We first became aware of Betonkust & Palmbomen II’s favourite holiday destination in 2016, with the release of their collaborative Center Parcs EP on Canada’s 1080p. A six-track EP made up of dreamy electro and ’90s VHS nostalgia, the whole thing was recorded over one rainy weekend at the ‘Center Parcs De Eemhof’ in The Netherlands.
Since dropping a couple of select releases, its their ties to Dekmantel that sees them continue on the caravan ride, with the recent release of their debut LP under the same name. Again recorded in one of the Center’s chalets, the two Dutch them were the only occupants of the park, and the record is meant to reflect the unpretentious surroundings.
Described as a “conceptual, musical-tristesse full of lo-fi harmony and fanciful, psychedelic-coloured modulations with an undercurrent of outsider-house beats”, the album was recorded on selected hardware, and in the moment, a process reflective of their shared influences of bands like Cocteau Twins. That being said, we sat down with the pair to take a deeper look at some of the music that has helped shape their sound.
1. Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd – The Ghost Has No Home
Cocteau Twins and Harold Budd released the brilliant album ‘The Moon And The Melodies’ in 1986. If you’re talking nostalgia and melancholy, Cocteau Twins are on a whole other level. Comfort and acceptance.
2. Colin Newman – Alone
Beautiful gem from Buffalo Bill’s record collection. This song can be heard in the movie ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’. Colin Newman is also known for being part of Wire, check out their song ‘The 15th’ if you haven’t.
3. Minimal Man – To Hold You
Prettiest track from the album ‘Sex With God’. Simple/naive but very emotional melody that says it all. Almost feels like a demo, but then one of those demos that is better than the finished album version.
4. Ahab – Party Girl
Found this by randomly clicking through some related videos on YouTube. Could be a cover, or maybe just a very rare/underrated/undiscovered diamond?
5. Victrola – A Game Of Despair
The Cure with a TR-808 or something like that. Inspiring stuff from Italy. This track is way better than their more famous song ‘Maritime Tatami’. That is a fact.
6. Gabriel Yared – C’est Le Vent Betty
Heard this one for the first time when it was used in some Dutch TV show. Originally it’s part of the soundtrack of a French film. The keywords are once again comfort and acceptance. Sunday night vibes.
7. Microdisney – Dreaming Drains
Underrated band from Ireland. Excellent melodies, harmonies and chord progressions are their trademark. Microdisney also did a Peel Session that is worth checking out.
8. Unrest – Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl
Sloppy, fun and sincere song released on K Records in 1991. Is this what they call ‘alternative’? Some sources claim that Kurt Cobain liked this track a lot.
9. Wolfsheim – The Sparrows And The Nightingales
German classic. This is songwriting. The drum part stays the same throughout the entire song, which is totally fine. Everything about this track is perfect. Remember that you felt alive, sometimes.
10. Evoken – Antithesis Of Light
The best song in the genre of funeral doom metal. Great combination of guitars and synthesizers. Beautiful intro, double bass, post-everything vibes, heavy stuff. What more do you want.
Center Parcs LP is out now on Dekmantel.
Order it here.