|1||Cry or Laugh - From the Lowland||9:29|
|11||Live in Elsloo||4:24|
Remastered reissue of Het Zweet's 1987 self-titled LP + a bonus LP, consisting of previously unreleased material.
Marien Van Oers work under the name Het Zweet (“The Sweat” in English) originally came out in the 1980s (specifically 1983-1988), but listening to the new reissue of this self-titled album from 1987 can feel like one is listening to something that’s both much more current and also much, much older than that. Van Oers, who passed away in 2013, made music that tended to get classed as “industrial”, and tracks here like the steady, clanging churn of “From the Lowland” or “On Earth” show why, but he was as or more inspired by tribal music intended to produce trance-like effects via rhythm and (percussive and vocal) repetition. Using instruments made by himself out of anything from shopping carts to cardboard tubes, the music of Het Zweet locks into grooves that somehow feel more elemental and physical than many of his contemporaries. It never quite feels like Van Oers is emulating or echoing the music of any particular region or tradition so much as trying to synthesize all the ones he’s heard into some sort of ur-pulse, an overtone so powerful as to compel the “Massive Trance” the title of the last song on the record evokes.
While the 1987 Het Zweet has four track titles per side, and on listening you can discern some segues and places where it feels like new movements do shift into place, it’s fitting to have this record on vinyl where the listener is encouraged to experience each side as one uninterrupted piece. The bonus material included on this reissue expands Het Zweet from one LP to two, the second LP consisting entirely of previously unreleased material. This bonus LP is sequenced similarly, with three untitled tracks and two live excerpts presented as side-long experiences that belie their disparate origins with a unity of sound and purpose. Van Oers’ percussive nous and distantly yelled chants certainly sound capable of working up a sweat in both the performer and any movement- minded listeners, but maybe the most striking thing about Het Zweet is how vital it still sounds, despite its age and relative obscurity.