Jozef Van Wissem ‎– New Lute Music For Film

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Incunabulum ‎– INC023
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Limited edition of 1000 copies, silver on black silk screen printed cover.
Jozef van Wissem – lute, voice
Artwork by Sergey Marinichev
All compositions by Jozef van Wissem
Recorded live in Prague, February 2017

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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
INC 023 CD Jozef Van Wissem New Lute Music For Film(CD, Album, Ltd) Incunabulum INC 023 CD Netherlands 2017 Sell This Version

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August 22, 2017

In recent years things have ramped up for lutenist Jozef Van Wissem. He’s grown his audience in Eastern Europe to the point where he keeps a residence in Poland. There have been cinematic and sonic collaborations with Domingo Garcia-Huidobro, Zola Jesus and Jim Jarmusch, and business dalliances with ATP Recordings, Sacred Bones, Crammed Discs and Consouling Sounds. But for this concert recording, made early in 2017 at the Meet Factory in Prague, Van Wissem is back to releasing his music on his own Incunabulum imprint.

It never hurts to be able to fall back on your own resources, and this record wears its practicality quite literally on its sleeve. New Lute Music For Film sets you up with a few tunes from Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive that didn’t make it to the soundtrack CD, while its subtitle — Beyond Props — not only advertises Van Wissem’s availability to make more movie music, it tells you want kind of projects he wants. Having not only played on Only Lovers Left Alive soundtrack but also schooled actor Tom Hiddleston in lute technique, he wants to be more than a prop. If you’ll pardon the metaphorical shift, Van Wissem’s music is strong enough to be a main ingredient, not just a spice.

The album catalogs his current strengths. It opens with a four-piece, fifteen and a half minute long sequence (billed as four separate tracks on the CD’s sleeve but correctly identified on the record’s Bandcamp page) that shows how years of road dogging have elevated his technique. His tone has never projected more boldly, and his dissonances have never been more pungent. He’s never walked the rigorous stair-steps of his palindromic compositions with more ease, and he’s equally sure-footed transitioning from tune to tune. Even his singing, never his strong suit, sounds more confident. It’s worth remembering that Van Wissem was active on Holland’s punk scene before he turned to the lute, and he applies punk’s phlegmy bluntness to lyrics that honor the challenge of being an authentic individual and promote the redemptive power of love.

Bill Meyer

July 20, 2017