Joop Visser

Partners in Hair

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Dutch singer/songwriter Joost Visser is the former leader of De Artsen, the Dutch new wave band which transformed into the much more mainstream Bettie Serveert after Visser's 1991 departure. Visser's first solo album, 1994's Partners in Hair, could hardly sound more different from the melodic pop/rock of Bettie Serveert. Seemingly heavily influenced by lo-fi home recording fans like New Zealand's Alastair Galbraith and Hoboken's Dump (James McNew is a friend, and Visser has appeared on Dump records), Visser collected several years' worth of solo acoustic recordings, some of them seemingly recorded on a monophonic Walkman in the next room during a thunderstorm, others decorated with found sound, random tape effects, and crowd noises. Some of the records are full-fledged compositions, like the really quite good "Four Ace Tracks." Others, like the self-explanatory "Recorder," are self-indulgent doodles. Still, that's usually the case with this sort of lo-fi release, and Partners in Hair is no more precious than, say, any early Pavement release. Those allergic to this subgenre of '90s indie rock are well-advised to steer clear, however.

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