Jan & Romke Kleefstra
So first up, there's the loveliest man in the world. His name is Rutger Zuydervelt. He's also known as 'Machinefabriek' and a good few people will know his name for his plethora of beautiful releases. He's good mates with a certain Gareth Davis, who in turn became mates with Ian, and who together set-up 'The Whalers Collective'. Still with us? OK, so around the time Ian and Gareth are introduced, someone introduces the Kleefstras.
Gareth has made this blinding album with them. Its called 'Tongerswel' and is taken from their first improv recording they did together. Its wild, soulful, and unlike anything Ian's heard before. He plays it to his mate Ben. 'That's awesome' is the response. The album doesn't come off the radio until Ian leaves it in his dad's stereo over one weekend by mistake. A week later he comes back home and his dad simply asks 'What on earth is this?' Upon answering that it is a demo Ian and Ben have been checking out, Ian's dad says something about weird music for weird people, smiles, and promptly tells Ian to email them right away. And that is how we came to release 'Tongerswel',
It came out with a book of translations which we never read in detail as we didn't want to know...the alien aspect in Jan's Frisian poetry was just too 'other', the music too haunting to wish to comprehend fully. They've since gone on to play shows with the aforementioned blokes, and Peter Broderick among others, around the world...they did a wonderful little tour of Japan a couple of years ago as well, and we look very much forward to their new work when it is eventually released!
Here's a little more about the brothers Jan and Romke Kleefstra:
The Kleefstra brothers are members of the Dutch improv band Piiptsjilling, that also features Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) and Mariska Baars (Soccer Committee). In 2008 Piiptsjilling made its first acclaimed, untitled album. Since then the brothers started to work together with several musicians. It invariably involves the experimental guitar playing of Romke in combination with the spoken words in Frisian (old European minority language) by Jan. Sometimes dreamy, melancholic and melodic, sometimes dark, haunting and noisy, but always instant music, both in the studio and on stage.
In 2009 they published the album Wink, with guitarist Chris Bakker from The Netherlands. In 2010 Piiptsjilling returned with the album Wurdskrieme, while in 2011 the brothers published several albums and split releases with Gareth Davis, Peter Broderick, Machinefabriek, Nils Frahm, Greg Haines, Danny Saul and Sytze Pruiksma. And with all of these they shared stages in Europe and Japan. Besides that the brothers initiate multimedia projects around their music and collaborations. Expect a lot to come in the near future. Not only Piiptsjilling, but from all collaborations these two Frisian brothers take part in.
You can stream, share and buy 'Tongerswel' here: