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It’s also about “bringing the European continent a bit closer with an old rusty bus and a series of microphones. His goal is to find the best street musicians from all over Europe, record their music and share their stories with the world. “A very ambitious and noble mission for the young German sound engineer living in the Netherlands. He now continues his journey after two years. Now is the time to share his experiences and the wonderful music he has recorded with the world. And you who are just reading these lines …

“Van Spirit, what’s that?

You probably first think of Nirvana’s 90s hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The song wasn’t necessarily the “motivation” for Marten’s project “Van Spirit” (rather the eponym), but rather the power of the music. And that’s how it started: When one day Marten went home from music school, he met Christiaan Mauer on the street and was deeply moved by his rough and beautiful music. Marten’s only way to make the man heard was to offer him a recording session at his university. An album was recorded and it was a success, especially for Christiaan’s soul and family life. This encounter touched Marten deeply and he decided to make a journey through Europe. He wanted to devote himself more to this inspiring world of music and not just to the university and the “real world”. His “Van Spirit” took Marten in his old, rusty van through 25 countries …

Okay, a long trip through Europe, that’s it?

It wasn’t a typical road trip through Europe to find yourself and just have a good time. Certainly, many great things have happened, but the mission has always been at the forefront. Marten’s vision can be described that way: To unite Europe (all inhabitants of course) with street music. It wasn’t always fun and games: on a tour like this, you have to work hard and leave your comfort zone, because you constantly have to get in touch with strangers and, of course, take them in, record them, record them.

And it was worth it: Marten and the many talented musicians he met on his journey have now released an album that they present to the world. The album is only digital and available as a 12-inch double vinyl, CD and cassette (for those who drive old cars). That’s not all. There are also carrier bags, a book about the trip and a two-hour documentary!

Fat, where can I get that?

Martin is trying to raise enough money to continue producing and selling carrier bags, vinyl and the like. He needs support and every helping cent, counts.

You can support his project and all musicians involved by visiting his website. Have a look around, maybe you like something: the album, the album on tape, the album on double vinyl, the book, the shopping bag + the digital album and/or buy the film. Here is the link:

Okay, cool, I want to support the project. But where does the money go?

50% of all album sales go to all costs necessary for the project (printing, printing, production, advertising, fees and gas) and the other 50% go to Musicians Without Borders, a charity that brings peace and unity through music projects around the world. This is where Gear talk needs to be.

Of course, we were in contact with Marten, and he was kind enough to tell us about his recording setup… Just mega (see equipment list below)!


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