Stimming
Ludwig


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jesper L. STAFF
July 2nd, 2021 | 25 replies


Release Date: 06/19/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Familiarly uncomfortable

The first time I heard Ludwig I was knee deep in the feverish side effects of my second Covid vaccine. This may not seem relevant, and frankly it isn't, but just bear with me. Hearing Stimming's latest record in my half-lucid state at highly uncomfortable body temperatures rendered me incapable of doing anything besides staring at the lovely cover art. "Pigeon", I thought to myself. "Glitchy pigeon. Glitgeon". Still wondering how this is relevant? Okay, here we go:

Much like a glitgeon, Ludwig transforms the relatively ordinary vehicle of electronic music into something unique, morphing accumulations of subtle quips into a wonderful beast with, eh, beautifully terrifying eyes.

I didn’t say it’d be groundbreaking. Nonetheless, this ridiculous metaphor has stuck with me over subsequent listens. There is something familiarly uncomfortable about the German producer’s latest record that is as mesmerising as it is perplexing, both in a highly positive sense. Ludwig strips Stimming’s sound to the bare minimum while somehow expanding upwards at the very same time. Where 2016’s excellent Alpe Lusia was persistently underscored by quiet, pulsating beats, there are very few of such comfortable, recognisable demarcations to be found here. The front half relies on sporadic and highly organic bubbles of sound to eclipse one another and craft eerie atmospheres, whereas Ludwig’s second portion devotes its time to packaging such odd sonic accumulations in deceptively complex, highly repetitive motions. As such, each section of the record as well as the project as a whole presents a constant duality of meticulously calculated melodies and naturally growing and offshooting patterns contrasting, distinguishing, and ultimately complementing one another at all times.

Highlight ‘Pidgeons’ solidifies Ludwig’s odd atmosphere in the record’s first stretch. Adding metallic shivers to a quietly propulsive motif, featured artist Balbina’s gentle, chopped up vocals paint abstract, nearly indistinguishable pictures. As the song’s pulse fades in and out of focus, the many hushed elements find a chance to showcase their integral nature to completing the overall ominous ambience. Yet, each tone glitches past briefly enough to go unnoticed and submerge itself into the full framework - something which ‘The Hyve’s first seconds counter highly effectively. Introducing itself with the mildly uncomfortable buzzing of bees, the song’s jazzy textures soon take over, engulfing its unpleasant, summery connotations in smooth waves of sound. Yet, Stimming’s constant eye for detail adds minor tweaks to such waves in the off-kilter drums that underscore the track, as if to remind the listener that potential disquiet is mere moments away at all times.

The album’s most immediate song, ‘Judith Maria’, splits the two halves with an inviting clicking that forms a frail backbone. Seemingly on the persistent verge of breaking, the track drifts through glitches of all shapes and sizes, while remaining entirely focused on reaching an unknown, deeply intriguing destination. Once it’s in the proximity of its final stop, though, Ludwig descends further into peaceful madness. Each song remains exceptionally coherent while seemingly taking every left turn it finds, ultimately running in blissfully remarkable circles. ‘Arc de Triomphe’s two sections find similar patterns basking in ambient realms, before erupting into something much darker; something much more forceful. It’s all familiar, it’s all entirely unexpected. There is no clear end to Ludwig: the record can be looped again and again, drifting through the shapeshifting clouds like a glitgeon while taking every opportunity to stick a graceful landing. I’m going to take my temperature again.



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3.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
JesperL
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2021


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

get vaxxed kidz

https://stimming.bandcamp.com/album/ludwig

Pangea
July 2nd 2021


8563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jesp! so great that this has a review



aoty maybe

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2021


11437 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

oh lawd I still need to listen to this! Will read when I jam xoxo

Trifolium
July 2nd 2021


32453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yippeeee a review! JesperL for president.



Have yet to get round to this. It'll happen someday!

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2021


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah fsr this seems to be going largely unnoticed, hopefully some more ppl will jam now!

cool to see how much you enjoyed this pan!!

Slex
July 2nd 2021


14045 Comments


Oooooo I didn't know there's a new one omg

This dude and Jaar are the holy grail for me for this kind of music

Digging: Conjurer (UK) - Pathos

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2021


3923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet, will have to check this. I have a pretty poor track record of getting into Sputnik-hyped electronic stuff, but Alpe Lusia was really great

Atari
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2021


27410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You review all the good stuff!

rabidfish
July 2nd 2021


7645 Comments


pretty cool. Nic Jaar's latest works come to mind with this.

Digging: The Pretty Things - Parachute

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
July 2nd 2021


16575 Comments


between this and Skee Mask, my knowledge of German underground electronic producers has grown exponentially in 2021

Digging: Roseville - something about a fig tree

SteakByrnes
July 2nd 2021


27082 Comments


pigeon :3

Digging: Earthists. - Have A Good Cult

Aberf
July 2nd 2021


3969 Comments


whew, can't wait to check this out.

bloc
July 2nd 2021


68641 Comments


If there's 4 on the floor, I gotta check

Digging: Syndrome 81 - Prisons Imaginaires

Relinquished
July 2nd 2021


47773 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nicee

Gyromania
July 4th 2021


34578 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice 1



I rly like this album. Just a super fun and chill record. Intro, pidgeons, the hyve, judith maria, circle of thirds, and oma doris are my favourites after 3 spins.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
July 4th 2021


69873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Had a hunch you would review this.



This is almost more masterful in an objective sense than his previous works but at the same time not as good as Alpe Lusia in a very subjective sense. I have a hard time distinguishing between songs on this so far and see it intended as a cohesive, thematic unit. I kind of hate the vocals on Pigeon but otherwise this is pretty sublime.



The Nic Jaar comparisons itt are a bit perplexing



JesperL
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2021


4513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

v thankful you introduced me to his music, pots :]

i think i like this a lil bit more than alpe lusia bc the full thing runs so so smoothly

rabidfish
July 6th 2021


7645 Comments


'The Nic Jaar comparisons itt are a bit perplexing'

why. it has the same spaced out vibes and focus on texture than Nic's latest records. Maybe it's because i don't listen to this kind of music much, so i can't tell if there's more subtle differences, but in broad strokes, i get the same feeling.

Pangea
July 6th 2021


8563 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

alpe lusia is special to me so it will be hard to overtake, but i'm in love with this one as well. definitely agreed with the smooth run. this flows incredibly well

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2021


3923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just gave this a first spin, very good stuff!



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