Bersarin Quartett
Bersarin Quartett


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
July 26th, 2008 | 49 replies | 14,143 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Top-notch electronica that transcends genre. We've all heard that before, but this is different. Trust me.

Let's get a few things out of the way before this review begins. First, Bersarin Quartett is not a quartet. It's one person who goes by Thomas. He's from Germany. Second, while some of his music uses synth strings that recalls the Kronos Quartet on Requiem for a Dream, his music hardly ever sounds like a string quartet or anything with four members. It is, at the same time, much more grand and much more sparse. So when you listen to this album (and you WILL listen to this album), do not expect anything from the name. Release any preconceived notions based on its implications.

Bersarin Quartett's debut album paints with colors of deep hues, rich with vividness. No matter what sound he uses as his brush, Thomas sweeps across the canvas, covering the whole thing with one stroke. Opener “Oktober” sets the mood, perhaps the most string-centric song on the whole album, through gorgeous, open sections that sandwich a percussion-led section that grooves despite its stilted nature. While the song grows in volume, it never grows much in intensity, letting the mood and ambiance do all the work.

From there, it seems as the album might be another “pretty electronica” album based in chamber classical music, albeit a very good one. But as “Die Dinge sind nie so wie sie sind” (roughly translated, things are not as they seem) notes, Bersarin Quartett has something different in store. One of the longer songs on the album, it begins much in the manner that one might expect, with lush chords and distant piano strikes. But it grows. This time not only in volume but also in intensity. A cymbal swell brings in a rhythmic ostinato that implies that the song might head into a jazz jam session. Ambience swallows that thought and leads to something more funky. It's clear that this debut album is a genre-bending work of art. What sets Bersarin Quartett apart from other albums of its kind, however, is the way it blends genres. Instead of throwing them all together at once, Thomas lets each style stand on its own. The classical of “Oktober” and “St. Petersburg” stands next to the ambient electronica of “Inversion” and “Nachtblind.” This is not fusion. It is juxtaposition.

Even more remarkable than this ability to juxtapose genres is the ability to do so with such perfect minimalism. While not initially apparent because the chords are so full, the sounds so rich, there is hardly ever more than one melodic idea floating around at one time. At its most complex, the music consists of some washing ambient noise, chords, and some sort of percussion. In “Und die Welt steht still” (and the world is standing still) the second half of the song is so simple- a chord just grows and grows and grows to the point of nearly blowing the speakers, causing cracks and buzzes. At any moment, the music could implode on itself, and the next moments give that effect. Quickly, the sound fades away to reveal a layer of strings, that same melody that the growing chord swallowed. That layer never actually stopped playing.

The layers within this music, entirely independent to stand on their own yet helpful to develop the next idea, allow the music to accompany all moods. Unlike so many electronica albums, Bersarin Quartett has a universal appeal due to its many influences (“Endlich am Ziel” might fit onto an early Sigur Ros album while “Geschichten von Interesse” might do better with The Cinematic Orchestra) and colors. Closer “Mehr als alles andere” (more than anything else) breaks many of the standards the album holds for itself by showing that he can blend the genres he distinctly separates throughout the album while still introducing something completely new. The strings and electronica come together, brought to a climax with a breakbeat, a sense of intensity the album never knew. Still, it works as a closer, bringing the album to a definite sense of finality. It is perhaps the resolution of all the false builds and all the tension created throughout the rest of the album. Make no mistake, Bersarin Quartett is an incredible release in the electronica world, but one that fans of many other genres will enjoy.



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user ratings (54)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Kaleid
July 26th 2008



710 Comments


This is not fusion. It is juxtaposition

Excellent. I like the sound of this. I get the impression it might be a little heavy-going, though I like the heavy string-usage

Tyler
Emeritus
July 26th 2008



7928 Comments


What I just sampled off this was outstanding. I imagine it's even better in an overall context.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2008



15727 Comments


you guys arent letting me digest all my new albums in proper time

Digging: Alvvays - Alvvays

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 26th 2008



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

noob

Shattered_Future
July 26th 2008



1539 Comments


Sounds right up my alley.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 27th 2008



7928 Comments


it didnt sound much like gay female fronted power metal to me

kattunlover69
July 27th 2008



1194 Comments


lol



omg cocaine is trollinThis Message Edited On 07.26.08

McP3000
July 27th 2008



3941 Comments


that doesnt happen very often now does it!

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2008



16081 Comments


The song I listened to was good but the review makes it seem like I should have liked it a lot more.

Kage
July 27th 2008



1173 Comments


I'll check this out.

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2008



6085 Comments


The song I listened to was good but the review makes it seem like I should have liked it a lot more.


timbo8
July 27th 2008



618 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

At times this is really beautiful, but its proving hard to get into. In the large doses of ambiance, I lose attention more than "get lost" in the music.

brandtweathers
July 28th 2008



2007 Comments


baller album cover

jrowa001
July 28th 2008



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i can always use some more good electonic music, ill check this out

timbo8
July 28th 2008



618 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Unfortunately, I'm close to rating this pretty low, like a 2.5. I listened again today, and except for like "St. Petersburg" and "Nachtblind" when I feel the most actually happens, I was really bored.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 28th 2008



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And you don't get bored during In Utero?

edit, looking at your ratings, you don't listen to much of anything remotely like this,
so I'm not entirely sure why this piqued your interest.This Message Edited On 07.28.08

Zmev
July 29th 2008



983 Comments


DJ Shadow avatar = electronica fan automatically even though trip hop !=

brandtweathers
July 29th 2008



2007 Comments


been looking all over for this. anybody has a link or suggestion?
tyler?

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 29th 2008



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

SPUTNIK MUSIC DOES NOT CONDONE ILLEGAL FILE SHARING

brandtweathers
July 29th 2008



2007 Comments


thats neat. anyways, tyler, can you tell me where a link is so i can listen to these guys.

listen. not possess.



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