HELLVETE / PHANTOM HORSE – Split 12 Inch – PY 125
12″ Split LP out on Aug 30 2021 – Polytechnic Youth – Edition of 300

“Hellvete’s “Voor Harmonium I” is the urversion of parts “III” and “IV” which were released early 2021 on the “Voor Harmonium” LP on Aguirre Records. The piece was first presented to the public in February 2016 in a dark and smoke filled warehouse in Ghent to celebrate a friend’s ageing. The stage only lit by a coupe of candles and an epilepsy inducing strobelight, the music breathing the atmosphere of being locked up at an old-school bunker rave whilst Charlemagne Palestine strumming the piano. This record is the music as it was presented that night. Cranked up, entranced and delusional.

The songs by Phantom Horse on this split LP are companion-tracks to the Hamburg/Nijmegen duo’s “Mehr Null”-album which came out in late 2020. While that album showed a darker, more nightly character, however, “Vapor snake” and “Was drauf” sound like their more playful counterparts, bathing in the bright light of day.
“Chain smoke rings like a vapor snake kiss. She says she don’t know why.” That’s what the voices in your head might whisper while you’re listening to “Vapor snake” by Phantom Horse, characterized by the band’s typical lightfooted melancholia echoing through these words. After that, things take a brighter turn on the 12-minute neokraut weirdness of “Was drauf” – imagine a sunburned android fueled by amphetamines frolicking happily through a meadow singing your favourite song.”

Notes:

HELLVETE:
Voor Harmonium I

PHANTOM HORSE:
Vaporsnake
Was drauf

Mastering by Jürgen de Blonde
Artwork by Niklas Dommasck
PY 125 / 33 RPM / Pressing of 300 / www.polytechnicyouth.com

Hellvete – Voor Harmonium

January 22, 2021


Hellvete – Voor Harmonium
LP out on Jan 22, 2021 – Aguirre Records – Edition of 250

“In his essay ‘The Meaning of My Avant-Garde Hillbilly and Blues Music’, Henry Flynt talks about how his music should be analysed as an intellectual tribute to the music of the autochtone, setting aside plain folk references, but adopting academic insights to mold the music one makes as a folk creature. Much of Flynt’s discourse applies to the music of Glen Steenkiste’s Hellvete. Over the past twenty years he has been thoroughly investigating both the ethnic musical language of various regions as well as the contemporary pioneers that preceded him as a drone musician, internalizing concepts such as e.g. deep listening or just intonation. Casting off any redundant ideas or sounds, and stripping down the focus to develop singular concepts, his working method lead to pieces such as ‘Droomharmonium’, in which he shapes the endless variations on a theme, emphasizing detail and nuance rather than multitude. The Indian harmonium here serves as the main device to worship ancient ghosts and masters, and to preserve a continuum in a tradition that touches both folk and avant-garde culture. The materialisations are sustained tone compositions which become a means of appreciation of the people and cultures that paved the way for forms of mutual escapism. This might well be the core of what Hellvete’s music is about. As much as it is a form of self-entertainment – like folk music in the old days – it also invites the listener to a shared experience of sonic reverie, it is a casual gift to the community.This is certainly true for the pieces presented on this album. They were first presented in a smoke filled and darkened art space in Ghent, Steenkiste surrounded by only a couple of candles and just enough stage light to see him erratically moving to the rhythm of the piece, occasionally twiddling the knobs of a Doepfer synth that processed the prerecorded harmonium tracks. Unlike most of his other performances this piece embraced the audience in a trance that was similar to that of an old-school rave club. Flynt writes: ‘The music should be intellectually fascinating because the listener can perceive and participate in its rhythmic and melodic intricacies, audacity of organization, etc. At the same time, the music should be kinesthetic, that is, it should encourage dancing.’ ‘Voor Harmonium’ does exactly that; it builds on the artistic ideas that have long been established in Hellvete’s oeuvre, but the ecstatic nature of these pieces merges the usual spiritual transcendence with one of determined physical bliss. It encourages both mind and body to step into the sound, to be enraptured, to celebrate. “

Notes:
Edition of 250
Artwork by Dieter Durinck
Text by Steve Marreyt
Mastered by Kris Delacourt
Music by Glen Steenkiste



BOW ETHER GROUP – CYCLONES OF MAGNETIC MAN
CS out on Jan 19, 2021 – Hangover Central Station – pro dubbed cassettes, edition of 60

“Bow Ether Group is the duo of Glen Steenkiste (Hellvete, Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond, Silvester Anfang) and Brecht Ameel (Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond, Razen).
The two side-long pieces of organic drones are served with harmonium and accordion, very slowly building up a beautiful view of the void we’re all heading towards. Recorded between 2014 and 2015, „Cyclones Of Magnetic Man“ Part I and Part II were waiting for their release for over half a decade.
The stubborn beauty of the dark and yet beautiful sounds will leave you stretched on the couch until you’re able to turn the cassette once again.”

G. Steenkiste – ZHT MTC

September 20, 2020

“Dadaist Tapes is a tape project discouraging product sales by making each tape available for free in an edition of 25, funded by a cycling allowance to work.”

Side A – 16″
Side B – 40 cm

released September 20, 2020

Crash cymbal recorded by Glen Steenkiste

Photo’s by Evy
Artwork by Darryl Norsen
Design by Dadaist Tapes

Hellvete – Het Droomharmonium Binnenstebuiten
DL out on August 11, 2020 – De Gek


“A new Droomharmonium episode turning things inside out.
Recorded during July & August 2020 at Sint-Denijs, Belgium.”

“It’s impossible to fall off mountains, you fool!” – Jack Kerouac

In October 2017 I had the opportunity to spend a day with Beyt al Tapes and Pauwel Pauwelson to prepare a concert I had to play a couple of weeks later at the Le Guess Who? Festival. The day proved to be a turning point in my approach to music. Throughout the day I started to play more and more accousticly and really started to understand how I could create the sounds I envisioned without the use of extra electronics. It was a spark that took me to new places that I’m still exploring up until this day. That was also the day the seed for Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond was planted and started to grow very slowly. All good things in life grow slow…

The whole day was recorded by Beyt al Tapes on a 4-track reel-to-reel tape and is here presented in it’s pure form. The recordings are rough, warbled, cut-off, … but they tell the story of the quest that we went on that day. A quest looking for simplicity, power and enlightment.

Eternal thanks to Beyt al Tapes for the recordings and Pauwel Pauwelsson for the additional sneezing, which goes well with these sneeze-panic times.

Music played by G. Steenkiste
Recorded by Beyt al Tapes & Pauwel Pauwelson at Zwarte Zaal, Ghent
October 2017

Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond – s/t
LP out on March 29, 2019 – Kraak – Edition of 300

“Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond is the collaborative construction carrying Glen Steenkiste, Brecht Ameel, David Edren and Steve Marreyt on their quest for yet undiscovered dimensions of drone.
Each member resides in one of four main cities in Flanders (Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges), they all play harmonium and share a genuine interest for temporality in music.
Initiated from Steenkiste’s idea to expand the solo harmonium of Hellvete into a more dialectic and immersive format, this new league had its premiere on Eastern Daze V festival in November 2018.

The release is an uncompromised gesture claiming one of today’s main scarcities: the liberated and emancipated attention. The drone sound has a rare capacity to reflect upon the most delicate patterns of the human experience of time, hitting straight to its core: duration. Long, layered tones of four harmoniums stretch from past towards future, and from emotionally charged warmth of an ensemble to the coldness of post-human electronics. They trigger an uninterrupted flow of music and call for an intensified and extended ritual of contemplative listening on multiple levels. In regard to that, the recording process was carried out with an ambition to capture both micro sounds and detailed textures from each of the harmoniums, as well as the surround sound blended through the acoustics of space.
The record comes with the extensive liner notes by the renowned essayist Sven Vitse (in Dutch).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Released in 2013 and 2014, “Sint-Denijs” (Blackest Rainbow Records) and “Ode” (Deep Distance Recordings) have shown to be pivotal records for my music and even for me personally. Both records have been out of print for a while so I thought it was time to share them with the digital world. You can read about, listen to and buy the music below.


HELLVETE – “SINT-DENIJS” (lp) (BRR245)

“Brand new record from Glen Steenkiste, founding member of Silvester Anfang and their more recent incarnation Sylvester Anfang II. Currently Glen is also frequently collaborating with his fellow Anfang member, Ernesto Gonzalez (aka Bear Bones Lay Low) in their free-drone project Gonzalez & Steenkiste. But whilst being active in these projects he still finds time to craft his own music. “Sint-Denijs” is his second solo full length vinyl release following his “De Gek” lp for Kraak Records from 2010, and several great cassette and CDR releases for fantastic labels like Funeral Folk, Sloow Tapes, Audiobot, Crooked Tapes and SicSic Tapes. Since his previous record on Kraak, Steenkiste has been getting more and more interested in sustained tones, foreign melodies and longer compositions. On this new record he draws influences from early Minimalism and old folk music and with the use of harmonium, bowed banjo, electric tampura and analog synth he creates probing intense sounds that try to undo notions of time and place. Steenkiste’s music is like taking an endless shower of sunbeams, warm, comforting and mind-altering. Music that makes time stand still and focuses on shifting details and textures, but massive in sound and presence. This record is pressed in an edition of 500 copies on 180 gram virgin vinyl including a digital download coupon or instant download when bought from Blackest Rainbow’s Bandcamp. 200 copies are on ultra clear vinyl, 300 on black. Ultra clear copies are available to people who preorder direct from Blackest Rainbow, and some copies will be randomly distributed to shops.”

 

Hellvete – “Ode” (lp) (DD15)

“Deep Distance is releasing the new LP from Glen Steenkiste‘s HELLVETE project. Arguably best known as one of the founding members of Belgian collective; the incredible Sylvester Anfang and it‘s SAII recent incarnation. “Ode“ is his third LP following previous, always amazing, sold out cassettes, cdrs and wax on labels as diverse as Kraak, Sloow Tapes, Funeral Folk, Blackest Rainbow and SicSic tapes to name but a few.

“Ode“ continues Glen‘s recent slant towards longer compositional pieces with 2 sidelong drones, which in his own words “document the ongoing search for sustained notes, flickering overtones and blissful environments”.

Recorded prior to his last LP “ Sint-Denijs” in 2011 and is “in praise to all things that bring and inspire great joy. A quest for focus in an impulse overloaded age. Like a weaver combining all the yarns into one delicate woven lace”.

A beautiful LP on both the ear and the eye- wonderful sleeve art and an edition of 300 only on ultra clear vinyl. Expected to move fast, as per previous output for label and artist.”

“‘t Land van Den Akker  is a new record by Hellvete. The album was recorded between July and November 2017 in Sint-Denijs and is now released by Hangover Central Station from Hamburg on a pro-dubbed cassette, in an edition of 50 copies, all handnumbered.

Inspired by the countryside of my hometown, the record is a combination of guitar/banjo fueled tracks and acoustic harmonium travels. The music combines the vibe of the old days with the approach of more recent musical exercises.

Recommended beverage while listening: “Pannepot Grand Reserva (2011) Cask Strength Calvados Barrel Aged” or “Oud Bruin“.

Autumn Music

November 3, 2018

GlenS-4-edit

(c) Krysztoff Dorion

It’s becoming a tradition that the month of November always brings me a handful of shows. Also this year I have a couple of nice things in front of me. On November 10 I’m playing an intimate Droomharmonium-set at the Kopi SoeSoe coffee bar in Katendrecht/Rotterdam. On November 14 I’ll be sharing the bill at AB-Salon in Brussels with Morc label boss Wim Lecluyse who will be presenting his new Circle Bros record, “Molen“, soon to be out on three:four records. And to top this of I’m very excited, proud and honoured to be able to announce the first public appearance of Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond (with fellow harmoniumists Brecht Ameel, David Edren and Steve Marreyt) on Nov 24 at the Eastern Daze V festival in Ghent. With the highly appreciated help of KRAAK and Vooruit. We’ll be opening the day, so make sure to be there on time! Hope to see you there…

10/11/2018 – Hellvete – Kopi Soesoe – Rotterdam (NL)
14/11/2018 – Hellvete – AB-Salon – Brussel (B) (w/ Circle Bros)
24/11/2018 – Het Interstedelijk Harmoniumverbond – Vooruit – Gent (B) (w/ Kali Malone, Pierre-Jean Croset)

GlenS

(c) Krysztoff Dorion