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Joep Beving - Henosis is an epic affair /

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Riding the rising wave of neo-classical artists currently infiltrating an ever-growing public consciousness is Dutch pianist Joep Beving. Ever since the somewhat unexpected success of his debut release 'Solipsism' in 2015, Joep has become rather less of an advertising man (his day job) and more of a minimalist composer and performer of evocative soundscapes. His latest album 'Henosis' is an epic affair of more than twenty tracks and follows his 2018 release 'Conatus'. 

Where traditionally an artist, or label, may have seen this amount of material as two or three albums' worth and had to edit, cut, shelve or just ditch, there now seems to be a want to go all in. No longer are people playing the odds by backing the 'winners'; increasingly they are throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks (it's annoying; annoying me, at any rate). Ahead of the album release in full, there has already been six tracks, or singles, lifted and premiered from 'Henosis'. 

Putting my personal annoyance with this current approach aside there is still a lot to like about Beving's latest album. It's quite low-key (no pun intended!) for the most part. Joep has said his style emanates from his enforced playing regime, softly picking tunes out of his grandmother's old piano as the rest of his family slept. This is evident from the off as the gently building, ever more intense, 'Unus Mundus' opens the album. Second track and first single 'Into The Dark Blue' continues this soft and tender ideology but with more of an electronic bent.

Where 'Henosis' has its strongest moments, however, is where Joep develops his compositions and arrangements to include glorious string sections. The momentous rise and fall of the violins during 'Shepherd' is magnificent, and the stirring string-led undulations and choral vocal that accentuate 'Aeon' are equally arresting in their beauty. 'Venus' takes a more considered and sombre route but is no less effective with its mildly melancholic and mournful contemplations and 'The One As Two' employs a minimalist arrangement that is so subtle and pared back it leaves you achingly calm.