by Radboud Mens

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 13 Radboud Mens releases available on Bandcamp and save 35%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of 1, Three Linear Studies Of Cross-Synthesis, Cycle, The Drive To Taxonomy, Ten Minutes, Cl;ck, Pulse, Fitness Landscape, and 5 more. , and , .

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  • Limited Edition Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

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    Released by No Rent Records.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Cycle via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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Alles gaat in cirkels. Kringen wellicht, ook. Als de patronen die je ziet na de plons van een kiezeltje in een vijver. Een komen en gaan ook; oneindig als een lemniscaat. Traag hoor je ambiente tonen door al even onafzichtelijk laagland gaan; het zou een samenvatting kunnen zijn van het uiterst minimalistische werkstuk Cycle van Radboud Mens.
Extreem klein gehouden Eno-achtige tonen vullen een leeg landschap. Dat is niet per se desolaat. Er is gewoon zo goed als niks. Als een zoutvlakte; schitterend, enigmatisch, maagdelijk wittig glimmend. Cycle beweegt in cirkelvormen, als een variant op de krabbengang; als een andere visie op en praktijk van voortbeweging. Spiralen blijken het echter, die als spirograaflijnen heel dicht tegen elkaar liggen, in verdichte netwerken. De ragfijne draden aan glanzende en gloedvolle geluiden wervelen derwishachtig rond een resonantie die gloeit als opvallend genoeg koperrode sintels.
Mens slaagt erin de minimal-ambientcomposities negenmaal op rij niet af te koelen. Het gloeien komt op het conto van zuiver elektronische manipulatie van klank om uit te komen bij een unieke vorm van timbre; een factor die al te vaak vergeten wordt in de elektronische en ambientmuziek. En dan geef je een ruk aan de volumeknop om erachter de komen dat daarin - in dat timbre - de hele tijd al caleidoscopen vol kleurenpracht liggen opgeborgen; bomvol opbouw, afbraak; beeld en spiegelbeeld; oplichten en uitdoven. Ambient die vooral geen behang moet zijn, maar knetterhard de ruimte in beslag dient te nemen als een elektronisch orkest dat daverend op dubbel forte hedendaagse gecomponeerde klasse serveert. (Sven Schlijper,

He can’t possibly remember, but Radboud Mens and I have already been in touch once, sometimes in the second half of the 90s. Indeed it was he who contacted me one day from Staalplaat – where he used to work – when my credit card was (unsurprisingly) declined after having ordered a batch of expensive Roland Kayn vinyl boxes. Mens assisted me through the successful completion of the ordering process via another method of payment, thus finalizing my entrance in totally new realms of my acoustically-enhanced existence.
Today’s Radboud is a skilled creator of tranquil soundscapes that are not really “tranquil”. At least, they are on the surface only: the mono-chordal harmonies, the minimalist aura, the obligatory bleeps and glitches. But try and raise the volume, and the idle “ambient” definition – which this writer has come to hate by now – is ready to get thrown into the trashcan. Herein lies a pulsating life beyond the countless mirrors refracting fluorescent lights. The lower frequencies purr at certain junctures, but also fight and rumble elsewhere; the atmosphere is not that of a blue sky, more of a perturbed grey with a few glimmering openings. Apparent “melodies” reveal themselves to be intertwined splashes, perhaps painted with computerized waste materials. The intrinsic rhythms push the listener to pay real attention to the substance. And there is much of it in the very insides of these apparently harmless textures; you just need to take thy stethoscope and walk, as a young Roger Waters would have it.
Speaking of “ambient”, let’s politely remind everybody that when Brian Eno was given the famous album he couldn’t enjoy loud enough while bedridden (hence his illumination in regard to music as an environmental complement), he was initially attempting to listen to the damn thing. What I mean is that reducing Cycle to mere wallpaper would be a serious mistake. It’s instead an excellent sample of contemporary electronica – with rather vivacious sonic spermatozoa swimming underneath – exposing unexpected resonances and kernels of vibrating matter, but still remaining in the ambit of a comfortable aural experience. (Massimo Ricci)

Radboud Mens is someone I know for about twenty years now, ever since he walked into Staalplaat and volunteered in our shop and later on did the mail-order us. In his early days he did some great noise that involved vinyl and a dog brush, later on some brilliant minimal techno, some of which I released on AudioNL, a label which I ran in the late 90s/early 00s with Roel Meelkop and Peter Duimelinks (and which I hope to post soon on my own Bandcamp) and a few years ago he had a fine, yet much overlooked ambient/guitar/laptop release 'Fitness Landscape', which he recorded with Dan Armstrong. Radboud just mailed me 'Cycle', his latest digital only release, and he stretches out even more into ambient land here. Nine pieces of gentle sounds, made no doubt with the use of laptops and electronics; music that is not very obtrusive, but works rather along the lines of Brian Eno, 12K, Line and White Paddy Mountain - any of the latter three labels could have released this. Whereas much of the current wave of ambient music seems to be about processing acoustic instruments, it seems to me that Radboud uses primarily electronic sounds to create a similar effect. I might be wrong of course. This is some excellent ambient music to wake up too. (Frans de Waard)
(Zoviet France)
(Peter van Cooten)

Video of the track Cycle by Marco Douma


released November 20, 2015

All tracks composed, recorded, mixed and mastered by Radboud Mens between 2005 and 2015. Radboud Mens uses Ableton Live, Max, Argeïphontes Lyre, a function generator, no-input-mixer with feedbacking effects processors, a feedbacking acoustic guitar, prepared guitars, self made flutes from drainpipes, glass and a sansula. Guitar samples used from Dan Armstrong on White Colours, Movement, Circle Of Fifths and Cyclic Form.



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Radboud Mens Rotterdam, Netherlands

Radboud Mens is a sound-artist, composer and sound designer. Next to his solo work, he has worked with a broad variety of artists, including Stephan Mathieu, Janek Schaefer and Timebllind, voice-artist Jaap Blonk, guitarist Dan Armstrong (as Fitness Landscape), Michel Banabila, Mark Poysden (as Alignment), Craig Ward (ex-Deus), and Matthijs Kouw. ... more

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