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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Martin Stürtzer Ambient Nights Vol. 1 (2023)

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

A perfect balance between ambient zones and good sequencer-based Berlin School

1 Galaxy Merger 60:58

2 Celestial Hues 16:45

3 Stellar Remnants 18:00

4 Lunar Reverie 43:14

(DDL 138:59) (V.F.)

(Dark ambient Berlin School)

Since Farcaster has landed in the spheres of electronic music (EM) in April 2020, Martin Stürtzer's career has been booming and his legion of fans is growing. And it's justified! Sailing between Dark Psybient and Berlin School style, the musician-synthesist from Wuppertal, Germany, is as prolific as his desire for creativity allows. AMBIENT NIGHTS Vol.1 is a collection of 4 long evolving tracks that he composed in an improvisational mode during his Ambient Night sessions that he shares with his audience on his YouTube channel. This album-download flirts with 140 minutes and features 2 long atmospheric tracks that develop on ambient rhythm structures, for Galaxy Merger, or downright catchy, Lunar Reverie. There are also 2 tracks where the rhythms dominate more than the seraphic atmospheric portion. In short, this is a solid album, offered at a very reasonable price, which will rally the fans of Klaus Schulze and Steve Roach, as well as those who like the Berlin School style rising from the ashes of the Dark Ambient style.

A good azure breath initiates this long quiet river that are the first 32 minutes of Galaxy Merger. A buzzing shadow hums peacefully while this breath becomes an oblong synth layer that multiplies, creating a slow lyrical ballet where they pile up, intertwine and drift in a long flight to serenity. Like an architect of tones, Martin Stürtzer modulates the momentum, plays a little on the musical sharpness, on the undulations and lays a slight vibratory effect in order to create an addictive appeal to the listener. If you like Steve Roach's quiet universe, the rather minimalist and linear approach of the first part of Galaxy Merger, even with a delicate dark tinge, should please you. Especially as the movement amplifies its emotional grip as it converges on its first rhythmic chords that appear some 20 seconds into the 32nd minute. The sequencer's footsteps weave a Klaus Schulze-like ascending ambient rhythm over a distance that is roughly equivalent to its atmospheric phase and weaves its way through this plethora of layers now gorged with absent voices, silvery waves and anaesthetizing haze. A long track which is very good to listen to and where we don't have this impression that it is too long!

Celestial Hues offers a beautiful and rather lyrical opening with synth waves whose shimmering colors give the illusion of singing on an oblong sheet of mist and its opiate effect. The rhythm pops out a few seconds after the 3rd minute. It is initially disordered, running in all directions with modulations that give it an illusion of stumbling. The jumping sequences end up coordinating a more fluid and musical rhythm with this swarm of little steps that are always running around. Percussive chords creep in here and there, adding depth and especially richness to an electronic rhythm that develops like a race against time. Stellar Remnants is also a rhythmic track. The sequencer unravels a rhythmic line that scrolls by jumping curtly and zigzagging with a slight effect of cosmic inebriation. That gives a finely stroboscopic structure whose undulatory form snakes through different crystalline tones which jump in the effect of elastic echo of this simply magnetizing rhythm. Beautiful and effective, the bass line adds a warmer dimension to the ambient rhythmic universe that governs the 18 minutes of Stellar Remnants.

Lunar Reverie ends this Martin Stürtzer's imposing album-download with a rather catchy, you can roll of the neck here, rhythm that shakes off its Dark Ambient grip a little before its 14th minute. The sequencer's movement makes jump heavy, resonant arpeggios over a shroud of reverberating, murky waves that stretch into muted mooing and twisted waves filled with crystal particles. This rhythm, halfway between ambient and dancing for zombies marinated in opium, jumps with a jerk effect where an echo and elasticity effect is added. Percussive sequences slam into it, adding a more glittering, almost organic tone and a more contemporary dimension to this very Berlin School rhythm that stretches its charms up until its finale, or just before.

From the top of its almost 2:30hres, AMBIENT NIGHTS Vol.1 spreads the minimalist aspect of EM with the necessary nuances and modulations in order to avoid the trap of redundancy which risks boring the listener. With these abilities to build river works with evolving dimensions, Martin Stürtzer proposes here a perfect balance between atmospheric zones at the same time dark, celestial and meditative, ambient rhythms and others more animated which depict the marvelous universe of the Berlin School propelled by sequencers. For the price, our ears get their money's worth!

Sylvain Lupari (April 16th, 2023) *****

Available at Martin Stürtzer Bandcamp

(NB: The texts in blue are links you can click on)

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