Review Summary: An electronic piano-based record with a nod to classical stylings offers a somber, yet beautiful journey through one's perspective mind.
When searching for and confronting modern electronic music, it is not uncommon to stumble across a few tired cliches in the way. Depending on who you speak to, the mention of electronica may invoke the standard club scene dance-trance, or the musical imagery of slow and churning atmospheric epics of ambient composers, or... well... Bjork. In all fairness, it is justifiable that such a vague, broad genre will contain such a vast array of stylings. Unfortunately, it may prove difficult for those genuinely interested in musical and artistic ingenuity instead of just something to fall asleep, dance, or take acid to.
provides an alternative to much of the aforementioned, not only as an escape from stereotypical electronica but an enjoyable one at that. Much of the primary instrumentation focuses on the piano and, while this is not a terribly unique medium in this genre, it tends to favor much of the classical aesthetics of composition, creating an interesting contrast between the music of today against the music of earlier eras. Throughout the record arpeggiated chords and linear melodies co-exist with sounds of static, record skippings, and distant clipped samples in a manner that brings to mind any solemn, rainy grey day.
Wasting no time, Fugitif 1
departs from the static and noise of the record's introduction and presents a spiraling piano motive that unfolds effortlessly into what could easily be a "single" for this album should there be one. A melancholy dissonance presides over much of the record as well, such is the case in Nein
where slow, creeping piano chords join with the sound of a woman's voice before met with an electronic bassline. The dynamics swell into a haunting melody and again decrescendo back as though fading just as placidly into the silence from which they came.
The title track Gehen
offers a quick variation as it implements the sound of acoustic guitar strumming atop what seems to be a believable electronic representation of a double bass or something of similarity. The "pause" is enough that the listener will most certainly welcome the lingering return of the piano and another tentative swell of intensity before fading back once more to permit the acoustic guitar its opportunity to quiet to a whisper itself.
Halfway into the record, the electronic aspect is brought to full view on Fugitif 2
as rhythmic effects supersede a timid piano accompaniment. With the help of a electronic bass beat, it inevitably and peacefully resigns into a much more sporadic series of clicks and ambient noise to close and leave way for the piano, which again takes the forefront on Attends
. The result is a beautifully played consonant mode, something mostly unexplored thus far, amongst reversed harmonization and white noise.
Dissonance is reintroduced in the chilling Tucholskystr.34
, which initially sounds like it could be easily used during a dark, suspenseful portion of a soundtrack. Waves of static ambush the listener as a blissfully frantic progression of chords are played into a much calmer resolve. Snippets of a familiar voice are then brought forth on I Think He Was A Journalist
, prefacing the addition of a mild live and electronic drum rhythm section supporting another piano melody that will more than likely have itself stuck in one's head afterwards.
Nearing the end of the record, Hochbahn
provides a more intimate session with the piano, which plays a slow, bittersweet passage with the accompaniment of a bass guitar cautiously droning beneath it. Ambient noises complete the nostalgia of a crisp autumn day as though to the sound of crickets chirping and buzzing. Walz 57
offers another spiraling trip through a field of white static, permitting the piano to permeate momentarily with one last somber melody, which bears a likeness a moment of reflection. Slow is the rise from the limitless space and even slower the fall until eventually it is muffled and drowned out by the expanding noise.
provides a number of musically fascinating and intricately beautiful tracks, but the collective record is one that will draw the listener in until the very last seconds of the album. It is indeed a melancholy journey that is likely to provoke the mind and play on its visualization, but one that the listener will be glad to have taken. I highly recommend this album for anyone with the appreciation, knowledge of, or interest in or for classical arrangement, as well as those searching for something different in electronic music.
I Think He Was A Journalist