!JP
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!JP

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"A Secret Ode to a River Released Online - SAEN by !JP"

After a 17 year lasting quest for intelligence and uniqueness, there’s finally the ‘SAEN – a collection’ album from avant garde musician !JP. Not only is it available in physical form, but this time the album will be supplemented by a huge Internet release deal.

The ‘SAEN’ album provides a cross-section of anything !JP is capable of. The songs are carefully selected and some of them are remixed to fit the digital era we’re in. According to the press release, “It’s like you’re making a secret boat trip over the river Saen, purely on the inside of your mind. All these mixed human emotions pass the revue.”

Your captain on this journey will be Jean Koning, the artist who channels his musical aspirations through his alter ego, !JP. A wonderful mix of sounds and words passes you by, with ‘A Singer Must Die’ as the ultimate, emotional highlight.

Jean Koning’s music can be divided into a diversity of categories. On ‘SAEN – a collection’ you get in touch with overly known punk rock songs (’Old Friend’), experimental tracks (’Suitcase’, ‘Earthquake Land’), spoken word (’Two Lovers Who Seize To Be’) but also suitable pop songs that could easily suit any top 40 (’Some Say…’, ‘Calendar Boy’, ‘Last Day’). During his collaboration with sound-artist Van Weely, all registers were pulled and album after album was released.

”I’ve always been attracted to the water, to the river. I’ve always felt connected to this river. Even when I was a child, when we went swimming in the river Saen. To a point, I think that the rhythm of the water in the river has always been a great influence on my musical work,” says Koning.

After sex and religion, real human emotions and feelings serve the music. It’s not unusual then, that there are a few tearjerkers on the album. Songs like ‘Begbie doesn’t live here’ and ‘A Singer Must Die’ will still make your heart stop and wonder what just happened to you. Even after all these years. And in their simplicity they prove that minimalism within music can be a very powerful weapon.

”Sometimes you don’t need more than one instrument to tell a story,” says Koning. “The emotional rhythm of ‘A Singer Must Die’ takes me into a trance. A mood in which I dare to put certain things, emotions into perspective. Emotions and things I normally, when it’s just us talking to each other, never speak about. The current of the song changes you as a person; it’s like a stream of feelings in the ether. Something with no form or shape, but with content. You have to pass that on to other people otherwise your stay here on this planet has been completely useless. Music can be a form of religion. You have faith in what the singer has to say. It doesn’t matter what he sings, as long as you believe it. Have faith in it. Just like the little kid in the pretty dress two rows in front of you in church on Sunday. It doesn’t matter how many things in the bible are wrong and misplaced. As long as the preacher is a man you are willing to trust. It makes a lot of this stuff, you know, well.”

‘Easter Jesus’ is obviously a song made for the dance floor. “I love clubs. The first time I heard ‘Easter Jesus’ pass by in a club in New York, and I saw people move over to the dance floor to get freaky on the song, I got very excited. It was an honor to witness them freak out on the song, because there are so many better dance-musicians in the world than me. It was an experiment. In retrospective it turned out to be a successful experiment.”

“I’m not a compilation-aficionado. Especially in my music. Every album serves a different story, seen from a variety of perspectives. It is dangerous to steal the songs away from their safe environment and place them on one album with each other. When you start listening to tracks as if they were just tracks, you miss the heart of the music, the soul, which is weaved through so many other songs. The selection that made it all the way to ‘SEAN’ has been carefully picked. As is the sequence. It builds itself into a complete new story.

It’s a story that has been build upon fragments of other stories. It’s like you’re sitting on a bus en hear a few lines from your fellow passengers and than make up a story around that. Or better yet; it’s like you enter a world like I love to see in David Lynch films. Dark terrains. Crowded by people who don’t seem to have anything to do with each other, but when you get to know them you see that they do share a bond. That is ‘SAEN’. My secret ode to a communion around the river Saen. They have nothing in common, but in the end they are weaved into each other. And deeper than they ever realized.”
- Trendhunter Magazine


"Weirdness from Purgatory"

MUSIC REVIEWS
!JP - Notes From Purgatory
Bambi Lorenz

This may be interesting for a practised listener, for the rest of the world: what the hell is going on here?

People who know Jean Koning (who operates his musical career under the dubious name !JP) and his work realise he comes up with a surprise every time he finishes an album. ‘Notes from Purgatory’ is one hell of a surprise.

Apparently a year in the making, Jean and his appendage Mr Van Weely, travelled to hotels and theatres and other abandoned places to record the songs with recorders no one ever wants to use. Simply to preserve a classical way of recording an album. And the result is a terrifying trip through the Personal Hell one calls Jean Koning.

From the first song on the first disc and on, Jean leaps for your throat with a leathery gloved firm hand and is not willing to let go until the last song on disc two fades away. Let me tell you, it is intriguing.

The song structures are weird, the lyrics are full of Biblical meaning and endangered with codes and mathematical structures. And I always wanted to say this: Dan Brown, eat your heart out. You have met your match. Jean’s writing has always been poetical, yet impregnated with political sense and sociological rumour. This time he went to the limits. At first draft, you might think it’s poetry in a childish way. Until you’ve unruffled the true meaning of the words. “I write a little list of things I need/ Ice cubes, Neil Young, Toothpaste.” It makes you wonder whether you want to laugh or cry.

Musically it is a true thunderbolt of acoustics. One raving spoken-word track is followed by a soft ballad, followed by almost classical instrumental intermezzos and finished with punk rock screamers. It is a hot bowl of musical stew. One exotic instrument fades away and the next is introduced. It’s fast, ripping, steaming and truthful. Sexually arousing, touching skilfully, detailed and dead-on romantic. This is the only way to make music.

Jean himself described it as “music without botox or fake boobs”. I’m beginning to understand him. I am a willing person, travelling through the purgatory with Jean on my side. And he is not willing to let go my hand until the danger is completely out of the way.

So, people, experience it. The horrifying ‘Testimonial’ (not on the stream-version however), the hysterically funny and very drunk ‘Wear Jeans’ and the dramatic ‘Begbie doesn’t live here’. This is your best bet for authentic music this year! - Noyse Magazine


Discography

Independent albums: 'Man Sized Sex Ted' (1990)/ 'Anatomy of Addiction' (1994)/ 'I need somebody Smarter than me' (1997)/ 'A Cottage for sale' (1998)/ 'Everybody Else's Boy' (2000)/ 'XY' (2000)/ 'Where do you want the killing done?' (2001)/ 'YZ - the lost songs' (2001)/ 'A Singer must Die' (2002)/ 'L'Hotel du Freaks' (2003)/ 'Surrender the Pink' (2004)/ 'Notes from Purgatory' (2006)/ 'Saen - a collection (the very best of !JP)' (2007) / 'On Line European Playground' (2009)

Photos

Bio

As most of us were popping pimples and starting puberty, the versatile Jean Koning was launching project after project to thousands of avant garde aficionados. At the age we were struggling to get our drivers license he was a resident at Paris’ clubs. While the rest of us were chasing girls, laboring to get through school, or trying to sneak into clubs Jean was already inside of them, busy becoming one of the most original artists in the world. Seems impressive, but I guess when you’re studying masters of the trade like Andy Warhol and Arthur Rimbaud while the rest of the kids are studying math and science those kind of things aren’t too big of a deal.

From these not so humble beginnings Jean has carved himself a spot in the world of Underground Music that stretches from the Dutch Landscapes to big cities all over the world. He has taken steps into music, spoken word, photography, poetry, theatre and film, working with a wide variety of amazing artists while showing off his own formidable talents as well. With performance spots around the world, as well as his own legendary punk ´n roll shows, Jean has made a name for himself that should be on the lips of art lovers the world over.

His first project was a photo shoot his mother arranged in 1979. His first performance on stage was before a 50 person explosive sex-rave in a traveling sex-club at 15 years old. Jean’s reign over the stylish and beautiful crowds during conceptual shows lasted four years and spread down the road to 1jp org where his explosive talents can do whatever they think is worthy of existence.

His original productions have been just as noteworthy; especially his eight releases between 2000 and 2006 made a huge mark.

Without a doubt Jean Koning has already achieved more than most artists could ever even hope for, but his reign is just beginning and he is sure to make even more noise with his music before long.

Now, armed with an acoustic guitar and his formidable wit, he will bring new material to the audience.