From the first scan of Reminiscence, something sounded familiar about Kyoko Baertsoen’s fluttering, mesmerizing voice. After perusing Lunascape’s bio, it became obvious: the Belgian chanteuse once honed her pipes as the lead singer of homeland heroes Hooverphonic.
But having left that group during its early years in 1997 to form Lunascape with Walter Hilhorst, Baertsoen in turn took much of Hooverphonic’s enchanting spirit with her. While Lunascape has struck it big overseas in Europe, it’s been a slow burn to success here in the States. After Sinead O’ Connor covered the duo’s “Tears from the Moon” on Rhys Fulber’s Conjure One project, fans of Fulber’s Delerium and other like-minded acts began to take notice.
Not as much a new release as it is a compendium, Reminiscence affords those newfound enthusiasts of Lunascape’s sound the chance to catch up on what they were missing. The dozen tracks here are mostly comprised of the band’s two previous efforts, Reflecting Seyelence and Mindstalking.
While Hilhorst draws from a mostly delicious palette of classical, trip-hop, goth, ethereal and pop sonics, it’s clearly Baertsoen’s show. Whether she’s invoking the otherworld majesty of Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser (“Lake Navachi”), the throaty soul of Sinead O’ Connor (“Sequoia”) or the mystical hellfire of Dead Can Dance’s Lisa Gerrard (“Inferno”), Baertsoen ably converts these inspirations into a powerful style all her own.
Now that Lunascape’s got our attention, let’s see where their romantic, darkwave passages take them from here.