Koen Holtkamp

Koen Holtkamp creates music that exists simultaneously in large and small scales. His compositions lend themselves to careful examination, with each sound precisely placed. Holtkamp (who is one-half of Mountains) considers every instrument he uses carefully and pays specific attention to the environment, actual or digital, in which that instrument is being recorded and processed. They also expand and evolve gradually, giving a sense of boundlessness that extends not only to a specific song or album, but also to his discography as a whole. On Motion, Holtkamp plays with these ideas of scale and space, using shifting array of analog, digital and acoustic sources to explore the perceived effect of moving from one dynamic space to another. He excels at coaxing the sublime out of the synthetic, writing music that seems as if it has existed in nature for eons, but can only now be uncovered using modern electronic instrumentation.

While Holtkamp traditionally composes based on material developed during live performances, the first three tracks on Motion were written and realized entirely in the studio. This approach gave him the opportunity to really hone in on each separate instrument individually allowing for a deeper sense of focus and less of a reliance on live sampling and looping. “Vert” features some of the most prominent, even aggressive, use of electric guitar in any of his work. On “Crotales” Holtkamp juxtaposes iridescent analog synths and virtual “acoustic” instruments such as computer generated upright bass and crotales, offering a surreal take on his archetypal approach. The entire b-side is occupied by the sprawling “Endlessness,” a richly textured swell of overlapping drones and chirping synthesizers.

Motion is presented as a stand-alone LP, and is also available as an extended CD release coupled with a second disc of Connected Works, compiling all of Holtkamp’s vinyl-only releases digitally for the first time. This includes Liquid Light Forms (Barge, 2013), Gravity/Bees (Thrill Jockey 2010), and Make Haste (A Room Forever, 2008). Listening to these albums all together only serves to reinforce a direct through line in his solo works, his techniques and timbral palate evolving as steadily and gradually as the pieces themselves.

Koen Holtkamp

Upcoming tour dates

There are no tour dates at this time.

Latest News

Koen put together a guest mix for Fractured Air including tracks from many of our friends: Golden Retriver, Date Palms, Ben Vida, Mind Over Mirrors, Steve Gunn, Duane Pitre, and more!
".... a fascinating work of art." - Decoder Magazine
Koen had a nice chat with with Never Nervous about his rekindled interest in film, synth modules, and soccer.
Koen wrote about five of his favorite Italian albums from the 1970s on Self-Titled .
Fractured Air wrote about Koen's musical history and conducted an informative interview .
“Holtkamp makes solo electro-acoustic compositions of epic length and hypnotic beauty” - Mojo
Brooklyn Vegan premiered Koen's video for "Between Visible Things" . Koen is going on tour this April and his video work will be prominently featured alongside the tunes.
Ad Hoc recently premiered Koen's video for "Endlessness" . Slowly wade through Holtkamp's tranquil waters.
“Koen Holtkamp's primary directive is to make your journey through inner space both safe and enlightening.” - Ad Hoc
“Motion files nicely alongside Fripp & Eno, or Klaus Schulze, a set of rippling, drowsy circuitry, laminated with silvery guitar drones” - Uncut
“There aren’t any flash licks or distorted fifths, but the result is exactly the same. In doing this, Holtkamp has left us to appreciate music herself; the speed – the motion – shows us just how”  - Fluid Radio
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