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2 February 1961

Born in Spijkenisse, a town south of Rotterdam, it took years before Erik de Jong (which is Spinvis’ real name (translated spinvis means spiderfish)) was ready to share the music he’d been making on his home computer. The 40 year-old send a three song demo to Dutch indie label Excelsior Recordings. The label decided to keep the lo-fi feel of the songs and released the album in 2002 (with the help of Belgian vocal group Laïs on one track).. The music press responded with very positive reviews. Even though Spinvis is a one-man project, De Jong decided to take his music on the road. Together with renowned musicians, including Toots Thielemans, he played at the Crossing Border Festival in Amsterdam. After a tour of the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium the live-album ‘Nieuwegein aan Zee’ was released, containing a live registration and a number of unreleased tracks. To end this first period he performed the album with an orchestra in 2003. The next year Spinvis spend most of his time on various projects. He composed a musical piece that consists of three rhythmical monologues, contributed to the compilation ‘The Pet series, vol4’ with the song ‘Idee Zeventien’ ('Idea Seventeen') and he wrote the title song for the movie ‘Medea’ by Theo van Gogh. After Theo’s assassination in November 2004 he wrote the song ‘Het Mes van God’ ('The Dagger of God') which he intended to perform at the Dutch Moroccan Music in September 2005. Eventually the performance was canceled because the organisers objected to the lyrics of the song.

In November 2005 the album ‘Dagen van gras, dagen van stro’ (Days of grass, days of straw) was released. The album's title is a translation of Days of Grass, Days of Straw, a book by R.A. Lafferty from 1973. In 2006 he joined the art-group the NL Impressionisten (with amongst other De Kift, Meindert Tjalma and Mondo Leone) which toured the Dutch theatres. Later that year ‘JA!’ was released, the 100th Excelsior Recordings release. recorded with poet Simon Vinkenoog.

In 2007 he was awarded the Dutch Pop-prize awarded to the artists that contributed much to the Music scene that year. In august the album ‘Goochelaars en Geesten’ (Wizards & Ghosts) was released filled with b-sides and rarities. After some silence Spinvis made the music for the movie ‘Adem’ to be released in 2010. In 2011 he finally returns with a new full album called 'Tot ziens, Justine Keller' (Goodbye, Justine Keller).

On the web:

- Spinvis' website: http://www.spinvis.nl/

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What do we think:

DB: Spinvis debut album was a hit album amongst the Dutch higher educated music fans who found themselves either to old or to intelligent for a regular rock 'n roll band. His mix of pop, lo-fi production and nerdy lyrics created some following and moulded what you could call the 'Excelsior' sound. Erik's urge to experiment does not always create the most accesible music (I saw a performance of him at Berlin's Popkomm which was a bit too arty-farty). Although his output isn't very high he holds a special place in Dutch pop.


♪♪♪♪ - Spinvis - 2004

♪♪♪ - Nieuwegein aan zee (live) - 2003

♪♪1/2 - Dagen van gras, dagen van stro 2005

♪♪ - Ja!  2006 (vocals Simon Vinkenoog)

♪♪♪ - Goochelaars en Geesten 2007

♪♪♪ - Tot ziens, Justine Keller - 2011


♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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  EUROPOPMUSIC - Netherlands