Clemens Krijger – Dream Chaser

2016 (self released)

1: Street (2:15)
2: Angel (3:56)
3: Salto Mortale (2:34)
4: Primavera (2:35)
5: Hekate (4:08)
6: Locked Up (1:02)
7: Vaudeville (3:06)
8: Three Fages (2:02)
9: Tower (4:21)
10: Gutless (3:20)
11: How We Sleep (4:44)
12: Verlorene Illusionen (3:34)

When Clemens Krijger asked me via Facebook if he could send me his CD “Dream Chaser”, I naturally said ‘yes.’ From that moment on, I was completely captivated by the album and wanted to know everything about it. The excitement was great when the CD actually arrived at my doorstep. The downside of being a reviewer is that you always have the urge to scrutinize a CD; simply listening is impossible. Here we go.

Remarkably, Krijger is hardly a performing musician on this album. No, he can pat himself on the back as he is the composer of the whole thing. The melancholic glow of his touch can be heard throughout the music. We are dealing with cabaret here with an emphasis on art. You might quickly be inclined to call it art rock but “Dream Chaser” is anything but rock. The almost entirely acoustic music with its dark hue gets under your skin and sparks the imagination. At times you feel like you’re in the front row of an intimate theater, observing Krijger busy orchestrating everything in his mind. There’s a lot happening.

We hear poetic recitations, atmospheric violin parts, beautiful plucking on the acoustic guitar and there’s a sparkling harp, a sultry saxophone and a captivating piano. Four female vocalists including the incomparable vocal artist Greetje Bijma bring color to the world that Krijger wants to create here. Enchanting, experimental, yet very accessible. There’s opera, a quirky French chanson and a touch of tango. On “Dream Chaser” it flutters in all directions without being stylistically disconnected.

The absolute highlight on the album is Richard Hallebeek who delivers two gems of electric guitar solos and it shows good taste that Krijger has given his music this form. In that regard, Hekate can be considered the album’s pinnacle. However, it’s not just the solo that earns the points. The intriguing track is based on a beautiful harp theme, a melody that is repeated on piano in Three Fages. A beautiful video has been released for Hekate and it’s truly worth your attention.

The twelve-track album lasts only 37 minutes and although that is on the short side, it can honestly be said given the intense nature of the music it is perfectly fitting.

Jan Bartlema: guitar, acoustic guitar (1-5,7,9,10)
Greetje Bijma: vocals (4,5,7,11)
Marcel van Cleef: drums (2,4-6,9,10)
Lenneke Dijkens: violin (1,4-6,9,10)
Richard Hallebeek: electric guitar (2,5)
Martina Hilarides: cello, vocals (1,2,5,6,9,10)
Habiba Doorenbos: vocals (3)
Margaretha den Hollander: bassoon (4,5,7,10)
Fieke van den Hurk: dulcimer (1,5,8)
Mirjam Rietberg: harp (5,9)
Laura Stavinoha: vocals, voice-over (1,2,5,10,11)
Onno van Swigchem: baritonsax (11)
Micha Wink: piano (8,12)
Clemens Krijger: vocals, percussion, additional instrumentation

© Dick van der Heijde 2022