Behind The Tears by Detlef Keller

Detlef Keller

Behind The Tears

8 tracks

Running time: 1:17:29
Released: 02/2011

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  01   Tear 1 - 13:24
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  02   Tear 2 - 3:42
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  03   Tear 3 - 6:18
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  04   Tear 4 - 6:03
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  05   Tear 5 - 13:55
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  06   Tear 6 - 21:58
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  07   Tear 7 - 5:14
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  08   Tear 8 - 6:55
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More Info

SynGate CD-R MR41

- originally released 1999 -

Emerging from the very heart of European EM are the Berlin School productions of Mario Schonwalder and artists like Detlef Keller, and this release, for me, represents some sort of landmark in terms of quality. Playing Access Virus and Quasimidi Polymorph synthesisers and delivering a pristine signal, Keller combines all the elements of traditional Teutonic electronica, but also manages to imbue fresh vitality whilst still satisfying melodic sensibilities. Keller gives us the minimalist titles ‘Tears 1-8’ and offers the listener the opportunity to make up his/her own according to mood.
‘Tear 1’ begins with expansive and dramatic synth pads, a hint of piano melody repeated at intervals with an itinerant, pulsating, bass sequence oscillating from speaker to speaker. Then, after the four minute mark, the sequencers and rhythms are introduced, the earlier motif is revisited, albeit in more anthemic, expansive form, and Keller then proceeds to explore melodic variations, strategic key changes and rhythmic textures before slowing down the pace for the final reprise. A thoroughly satisfying 13' 24 seconds. ‘Tear 2’ is a finely constructed, overtly romantic, miniature of child-like innocence and something of a departure in style, whereas ‘Tear 3’ is equally impressive melodically, but is more reflective and melancholic but maintains the high standards of the set. Keller begins ‘Tear 4’ with echoed strings and an evocative theme accompanied by classy piano glissando which then develop into a more organic, orchestral mix.
‘Tear 5’ begins with a sensitive, more tranquil setting before a hypnotic, cyclic, melody is repeated against carefully building strata of sequencers and soaring, inspiring, improvisations. The listener is thoroughly absorbed and swept along by the tide until, just before the 7 minute mark, Keller compacts the sequences and percussion into a more focussed, driving piece allowing him then to experiment and improvise with melody, texture, and light and shade. At nearly 22 minutes ‘Tear 6’ is the longest cut and features a long hypnotic guitar overture by Bernd Franz Moritz Braun (Arcanum). Keller introduces gradual, almost subliminal, electronics at around the 6 minute mark as Arcanum extracts every last iota of melodic variation from the introductory guitar work and Keller fades in, almost subliminally at first, the sequences and rhythms. The music is allowed to evolve gradually building in intensity until more insistent percussive treatments appear at 11 minutes, accompanied by Keller's flowing improvisations and more guitar improvisations. By way of complete contrast, ‘Tear 7’ is a brisk, more commercial blast of fresh air. Initiated and propelled by Keller's superb sequencing, the composer proves here that he can rival Jean-Michel Jarre. The melody is as instantly memorable as the frenetic sequencer bridges and harmonics. Finally, ‘Tear 8’ slows down the pace to end the album with powerful dramatic chords evoking a strident quasi-religious atmosphere and ends with suitably glorious classical piano bringing to a satisfying conclusion a very impressive album. Keller has proved here that he is a leading exponent of the genre. Recommended. (SR)