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Prince Hendrik and the Other Members of The Royal Family: Aquadub

As a child he was crazy about music and as a teenager he was fascinated by the magical sound of reggae and ska. For this reason he flew to Jamaica to the roots of reggae at the age of twenty, where he lived for two years from 1989 to 1991, married a Jamaican woman and fathered a daughter. The 52 year old Hendrik “Prince Hendrik” van Houten from Arnhem says about his time and life on the Caribbean island: “I was young and very receptive to everything. I lived in Rasta communes, learned a lot about Rasta philosophy and Nyahbinghi drumming. My stay there had a very positive impact on me. "
In the mid-1990s, Prince Hendrik arrived as a single father in the Arnhem artists' quarter Klarendal and built his “Kitchenrock home studio”, a multitrack recording and mixing studio, in his house. Since 2012, three albums have been released on CD under the name “Prince Hendrik and the Other Members of The Royal Family” and now “Aquarius / Aquadub“(A Sky High Underground Production) re-released in limited and numbered edition of 300 copies on vinyl.
“Two friends I have known all my life and with whom I used to be in bands play along. One on drums and bass, the other as guitarist and cellist. I take care of the vocals, keyboards and the recording process myself, ”says van Houten and continues:“ For me, sun and beach are not inextricably linked with reggae. I have nothing to do with the party variant of reggae and even less with dancehall and raggamuffin. The latter often glorifies aggression and hatred. ”So almost everything has been said about the reggae style of Prince Hendrik and his friends. We are offered a kind of relaxed, handmade “underground reggae” - as Prince Hendrik himself describes his style. I involuntarily associate “underground reggae” with the early, sometimes Spartan but always highly interesting ones Dub-Work of a Keith Hudson. “Aquadub“Both vocally and stylistically. On “Aquadub“There is no sound too much, every instrument and every small one Dub-Effect gets its space and enough time to develop in the ear. I especially liked the cello, which occasionally comes up with small but fine melodies surrounded by a beautiful guitar sound. A chance find of honest, handmade music that I would like to recommend to everyone.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4 replies to “Prince Hendrik and the Other Members of The Royal Family: Aquadub"

Really very relaxed Ras Vorbei !

That’s something special for DubConnoisseurs and SpecialEffectGourmets. There is really no effect thunderstorm with thunder and lightning, where you don't even know exactly where to look first. Here you can lean back and relax, listen to the riddims and then indulge in the - from my point of view - quite striking effects. With the riddims, I particularly like the change between very spartan bass and drum passages, which then merge into small, somewhat more intertwined or playful instrumental phases, which in turn are very effectively enriched or enriched by the cello and the fine guitar sound become. I especially like it with DubMusic, when I find sounds extremely magical and cannot even explain to myself which instrument it could be. This can of course also be a kind of instrumental neglect on my part, but due to the usual and - very much appreciated - noise or sound manipulation, I admit a certain uncertainty. Especially since, as I said, I really appreciate that.
For me, a very good example of this is “World Dub“! Almost exactly at sec. 24 that sets, this one Dub most ornamental, instrument one. Certainly you can also create the sound of this instrument on the mixer, but as far as I know, you can also use the pedals, which the guitars and bass players have at their feet, with which they can create almost any effect and much more. Connoisseurs will probably not understand my doubts, but I could not say with certainty whether this is really a guitar. But that's exactly part of the magic for me. A magic trick only works really magically if you don't see through it. Maybe that's the context that explains the magic. This “MelodieWolke” - identified by me as a guitar sound - should in any case suffice as an example of my fascination, which trigger such imaginative noise manipulations in me. They are an integral part of what Dub matters to me.
In another “context” it can also be very amusing when such a reggae magic trick is revealed. For decades I have wondered how an instrumental stylistic device in reggae would produce this sound. What kind of instrument is that, I've been wondering for decades!?! Until I was finally informed about this phenomenon in a nice documentary about the creation of a reggae album by Horace “Sleepy“ Andy, produced by Sly and Robbie (who else!?!). Someone was sitting in the cabin with a small bongo drum and "cleaned" the inside walls of his bongo drum with a leather rag (?) And this made this noise, which not only appeared to me in a reggae tune and always inspires me. Provided you don't overdo it like some saxophone players who genuinely believe that you could inspire me in any way with an album where the saxophone plays a leading role. Then I would bring up the same - very sympathetic "arrogance" - that im Dub has top priority. Simply "push it out" and send it into the OutaSpace with reverb and echo. Away with it ! But of course only because it's fun ;-) …………………….
René recently put the "arrogance" into one of his reviews so nicely (at least for my taste) and for me (I'm sorry René) that is simply a deep inner confirmation that arrogance does not always have to be interpreted negatively. Sometimes arrogance is just right and fulfilling!

I am in love DubMusic because it's arrogant. She stands above things! She's untouchable ! Unreachable! "Unbreakable"! .... and the complete opposite of fascomusik.

"XYZ The Devil Is Dead" ………………………………. lemmi

Hi lemmi,

thank you for your - as always - detailed comment. That may sound trivial, but I still don't know which instrument has this sound in “World Dub" generated. It could also be guitar and talk box (e.g. Peter Frampton: Do you feel like we do) or you are right with the wah-wah pedal. Perhaps someone who knows better will explain to us who do not know.
In any case, it is worthwhile, “Aquadub“To give a lot of time and listen to the album with headphones. Every track is a gem in itself.

I know Ras Vorbei ! You can all do it here! Every now and then I also listen to the music with headphones. There was a time when I could have had the headphones implanted because I only listened to music almost all day.
But now I've had at least two decades of listening to music exclusively through boxes. In doing so, I lost the habit of the headphone sound so much that I now have real problems really enjoying music with it. Somehow I miss a little (too much) the spatial sense of sound. In addition, the sharpness of the sound often gives me a lot of trouble. Sometimes (often) I have the feeling that the sound of snare or hi-hat or whatever, is being scratched right into my eardrum with a scalpel. I have simply ignored this tonal sharpness for too long and can no longer get used to this brilliance (?). It feels too much, as if you have not properly deburred a metallic component and a small cut is made every time you touch it. This is especially true with mp3 and others
compressed music to the fore. So especially with all the music from the computer. Or maybe I have the wrong headphones ;-)

But didn't mean to contradict you Ras Vorbei. Even when it comes to boxes, every track is a gem in itself and for me ;-)

Greetings from the off-office …………………………. lemmi

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