Belgian junk jazz trio schroothoop (which translates as ‘junk yard’) bring together multi-instrumentalists Rik Staelens (wind & string instruments), Timo Vantyghem (bass & thumb piano) and Margo Maex (percussion). Their new album called ‘MACADAM’ will be out April 7 via Sdban Records, home of many strongholds in the lively contemporary Belgian jazz and groove scene.
In 2020, schroothoop first emerged with their much-acclaimed and infectious debut album Klein Gevaarlijk Afval (Small Hazardous Waste). “Music on homemade instruments with a surprisingly good result” (De Standaard). “Schroothoop show that material limitation can be liberating and that sometimes the source of new sounds is just old junk.”(Written in music). “We assure you that this “scrap heap” is worth gold!“ (Le Grigri).
On their second album, to be released on April 7, schroothoop explore the vast sounds of discarded objects found on the macadam streets of Brussels. Wooden crates turn into guitars and lyres. Scrap metal becomes a thumb piano, a cimbalom, or percussion bells. Their compelling collection of semi-improvised songs is born out of several fruitful residencies and live performances during which Margo Maex, Rik Staelens and Timo Vantyghem dive deeper into the possibilities and unique timbres of their DIY instruments.
The junk jazz trio find inspiration in traditional Afro-Cuban and North-African rhythms, New Orleans second line grooves, and Arabic Hijaz scales. On Macadam, the band also explore the realms of electronic music, not shunning hints of drum and bass, dub riddims and ambient soundscapes, using pitch shifting delays or gauzy reverbs. The album delivers a mesmerizing trip through the most diverse capital of Europe, mixed and post-produced by none other than sound wizard Dijf Sanders.
The trio originally met in the Brussels street orchestra scene. One night they found themselves jamming on trash cans, buckets and other illegally dumped materials. Soon after, they started building their own DIY instruments from street trash. Imagine flutes made out of pvc pipes, a scrap metal drum kit, thumb pianos made out of old kitchen knives, a tin can violin, worn-out cutting discs as gongs, and a washtub bass. Delivering their own brand of “junk jazz”, Schroothoop literally gives junk a second life by immortalizing a whole range of lost and found objects through music. The Brussels-based group effortlessly incorporates jazz, Northern African music, and Afro-Cuban rhythms, resulting in a danceable and hypnotic trip through the city’s melting pot.
Sdban Records is an independent record label, based in Ghent, Belgium. The label is home to such artists as Black Flower, De Beren Gieren, John Ghost, ECHT!, Azmari, Glass Museum, Compro Oro and STUFF.