Review Summary: [with a faint smile]...I've been waiting for you for a long timeNOTE: The album is UNRATED
is the first of two album released in 2011 by German producer and composer Christoph Berg, best known as Field Rotation. Although 2009 Lich Und Schatten
technically could be considered as Field Rotation's first album, Acoustic Tales
is to be the artist's first full-length, with the follow-up, And Tomorrow I Will Sleep
, being released just a few months later. Field Rotation's music is usually downtempo and minimal, exploring textures, moods and atmosphere in a very abstract way, reminiscent of artists like Jacaszek and Murcof. The music is not devoid of soul and warmth, but it does its best to hide it. Acoustic Tales
is a notable exception.
Field Rotation present eleven "acoustic tales" to us, compositions in which his love for classical music is explored for the first time on record. The album feels more like a classical-influenced album with electronic influences, than a electronic record with classical undertones. Does it makes a difference" Well, if you are put off by the "electronic" tag, this album does not really sound like one, despite the use of occasional samples, synths and sparse loops. The focus is on the acoustic elements of the music --piano, string instruments, organ--; the electronic bits are mainly used for texture and for enhancing the atmosphere. The records sounds modern and experimental, yet the focus is on harmony, progression and timbre, making it clear how well Berg understands the spirit behind the classical composition style. He is not only capable of creating electronic music, but also can write music for different instruments (be it synthesized or human-played) and make excellent arrangements. "Acoustic Tale 4" features a great performance by cello player Danny Norbury, but what makes the composition so fantastic is the delicate and tasteful arrangement, the way Field Rotation manipulates and gives the track its final form. He is not trying to break new ground as much as to create a delightful record that flows smoothly and evokes a sense of a serene, contemplative beauty. The music is slow-paced and keeps the rhythmic elements to a minimum, but now and then Berg knows how to introduce a little tension and a dramatic feel, making the music feel very human, even fragile at some spots. This is a trait that is practically absent in other Field Rotation albums and is very welcome on here.
is an intimate record that is best enjoyed alone and undisturbed, letting the beautiful soundscapes to be appreciated with all its subtleties and in complete detail. Despite the melancholic tone that dominates the work, the final impression is that of an overcome pain, this serenity of mind, a sense of being in peace with this world, looking at everything from the distance. This music is never forceful: it asks for a passive, silent surrendering, but once you gave in, it closes the doors around you and deservedly demands your complete attention.
One of 2011 most delightful releases.