Heerlens Percussie Ensemble – Biologic Music

Hot Mule

First Date:
EU - Reissue
Black Grooves + Jazz + Exotic Grooves + Latin / Salsa / Bossanova
william onyeabor, mkwaju ensemble, francis bebey
Heerlens Percussie Ensemble - Biologic Music
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Includes Free Digital Download Code.

2020 Reissue.

1973, in the south of the Netherlands, the city of Heerlen and its surroundings nurtured a strong musical heritage and culture. A number of young musicians were developing their skills in one of the many music schools established in a 30 km radius. This new blood would join fanfares, symphonic orchestras, choirs, and later have a strong influence on dutch pop and jazz music..

Founded by Jelmo “Pio” Piovesana, teacher and key musical figure in the region of south Limburg, Heerlens Percussie Ensemble had some of the most inventive musicians of their generation in its ranks. Having gained valuable experience and new musical perspectives in conservatories and workshops with all time greats like Steve Reich, Bob Becker, Nippy Noya or Han Bennink, Jelmo’s alumni would eventually emancipate themselves from their mentor’s traditional approach to percussive music.

Recorded in a school over two days, 1986’s Biologic Music sees masters of their craft exploring uncharted territories using vibraphones, bells, marimbas, electronic drums, balafons and tibetan prayer wheels, among others. Mixing Jazz, Latin, African, Brazilian, Modern, and Minimal music, the ensemble's penchant for fusion, improvisation and program music, lead them to create a deeply mesmerizing and timeless album.

We are proud to present this official reissue, including extensive liner notes and exclusive photos handpicked from the band’s archives.


"Stomping, stamping mid-tempo tribal grooves that pull on pentatonics, prog, fusion, and Ghanian tradition. Diskant-Like overdriven scream contests that also recall the music found on Ramuntcho Matta`s Écoute… It`s the big bass drum – keeping time – that kinda defines their sound. In places its boom`s a ringer for an 808. Back To Factory in particular could be an outtake from Bill Laswell`s mid-80s New Africa sessions. Celluloid-esque electro-voodoo."

"In the title track, which the Amsterdam producer Young Marco also used once for a radio DJ set, the drummers succeed in creating a kind of polyrhythmic supernatural club music, »Black Africa« is house with nothing but a beat. That knocks!"

"Biologic Music will certainly inspire an abundance of percussionheads and experimental music fans who want to delve deep into the world of Heerlens Percussie Ensemble and explore world music at its finest"

"If you ever need a record to simply just take you away, then this one is certainly one to firmly consider. Within this absolute gem, we weave and turn through life's rich and never ending tapestry, a series of environments that feel expansive and otherworldly, but driven very much so by the riddims that drive the human experience and the systems that flow around us. By drawing from global influences, the group really do harness this collective well, in that we all can relate to the music and the vibe it creates, in such a broad and emotionally fulfilling way. Its music for the new age, for the here and now, and might just be this years best reissue in the process. Timeless."

"This is obviously a percussive album but also more than drums and bells and whistles and wood instruments (there are saxophone and bass too!), and there are melody and movements. The musicians trained with Steve Reich, Bob Becker, Nippy Noya or Han Bennink (so say the sleeve notes) and I think you can hear the influences easily whereas the skill and training are obviously subtle thus producing an exquisite piece of music. Not, I think, designed for the excesses of the night, though so easily inserted into a DJ mix that you would assume otherwise, happily the record is a delight on the turntable in your living room coming alive in the bright daylight, quite “Biologic”. In fact, the album title fits the sound contained therein so precisely that you can almost hear the album without listening, knowing exactly the pulses and organic sounds likely to be animated by those words. It’s also a sound quite unforgettable and feeling like it has always existed. Conversely, its existence in the wild was rather limited and so Hot Mule are doing us all a favour in procreating and replicating this obscure and intoxicating sound."

I came across 'Biologic Music' at the world's largest record fair in Utrech and it is one of those records that proves the adage that you should always judge a record by its cover... and the instrumentation listed on the back. I stood there staring at this album that had what appeared to be an electron microscope picture of an insect on the front - it didn't look like any of the other records I was looking for - and then turned it over and saw the list of instruments: marimbas, balafon, drums, shekere, electronic drums... I knew it was going to be good. But when I got it home and listened to it I couldn't quite believe how great it was: The hypnotic rhythms on the record swaggered in a way that sounded like nothing else. There was a fantastic sense of space in the arrangements and the music sounded (and still sounds) totally contemporary despite being recorded in the mid 80s. I knew right away this album was something special. I can't remember when I made an edit of it - these tracks don't need any alteration to sound at home in a contemporary club - but at that time I was making loads of edits and tracks really quickly, enjoying the possibility afforded by the transition to digital DJing which meant that I could work on something in the afternoon and play it that night. Whatever the particulars of when or where I made the edit, there's no mystery as to why I chose this record to work with. This music still possesses an instantaneous, timeless atmosphere about it that's evident from the moment the needle touches the record.

Vinyl LP + Digital Vinyl + Digital Vinyl + Digital
26,95 €*
Sofort lieferbar.
A1. KpanlogoArno Van Ni...02:23
A2. Biologic MusicArno Van Ni...09:08
A3. Back To FactoryArno Van Ni...06:00
B1. AdowaArno Van Ni...04:03
B2. Black AfricaArno Van Ni...06:58
B3. SpektakelArno Van Ni...04:58
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