Drummer/composer Arend Niks collaborated with a number of artists on the Dutch creative music scene, including an ongoing stint as drummer for guitarist Corrie van Binsbergen's avant jazz-rock band Corrie en de Grote Brokken, before stepping out as a leader of his own group, the Niks Project, an octet that released the album Future Museum in 1998. He premiered New Niks, his aptly named electric jazz quartet featuring Erwin Hoorweg on electric piano, Andreas Suntrop on electric guitar, and the Zapp String Quartet's Jasper le Clercq on violin, after the turn of the millennium at the 2003 Jazz International Rotterdam festival.
New Niks released their debut album, Penguin Village, in 2006. Three years later the group collaborated with the Artvark Saxophone Quartet on a new disc, Busy Busy Busy, and returned in its original quartet lineup for third album On in 2012, delivering more music described by the band as "eloustic acouctric comprovised manhandmade films for ears," although that sounds somewhat more experimental than New Niks' engaging style of often concise and melodic fusion-tinged electric jazz.
The Niks Project and New Niks are each notable for lacking a bassist, yet this is no liability given Arend Niks' inventive composing and arranging, not to mention the skills of his bandmembers. Cellist Paul Stouthamer and London-based tubaist Oren Marshall covered the low notes when necessary in the Niks Project, and Hoorweg and Suntrop perform a similar function in New Niks, providing deep presence in the bass frequencies beneath Niks' pulsing rhythms while, in the higher ranges, they join violinist le Clercq in shifting seamlessly between unison themes, potent solos, and accompanist roles. ~ Dave Lynch, Rovi