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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

KELLERKIND BERLIN: Musikkonstruktionen (2021)

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

This cd is in the line of those intense and poignant musical tales of Otarion

1 Lied für Cara 7:02

2 Zukunftsvision 10:50

3 Intermezzo 5:50

4 Frisch vom Dach 9:02

5 Bittersüsse Quarantäne 10:12

6 Winterspaziergang bei Sonne 6:54

7 Schmetterling im Schneegestöber 15:02

(CD/DDL 64:53) (V.F.)

(Cinematic EM)

A melancholy-tinged synth layer opens Lied für Cara. The approach is very emotional and develops into a light rhythm, dominated by sober percussions. Keyboard chords imitating those of a guitar begin the melodic vision of the track, while a line of sequenced arpeggios flutters on the spot while following the slow astral waltz of the the introduction's cinematic orchestrations. Flirting with Otarion's dark and melodic universe, Christian Gorsky uses his electric piano to flavor Lied für Cara with a vision where tenderness, affection and gratitude merge on a first track that proves the Way Out album is not a course incident regarding Kellerkind Berlin's composing ability. MUSIKKONSTRUKTIONEN follows the prestigious Your Own Way award from the 2019 Schallwelle Awards that the German artist received. Giving him thus the money he needs to record and produce his own manufactured cd. Built on 7 tracks composed in the spirit of narrative electronic music (EM), this cd is in the line of those intense and poignant works that are tinted with dark melancholy from Rainer Klein, the one who year after year throws Otarion's moving opuses at us. Covid 19, the pandemic and the global containment are at the heart of this album, whose work was constantly supported by Christian Gorsky's wife, hence the title Lied für Cara.

A series of bass pulsations quietly develops Zukunftsvision which from the first seconds takes on an orchestral texture with violin arrangements. A synthesized language croaks in this ambient setting where charming and discreet flute riffs emerge. The title deploys an intensity, as much in its slow rhythmic evolution as in its arrangements, in this introduction which makes think of good Broekhuis, Keller & Schönwälder music. The percussion that bursts in a little before the 5th minute, disturbs the ambiences in order to structure a heavy procession shaded by the jerky salvos of the violins. The synth controls a pensive and harmonious fluty texture that dominates these orchestrations. Highly emotive with high notes, this enchanting flute moves Zukunftsvision towards a more electronic texture in a livelier finale that rejects any form of overflow. A heavy, slow, and very emotive EM is the characteristic of this album. And a track with a contemporary classical music feel such as the cinematic Intermezzo confirms this trend. Having worked closely with Manikin, it is not surprising that the influences of Mario Schönwälder and his label's artists are present on this Kellerkind Berlin opus. The percussive elements and the orchestrations that dictate the minimalist cadence of Frisch vom Dach are faithful indicators. The mellotron flute is ear-splitting at this point over a bed of sequences that is teeming like a swarm of percussive maggots. We're in pure New Berlin School with orchestrations as jerky as the nervous keyboard riffs that espouse this static sequencer movement while the rhythm, always more neurotic-static than driving, is clothed in a layer of intensity in a poignant ascending structure. The mellotron is intense and captivating on this track!

At the beginning of this review, I made a parallel with Otarion's music. And it couldn't be more obvious than with Bittersüsse Quarantäne. Harp-guitar-like chords collide with a menacing synth shadow in its opening. Immutable, they tinkle harmoniously under this rumbling wave that percussions start to peck at very early. These last ones structure a static rhythm finely dynamic under a transformation of the synth which launches in parallel floating layers with an essence of Tangerine Dream in the timbre. The percussions and the reverberations constitute the core of intensity of this title which is quickly exceeded by this melody interpreted in this fusion of false guitars and harps. Playing wonderfully on its 10 minutes, Bittersüsse Quarantäne develops with a slowness more cinematographic than rhythmic that stirs the fire of our soul with this splendid melody that will haunt us many hours after its last listening. I would say that we are in the den of MUSIKKONSTRUKTIONEN's emotional intensity because a track like Winterspaziergang bei Sonne fills our ears with a beautiful harmonic approach à la Peter Baumann, Trans Harmonic Nights album. Bass pulsations and Teutonic drums structure its driving rhythm while the mellotron reveals one of its melodious perfumes which remains intact in the dense orchestrations. The best is at the end! It's the very long Schmetterling im Schneegestöber that informs us of it. Arched over sober percussions and slightly jumping bass pulses, its slow rhythm is as bewitching as the dance of a snake bewitched by its charmer. And the parallel depicts quite well the Middle Eastern atmospheres that perfume its slow progression. The orchestrations, as well as that cozy fluty bed, entrench this perception as the slow evolution of Schmetterling im Schneegestöber unveils those melodious strands beneath those fascinating bursts of sound effects that weave a surreal backdrop. Dark, almost chthonian, and hypnotically melodious, this last track of MUSIKKONSTRUKTIONEN can only be this last act which concludes an astonishing album which does not deserve to remain in its anonymity. There are still some cd's left!

Sylvain Lupari (June 1st, 2022) ****½*

Available at Kellerkind Berlin Bandcamp

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