Orphax & PONI (person of no importance) is a collaboration between the two Dutch brothers, Sietse (Orphax) and Tjeerd (PONI) van Erve. Since their early years they share a broad interest in music, fed mostly from their fathers’ record collection, ranging from early blues to Pink Floyd or Beethoven. But also listening to Belgian radio channel Studio Brussels (which during the late 80s and early 90s was a common listening close to the borders between The Netherlands and Belgium), and the late night Dutch radio inspired them in exploring the rough edges of underground music.
An exploration that gave them a common interest in indie and noise rock, but soon enough both followed their own path in music. Tjeerd moving more into underground guitar music, whilst Sietse developed a wider interest in (experimental) electronic and contemporary music. Both as listeners, but also exploring their own interests as musicians.
Now many years later these musical paths cross again in this album Inheritance (with a slight imagination, a translation of their last name van Erve). An album where Tjeerd brings in his dark and noisy lo-fi guitar songs and Sietse brings in his drones and electro-acoustic composition styles.
The album opens with its longest track, “As Received”. This combination results in a slow developing drone, with the intensity and tension of a well build-up post-rock track, that slowly unfolds Tjeerd his guitar layers and vocals. The title of the song refers to one of the PONI projects, where Tjeerd would send rough recordings to befriended musicians who than would rework those recordings without any restrictions which then would be released side by side with the original rough recordings. A project which actually sparked the idea of this collaboration (and that can still be listened to on PONI’s bandcamp-page).
On the flip side of the record, three shorter works give more room for regular song structures. In “Sunburns” this results in slowcore with subdued vocals, melancholic guitars and nasty synth and organ drones. When Tjeerd wrote the basis for the song, he actually had been listening to a lot of Codeine and Bedhead. One does not need much fantasy to recognize the influences of these bands.
“The Tears Are Necessary” is build up around various broken up piano tracks accompanied by moody drones to develop a fragile song.
The album closes with “Lockdown”, opening with silence as a moment of contemplation after the previous work but then quickly develops in a playful song where improvised play on piano, guitar and modular synthesizer create a lo-fi gem that clearly shows that both brothers still haven’t lost their love for Sentridoh or Guided By Voices.
All together resulting in an album that is an ode to the love of music, experiment, and creativity and a celebration of brotherhood.