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Vs. The Hitmeister

Solex Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 5.80
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Product Details


1. One Louder Solex
2. Solex Feels Lucky
3. Solex In A Slipshod Style
4. Waking Up With Solex
5. Solex's Snag
6. Rolex By Solex
7. There's A Solex On The Run
8. Solex All Licketysplit
9. Solex For A While
10. Some Solex
11. When Solex Just Stood There
12. Peppy Solex

Product Description

Amazon.ca

As Dutch record-store proprietor Elisabeth Esselink watched the pile of CDs that would not sell in her Amsterdam shop grow larger, she figured out a way to make them useful after all. She listened intently to each crummy disc until she found an amusing melody or fresh beat. Then she recycled them all into the magnificent sound panorama that is Solex Vs. the Hitmeister. Her innovative musical ideas were then expanded on by the introduction of a character named Solex who inhabits every song. The sludgy trip-hop of "Solex in a Slipshod Style" is reminiscent of Portishead, but beyond that there is little with which to compare her music. The cut-and-paste jazz saxophone of "Solex Feels Lucky" and distorted banjo of "Waking Up with Solex" are utterly original. So are her sexy and literate lyrics about snagging her tights in a backseat make-out session and how the straps of her dress keep slipping off her shoulders. Rock & roll needs more enigmatic Europeans like this. --Lois Maffeo

Review

If Bjork had a younger, moodier sister who made confessional homemade tapes, she'd probably be Amsterdam's Elisabeth Esselink (nom de rock: Solex).... [Solex Vs. the Hitmeister] is an oddly endearing Dutch treat of an album. The rattling, wind-tunnel music lends an even eerier power to her tales of obsessions. -- Entertainment Weekly

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sometimes little risks pay off Aug. 8 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
i bought this largely out of curiosity - expecting a sort of quirky diversion but not much else. paydirt! if the story about the genesis of solex is true, then ms. esselink has created a more innovative and finely crafted album as a lark than most of the thousands of djs who devote themselves to cut-up tunesmithing full-time can cobble together in a single track. it's concomitantly hypnotic and organic, occasionally frantic, frequently fun, and always brilliant.
i'm not sure i get entertainment weekly's comparison to bjork. their only similarity is that they both don't stick to the two subjects women usually sing about (how men make are amusing distractions, how men suck). ms. esselink's voice isn't the strongest bit here. she coos and mutters insistently over strange frozen vignettes, but her voice never soars exactly. but like liz phair on her first album (the one about how men suck), her voice is perfect for her purposes. she repeats herself like a teletubby in a padded cell as she relates and obsesses over mundane anecdotes and suggestions of subtext. don't try to follow her with the lyric sheet! she'll drive you nuts as she circles back around to the beginning a couple times before working her way slowly to the end of the "story". just ride with her as she skitters off the track and back on again.
and the music matches her issues; she's thickly layered and warped the disparate samples over meaty beats and swarms of chiming percussion until it's appropriately claustrophobic, paranoid, and neurotic but never hostile. what a great way to slowly lose your mind!
other stuff i'm glad i own: we - as is; lee harvey oswald band - a taste of prison; neutral milk hotel - in the aeroplane over the sea; son house - delta blues; animals on wheels - cooked. check em' out!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solex is the hitmeister in disguise Jan. 3 2000
Format:Audio CD
Snappy collection of cute pop miniatures, like sketches of a day in life of Solex. And just as I'd think one of them is perhaps a liiitle bit too "sweet" some new interesting detail brings the balance back, be it a less-than-ordinary beat or passage. Somewhat reminiscent of a crossover between Portishead and Bjork, with singing having a kind of "girlie-freshness" (pardon my English, folks) comparable to Kate Pierson of the B-52's. If qualities of "Solex vs. the Hitmeister" were a prevailing standard for the songs they play on most of the FM radio stations in my area, I wouldn't have to hit that frequency button on the radio so often.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Who needs fingernails and a chalkboard any more? Jan. 14 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Took the gamble on this one after reading about Elisabeth Esselink's Solex gig. And, how could you not get at least entertainment value off each tune having "Solex" somewhere in the title. Kaz and I tried to catch the Detroit show at the Gold Dollar, but she bailed due to sickness or something. Too bad because perhaps it could have saved me a couple of bucks. "One Louder Solex" and "Solex all Licketysplit" are good tunes, but it'd be a stretch to even say this is an acquired taste. Give Solex an A+ for entertainment value but unless you don't tire of listening to fingernails scraping against a chalkboard, listen before you buy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Little Hard-To-Define Album Thingy March 24 1999
Format:Audio CD
This album is FUN - that's the first word that comes to mind. Snappy little beats, clever lyrics, and a rollicking little sample-laden sound that never stops to take a breath. It actually sounds like Solex had fun making it... a minor miracle in itself. (Most musical artists these days sound so world-weary that you wonder why they get out of bed in the morning.) If you can appreciate a bizarre little slice of life from a clever gal who owns a used record store, check it out.
P.S. I wrote Ms. Esselink, who "is" Solex, and she wrote back, politely and charmingly. A musician who answers fan mail - who would of thunk it?
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