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Sint-Niklaas, Flanders, Belgium | INDIE

Sint-Niklaas, Flanders, Belgium | INDIE
Band Classical Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Aranis III 'Songs from mirage'"

This release from 2009 offers 58 minutes of exciting chamber music. Aranis is: Linde de Groof (on violin), Liesbeth Lambrecht (on violin), MaRjolein Cools (on accordion), Axelle Kennes (on piano), Joris Vanvinckenroye (on double bass), Stijn Denys (on guitar), and Jana Arns (on flute). Els van Laethem, Herlinde Ghekiere, and Anne Marie Honggokoesoemo provide choral vocals.

Recital music with a heavenly demeanor receives an emotional jolt, transforming classical airs into thrilling expressions rich with drama. The violins provide ambrosial layers of fluttering timbre like a flock of birds casting off their ethereal disposition and basking in urgent agitation. The bass injects a weighty undercurrent, establishing a pensive foundation for the lilting melodies. Instances of accordion generate a jovial presence within the mix. The piano often erupts with commanding chords, establishing a dramatic flair. Flute strains escalate a pastoral attitude into passionate assertions. Guitar lurks in the mix, providing subtle enhancement. Choral vocals frequently imbue the music with a stately elegance that is rich with expansive scope.

These compositions expand the notion of chamber music into tuneage of modern charm. Their fundamental cerebral nature is tastily flavored with an accessible air that contains just the right touch of pep, resulting in songs that mesmerize while they invigorate. - Matt Howarth-

"Review CD 2"

"Privately released as a numbered 300 copy edition and bound to be gone in a flash! I know we have been there before but forget all I have said or claimed in the past. I guess I was bordering on the cliffs of insanity and said stupid stuff like this xxx-called CDR group is bound to become the best release of the year. Forget it, sanity is back in the house and I take all back and throw all that CDR rubbish straight out of the window, together with the big egos and little talent attached to it. Now that we have all that cleared up, it is time to get serious and root our feet back into the muddy ground. Get in touch with reality again. And while I was rummaging my feet in that solid but moist earth again, I got blindsided by this awesome new Belgian band called Aranis. To describe their uniquely Belgian sound in a few strokes, the best comparison I can possibly come up with is that they sound like a cross pollination between Wim Merten's “Belly of an Architect” era mood swings and Univers Zero's “Ceux Du Dehors” intermingled with “Heresie” and “Crawling Wind”. The style of Aranis is at the same time bold and avantgarde, situated on a strange border between psychedelic Rock and the darkest areas of Classical Music. Their self entitled first LP is a magnificent testament of their surprising but highly unique style. While you won't find a lot of traditional rock instruments, these guys create their music out of a dynamic blend of jazz, classical and rock music that takes a while to fully permeate the listener's mind, but when it does, it's a real winner. The group's chamber music instrumentation (violin, accordion, piano, guitar, flute & double bass), together with Joris Vanvinckenroye's intricate writing and the very tight ensemble work, is enough to deliver the signature their sound. They are a group which has transferred music from medieval times to our modern age, and also one of few bands who can still amaze with their initial effort out of nowhere. The more you know about modern “classical” music, the more you will appreciate Aranis' references to Stravinsky, the French Impressionists, and the twelve-tonal or atonal music which dominated much of the twentieth century. Their rhythms, drumming, use of electric guitar and short pieces are definitely rock oriented, but they add in instruments characteristic of classical music. This is what Aranis as a truly Belgian group can do: they can wrap the millennia of their grim history in the millennia of their musical heritage. It is not something that easily crosses the Atlantic to the land of refuge. Yet there is nothing like it here, and listening to Aranis is a glimpse of something very special, out beyond your familiar shores. This may be the best band you never heard. Totally fucking brilliant and up there running as one of the best if not THE best release of this unholy year 2007!!! Limited and numbered release, only 300 copies made and bound to become an instant classic."



Classical music and rock are growing towards one another. An evolution we can only be pleased about. Recently, it was Aranis, a septet from Antwerp and one of the laureates of the Gouden Vleugels (Golden wings) competition, who made the rock press. The band leader is a familiar face: double bass player Joris Vanvinckenroye, who already won his spurs with Troissoeur. His buddy in this unconventional folk ensemble, Edwin Vanvinckenroye, for that matter, also takes care of the only vocal track on Aranis’ recent, untitled debut in his typical, inexistent language: Zilezi.
Another remarkable guest on the album is Dick Van der Harst, driving force behind Het muziek Lod. Already the versatility of Aranis has generated a whole range of comparisons. The ensemble has been associated with Michael Nyman, Yann Tiersen and Wim Mertens. Some recognize, in Aranis’ musical universe, elements of the post-rock of Rachel's, and if you listen closely, you may even find traces of world music and tango. The ladies and gentlemen of the exciting orchestra themselves prefer the definition 'acoustic chamber-rock'. One thing is certain: their compositions cause quite a stir and have a cinematic quality. How long will it be before some director gives them a ring?
- Focus Knack

"Review CD 1"

Aranis is a septet with Linde De Groof, violin and vocals, Liesbeth Lambrecht, violin, Marjolijn Cools, accordion, Axelle Kennes, piano, Stijn Denys, guitar, Jana Arns, flute and vocals, Joris Vanvinckenroye, double bass with guest Edwin Vanvinckenroye on violin, vocals, and Dick Van Der Harst on selmer guitar, both on one track.
This is a successful and perfectly disciplined ‘soft chamber music rock’ project, with professionally worked out tracks in a R.I.O. style, which becomes almost like a typical Belgian style. The tracks flow with rich melodic freshness from one to the other. There’s a lightness combined with a more heavy bass and rhythmic improvisational rock drive embedded in a classical structure. The subtle vocal/choir arrangements on "Yosu" give the music an extra higher dimension. Here and there, like in “Oyma” a few folk element touches or improvisations are carefully almost unnoticeablely swallowed in the musical structure, but perhaps these few elements are simply coincidental. Last few tracks, but especially "Pantra" and "Labyrinth" are more like tango chamber music.

"Dranouter 2006"

'...De muziek van deze zevenkoppige band is origineel en niet te vergelijken met welke andere groep ook. Voor een deel zal dat te maken hebben met het instrumentarium. Klassieke kamermuziekinstrumenten (piano, contrabas, twee violen en dwarsfluit) aangevuld met een accordeon en een gitaar zijn niet zo gewoon. Maar de inventiviteit als componist van Joris Vanvinckenroye, bekend als contrabassist bij Troissoeur, zal wel de belangrijkste factor zijn in het creëren van deze originele muziek. Een groep met vijf vrouwen en twee mannen is ook niet de meest gebruikelijke samenstelling. Al deze academisch geschoolde jonge muzikanten werken samen de composities verder uit. De instrumenten dialogeren veel, vooral de twee violen onderling. Tussenin is er ook ruim plaats voor solo-improvisaties. Het accordeon en de piano lieten bijzonder fraaie stukken horen. De mondelinge aankondigingen tussenin door fluitiste Jana Arns zouden wat luchtiger en speelser mogen, maar wanneer ze het had over de wens van de groep om filmmuziek te spelen en een nummer aankondigde als een 'Soundtrack zonder film' sloeg ze de nagel op de kop. Bij het stuk dat we te horen kregen kon je er zo de filmbeelden bij denken. Aranis heeft duidelijk nog veel in zijn mars. Het publiek liet ook duidelijk haar bewondering voor de groep horen...' - Newfolksounds, august 2006


1. Could you please tell us a brief history of the band (the beginning, influences, experiences, records, future projects)

We started to play together during our studies on the Conservatory of Antwerp. We first played some Piazzolla pieces but soon I started to write new music for the group. Before that I played with the band Troissoeur (for more than ten years, we will play our final concert on october 4th 2007). In the beginning Troissoeur was kind of experimental folk - chamber rock band. After the first cd (Trah Njim) the other bandmembers wanted to play a different style of music, at that moment I started a new band Aranis.
When I was a teenager I listened a lot to all kinds of music: balkan music, ECM jazz, swedish folk, cross over jazz like Rabih Abou-Khalil, Renaud Garcia-Fonds, the first cd of Die Anachistische Abendunterhaltung (later they changed their name into DAAU, they where very succesfull during the nineties till they started to play a different style of music, a bit the same story as Troissoeur; but DAAU still play a lot of concerts and the sound is more chamber rock again).

2. In Belgium there's a very active chamber/RIO music scene (one name for all: Univers Zero), could you describe it? which relations do you have with the other local bands?

Actually almost nobody of the journalist, promotors of concerts, booking agencies, radio stations, even most of musicians... here in Belgium knows anything about the chamber rock/RIO music scene. I think bands like Univers Zero deserve much better than that. I try to discover this kind of bands all the time. There's a big difference between the french speaking part of Belgium and the Flemisch speaking part. UZ is french speaking, we are flemish. We never played in the french speaking part of Belgium.
I have a lot of respect for UZ. For me they are one of the best bands ever. I wish we could play toghether on the same evening one time. That would be great. Actually I saw them live in Brussels (during the live recording sessions), before that I didn't know them.
It's hard to find the audience and good promotors for this kind of music. But we'll keep on trying. I think a lot of people like the music but they just don't know it.

3. Which process do you use to compose your music?

It's a bit like a puzzle. I start with small musical ideas and then try to build it up by arranging, trying, deleting, thinking, try to combine different musical ideas till I'm satisfied. I also try to change the methode during the composition process. During the rehearsal proces (also takes a lot of time) we also changes some things in the form or the arrangement.

4. how can you conciliate the different styles that are parts of your music?

I try to make a nice piece of music. I don't try to combine different styles of music. At the end of a recording I sometimes try to find the influences, and yes sometimes I can find them.

5. What do you think about improvisation? Is it present during your live performances?

For me improvisation is very important during the composing proces, during the rehearsals and during a live performance. It keeps the music alive.

6. Which are the main differences between your 1st and you 2nd record?

I think the compositions of our second album are more worked out than the first. We learned a lot as a group by rehearsing a lot and playing a lot of concerts. I think the second album sounds more like we play live. We also won some prices in Belgium. That's why we have more confidence in what we do. It makes the spirit better during the concerts and the recording sessions.

7. Will you tour in Europe?

We want to play outside Belgium but it's difficult to find the right places to play and it's hard to convince organizers or bookings agents. We're working on it.

8. Which kind of music are you listening now?

I listen to a lot of chamber rock bands, contemporary jazz-, folk- or classical music, or the combination of it.

9. What about the future of the band?

We will try to grow as a band. We'll have a lot of concerts this year in Flanders. In the meantime we will work out a new project with female voices. We're also planning a project with contemporary dancers.

10. Do you want to add something?

Female voices for one project in 2008-2009 is quite sure; also some percussion is possible, maybe some electronics but that's dangerous. If I add electronics to Aranis I want to be sure that this is much better than the original sound of Aranis. I think it can take for more than 5 or 10 years before this will be worked out.

"Review CD 2"

Aranis is na drie jaar niet meer weg te denken uit de Vlaamse muziektop. Dit jeugdige septet rond de inspirerende componist/arrangeur contrabassist Joris Vanvinckenroye (voorheen Troissoeur) heeft een uniek sound ontwikkeld: klassiek getint, rocky getooid. De dynamiek druipt ervan af. Ook valt het vrolijke karakter op, de drive, de originaliteit, de verrassende wendingen en het gestoei met ritme's. Referenties? Philip Glass, John Cage, Schönberg, Olla Vogala, Troissoeur.

Waar op hun titelloze debuutalbum uit 2005 nog een nummer van een kwartier voorkomt, variëren de elf nummers van dit nieuwe album van 3:57 tot 6:16. De composities worden toegankelijker. Ze krijgen meer en meer kop en staart, zonder het meteen hapklare brokken te noemen. Nee, daarvoor bevat deze intelligent gecomponeerde en gearrangeerde muziek gelukkig voldoende dissonantjes en avantgardistische trekjes.

Des te opmerkelijker is het dat na een paar luisterbeurten, een nummer als ‘Looking Glass' zich ontwikkelt tot een hit. Vanvinckenroye verwerkt er namelijk enkele angeltjes in die zich onherroepelijk vastzetten in je grijze hersenbrei. Die triggers worden hier gevormd door een aansprekend pianoloopje en meer nog door fel zwiepende fiddle-stukjes, die (slim) in het afsluitende nummer Mythra nog eens terugkeren.

De ondertitel van het album (Music for an imaginary film) is treffend gekozen. De muziek is uitermate beeldend. Zo maakt jachtigheid het nummer ‘Kitano' geknipt voor muziek bij zo'n spectuaculaire vanuit een Amerikaanse tv-helikopter live geregistreerde achtervolging. En kan het rustiger Waris beelden ondersteunen van een spelend kind op een wijds verlaten strand. Als gasttrompettist Bart Maris verrassend enkele scherpe lijnen uitzet, zijn dat de krassen waarmee het kind zijn tekening met een stokje in het natte zand kerft...

Alle nummers barsten van de dynamiek. En als je na een klein uur intense muziekbeleving tijdens het prachtig ingetogen intro op gitaar en accordeon van het afsluitende 11de nummer achterover zakt in je stoel wordt je plots toch weer om je oren geslagen met hels demarerende violen en een beukende piano... Never a dull moment.

De zeven instrumentalisten ontwikkelen zich sterk. Evengoed zwierig, schor als snijdend zijn de fiddles in handen van de ijzersterke Linde De Groof en Liesbeth Lambrecht. Lyrisch maar ook percussief is het pianospel van Axelle Kennis. Juichend, huppelend maar ook opzwepend klinkt de dwarsfluit aan de lippen van Jana Arns. De contrabas van Joris Vanvinckenroye plopt staccato maar straalt gestreken ook cello-warmte uit. Gitarist Stijn Denys ondersteunt maar pakt ook subtiel zuiver tokkelend uit. En dan is er nog de heerlijk zwierige klavieraccordeon van Marlolein Cools.

Voor de vinyl-freaks goed nieuws. ‘Music for an imaginary film' komt binnenkort op vinyl uit. Dat wil zeggen, de plaat wordt een compilatie van het beste uit de eerste CD (kant A) en deze tweede (kant B). De plaat zal verkrijgbaar zijn via en tijdens de fikse serie cd-presentatie-concerten die Aranis uitvoert (zie Ik mocht hun unieke sound al enkele keren live meebeleven, zoals op de Gentse Feesten en Festival Pastorale in het Zeewse Nisse (zie dit verslag). Ik kan je verzekeren dat Aranis live - evenals op cd - absoluut de moeite waard is.

Aranis is ambitieus. De combinatie Aranis + zang zit er aan te komen, zoals er ook ideeën zijn voor een literair project met een jonge schrijver, een project met dans, een project met film. We gaan er nog veel van horen. Maar ergens zal de komende maanden even pas op de plaats gemaakt moeten worden. Want er is een Aranis-baby op komst. Contrabassist Joris Van Vinckenroye en dwarsfluitiste Jana Arns verwachten hun eerste kindje.

Henk - Waardering 9

"Golden Wings"

'... Aranis is the oddest one out. This ensemble of seven, with violin and accordion, among other instruments, performed compositions by their charismatic leader and double bass player, Joris Vanvinckenroye. Their music sounds like an exciting cross between contemporary classical music, tango and folk...' - De Standaard

"Review CD 2"

"... You are flung to and fro between the delight of a classical concert and the excitement of a genuine rock concert. Fragments of Troissoeur, Astor Piazolla, Michael Nyman, John Cale and Jethro Tull fly by, but they all fit in perfectly in the unique universe of Aranis. The CD is never boring, on the contrary, it captivates from beginning to end. -


Aranis I (2005): CD
Aranis II (2007): CD
Hidden Soundscapes (2007): single
Aranis (2007): LP
Aranis III (2009): CD 'Songs from mirage' (with addition of three female singers)
Aranis IV (release fall 2010): 'Roqueforte' (with addition of percussion and viola)

They have radio airplay in Belgium: Radio Klara, Radio 1 & local radiostations and and abbroad



ARANIS is a Flemish band with an unique sound. Its six musicians explore every possible sound and technique on their instruments, which results in a cocktail of muted minimalism with a post-rock drive.

Their ‘Acoustic Chamber Rock’, with its high rock content and references to folk and contemporary classical music has taken the classical world by surprise.

Double bass player Joris Vanvinckenroye is the band’s main composer. His style is typically cinematic, melancholy and diverse.

In concert, Aranis creates an unforgettable atmosphere. Variation and expressivity hold the audience riveted. Chaotic structures and virtuoso crescendos alternate with serene intervals.