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Hieronymus Bosch is New Zealand's longest running dark Industrial act formed around 1985-86. They used many reel to reel tape recorders, loop effects, steel objects and an arsenal of classic analog synths and drum machines. They performed only three times as this incarnation, twice in New Zealand and once in Sydney, Australia. The live art performances included poetry and slide shows and were performed in art galleries. Their sound has changed greatly throughout the years, due to collaborating with a myriad of engineers, percussionists, guitarists, and like minded artists. Hieronymus Bosch were amongst those at the forefront of experimental music in New Zealand.
1990 saw a new development. A guitarist, Morpheus Ire, was added from a local dark metal band and a bassist/percussionist, Paul Blanchard, was recruited to play alongside the machines and keyboards,which instantly gave the group a whole new direction. A more chaotic, angst ridden, almost anarchic direction. Live performances meant the destruction of stage sets and props. Audience participation was always encouraged live. As part of an early 1986 performance the entire interior of a soon to be demolished house was torn apart in a frenzied ritual, accompanied by looping noise tapes fed through a generator driven PA system. Around 30 people took part in this now infamous display of art terrorism.
Hieronymus Bosch, during this period, attracted quite a large and loyal following from the Death/Punk and Dark Metal communities whilst still maintaining their dedicated Industrial/Experimental music fanatics. They performed quite extensively throughout 1990 - 1993 . In the mid 1990s, Hieronymus Bosch resumed their earlier, more industrial sound.
In 1996, Hieronymus Bosch reduced itself to two core members. "We've managed a few style change overs through the years but we always turned back to what we were all about". Their sound is a very personal one. Constantly drawing aural imagery from their own and others personal lives. Interests, beliefs, fears and desires are all contained within the 'nightmare soundtracks'. Religion interests us, as does Life and Death. "Our main influence is life itself as a whole. There is so much drama going on in the world. Life isn't dissimilar to a huge television screen, continuously playing and repeating random scenarios. One moment, a horror show. War, chaos, death and fear, the next, perfect families in sugar coated dream worlds. Spirituality, Netherworlds of fantasy and escapism, Astronomy and the structure and complexities of the human mind all make appearances within the Bosch world. Our sound reflects as our own visions. Our views. Our way of thinking. Some pieces are slow and dark to depict the negatives of reality, (or Virtual reality), the down trodden and the weak, while other sections are lighter and somewhat uplifted. The balance is always there though. It seems to work".
HIERONYMUS BOSCH's music is constructed by combining the organic with electronic. Nature vs Technology. Layering samples with movement. Frequencies and modulations with sounds of their own existence. They are both fans in the idea of power in minimalism. Creating huge rhythm through repetition and looping of sounds and samples. Constantly building and creating new directions and moods.
Their first release back in 1990 was on video format."Our concept is a visual one, so we decided this was the best way to SHOW our sound". The five track release entitled simply HIERONYMUS BOSCH - THE VIDEO was limited to 300 copies and was swallowed up quickly within the hungry world underground scene In 1997 HIERONYMUS BOSCH released a self titled album of dark and horrific scapes which has been circulating well throughout the world, mainly around the UK and European countries. 1998 saw the creation of their second album, THE DIVIDED SELF. Another dark journey into the world of BOSCH. THE DIVIDED SELF is a collection of some sorts, a merging of styles and textures, lightness and darkness. They have also featured on a number of international underground compilations and made a couple of appearances on the mid 90's performance/video release series TECHNOHELL.
Hieronymus Bosch have produced short film soundtracks for video artists in Belgium and Australia and have had tracks in many various international compilations. In 2003 They released their third album 'The Dream Songs' on Polish label, Fluttering Dragon.