Lynn Cassiers

Portraits

Twenty-eight metres of cable, eleven plugs and the voice of an angel: these are the ingredients that Lynn Cassiers has been using to steadily grow her fan base since 2002.

Electro-jazz? Avant-rock? Impro-pop? Cassiers is not interested in demolishing conventions or fermenting a revolution. Rather, she continues to quietly build on her existing track record, to which she adds her own unique touch. As part of her artistic quest, she listens to music from every conceivable genre, ranging from obvious choices such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, to the more oblique, including Afro-Cuban rhythms, Ligeti and Luigi Nono.

Today, her main creative outlets are Lily Joel, Tape Cuts Tape and Imaginary Band. Pure stylistic exercises are wasted on Lynn Cassiers. Whether solo or with variable partners, she lets various worlds slide into one another like tectonic plates. Thanks to the lyrical parameters, the major fault lines fail to appear in her. 

She creates the most ethereal music in partnership with keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin. Both delve deep into the possibilities offered by electronica, but with that difference that Cassiers is also a vocalist. They tune in to one another through free improvisation, while also wandering down pathways that lead to bold soundscapes. Here, ambient sound, pop, noise, drone and jazz coalesce. To date, they have released one CD, What Lies Beneath the Sea (2015).

In Tape Cuts Tape, Cassiers flirts with the more prosaic aspects of post-rock in the company of guitarist Rudy Trouvé and drummer-percussionist Eric Thielemans. Melodious soundscapes drift by like clouds in a Magritte painting. The trio also venture into pure singer-songwriter pop. Idyllic tracks are sometimes ripped to shreds, however, by harder electro impulses and razor-sharp beats. An ideal cross-pollination between Badalamenti’s soundtracks and Bowie’s Berlin period.

Cassiers’ most recent project is Imaginary Band, which she formed thanks to being given a carte blanche at Brosella 2017. Her personal voyage of discovery towards the intersection of new and older jazz structures, and this by means of her own self-composed material, is of paramount importance. Cassiers has gradually been able to define her electro-acoustic identity as a result.

Accompanying her on this journey is an acoustic ensemble of tried and trusted musicians: pianist Erik Vermeulen, drummer Marek Patrman, bassist Manolo Cabras together with Alexandra Grimal (saxophone), Niels Van Heertum (euphonium) and Ananta Roosens (violin, trumpet, vocals). Cassiers delivers the scores, but leaves enough room for everyone to colour them in according to their own personal inspiration. The balance between acoustic and electronic is elaborated and maintained along refined lines. The focus is on voices and harmonies. 

The correlation between text and music is not unimportant, but is effected in a very specific manner. Namely, the musical blueprint prevails. Only later do titles and words surface. You could call it a kind of poetic freewheeling. A debut CD will be released in early 2018. In the meantime, she remains active in Kawral (a collaboration between dancers from Burkina Faso and musicians from the Belgian improvisation scene), Oba Loba (a group centred around guitarist Norberto Lobo and drummer João Lobo) and Nâga (a project led by French saxophonist Alexandra Grimal). Lynn Cassiers also regularly performs solo.

Contact Information

Foto: (c) Sophie Saporosi

Auteur:
Georges Tonla Briquet

Guided by the motto Verjonging, verbreding en vernieuwing (Rejuvenation, broadening and renewal), Georges Tonla Briquet (b. 1957) writes about jazz and related genres for various media outlets. His main centre of interest is the bustling Belgian scene set in the context of international developments.

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