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  • Writer's pictureJelee

PREMIERE: Guido Hoek - 'Renaissance'

After years of playing multiple instruments, getting into production and saving up a lot of sketches, drafts and demos, the time has finally come for Guido Hoek to release his music.

Tijmen de Nooy Photography

Amsterdam based multi-instrumentalist, producer and performance artist Guido Hoek, has crafted a conceptual electro/acoustic three track EP over the course of the past year. The EP, called Character Development will be released December 10th on Heliopolis Recordings, a new record label dedicated to uniting the niche.

Tijmen de Nooy Photography

The first iteration of Character Development was released in May this year, under the name Maas72 - a collaborative effort with Dutch spoken word artist Machete. The name Maas72 is a reference to the location and duration of the creation process, as it was all recorded within 72 hours at the Maas river. After the release of Maas72, Guido Hoek started to rearrange the EP, added new instrumentations and recorded his own vocals to top it all off. That's how the collaborative Maas72 evolved into the way more personal Character Development.

Renaissance, the second track, is probably the most electronic track on the entire EP. Starting with a sound somewhere between birds chirping and white noise, the track slowly opens up, starting with synthesizer chords, hints of a bassline and bright piano riffs. The second half of the track has a darker tone, with a constant synth bass going on and the noise we heard at the beginning getting more intense, all until a massive kick breaks through the track and the entire feel of the track is changed, even though the same elements are still present. The slow synth chords are now rhythmically stuttering on the drums, where the bass is now adding to the drums too, instead of being the leading rhythm. The track ends suddenly with some last bass notes, creating an almost perfect contrast with the beginning of the track. It all started really slow and ends really abruptly in an entirely different spectrum of frequencies.

Album Art by Wessel de Kooker

If you had history lessons at school you've probably heard of Renaissance, the era after the Middle Ages. This era is defined by the renewed love for the old Greek and Roman arts. Ever since then that admiration has never really gone away, and every once in a while it has a sudden rise in popularity. I believe the most recent example of this are all the vaporwave aesthetics that have been going around the internet for a while. With Guido's love for vaporwave art, Greek statues and his theatre background (which is still rooted in Greek traditions today), it wasn't an odd choice to go for the name Renaissance as a song title and incorporate those influences in the cover art as well.

Vaporwave Art by Felipe Canon

Concept-wise, however, the track Renaissance is the turning point of a story about Character Development. About how one can return to their inner self, and learn from the past to evolve into the next version of themselves. On the EP there are two other tracks. The first one is very electronic, while the third track is a bit of an acoustic adventure. Jelee's remix of Renaissance is an added bonus that comes in as the fourth and final track on the EP. I won't spoil much more of the rest of the concept of EP here to leave space for your own interpretation when you listen to the lyrics.

Character Development will be out December 10th via Heliopolis Recordings on all streaming services and there will be physical merch as well, so keep an eye on Guido's social media for that.


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James Brown
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