unsettling harmonics. What commences as powdery baroque turns into teasing parody.Nothing is what it seems. The tropical sound of steelpans blend strangely well with latin grooves and almost classical music (‘Mahalia’s Baby’). Relaxed latin rhythms transform into the bare heartbeat of electronics.

This music is about heat, ranging from the pleasant warmth of the Mediterranean to the scorch of deserts.It also incorporates jazz music – most of all there is (sparingly but effectively used) the sound of late Miles Davis’ muted trumpet. An uncanny likeness, because these are not Miles’ notes. You are hearing an unknown Dutch trumpeter. 

Bart’s a hunter-gatherer of sounds. He picks his bits from all different sources – movies (‘Global Jungle’), children’s programs, Mother Nature, the record shop – and sticks them together, filtered, transformed, glued onto electronically generated beats.




 He eavesdrops on faraway corners of the world.

Echoes of David Holmes there.

This music is intelligent. And it is funny. In the middle of a bit of trance a Sunday school song bounces by, almost unrecognisably disguised (‘Good Nature’).

You’ll often find that Barts music evokes imagery, as if it might be the sound-track to a movie. This you’ll have to write yourself.

You might play these tunes unobtrusively in the background, but then you’d miss out on a lot of the fun. So, sit down, relax, prick up your ears and enjoy the ride. And you’ll find: Bart van Helsdingen is great.


Floris Tilanus, jazz composer and friend.