BERNHARD WÖSTEINRICH: Elsewhere (2018)
“Hard to tame? Of course! But it’s Bernhard Wöstheinrich and Elsewhere will take you to territories that you will have difficulty selling and justifying but only for you”
1 Weisses Venn 18:22 2 Quenhorn 17:30 3 Pixel 15:43 4 Sandknapp 17:09 Iapetus Music
(LP/CD/DDL 63:48) (V.F)
(Experimental & Modern Krautrock)
A fascinating electronic dialect chirps like an alien bird opens Weisses Venn. This sung language of cyborg comes and goes again and again, multiplying its layers which form an endless loop from which other forms of synthesized chirping are also escaping. Muffled pulsations form a zone of resonance, thus covering with an electronic heat this strange concerto for babble of non-identifiable cherubim. This kaleidoscopic loop progresses between jingles and clouds of electronic fog where these voices without identities are stull wandering. Became insistent and amplified, the pulsations are structuring an ambient rhythm that undulates in these banks of syncretic fog while the electronic jargon without borders gradually loses its vitality and finally disappears around the 9 minutes. Bernhard Wöstheinrich puts the listener in front of his ambiances identified as a source of the Berlin School with a round and juicy pulse which throbs in a setting very close to Klaus Schulze's. Percussive effects peck this bass line with strong hypnotic resonance, which puts my ears in appetite. This second phase of Weisses Venn remains in full uncertainty, even if elements of rhythm attempt a rhythmic resuscitation. Chords ring like an ill-fitting carousel which is struggling to turn, while the decor still breathes from those analog years. These chords will become the last harmonic phase of this long title which opens a hard album to tame. Recorded live in studio sessions, ELSEWHERE is the album that the German musician absolutely wanted to do since he heard Zeit from Tangerine Dream in the late 80's. Pressed vinyl on a double-album, this album mixed by Markus Reuter, faithful companion of Bernhard Wöstheinrich for moons, offers nearly 70 minutes of an EM which flirts with Krautrock experiments. And when I mention experiments, I'm hardly exaggerating. This very progressive music is also inspired by the Berlin School model with 4 long evolutionary structures animated by sequenced beats whose minimalist forms welcome a plethora of sound effects that require some listening to defend their charms close to our ears. But are we really surprised at this, considering that Bernhard Wöstheinrich has always been on the sidelines of any commercialization of his works? An example? Quenhorn!
Its introduction is chloroformed of these oblong endless lamentations, like a fight between the melancholy of cello strings and the coldness of the synthesizer blades, which shear up the ambiences of a metallic tone. The sequencer gets into battle and boosts an anti-beat rhythm with inarticulate sequences that get grafted into spasmodic impulses as violent as wild horse kicks which are strongly intoxicated. Despite the din of the sound razor blades, a glow of comfort emerges with foggy caresses (I hear voices?) trying to breathe in a lull in this series of endless kicks. The desynchronization of this man-orchestra meets a moment of serenity around the 9th minute, with a music woven for an oasis, although a short moment of lost beats opposes it, which lasts up until the finale of Quenhorn. Pixel is the most musical, and the silkiest, moment of ELSEWHERE. Acrimony, the movement unfolds its contradictory vision between its beats which refuse any form of symbiosis with the splendor of the seraphic layers waltzing with our conscience. Gradually, a form of mutualism ties up the two entities. Sandknapp is also made of strangeness and of eclectic sounds in its composition which is differentiated by its approach much more experimental of this last opus of Wöstheinrich. The line of rhythm crawls with its fascinating sequenced pulsations which try to appropriate a dialect as heterogeneous as that of Weisses Venn. Except that its fluidity gives it a sensual aspect that can easily be compared to a spiritual dance of an implacable blackness. Here again, this mixture of haze and voice which surrounds this anesthetic dance gives a delicate and seraphic approach to ambiences which are also embellished by synth lines with an apocalyptic design. Finally, it's my vision and I'm sure yours will be different! But one thing is sure; the music of this ELSEWHERE will take you to territories that you will have difficulty selling and justifying to those who will look at you with frowning eyebrows and incredulous ears.
Sylvain Lupari (December 6th, 2018) *****
Available at Iapetus Music Bandcamp