Seltsam + Strahler

The two musicians / producers Susann Hempel & Marc Sauter out of Berlin and Weimar.
Seltsam+Strahler - Ö
Artist: Seltsam & Strahler
P: 2005
050248
LTD: 500
Listeners accustomed to the minimal techno sounds of past Source Records' material may be surprised by Seltsam&Strahler's debut album ^ö^ , though the unusual title alone offers a first hint of the change in style. It's a headphones album if there ever was one, with micro textures of crackles, clicks, ripples, and hums assembled into oft-hypnotic settings with the shortest a mere half-minute (“Dazwischen”) and the longest fifteen (“Waldschrat”). Only with headphones, for instance, does the listener completely experience the disorienting and destabilizing effect induced by the continual dropout of tones in the left channel during “Wasserleiche.” The music's meditative caste tends to camouflage the considerable amount of activity in play at any given moment. A good example is “Im Wasser Kurz,” a quiet drone-like setting of industrial loops that slowly rise and fall. But, belying such apparent simplicity, the volume level of that action changes subtly, plus a soft metronomic click slowly moves from the right channel to the left and back again; here and elsewhere, the music is never static, despite its placid veneer. The effect is even more pronounced in “Waldschrat.” During its first six minutes, the piece is a celestial ambient setting of distant rustles and what resembles a loop of quiet church bells but the track's character shifts when a bass pulse and hazy hiss appear, obscuring the bell loop below. In its last third, the rhythm dimension disappears, ceding the stage to an ambient coda of clicking thrum. The piece remains engaging throughout its quarter-hour duration due to its subtly modulating shifts in tone and style.
The album likewise maintains interest through the use of subtle contrasts. While music of this genre type can be clinical and cold, Seltsam&Strahler often warm their tracks with the identifiable presence of piano and Fender Rhodes (the somber “So Sann So,” the sunny “Janein,” processed tinkles in “Riesentrara”) and counter the overall meditative ambiance with a considerably punchier, if not subtly funky rhythmic approach in “Herzstillstand.” Seltsam&Strahler's ^ö^ may represent a surprising left-turn into micro-sound territory for Source Records yet it's a consistently engrossing one.
14,90 EUR
 
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