It’s Quiet (cassette)

Zea et Xavier Charles

MR 34 ● cassette ● 2022


Nine songs recorded in one go while on tour in France earlier this year. Arnold de Boer and Xavier Charles have been playing together before and even released a 7” together in 2012 but did a tour for the first time together last March. They made a set out of Zea songs and other tunes they liked. The Ethiopian song Sethed Seketelat is the song that somehow brings everything together; Xavier Charles was part of the band The Ex & Getatchew Mekuria and toured around the world playing their Ethiopian repertoire. Arnold de Boer joined The Ex in 2009 and became singer, guitarist and played the trumpet in the project with Mekuria.

For his solo project (Zea) De Boer asked Charles to join in on various occasions and they recorded and released a well acclaimed 7” in December 2012 (MR5). 

Almost a decade later there’s a follow up. There are songs from Zea’s Frisian albums (West Frisian is De Boers first language), a cover version of Norma Tanega’s You’re Dead, some new songs (The queen’s feet, What should we do with our bodies), the Ethiopian song Sethed Seketelat with lyrics from ex-The Ex singer G W Sok and there’s a new version of It’s Quiet. That song appears on the 7” too and it’s the first song that De Boer and Charles more or less wrote together. While on tour with Getatchew Mekuria they stayed at a cottage on the French country side (a sleeping place after a festival). Drinking a glass of wine and looking at the stars, Charles muttered “You know, it can be very quiet on the French country side,

but there will always be a dog barking nearby and a motor-cycle in the distance.” And he was right, a minute later they heard a dog barking followed by a speeding motorbike in the distance. Zea went inside, grabbed a pen and a piece of paper and wrote it down. They started naming more things from  daily life that disturb silence and that’s how the song came together.     

Xavier Charles’ work ranges from noise to electroacoustic to sound poetry. His way of improvising is very dynamic; long multiphonics followed by soaring screams and Zen-like-near-silence textures. It fits beautifully with Zea’s minimal and sober songstructures. Together they create awonderful world full of spell, space, sound, song and silence.

Weight 50 g
Dimensions 10 × 5 × 1 cm


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