stranger |cs116








































Well, I liked the cover going in and the music didn't disappoint. Entirely new to me, von Heuman serves up strong electro-acoustic music out of the Raaijmakers and Koenig tradition (he's managing director at STEIM). I'm not normally taken with many of the sounds that emanate from ARPs and Korgs but von Heuman wrings out fresh juices from them here. Oh, it get loopy and blippy now and then, but still sounds ok. Two long tracks bracket a series of eight short ones, the latter a soundtrack for the radioplay "No Man's Land", a portrait of Dust Bowl Oklahoma, an interesting dislocation. Strong work, happy to have "found" Mr. van Heuman. Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)

"Stranger" Roberta van Heumena to ciekawy soundtrack inspirowany filmem No Man's Land, ktory opowiada o czasach kryzysu lat 30. ubieg?ego wieku, szczególnie dotyczy spo?ec´znos´ci Oklahomy. Film opowiad o Hazelu Lucasie, który wyemigrowa? do Boise w Cimarron County jako dziecko, w oparciu o ksiałz˛keł 'The worst hard time' Timothy'ego Egana.
wiekszos´c´ dz´wiełków zaosta?a wyprodukowana w CEM studio, WORM Rotterdam za pomocał syntezatorów ARP 2500 i Korg MS-20 oraz Synton stereo EQ.
Zawartos´c´ to pulsujałca muzyka t?a, soundtrack, ale z tych lepszych, który moz˛e istniec´ jako samodzielna ca?os´c´. Przemielone wałtki akademickiej awangardy XX wieku, improwizacji czy drone ambient dzia?aja tu razem bezb?ełdnie.
Najciekawszał stronał moim zdaniem jest tu produkcja, która choc´ sterylna, broni sieł tym, z˛e ca?os´c´ stroni od sztampy ambientalnych soundscape'ów. Astipalea Records (Felthat)

Another CD of Dust Bowl-era inspired electroacoustic music from Robert Van Heumen. Stranger is less striking than Fury, his previous disc for Creative Sources. Too quiet? Less daring? I’m not sure, but I found this one long and a tad boring, whereas Fury had me riveted to my seat. I’ll give it a second, more attentive listen to try to find what’s the matter. François Couture (Monsieur Délire)

In this new release on the Portuguese imprint after the excellent Fury, Robert Van Heumen — who normally utilizes a laptop provided with LiSa and SuperCollider software (live sampling and real-time audio synthesis respectively) — concocted a string of soundscapes that leave no room for optimism, showing the nude crudity of past and present events without hinting for a minute to concepts like "respite" or "hope".
The title track (a composition reportedly influenced by Albert Camus, Philip K. Dick, Blade Runner and L.E.J. Brouwer) is presented in separate translations: the first and longest is a dynamically hyper-charged exploration of altered sounds deriving from a single source (additional info about the compositional progression can be found at that gets abused, reprocessed and bastardized in every possible manner, the outcome akin to a brain-pulverizing chain of destructive calamities, misshapen ambiguity, extraterrestrial jargons and incisive irritations which leaves us disoriented, unable to accept its hard-to-fathom underlying logic. The "ambient" adaptation, which closes the program, is just slightly better edible yet, at the same time, describable as a quite dissimilar piece where the harsh tonalities of the original are, to some extent, rendered barely visible, even if the music is not the least disconcerting: desolation replacing devastation, the overall gloom lingering on, the impenetrability of the critical significance still a fact.
Amidst the two versions of "Stranger", Van Heumen presents the soundtrack to "No Man's Land", a film inspired by the tragic 1931-1939 era known as Dust Bowl, when American and Canadian prairies were plagued by storms transporting the sand into which wrongly cultivated lands had been reduced, many people's life in tatters as a consequence of the ensuing economic and ecologic damage. The composer reports that ARP 2500 and Korg MS-20 analogue synthesizers, together with a Synton stereo equalizer, form the core of this cycle of rather short episodes, characterized by self-explanatory titles such as "The Skies That Brought No Rain, Only Dirt". As fragmentary as the sonic commentary might result, the ominous atmospheres are informed by a somewhat less stretchy kind of configuration, rhythmic components accented by uneven synthetic sequences that diminish both the smell of chaotic hostility and the threat/evocation ratio.
Unquestionably not a record one wishes to return to on a daily basis, Stranger in any case represents an intriguing chapter in the output of a hardly pigeon-hole-able emerging sound artist. There's more than meets the ears, though it takes persistence to find the combination needed to enter this obscure area, halfway through the remnants of excruciating memories and the blurred idea of an uncertain future. Ma
ssimo Ricci (The Squid’s Ear)

Stranger s’inspire de l’étranger de Camus. On y entend de sourdes et lointaines déflagrations et Robert Van Heumen procède par de longs et souterrains uppercuts. Ici, le carcan sonique est flottant et piétiné par des balayages toujours perçants. Une symphonie déséquilibrée et souvent titanesque.
No Man’s Land évoque l’exode qui suivit le krach boursier de 1929. Outre le dispositif électroacoustique de Van Heumen, se glissent ici et là quelques phrases répétitives surgies d’un synthétiseur Korg MS-20. Les figures sont contemplatives et sans ruptures ; des rythmes mécaniques apparaissent par intermittence, le tout laissant à l’auditeur une impression de torpeur soutenue. Luc Bouquet (Le Son du Grisli)