Reviews Valentin Clastrier – Steven Kamperman

Reviews in English

fRoots ***** Album Choice

<<Valentin Clastrier is the man who took the hurdy gurdy from being a jolly buzzing thing in early music and French folk dance bands and out into the contemporary wiggymusic world. Not for him the conventional six strings – his electro-acoustic model made by Wolfgang Weichselbaumer has 27. On this record his drones, basses, twangs, treated sounds and chromatic melodies form half of the skeleton for improvisations with Steven Kamperman from the Netherlands who plays alto, Bb and Eb clarinets and soprano sax. Little will prepare you for the range of ideas and settings that two clearly rampant imaginations can let loose, or the quite extraordinary sound palettes they extract out of a pair of instruments, a studio and some remarkable inspiration>>

fRoots december 2016, Ian Anderson


Reviews in Dutch, translated

<<They recorded a magnificent album, in which they proved themselves soulmates, making music you’d almost call ‘divine’. (…) Unique, new, embracing music; the tip of the year!’>>

Holly Moors, Moorsmagazine


<< For those familiar with the work of the French hurdy pioneer Valentin Clastrier, the opening track of this CD will certainly sound familiar. The gritty breaths that form the characteristic groove of Et La Roue De La Vie are immediately recognizeable. This piece might even be considered his ‘signature piece’. But this time reed player Steven Kamperman joins, and how! Once his jubilant saxophone presents itself, a musical conversation develops that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

FABULOSERIES is an effective remedy against who still associates the hurdy-gurdy with medieval and folk sounds. The very man who rescued this medieval instrument decades ago from the mothballs, does not let himself be imprisoned by any rules. He expanded the hurdy-gurdy with additional strings and furthermore added an impressive electronic box of tricks. Moreover, he usually surrounds himself with the finest of improvisers, such as previously tuba virtuoso Michel Godard and accordionist Jean-Louis Matinier, and now reed player Steven Kamperman, one of the most adventurous musical spirits in our country.

Stating that the two friends are a true match for each other, is an understatement. Their playing is really ‘cutting edge’. Moreover, the fun is splashing out of the proverbial grooves. That does not mean that it makes for easy listening. Fabuloseries is a fine example of what the British philosopher Collingwood meant when he gave his view on the difference between entertainment and art: one is easily swallowed but leaves you with a feeling of emptiness; for the other you have to make an effort, but that effort is rewarded immensely. For me this is the album of the year!

MixedWorldMusic, Ton Maas 


<<Now here’s a wonderful hurdy-gurdy in a fine duo with saxophonist and clarinettist Steven Kamperman on the album ‘Fabuloseries’. An unusual combination in which the music takes you into the twilight zone of jazz, improvised and folk music. An innovative way of making music reaching for new sounds. The hurdy-Gurdy player Valentin Clastrier lets his instrument howl, rasp and rock, creating totally new sounds. The mesmerizing drones provide a perfect surface for the piercing and even screaming improvisations on saxophone and clarinet, as in ‘Hostile et sauvage’, while the piece ’11.5 °‘ sounds much more like a folk piece in which the music switches between history and 20th century. These two amazing musicians create music with unprecedented inventiveness. For those with adventurous ears, try this music and you will be amazed of the exciting sounds which will carry you far away.>>

Music Frames, oktober 2016


<<Their flexibility and ability in improvisation, both individually as together, even surpasses the already very attractive mix of sounds. In a timeless and catchy way, the fourteen pieces cover a broad spectre between folk and jazz.>>

Jazzism, ****1/2, Ken Vos


Reviews in French

<<Ce duo est un orchestre, par moment acoustique, souvent électrique, rockisant, voire carrément punk, jazz aussi quand on y perçoit un brin de la folie de Roland Kirk, à moins que ce ne soit une touche d’hermétisme contemporain, ou l’emballement d’une fanfare.>>

Jean-Pierre Goffin, Jazzhalo


<<Les compositions sont fignolées au millimètre et font montre d’une précision et d’une entente au diapason entre les deux musiciens.>>

Stéphane Fougère, rythmes croisés


<<Une mise en place diaboliquement précise. (…) Je salue la parfaite musicianship des deux musicien, leur originalité et conception globale du disque.>>

Roland Binet, Jazzaroundmag