Christian Loffler
Mare


4.0
excellent

Review

by RadicalEd USER (14 Reviews)
October 11th, 2016 | 28 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Human Touch

German Producer Christian Loeffler first stepped onto the scene in 2012 with “A Forest”, a tasty slice of laid back, sample-based ambient-techno which was greeted by favorable responses from both critics and fans alike and immediately established him as one of the leading electro-artists from Germany. Written and recorded in a log cabin on the coast of the Baltic Sea, Loefflers new outing “Mare” takes the moody ambient-techno of his debut to new heights, by adding a more organic feel to his compositions. While feeling like a genuine continuation of his debut, with the minimalist, crisp beats and looped samples still forming the groundwork of nearly every track, “Mare” also noticeably departs from “A Forest” as Loeffler focuses more on evoking particular emotions, instead of just providing atmospheric background tracks. The usage of field recordings, classical instruments and noticeably more vocal performances by both Loeffler himself and frequent collaborator Mohna lend the tracks an emotional depth that his debut didn’t quite possess.

The mood of the album is consistently dark and melancholic, Loeffler continues to completely forgo hectic climaxes or frantic breakdowns and instead tries to carefully build towards more discreet highpoints, subtly blending tracks into each other to enhance the overall cohesiveness of the album. More often than not, the results are impressive. “Mare” opens with a strong one-two punch of “Myiami” and “Haul”, the opener “Myiami” being the most traditionally suspenseful track on the whole LP, with its steadily swelling beat and synth-loop building towards an understated but effective payoff. “Haul” marks both the first appearance of guest vocalist Mohna whose airy and slightly mysterious vocals blend perfectly with the overall feel of the album and also the first more adventurous usage of organic percussion. Other standouts include “Neo” which is notable for being the track where the usage of classical instruments is reaping the greatest benefits and “Lid” where Loefflers reverbed and haunting vocals and the sparse piano melody come together beautifully. “The Great White Open” is also a highlight and utilizes a zither to great atmospheric effect, as Loeffler drops all pretenses of making a techno album and creates a very effective ambient-soundscape to close out his album.

Unfortunately, the sonic and thematic cohesiveness of the album come at a price. While none of the tracks are uninteresting on their own, Loeffler essentially tries to evoke the same mood (or at least very similar variations) seventeen times and some of the tracks and don’t quite offer enough interesting ideas to justify revisiting the same notes that have already been explored on this LP. Therefore especially the second half of the album can be a bit of a fatiguing listen, even though I’d be hard pressed to argue that the songs in the second half are actually worse in any tangible way. Those points notwithstanding, on “Mare” Loeffler has managed to give his brand of calculated techno a warmer and more approachable feel. Even if the album could have benefited from a bit of editing, it’s still remarkable that he has already found and fleshed out such a distinct and cohesive sound of his own.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
RadicalEd
October 11th 2016


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Was not quite sure if this is a 3.5 or a 4. But decided to be generous. Because you know, we Germans gotta stick together and shit. (3,7/5) Also I do really enjoy it and come back to it alot right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5yxe9UJU8k --> Lid

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOJYJDu1Mjo --> Pacific

https://christianloffler.bandcamp.com/album/mare --> stream and buy.

DoofusWainwright
October 11th 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Top review Ed, will check this.



Don't know why most electronic artists tend to release overly long albums (60 minutes+ is common). Most could and imo should be editing down their stuff to between 40 and 50 mins unless all the material is exceptional or it is essential for the experience (maybe some ambient albums)

danielcardoso
October 11th 2016


11770 Comments


yea nice write up sawyer, pos from me.

RadicalEd
October 11th 2016


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx guys.

@ doof This does flirt with being a full on ambient album more than once and one could argue that it therefore works as a complete experience and like I said in the review I think it's laudable for having such a clear "voice" but I think the same could have been achieved with 13-14 tracks.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
October 11th 2016


6698 Comments


"Don't know why most electronic artists tend to release overly long albums "
it's pretty typical for electronic artists to release relatively brief EPs too so idk what ur tokkin aboot

DoofusWainwright
October 11th 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Simple point really, my most common criticism of full length electronic releases is they seem padded out. Even my favourites of this year (Stimming, Noisia) could have been edited down a little to their benefit.

RadicalEd
October 11th 2016


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dunno, you're both kinda right. On the one hand a large amount of electronic releases are short EPs, Singles etc. But then again I've listened to quite a few (very good) electronic albums that I'd consider somewhat bloated.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
October 11th 2016


6698 Comments


and ditto for a plethora of other styles

RadicalEd
October 11th 2016


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ye. true.

Sinternet
October 11th 2016


19403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

top review ed, this seems like something i'd enjoy

Digging: Peggy Gou - Moment

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
October 11th 2016


6698 Comments


and we're in an era where anyone can produce music somewhat cheaply / efficiently which definitely affects quality control in composing full-length albums. so yeah some producers aren't as picky with their tracklists but tbf doof's original comment didn't necessarily specify full-lengths; misconstrued his comment a tad

iloveyouall
October 11th 2016


6319 Comments


doof ain't really coming from a background of knowing anything at all about electronic music (since his domain tends to be dated af guitar music), so you'd be remiss to check his statement tbh

RadicalEd
October 11th 2016


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"top review ed, this seems like something i'd enjoy"

thx. I'd recon you would enjoy this, although I seem to recall that most of your electronic digs are a bit more upbeat than this. But def. give this a spin. Stream is free on BC anyway.

TwigTW
October 11th 2016


3742 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is great. It could have been a 4.5 for me with very little tweaking of the length and pacing.

Digging: Rhiannon Giddens - there is no Other

DoofusWainwright
October 11th 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sach you do tend to listen to a lot of hip hop and electronic and the philosophy of those genres is to fill up a CD with music. Dunno why, advent of the CD perhaps.



I don't really know a lot about making music at all, electronic or otherwise, I don't come to the forum of listening to music as a frustrated musician, for me it's effectively magic - I've never said anything else.



I'm like most people who are movie goers, they know fuck all about acting or filmwork but they know what they enjoy. A lot of film critics have had nothing to do with the industry and yet are still respected. Art critics can talk about a painting for hours but have never picked up a paint brush.



I've listened to a lot of electronic music, probably more than you simply due to being alive a hell of a lot longer. Probably the same with hip hop too.

danielcardoso
October 11th 2016


11770 Comments


shouldn't have edited that conclusion doof lol.

DoofusWainwright
October 11th 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I always bring it back to Bar Sachiko in every argument with Sach so I thought I'd show some restraint for once

RadicalEd
October 12th 2016


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tbh it's all about Bar Sachiko.

ashcrash9
October 12th 2016


3051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is nice

Ryus
October 12th 2016


17467 Comments


i liked A Forest, will check this



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