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Netherland Dwarf - 2015 - "Tortoise Walks Forever"

(25:37, ‘Netherland Dwarf’)


The Japanese project NETHERLAND DWARF first appeared with the album "Moi-Moi" in 2011. Since then this venture by an unnamed Japanese composer and musician has released two EPs. "Tortoise Walks Forever" is the most recent of those, and was made available through Bandcamp in the fall of 2014. While this project at the onset focused on progressive rock, the later released under this moniker has been of a subtly different flavor. As with the first EP, the self-description of this latest one is "music for Mellotron and toy instruments", and this concept is explored in an appropriately naivistic manner. The songs are short, fairly whimsical, and tend to be oriented towards the repetitive and minimalistic. Often only two instruments are used, and the material might well be used as soundtracks for children's TV shows of some kind. They are extremely charming though, and well made at that, and for progressive rock fans the three tracks featuring an easy-to-hear Mellotron will probably be of interest. The progressive rock foundation for this artist is best heard in the sole intricate piece at hand, Cuckoo Clock, with an elegant three elements call and answer routine as a charming feature. This specific creation is also revisited at the end, reinvented as a minimalist electronic percussion and drone piece. Netherland Dwarf appears to have found his niche with his Mellotron and toy instruments creations, the end result primarily meriting a description as toy music. Charming and uplifting in a naive kind of manner, with occasional lapses into more sophisticated territories. First and foremost a production to be sought out by those who enjoy toy music though, although Mellotron fans might want to give this one an airing too.

Olav M Bjornsen: Jan 21, 2015

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