Formed in Belgium in October 1995 under the name Hoover, they were categorized under “trip hop” after their magnificent debut album ‘A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular‘. At that time, it became necessary to change their name to Hooverphonic to avoid legal issues with two different music bands of the same name, and the vacuum cleaner company of the same name.
Their Members, back then, were: Alex Callier (guitars, string arrangements, programming, keyboards and vocals), Raymond Geerts (guitars), Geike Arnaert (vocals) and Frank Duchêne (keyboards, engineering and backing vocals).
Their 2nd album ‘Blue Wonder Power Milk‘, released 11th August 1998, dropped in to make our days more attractive, more colourful.
‘Blue Wonder Power Milk‘ goes down different paths from its predecessor. Their debut was an icy mixture of trip hop, free style intellectual pop-electronica. Like a deep breath at ethereal coldness, like a trip on illuminated roadways.
On ‘Blue Wonder Power Milk‘, spacey turns to earthly. Their music becomes more emotional and fills with affection; magic pop melodies dressed with intricate music arrangement for the rigorous fans!
‘Battersea‘ opens the album extraordinarily! The most refined, almost drum’n’bass travelling, driven by a barrage of velvet strings that melts into beauty and feelings. Geike Arnaert’s vocals are fragile, almost angelic. What a fantastic song! When I heard ‘Battersea‘ for the first time, I felt stunned by its beauty. ‘One Way Ride‘ presents an oriental melody that marches rhythmically upon whispering vocals into a world of sounds. Great! ‘Dictionary‘ and especially ‘Club Montepulciano‘ and fuzzy ‘Lung‘ are cool and almost indie. ‘Eden‘, the most “classic” Hooverponic song, is the absolute downtempo trippy pop perfection from first till last minute, a song covered by so many groups.
“Long black dress
Kicking pair of trainers
Electro shock faders
Guiding your voice through your veins
Sick of all this working
Longing for a sinking”
The way that ‘Electro Shock Faders‘ starts is like a rocket with strings that shoot the song to the stars; a fantastic, explosive song that blows our minds. Trombones, bass that “bites’, “dizzy” strings, and breathy vocals for the magnificent cover of Dave Berry‘s ‘This Strange Effect‘.
“Spacing from Paris to New York
Connect us to someone
Who doesn’t know“
“About these feelings we can’t control” sings Geike in a bittersweet way at ‘Renaissance Affair‘. Sometimes it’s so difficult to describe the loneliness, there are no words. Horns at the beginning of the song. A nostalgic melancholy. The angelic vocals of Geike. The divine crescendo from the Hooverphonic string orchestra in the middle of the song, that send you directly to heaven. ‘Renaissance Affair‘ is an unbelievable masterpiece, an ode to pulchritude. ‘Tuna‘ with the strange opening riff is like a music box with an ethereal voice and a pretty beautiful refrain. ‘Magenta‘ is a mysterious low tempo song with whispering vocals that reminds a little bit of The Golden Palominos.
‘Blue Wonder Power Milk‘ was a divine gift for the all the people who love what Music; a perfect trip to a world of feelings, of warmness.
Since 1998, 20 years have gone by, but tracks like ‘Renaissance Affair‘ and ‘Battersea‘, are still buzzing in my head when I fall asleep.
Head over heels in love.