Netherland Dwarf is a one man band from Japan. Well, that's about all I could find on the internet. Undoubtedly this artist has been inspired by the great classical composers and the prog from the seventies. According to the artist, the name has been chosen since the Netherland Dwarf - a particular breed of rabbit - moves restless and unpredictable, just like the music on Moi Moi. This album was recorded in 2009 and 2010 and was released in 2011. Listening to the album it all sounds very melodic and hardly as unpredictable as a rabbit. After an overture consisting of some distant sounds the 'full band' joins in with drums, (synth)bass and a whole lot of keyboards. It's a crossover between The Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) and Ekseption I would say. On this album you'll find nine tracks of which five were composed by Netherland Dwarf and four adapted from classical pieces by Glinka, Händel, Saint Saëns and Haydn. This first track is a solid piece of classically orientated symphonic and keyboard driven rock. It's melodic, powerful and in my opinion very tasteful with an orchestration by Mellotron (samples). Ruslan And Ludmilla is a classical piece adapted from the opera by Mikhail Glinka. Bombastic arrangements, sometimes a bit like a hurdy-gurdy, excellent soloing and a nice rock rhythm comparable to the adaptations from classical pieces by The Nice or Ekseption. Salad Bowl contains nice up-tempo rhythm patterns and again nimbly playing on the keyboards with a sound resembling the MiniMoog. The drums are supported by percussion coming from the computers. The Messiah was earlier performed by Rick Wakeman on Yessongs (1973) by Yes. Netherland Dwarf's classically trained way of playing the organ reminds me of Rick van der Linden (Ekseption, Trace) and he surely uses the choir sound a lot as if he would like to let the listener believe he or she is listening to a tenor. A nice quick and frivolous song is Netherland Dwarf in which the artist plays the organ as a leading instrument. The title track is the shortest song on the record and a sweet, but rather pointless keyboard solo piece. A guitar-like sound is used in Samson And Delilah adapted from Saint Saëns' opera of the same name. Again the sound of a tenor is sampled as a lead and the artist plays solos like Derek Sherinian. In the interludes there are clearly influences recognizable from the famous YMO. Guest musician Hans Lundlin (Kaipa) plays a synth solo on this track. The last composition by the Netherland Dwarf is called Alone In The Twilight Orange, a mid-tempo track in the vein of the early works by Toshi Egawa's Gerard. Closing of the album is another adapation from the classical composers: this time themes from Symphony 104 by Frans Jozef Haydn. Pounding bass sounds, subtle drumming, lush keyboards, foremost organ and choir and some Mellotron in this rock version.
People who like instrumental classically orientated keyboard driven rock are advised to lend their ears to this album. It's nicely done, however not highly original but surely suitable for fans of The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gerard, Rick Wakeman, Ekseption, Ars Nova, Trace and YMO.