BARST is the moniker of Bart Desmet, a man who has played in several bands over the course of the years. However, it wasn’t until he pursued his solo output that he finally felt like coming home. BARST is basically just a man and his guitar. Don’t expect any singer/songwriter music though. BARST wants to break out of the prescriptive and normative song structures, and tears down the walls between all sorts of genres, inviting the listener to create its own imaginary worlds. For this, BARST relies on a vast array of pedals, synths, samplers, drone tracks, drum computers and effects. He may be just a man and a guitar, but his sound is spatial and even orchestral. In fact, his work has been described as a one-man transcendental atmospheric black shoegaze math noise drone orchestra. Rather a mouthful, yet very much right on the mark. BARST truly soaks up all kinds of genres and musical styles, and shapes it in his own distinct and unique sound scapes. His practice is constantly evolving, and takes on many different, often, surprising forms. BARST’s quest is to produce some sort of transcendental aural art, in which he tries to materialize the immaterial. To reach this, he’s constantly interweaving his sounds with visuals and imagery. In time he even wants to incorporate things like taste and smell, truly ending up with a gesamtkunst that encompasses all senses.
After having released the critically acclaimed three-way collab album with Treha Sektori and RM 74, numerous cassettes, and a whole lot of live shows, BARST is finally ready to present his full length debut album “The Western Lands”. This is an obvious reference to William S. Burroughs. The fragmented, the transcendental and the viscerally unsettling of his work was taken as an inspiration point to build up the massive effort that is BARST’s debut full length. Moreover, the cut-up technique of Burroughs earlier work, where layer upon layer is fitted to build up a work of art, is exactly BARST’s modus operandi too. Cutting up sounds, and layering them from very subtle to incredibly huge is in BARST’s DNA.
To reach the massive sound achieved on the “The Western Lands”, he had the help of an amazing riches of musicians like Mike Armine (Rosetta), Dehn Sora (Treha Sektori, Sembler Deah, …), Karen Willems (Inwolves), Mathieu Mathlovsky (Mathlovsky), Nicolas Van Meirhaeghe (Empusae, Onus, …), An-Sofie De Meyer (FÄR), Tokyo Oyo and Herr Man. The album is one epic trip, encompassing ambient, drone, metal, shoegaze and electronica. “The Western Lands” captures a multitude of musical universes, and blends them seamlessly together in one of the most complete albums we have ever heard. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tim De Gieter at Much Luv Studio. The artwork, which reflects the same inspiration, was expertly executed by Niels Verwijk