They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that maxim certainly applies to Dutch experimental rockers 35007 and their 2001 EP, Sea of Tranquility. Some time before the EP's recording, the group had been rudely "relieved" of its touring bus and all of its musical equipment during a tour of Italy, prompting vocalist Eeuwout Baart to give his notice in frustration. However, 35007 guitarist Bertus Fridael, keyboardist Mark Sponselee, bassist Michel Boekhoudt, and drummer Sander Evens weren't ready to cash their chips in just yet, and decided to turn their loss into an advantage by embarking on a new phase of their career as a fully instrumental unit. Looking to the heavens for inspiration, the quartet came up with the outer space-themed Sea of Tranquility, yet, despite featuring titles like "Von Braun" (a tribute to the German rocket pioneer) and "Artificial Intelligence," these first two tracks had a lot in common with what came before…minus the vocals, of course. The first made use of some cryptic, energetic German dialog to count down and ignite its insistent, guitar-driven hypno-groove, while the second took it a little easier, tempo-wise, making room for Sponselee to improvise swirling space synth sound effects. So it's really the EP-closing title track that held the key to 35007's imminent transformation, as they took the intensity down another notch, eased into a soothing electro-trance-rock dream state, and then floated gently away through the exosphere, with only ghostly astronaut dialog and cyclical heavy rock punctuations to puncture their weightless, gravity-defying reverie. This sonic template (along with an aptly fluid H2O theme) would ultimately come to define the creative path that 35007 were to follow on their next groundbreaking musical meditation and greatest album, Liquid, just one year later -- thus proving that unexpected strife was truly the best thing that ever happened to them.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia