Track By Track: Deltawerk – Passages


This month marks the release of a new LP from Pascal Terstappen aka Applescal and Polynation member Hessel Stuut. Together they make up a duo known as Deltawek, based in Amsterdam "Passages" is their debut full length release and draws upon lucid electronic influences built as much for the club as for open spaces. The release is a weaving cascade of gracious soundscapes and delicate glitches. An intriguing listen with a defined sense of self. 

We caught up with the pair as they talk from the album track by track. 


It's the first track of the album and we both think this track shows everything that we want to do, eerie synth lines paired with weird combinations of sounds with attitude. It has this bass loop that is the same throughout the whole track, while there are many different elements on top of it that make it such a weird track. The vocal samples are recorded with the Ensoinq ESQ-1, the bass is recorded with an Arturia SEM VST and the melody that you hear is cut from a jam of the Arp Odyssey. We've worked on this for ages. This intro started as the sound design for the opening video of our visual live-show, with the camera flying through a square as seen on the album cover. Later on we mixed the intro into the track as we felt the album needed some kind of an opening.


This is actually the first track that we wrote together. It was recorded on a fuzzy hangover Sunday and we didn't have any idea that we were going to start a new project together. It was just for fun. We were still a bit pumped up from the night before; this might explain the rough lead part of the synth. Most of the sounds you hear are recorded with the ARP Odyssey and are pitched and chopped in the arranging process. 


Hessel drafted this track. He took a sample of some random choir recording and chopped them in different pieces. This started as an audio/visual idea to make floating rocks light up on the vocal cuts. Later on we added the other sounds such as the bass line and worked on the arrangement. Stemmen means voices / tuning in Dutch. 


Hessel started this track by making self-oscillating sounds with the resonance all the way up on the Polysix. Pascal chopped it into this weird driving melody, which formed the main hook of this track. Most samples and melodies are recorded with the Ensoniq ESQ-1 and Polysix, except for the bass loop that starts at the end of the long breakdown. This song had a lot of different versions, and the moment we recorded the ARP bass was a magic one, the ending is a one-take live cut. For us this track had the feeling of walking on a hallway at some weird after party, hence the name “Corridor".


This is the second track that we wrote together, it’s actually an idea that arose from a long jam session with a lot of material that could have easily been worked out into three tracks. We first only had this vocal sample that we imported in this granulator and started messing around with. Later on Hessel added the Arp mid-range bass sound. The sub bass is from the Ensoniq ESQ-1. We remember bouncing all over the studio when adding the drum parts.


This was an idea from Pascal and we re-arranged it to the Deltawerk sound. It's one of the two tracks without analog synths, except from some dubbed ARP parts maybe. For the rest it’s all the work of the Diva synth from U-he. We love the pads/leads in this track, they bring good possibilities for playing live and the cinematographic sound inspired Hessel to make the floating trees as seen in the artwork and live visuals.


This track was recorded in Hassel’s new studio when there were no acoustics at all. We had the feeling we were recording something in an aquarium and came up with this out of tune oscillating synths. The sounds you hear are from jamming along with the Polysix and chopping up a lot of layers. It took us a long time to mix the song properly as the original recordings contained many variations, but it grew to be one if our favourite tracks of the LP. 


This is the last track that we recorded for the album. Just like Departer it's also one of those, straightforward aggressive tracks, with the addition of some out of this world sounds. We recorded the bass and the melodies from the Diva, with the addition of a sample from the Voyetra Eight analog synthesizer found in a sample pack.


Pascal first had this draft with just the bass and choir, but felt something was missing. Pascal took a little nap on the couch and suddenly he woke up and heard Hessel was adding the synths on this track. Another magic moment where we added something completely new on a track of which we both felt was nearly finished, but just missing that final piece of the puzzle. It was the very last track we had to mix, it was a real pain in the ass to get everything leveled with the melodies just sounding right, but we are happy with the result. It kind of felt like a final thunderstorm passing over a large field to us. 

Buy the release HERE

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