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splendid > reviews > 11/12/2001
Solex
Solex
Low Kick and Hard Bop
Matador


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Not a Hoot!"

Buy it at Insound!

Elizabeth Esselink (aka Solex) seems to be leaning toward old jazz and blues records in her latest found-sound mishmash recording. A longtime record shop owner, she has been culling unexpected music from such obscurities as only a used-record store can house. As is the case with her previous efforts, this is art composed of debris, songs snatched from the best moments of largely forgotten albums recorded by other people. Her talent lies in her ability to find these moments, lift them from their original contexts, and create new contexts around them.

The songs obviously have a certain staccato quality to their musical themes; Esselink's vocal delivery creates a similar effect with the lyrics. It's easy to make comparisons to Bjork; both women are non-native English speakers who process the rhythms and pronunciation of the language through their native dialects and their personal idiosyncracies. What this means is that all of Solex's music sounds as if it was assembled carefully but delicately, words tumbling crazily over themselves down a mountain of musical detritus like a musical roller-coaster. Taken alone, each of these songs sounds exciting and raw. Taken together, Low Kick and Hard Bop is further proof, if any was necessary, that this is a woman posessed of a singular talent and an even more singular vision. -- Brett McCallon

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