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Review: Riaan Nieuwenhuis – 'Bleeding Moon'

| Album

Music, in its finest form, is the order given unto the chaos of an enigmatic mind.

By Russell Miller

Published Thursday, 09 April 2020 08:10

What we as listeners consume is the sum of a plethora of emotions, memories, and lived experience filtered and reorganised into something that's artistically palatable; oftentimes triggering feelings of familiarity and nostalgia. Enter Bleeding Moon, the latest offering from South African virtuoso Riaan Nieuwenhuis which in its own way triggers those aforementioned feelings of nostalgia with an approach that is as fresh-faced as it is familiar.

Nieuwenhuis' use of instruments in this effort is nothing unfamiliar to long-time listeners, but even they can appreciate how melodic flourishes and phrases communicate different things depending on the context. For instance, the shimmering piano trills of 'Courtesy' leave a faint scent of film-noir, while the bump of the rhythmically brooding 'Extradition' harkens back to the desert rock Nieuwenhuis patented and is known for. 'Certainty' glides gently as a piano focused ballad that tugs at memories of fondness, while the opener 'Clarksdale' funks it up with its Mississippi “juke joint” scat and injection of bluesy vibes.

Bleeding Moon is the sentimental retrospective it wants to be all the while maintaining the forward musical progression. That said, the album may sound to some as if it is fragmented like the ska-tinted up-beat skip of album closer 'Frontier' sharing an album placement with the more melancholy 'Agreement'. It is the juxtaposition of multiple and sometimes conflicting emotional and musical cues that give this album a distinct flavour and listening experience. Riaan Nieuwenhuis took risks bringing this album together, and for the most part, it pays off.

Updated on:
>> Tuesday, 04 October 2022 07:50

Instrumental Rock, Riaan Nieuwenhuis


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Riaan Nieuwenhuis

Riaan Nieuwenhuis

  • Instrumental Rock

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About Riaan Nieuwenhuis

Riaan Nieuwenhuis is a composer and multi-instrumentalist, based in South Africa. His music spans the genres of Indie Rock to New Age, Classical and Blues. Compositions range from spacious, ethereal and melodic piano, to adrenalin-pumping, power-driven rock instrumentals. Riaan has travelled the world, exchanging musical ideas and interacting with foreign musicians. Fusing his own ideas with these and local South African influences, he creates dynamic and delicate world compositions while maintaining his originality.


Riaan Nieuwenhuis - Bleeding Moon

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