Schroothoop: Klein Gevaarlijk Afval
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Brussels-based trio schroothoop (Dutch for ‘junk yard’) is formed by Rik Staelens (wind & string instruments), Timo Vantyghem (bass & clarinet) and Margo Maex (percussion).
In May 2020, they released their tribal oriented mini-album 'Klein Gevaarlijk Afval (translates Small Hazardous Waste), featuring homemade instruments built from lost and found objects like scrap wood, old metal or anything that would end up in a landfill. The band’s music is infused with sounds from around the world orchestrated by PVC flute melodies, jerry can beats and washtub bass lines. The trio effortlessly incorporates Northern African Chaabi, jazz and reggaeton with Eastern melodies and Afro-Cuban rhythms, resulting in a danceable and hypnotic trip through the Brussels melting pot.
David ‘Dijf’ Sanders post-produced and mixed the album. He was given ‘carte blanche’ to immerse the sound of schroothoop in his experimental universe of exotica and electronica. Thanks to Dijf the basses sound deeper, sweatier and darker, the reverb richer and the delay longer.
Schroothoop came into being on the border of the buroughs Jette and Laken. Some would call it the residential 'nothing is ever gonna happen here' part of Brussels. The evening before Laken on Stage festival, Rik, Margo and Timo met up in Jette and noticed a pile of illegally dumped tyres, matrasses, cans and buckets and spontaneously decided to turn this rubbish into a concert. Margo built a drum from found waste bins, a washing line suddenly became a double bass and PVC pipes were transformed by Rik into flutes and clarinets. At Laken on stage, schroothoop played a jam of improvised, tribal junk sounds and the crowd wanted more. They came up with a plan to record a mini-album that became a musical road trip through seven semi-improvised tracks. Proper canned junk to enjoy.
Margo, Timo and Rik met at the Brussels fanfare La Clinik du Dr. Poembak, where they play more conventional instruments such as drums, percussion, clarinet and saxophone.
For almost 30 years, Rik Staelens has been active as a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, flutes, shawms, shells) in a caleidoscope of bands and genres (jazz, rock, fanfare and world music). A selection of his current groups: Raksinaksi (jazz/folk fanfare), Sibel (around the Turkish singer Sibel Dinçer) and Soultram. For over 12 years Rik has been hosting music workshops for children and adolescents, and organizing workshops around DIY musical instruments. Some of these instruments have also found their place in schroothoop.
Timo Vantyghem is the frontman of the indie band Sea (Peoples). In 2018 they released their debut EP 'Let's talk about my PC life', with acclaimed songs like 'Powers' and 'Vibeland'. Later on they released two more EPs of which several songs got radio airplay. He also plays Balkan music in the popular urban brass band Borokov.
Margo Maex explores the universe of dreamy soundscapes, art pop and experimental beats with her DJ duo 'Een gevogeld bekdier' (resident DJ at the Ancienne Belgique). Margo also plays drums in the jazz band Sea Shark Minor.
Washtub bass / double bass A one-string bass built from a washing line and wash tub. In contrast to some traditional models, a fretboard was added.
Dustbin drum Drum set based on garbage buckets, plastic wrap, water bottles and scrap metal.
Flutes and clarinets from PVC pipes Kaval (Bulgarian / Turkish chromatic oblique flute), Sarewa (a pentatonic oblique flute from Niger), Floyera (Greek diatonic oblique flute) and harmonic flutes.
Pentatonic, diatonic and slide clarinet (a combination of clarinet and trombone) based on a saxophone mouthpiece, PVC tubes and a plastic bottle.
PVC pipe tubas Each tuba is tuned to one musical note, analogous to the use of shells as a musical instrument.
Lamellophones Thumb pianos and marimbulas made out of garden rakes, kitchen knives and steel strapping (= industrial packaging material).
Street-i-varius Violin made from tin can, broomstick, fishing wire, coat rack. The raw, abrasive sound is created by the special shape of the bridge, which is built like the one used in the Tromba Marina, a popular instrument from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Karkaba Clappers based on plastic bottles, scrap wood and hinges, inspired by the Moroccan castanets from Gnawa music.
A variety of home, garden and kitchen utensils.