ISKANDR continues to roam, wider and wistfully, with the epic new EP Gelderse Poort. Comprising two tracks for a total of 24 minutes, Gelderse Poort is a thematically unified release, offering yet more depth to the already-deep ISKANDR aesthetic. The EP’s title track was recorded during the Euprosopon sessions and deal with O’s home region and both the spiritual connection and distance to one's place of origin. The “Gelderse Poort” is a literal name for the region where the Rhine enters the Netherlands from Germany, since it is on this border that the river cuts a path through two elevated areas and, as such, resembles a sort of "gate" into the Netherlands. As O explains, “I take this 'gate' as a more symbolic entity, a metaphorical entryway into or exit from one's home – that moment whenever you feel like 'Ah, I'm back again!' or the other way around, 'Damn, I feel very far removed from home right now.' Fittingly, the title track spans a wealth of sonic terrain, from spacious ‘n’ pastoral to the searingly violent, but all with ISKANDR’s characteristically deft and dynamic touch.
“Het Graf,” the second track, features a spoken rendition of a part of the poem "het Graf" (English: “The Grave”) by Dutch writer Rhijnvis Feith, spoken by O’s father. Even moodier than Gelderse Poort’s title track, dipping into eerily quiet passages brimming with beauty and tension alike, the song fittingly deals with death, the finitude of life, and youth vs. old age. “It was very significant to have my dad on the record since all ISKANDR material is pretty personal in nature,” O enthuses, “and having him recite a poem dealing with these existential themes is a very meaningful addition to my discography, I feel.” Meaningful, and essential: ISKANDR’s discography may be spare still, but the band’s vision continues to be breathtaking. Set sail for splendor and wonder with Gelderse Poort!