Solex

Solex vs. The Hitmeister

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Solex, aka Dutch record shop owner Elisabeth Esselink, creates a pure, offbeat musical world on the 1998 debut, Solex vs. the Hitmeister. All of the songs contain the band's name; Esselink delivers her English-sung vocals with dreamlike, rhythmic phrasing, and the album's cavernous production makes it sound as though it were recorded deep inside her head -- it all adds up to an abstract, alien collection of songs that owes very little to electronica or indie rock as the outside world knows it. Instead, each song on Hitmeister flows to its own musical logic, built on samples of discounted, long-forgotten records and Esselink's expressive, sweetly foreign voice, supported here and there by touches of guitar and keyboards. "When Solex Just Stood There" suggests industrial dance with its relentless beat, one-note vocals, and screeching sound effects, while "Solex All Licketysplit" bounds around the room on a rubbery bassline and sparkly keyboards. "Some Solex" marries a somewhat ominous bass drum to a warm guitar line, while spaceship sound effects hover in the background. "One Louder Solex" and "Solex in a Slipshod Style" have a fluid, stream-of-consciousness style that recalls daydreams, adding to Hitmeister's overall surreal quality. A completely unique combination of beats, samples, and voice, Solex is insular and inventive, revealing an artist with a very personal kind of creativity.

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