Reinier Thijs a.k.a. Thijsenterprise’s new project Lahringen begins where most of his previous creations have left off. Through reedy skronking sax, no easy listening aesthetics here, we get that passport to the ’80s. The intersection between Lou Reed’s old New York attitude and the encroaching rhythmic assault about to hit. Post-punk, featuring steady bass lines—peak demon Jaco to cool as fuck Slits era—in transit.
The first track in, bumping new-wave-jazz bravado, immediately covers those grounds the Dutch native likes to dig in on. He pays tribute to Gato Barbieri with “El Arriero”, continuing in that off-kilter mash-up of sound textures. This time its beats and machismo.
But “Sketchy”, an original arrangement, taps Reinier’s dedication to skateboarding. Named for when skate rats land a trick sloppy, non-smooth, or ugly he does in fact match the sound of the bass with the feeling of ‘meh.’ “The drums and percussion in the track carry a driving pulse, and the saxophone plays a light melody, ping-ponging between the groove of the rhythm section. Which makes the track very repetitive, catchy,” stated Reinier.
Repurposing discordant sounds, as an alchemist traveling through time, Reinier sounds at home. Clearing out space, grounding up source material, for the cruise. Truth be told, he’s confessed to pulling attitude and sound inspiration from The Lounge Lizards and James Chance. It’s unmistakable and you can hear it. But the combination of new school beat-making tactics, via scientists Makaya McCraven and Jeff Parker, who’s shown it’s far more interesting tossing out the rule book, see Reinier come full-circle with the wide spectrum of his sound jacket.
“When I started making beats, that came from a deep love for hip-hop but also to see if I could create music without my saxophone. In that sense, I’m more of a musician rather than I’m a beatmaker,” says Reinier.
That sax solo, where he riffs on John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things”, during the root down groove of “Never Stop Jumping Fences”— cow-bells ring a ding-ding—Lahringen opens up like a spring flower. Pushing up, through the hardscrabble dirty concrete.
– John-Paul Schiver