Wouter and Esko collaborate on this single from Wouter’s Capita EP, the creative bond hits hard. Tovenaar is a heavy song, soaked in the crisp and dark angst and attitude of modern, alternative hip hop. The beat plays out like the backdrop to your late night drive, the rap vocals see it evolve into something more of an anthem for sci-fi fans and driven millennials alike.
To begin with, the beat on this is superb – the drum-line itself has the finish of a classically energizing rap track. Later on, this grows to have a slightly more EDM-infused aura, and as the music subtly increases its weight and intensity, the rap flow impressively follows suit. Wouter’s performance throughout this release is intense and manic, yet rhythmic in all the right ways when you consider its placement within the soundscape. It’s a track you’ll undoubtedly recognise again after hearing it even just once. That opening riff runs throughout in a hypnotic manner, then Wouter’s leading voice, the Dutch language presented in the lyricism – there’s character to all of it that sees the track stand tall among its peers.
To give you an idea of what the lyrics deal with – this is confidence at work, you can hear that in the vocal tone and you can see it in the accompanying video. Wouter is an entertainer. The title of the track is Tovenaar, meaning Magician. Alongside of this, references to other-worldly concepts weave in and out of the mix – Magic, doesn’t exist.. But I have the spells and I have the texts.. Making everything colorfy.. Bewitching everything… Magical, Tragical… So drink from my potion… Again, these words, Wouter’s way with rhyming – which quite effectively still works when translated into English – all of this adds to the inherent individuality of the track. The very second you press play again you know where you are.
Elsewhere on the Capita EP, the playlist presents a range of vibes, beginning with the more reflective and mildly melodic Intro – an early highlight with a flicker of dark RnB about it. The soundscape in full has a lot of colour and again a lot that is easily memorable. Maester drives with a jazz-inspired piano part, the space and the upbeat feel of this one is brilliantly well matched by Wouter’s vocal flow and overall delivery. Tram 2 sees a dash of classical ambiance linger in the background, upon which a slightly more theatrical performance unfolds that adds an unexpected and refreshing touch of eclecticism. You start to form a view of the artist being precisely this – an artist, rather than simply a rapper.
J.1K ends the playlist with quickness, high energy and a relentless flow alongside of a rather chaotic yet still fairly gentle or quiet backdrop. The beat is unique and this makes sense having heard the rest of the playlist through to now. Dutch fans of hip hop will almost certainly appreciate the creativity and passion of this project, the hope though is that non-native speakers will relate to the flow and the music as well – to have it play for you works just as effectively and it’s easy to grab a translation for the curious wordsmiths out there. This is an impressive project, Tovenaar in particular is a huge track and a great introduction to both Wouter and Esko.