Exposé Online banner

Jan Akkerman — From the Basement
(Hux Records HUXCD01, 1984/2006, CD)

Jan Akkerman — Heartware
(Pseudonym CDP-1057-DD, 1987/1998, CD)

Jan Akkerman — Pleasure Point
(Hux Records HUX 011, 1982/1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-04-01

From the Basement Cover artHeartware Cover artPleasure Point Cover art

Hux records, the offshoot of the extinct BBC archives label Windsong, has now branched off into re-master heaven with a series of 80s releases by ex-Focus master guitarist Jan Akkerman. With each disc is a set of brand new liner notes, photos, and a full album’s worth of new material recorded in May 1998, making each album both a re-visitation and a new discovery. Overall there are 36 new tracks spread evenly across each of the albums, mostly written by keyboardist, Mark Muleta but arranged by Akkerman with his inimitable stamp. Through these albums, the Dutchman has defined himself as a passionate refiner, capable of emoting many moods within several different formats (primarily rock and jazz with some blues influences). Each album spins the six string slinger into a different orientation: Pleasure Point afforded Akkerman an air of technological innovation with the Roland GR300 guitar synth. It was a specifically jazzy, mellow, moody outing, since the man could quickly become somber (as he delicately strums on nylon acoustic guitar) or switch off into a jazzy motif. Track two, “Heavy Pleasure,” discharges some heavy controlled aggression, but with an elegant bluesy R&B jazz touch. From the Basement, in contrast, is a bit more aggressive and bluesy from the outset as evidenced on the lead track “Headbanger.” “Dark Rose” sounds like a ZZ-Top knock-off plus there are wilder workouts as on the title track which seem to characterize this period. Heartware is the newest of the three recordings and is the more group oriented of the lot. Michael Peet, Mano Hugas, and Ton Dijkman provide bass and drum support and act as the best consistent rhythm foil for Akkerman since his latter days in Focus. The album’s title tracks even appears to create a very comfortable melodic air reminiscent of several pieces from Mother Focus. Hopefully with all this newly found attention, Akkerman can be persuaded to take his talents back the states and forge a new relationship with an audience who has been wondering where the hell he’s been for so long!


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 17, 2006 releases, 1984 recordings, 1998 releases, 1987 recordings, 1982 recordings

Related artist(s): Jan Akkerman

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Quaterna Réquiem - Velha Gravura – What am I listening to, an unreleased Iconoclasta classic? A previously unknown Italian masterpiece? Darryl Way guesting with Quantum? None of the above. It is Velha Gravura from Quanterna Réquiem, a...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues