Andy Bloyce, Tom Coppens, Ruud Heij, and Jens Peschke create Berlin School inspired Electronic Music which is rich in melody and power.
Running time: 0:55:23
Kubient - 55:23
This album sees Kubusschnitt exploring a different side to their character as we just have one very long track- and not a sequence to be heard! As such I suppose it would fall into ambient territory but if so this surely must be one of the finest albums I have heard from that style all year. There is more going on in these fifty-five minutes than a whole label full of releases from some outlets I know. We begin with wordless choral type pads both deep and angelic along with twittering insectile sounds. It is all very peaceful but at the same time highly descriptive. It is as if the sun is rising above a beautiful warm utopian village, deep in the hills, unknown to the rest of civilisation. Bright shimmering drones float upwards then fade into the distance like morning mist rising from a lake, being burnt off by the sun. The changes are so subtle that at first I hadn't realised them but by the fifth minute the sound palette had developed a much darker texture. The faint howling of some strange creature can just be heard low in the mix.
Things are now getting rather eerie. Maybe this utopia wasn't all that was promised. Many of the pads have developed a fizzing hissing edge to them mixing with the sound of a windswept moorland. Maybe the village was a mirage, enticing the unwary. These windy effects become increasingly strong. By the twelfth minute the faintest of melodies can just to be heard in the background- an echo from better times perhaps- or a herald of change. Once again things develop a brighter character- but still with a touch of melancholy. Sighing effects add slightly gothic tones as warm pads swell making the whole thing seem uplifting in a spiritual sort of way, taking us out of our body to soar above the clouds. The atmospheric conditions soon become more active however and we gently return to Earth. Clouds darken, the wordless pads now sounding like lost souls rather than angels. Distant crashing sounds bring up images of war-ravaged landscapes. We now descend to just one windy drone over which is placed the occasional bright tone followed by percussive effects and reverberating electronics. Surely we have moved far from our Earth to one of the more unpleasant areas of the cosmos- or maybe we are on the edge of some fevered dream. Gradually normality returns but there is still a feeling of great loss, slow mournful melodies floating serenely in the air.
Gentle whooshing sounds come in waves, heralding another change of mood as things are stripped down to just a couple of drones out of which things build again, starting with gurgling noises and twittering effects. Proceedings become increasingly abstract and chaotic as we enter the last ten minutes, only for tranquillity and order to return featuring some of the most obvious, though still delicate, melodies on the entire album. Beautiful little guitar licks add a hint of mystery- and that is how we finish. This is an album that goes to show just how talented Tom and Andy of Kubusschnitt are. Sure, they can create exciting Berlin School tracks but they are also equally at home producing some of the finest atmospheric music there is. To me this isn't ambient - it demands your full attention and if given is an extremely rewarding experience. (DL)