layered minimalism

 

One cannot disavow Minco Eggersman’s ambition. Next to running the VOLKOREN label on a daily basis as well as the Tongval beer-label every now and then, the singer/drummer of the dutch melancholics ‘at the close of every day’ is a very productive producer and soundtrack composer. Born in 1977, Minco is based in Amsterdam and whenever he is not working in his own studio he travels to different studios to record music.

 

Apart from his activities in various bands, Eggersman’s first solo album saw the light of day under the meaningful alias of ME at the start of this millennium. The songs on his debut ‘The Wagon Fair’ (recorded at the Mailmen Studio with Martijn Groeneveld), and his first soundtrack album ‘ooit’ (which, as all his soundtracks, was released under his full name Minco Eggersman), are akin to the work of ‘at the close of every day’ (winner of first 3voor12 award in the Netherlands), but sound even more intimate and less polished, raising the question whether pop music can be stripped down any further.

 

Minco’s second solo album is called ‘HAMDEN’ – a remarkably intimate album with a crystal clear sound, on which ME’s hallmark style is joined by a hint of new wave that would later be explored much further in the highly acclaimed third solo album ‘RESERVOIRS’, which are both recorded by Jan Borger.

 

Over the last couple of years soundtracks have been his main focus. Minco has created several soundtracks to different (international) documentaries, films and series. The most fertile collaboration has grown with director Jaap van Heusden as after ‘ooit’, also Eggersman’s fourth solo album ‘WIN/WIN’ was a soundtrack to a film by Jaap van Heusden. And a typical one at that: the 28 tracks (eight of which do not feature in the film) immediately take the listener into the often nocturnal and spheric scenes of the film. ‘WIN/WIN’ also features music by Wovenhand, with whom Eggersman collaborated before. ‘WIN/WIN’ has won various international prizes, and was shown in many cinemas worldwide, as well as featuring at film festivals in New York, Vancouver, Warsaw, in Korea, Germany and Italy and at the 30th Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

 

On the next two films (combined on one album) Drone (feat. ‘Blaudzun’) and De Nieuwe Wereld (‘the new world’) Eggersman created some dark, stripped-down guitar sounds resting on a heavy bed of minimal, abrasive and layered drones. What stands out is the emphasis on bows and strings, such as the Chinese ‘guzheng’, but also the Thai ‘kim’, which was flown in especially for this film. These special sounds are typical of Eggersman’s later work and will probably resonate for a little longer. For De Nieuwe Wereld Minco even had a number of instruments custom built that perfectly add to and enrich the musical jargon he has developed. An example of this is the ‘Baskalimba’ – consisting of six different rulers fit on the resonance box of an old western guitar. Nothing is sacred and the beaten paths are easily left – as long as it serves the ‘story’, be it in a film or in a song. The premiere of De Nieuwe Wereld was at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, the film has won a Signis award at the Film Festival DC in Washington in the USA and Bianca Krijgsman even won an Emmy award for her main role in this film. Also this film has been playing at different filmfestivals around the world.

 

In general Eggersman’s work, as well as that of his various previous bands ‘Hill Made Low’, ‘Rollercoaster 23’ and ‘the spirit that guides us’, has been released worldwide, from several albums through different record labels released all over Europe, Japan and the USA till the placement of several tracks in documentaries (o.a. R.A.M, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Zembla, Metterdaad, Kunstuur, Opium, De Arabische Storm) and several programmes on tv (Netwerk, Memories, De Tijd Van Je Leven, Ik Vertrek, De Wereld Draait Door, Doe Even Normaal) and commercials (Nespresso). Over the years he has produced over 50 albums of various artists (such as Ponoka, this beautiful mess, Anderson, Meadowlake, A Red Season Shade, Charles Frail, Silmus, Charles Henri Maulini) from different countries. His works (publishing) have been or are presented by One Little Indian as well as Bandcamp (runned by Music Alternatives’ Scott Cresto – who has also published works of artists such as ‘Radiohead’, ‘Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’ and Daniel Lanois), AMP and DE VOLKOREN UITGEVERIJ. Also, Eggersman joined Depeche Mode, Deep Purple, Bon Iver and many others, to write the introduction to the biography of one of Minco’s favorite bands ‘Talk Talk’, entitled ‘The Spirit of Talk Talk’. His song ‘God’s country’ (taken from RESERVOIRS) was selected for ‘The Prefab Sprout Project’ – an American ‘ode to’-project by various artists.

 

Over the years Minco has signed several endorsement deals. For instance early 2001 – after a concert at the Belgian Pukkelpop Festival -, Converse All Star released a special limited ‘the spirit that guides us’ version of their ever popular ‘all star’ – shoe. A couple of years later Eggersman signed a more personal deal with Amedia Cymbals and got his own ‘signature’ – drumstick from Balbex sticks.

 

During a roadtrip in 2014 through the US and Canada Eggersman wrote the lyrics and melodies for his own projects as well as for his cooperation with ‘Stafron Hakon’ from Iceland. Eggersman has co-written and sung on two of ‘Stafron Hakon’s previous albums before. On his return he recorded the album darkness travels light with his band at the close of every day, an album that was released as a special beer (as well as on CD/LP) including download on his own beerlabel ‘Tongval’. darkness travels light was received very well and some call it the best work of at the close of every day as of yet. Later Eggersmans’ created the orchestral soundtrack for the very dramatic dutch tv-film ‘De Verloren Zoon’ (by the book of Flannery O’Connor) by Jaap van Heusden feat. strings by Jonas Pap, David Ahlen and Hanna Ekstrom.

 

In 2016 Minco mainly devoted this energies to creating soundtracks for films and documentaries. In the fall of that year he worked on ‘Onze missie in Afghanistan’ a ‘VARA’ documentary by Sinan Can and Thomas Blom for the Dutch TV. The rest of the year he worked on In Blue, the new film by Jaap van Heusden for IJswater films that will be released in the second part of 2017. Shortly after finishing the soundtrack to ‘De Verloren Zoon’ in 2014 Minco left for on what turned out to be a very inspirational trip to the Caucasus (Georgia). Since that trip (whenever he found a moment in between other soundtracks) and together with the helps of befriended musicians like Svante Henryson, Audun Erlien, Jonas Nyström, René de Vries, Paul van der Feen, Jan Borger, Oene van Geel and the Iberi Choir from Georgia Minco has been working on his fourth and most ambitious solo album as of yet, a soundtrack to Georgia called ‘KAVKASIA’ (april 2017).