Neither/Nor Records

Flin van Hemmen, You Can Know Where the Bombs Fell (n/n 019) 



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In his third release on Neither/Nor Records Flin van Hemmen pushes further into the world of post production and processing of recorded sound. Treating recorded sound as a found object or as malleable clay with which he assembles and molds abstract shapes, Flin creates a distinctive language which feels at once intimate and enigmatic.


Flin van Hemmen - production, sampling, various instruments

Created between 2018 and 2020. Many samples used originate from the Casting Spells recording session which features Todd Neufeld on acoustic guitar and Eivind Opsvik on double bass. All other materials are from home studio and field recordings. All music by Flin van Hemmen. Mixed by Flin van Hemmen. Mastered by Joseph Branciforte. Photography by Julia Pearring.

Release date: September 16, 2021

Flin van Hemmen interviewed by Jozef Dumoulin in June 2021 for the release of You Can Know Where the Bombs Fell


Salt Peanuts

On «You Can Know Where the Bombs Fell» he focuses on weaving a delicate puzzle of sparse elements of processed human voices and sampled and environmental sounds. He juggles with harmony,  melody, improvisation, field recordings and textures as sonic building blocks, as all inform one another, or inspire directly or indirectly. There is a strong sense of minimalist and often abstract lyricism to this work, sometimes even reverent one and on other times quite austere. Van Hemmen follows the random sounds and lets these sounds fascinate and guide him before he edits and sculpts them into a coherent, haunting and highly cinematic texture.” (January 2022)

Blow Up

Flin Van Hemmen è un batterista jazz olandese che dal suo trasferimento a New York ha ampliato il proprio raggio d'azione dapprima focalizzandosi sull'uso di un nuo-

vo strumento - il piano – nel trio Casting Spells e poi concentrando si su un metodo compositivo basato quasi esclusivamente sulla trasformazione e sull'assemblaggio di materiale preregistrato. “You Can Know Where the Bombs Fell” è diretta emanazione di questo rinnovato modus operandi e origina da un'intricata tessitura di field recordings e da alcune improvvisazioni dei Casting Spells trasformate in loop o trasfigurate in modo radicale, acquisendo maggior corpo laddove basso e chitarra mantengono un'idea primordiale di forma (The Blood of All Nature) o dissolvendosi in un pulviscolo carico d'elettricità fra registrazioni d'ambiente e note di piano che riverberano in sottofondo (Made Visible I II). Musica ad alta densità, frutto di un elaborato processo di post-produzione e di montaggio.” (January 2022)

Gonzo Circus

“De Nijmegenaar was eerder al gitarist, drummer en pianist, maar op de nieuwste zeven tracks is hij toch het meest geluidstechnicus in zijn studio – weer eens wat anders. En zoiets gaat hem ook al goed af: of het nou opnames met een akoestische band zijn, of van knip- en plakwerk in de studio of veldopnamen, Van Hemmen kneedt het geluid net zo lang tot het zijn geluid is geworden.” (January 2022)


“You Can Know Where The Bombs Fell is ontstaan in de thuisstudio van Flin van Hemmen. Die studio, vol elektronica en digitaal gereedschap is het nieuwe instrument geworden van deze musicus. Hij is er eindeloos aan het experimenteren geslagen met geluiden die hij eerst heeft geselecteerd en daarna is gaan bewerken. Dat bewerken bestond uit ermee gaan schuiven, gaan aanvullen, gaan minimaliseren, zodat voor elk van de zeven composities op de cd, een eigen klankpalet ontstond. Dat één gemene deler deelt: geheimzinnigheid die behaagt en je fantasie prikkelt. Want kabbelende, niet meteen te categoriseren klankenstroompjes die uitmonden in donkere, dreigende geluiden, opgediept uit de ondoorgrondelijkste diepzeeën, die trekken je een andere wereld in. Misschien een uit je kinderdromen, toen vele klanken nieuw en te ontdekken voor je waren en je ze moest opbergen, omdat ze ooit wellicht nog eens van pas zouden komen. Welnu, misschien is het nu zo ver?” (December 2021)


L'enigma è l'intenzione principale di Van Hemmen, in queste tracce. Ogni registrazione viene trattata come oggetto sonoro a sé stante, e manipolata in maniera da non essere mai perfettamente riconoscibile. Se si sentono delle folle parlare, non si sa se siano in strada, in una stazione, in chiesa, nei negozi, o in tutti i luoghi insieme mescolati. ‘Heels rise’ contiene un loop di coro, che compare breve a più riprese nella durata della traccia. ‘These are gateways’ contiene rumori indecifrabili, e ancor più astratta è la sensazione notturna di ‘Where mushrooms grow?’“(December 2021)

All About Jazz

While these sounds were created by combining sampled music, environmental sounds, voices, and van Hemmen playing various instruments in the studio, there's an organic feel to each track. (...) The studio constructions heard here feel like they are anything but fabricated. His success is this natural unselfconscious document.” (November 2021)

Beach Sloth

“Flin Van Hemmen features a grandeur, a mixture of the composed and the found with “You Can Know Where the Bombs Fell”. Quite a feat to behold, the uncanny ability to have the reality and surreal brought together adds to the wild adventure. The deft hand at times makes its presence barely felt, a nice nod to Luc Ferrari’s intrepid sonic explorations. During some of the heavier moments the polished drones that roll on through add to the majesty of the entire journey.” (September 2021)


You Can Know Where The Bombs Fell résonne de manière étrangement familière, traversé de bribes d’instruments, d’enregistrements de terrain et de voix fugaces, érigeant des atmosphères aux tracés imprévisibles, contournant les forces de la gravitation pour prendre leur envol vers une destination brumeuse à la poésie élégante. (October 2021)

Created between 2018 and 2020 and partially based on - processed and modified - samples from a previous recording session featuring Todd Neufeld on acoustic guitar and Eivind Opsvik on double bass the roughly 41 minutes spanning longplay piece aims to break those samples down into irrecognizable micro-loops which are then used as building blocks for new individual compositions of spine-tingling and oftentimes well futuristic nature like the glacial, frosty Ambient-leaning opener "Heels Rise" which is garnished with distorted and unsettling remnants of speech evoking memories of lost radio communication later accompanied by ethereal, non-vocal background choirs...” (October 2021) 

Vital Weekly

Earlier recorded music functions as material for editing, mixing and other operations. This way, van Hemmen created a sequence of fascinating soundworks. The works are emptied of the unnecessary and make the impression of barren soundscapes. Long extended pieces of treated sounds, like the recognizable short drops of sound and patterns by piano or other instruments. Also, van Hemmen makes use of field recordings. Most works make the impression of stationary and cyclic sound works built from repetitive elements and looped sounds. Very controlled and subdued sound works that are not loaded with development and movement. This makes them very suggestive and imaginative. Lovely work!” (October 2021)

Musik an Sich

“Durch die eingemischten Stimm- und Straßengeräusche entsteht ein Soundtrackcharakter, der den Hörer fesselt und in sich hineinzieht. So weist das Album einen sehr guten Spannungsbogen auf, der die Aufmerksamkeit vom ersten bis zum letzten Track hochhält.

You can know where the bombs fell ist ein spannendes und hochklassiges Experimentalalbum geworden, das zusätzlich mit perfektem Klang und durchgängiger Hörbarkeit brilliert.” (October 2021)

Best of Jazz

Here is a perfect album for daydreaming while being totally present.” (October 2021)

Bad Alchemy

“Gesteuert - wie er im Gespräch mit Dumoulin ausführt - von einer unterbewusst und durch Zufälliges und Überraschendes gespeisten Empfind­sam- & Empfänglichkeit für Schönheit. Mehr interessiert an ambient shifts und Stetigkeit, an Repetition und Stille, denn an peaks. Was mit 'Heels Rise' anhebt, ist ein bewegtes Kontinuum aus Wellen und Impulsen, zu kurz, um sie zu identifizieren. So mischen sich Chorgesangsschübe mit klickenden Steinchen, Schritte kreuzen, ein Klacken loopt, zu Pianotönen stoßen Stimmlärmfitzel, ein Flattergeräusch. Schritte knurschen outdoor, es 'riecht' nach Wind und Wasser, ein Loop quiekt, das Piano dröhnt und klimpert, Glocken­spiel pingt zu Stimmen und Straßenlärm, Klangwellen 'stehen' und ein Knacken kreist. Brandung rauscht, ein Nebelhorn muht, aber vieles lässt sich nicht benennen. Menschen am Strand? Ein Seevogel quäkt, das Piano träumt knietief im Schlick. 'The Blood of All Nature'? Innenklaviermelancholie wälzt sich um den einsilbigen Vogel, der Vordergrund bebt, im Hintergrund dongt ein düsterer Ton. Doch vor der ungut drohenden Kulisse spielen Kinder. Absurde Nahost-Realität, sichtbar gemacht.” (September 2021)