djb is Thomas de Rijk (Amsterdam, NL). Working under this moniker de Rijk forms music both playful and dreadful, cast thematically as maximal, abrasive, ambient electronics. This debut disports the notion that ambient music should remain still, either sonically or conceptually, nor should the cohesion between the sonic and textual tow the same line as much of the well-worn paths of ambient music, be they dark, pop, death or cosmic. Instead finding a homogeneity, a co-habitat.
The name djb (dow jones brotherhood) is created, red-herring like, to construct a conspiracy theory, self-mythologising the work with meaning which does not exist. The philosophical undertone of many contemporary artists regurgitated here as a proud belief in meaninglessness. Yet more and more as we write these copy sheets and blurbs about “new” music we add to the burning pile of digital trash, creating meaning without wanting to. The snake and it’s tail are back once again.
Then there’s the sounds. “dood & verderf” or DEATH & DECAY is as ugly as it’s beautiful. Much like the work of label mate The Newcomer, the music is un-made through the incorrect use of software. Noise reduction is oscillation, dynamism is melody and timbre is salted far past the palatable. Opening track ‘I Am Thou’ clarion calls a skeleton army onto loading screen RPG vibes. ‘Ondersteboven’ dial up calls weightless grime in a futurist baroque and ‘I wish for feathers to sprout from my skin’ slews FM bell tones into chaotic morass like Robert Rich with attention deficit. ‘Core Stability’ goes purple in the face and keys with mordant synth arranged into insect orchestra before ‘Manoeuvre’ stitches grating high-end against chasmic kicks in a rise to nothing, no pay off. ‘stoffelijk overschot)’ locks in the vibe and title, decaying particles of decrepit audio losing sense of place in elastic gum. Abrasive yet beautiful throughout, conceived and composed yet completely raw and hard to satisfy.
Thomas also works as a visual artist and has made works for clients like MTV, Adult Swim and has produced music videos for Chafik Chennouf, Slugabed and many more.