Stijn Huwels

Stijn Huwels, pink cassette with blue felt pouch

If you remember me then I don’t care if everyone else forgets

“If you remember me then I don’t care if everyone else forgets” is frequented by dark, sunken clouds, but it’s always tinted with a dawning light that promises hope. Those silver clouds pass on by like distant memories that repeatedly threaten to strike, but they rarely sprinkle the ground with their rainy mood. It’s lovely ambient music, straight out of Belgium. The music of Stijn Huwels is open and tranquil, but it has an uneasy edge. This is down, in part, to the timbre of the notes and the way that Huwels pitch-shifts them; they then start to ripple, and soon enough they’re bubbling up into hazy, lilting waves that see-saw gently up and down.

At first, the ambient atmosphere sinks into a trench of sadness. Melancholic thoughts are tied to the tired notes and they tug gently against them. And yet, it’s still beautiful. The opener ‘He tried to forget’ is a statement of the struggle. It’s almost as if it can’t quite shake off a recurring bad dream; the clouds just circle endlessly in the sky. It’s also the longest track, coming in at a sizeable 18 minutes, which also seems to reflect the difficulty and yet the necessity to put it all in perspective. Sure, he tried to forget, but it’s not that easy.

Only just a little brighter, the splayed notes of ‘Coalescence’ swell in and out. They sway in pitch as they travel along, as if they’re still affected by a recent trauma. The notes are light snowflakes that are always on the move; they don’t stay around for long. Cool winds try to lift them — the slight warble’s proof of that — but they’re always falling. Little by little, the notes fall one on top of the other, but there are calmer moments, too. Sometimes the flurry stops and the notes disappear, and a gentle, washed-out drone is all that’s left. The music loops softly, and a deeper drone soothes and dampens the clearer notes with its substantial body. Thanks to a heavy dose of reverb, the notes and the clustered melodies have their own rhythms. They echo off into the sunset with pinpoint accuracy, and they occasionally overlap, bleeding into one another. While the sequence of the notes appears to be a random one, they twinkle and sparkle like little points of light. The repetition only upholds the bright light.

On ‘Clouds as seen from an airplane’ the notes lie further apart. The music, as well as the mind, falls victim to the past. The grey clouds of remembrance droop and cover the mind like a thick mist coming down over the moors. It can make us smile, it can make us cry; when we remember, we can slip into the sadness of a lost time. Likewise, we can reminisce on the joyous moments we spent together, that heartfelt love that never dies. These are the two sides to this particular coin. And the reason we feel sad when we look back and remember? Maybe it’s because we enjoyed it so much. The music’s still fond of you. If you remember me then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.


[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=431949003 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small track=395854256] (Stijn Huwels)

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