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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Martin Stürtzer Farcaster (2020)

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

This is an amazing album from another artist who brings his breath of freshness in EM of a progressive Berlin School style

1 Event Horizon 11:16

2 Cluster Anomaly 9:50

3 Super Black Hole 4:16

4 Farcaster 14:39

5 Interplanetary 8:16

6 Formation Mechanisms 10:04

7 Roundtrip 10:15

(CD/DDL 68:39) (V.F.)

(Cosmic Berlin School)

It's in a morphic envelope that the first oscillatory stammerings animate the electronic life of Event Horizon. Like in a coarse choreography for ballerinas made of sound particles, the rhythm is detached by oscillating bubbles to float in nothingness and making rolls on itself to return to the same place. The movement is slow with wide leaps, like strides of giants in slow motion, and Martin Stürtzer attaches to this structure the echo effects for 3 sound beeps and masses of solid mist where the synth frees layers which stretch in hovering and plaintive solos. Reverberating keys extend their radiations in this universe where synth solos have these very Tangerine Dream aromas from the Logos years and where other rhythmic balls jump with fluidity, adding a precious depth to a minimalist structure on which the survival depends. Event Horizon hits an ambient bubble full of atmospherical elements in the middle of its course. A bubble where the sequencer redirects its imagination by releasing a series of jumping balls which enrich this new identity by creating a rhythmic crossroads which has just come out of its traffic jam. Rich in creativity, this bubble gets pierce to let pass a revamped Event Horizon, both in terms of rhythm and the elements which surround it.

I really enjoyed discovering the world of Martin Stürtzer on the American label Synphaera Records with his album Far Beyond the Stars. At the same time the German musician was working on the music of FARCASTER, a technology that allows to travel large distances without any time passing by, which is an album made from improvisation sessions recorded in March and mastered in 24 Bits. Here we find these same elements of static rhythms and dancing oscillations as on Far Beyond the Stars and the introductory title led us to these same territories cleared by minimalist paths where, imagination always helping a little, we can see as much as hearing these armadas of oscillating balls and abandoned sequences dancing and resonating all around us. Cluster Anomaly invites itself with a slow ambient rhythm structured on a bass line whose wide radius supports primitive beats and their echoes. The oscillations emerge out of nowhere, but they throb leaving in their passage a soft echo effect conducive to awaken other sequences and oscillations frolicking and hopping innocently on a road that has become foggy. Coming from the same improvisation evening, Super Black Hole ends this first evening of March 24 on an ambient and enveloping note that would need a better fade-out.

The title-track comes from a recording session, with overdub and all the rest, held on January 20. It stands out in the first place for its sound, which is clearly superior, and by its envelope, which makes of it an impressive Berlin School à la Redshift or Ron Boots. And it starts like a crazy train. Clicks, like keys from telegraphs, dance on a never completed synth layer which comes and goes up until the sequencer forgets a line which tumbles fervently. The rhythm is heavy, black and powerful. Tireless, the 4 jumping balls return in a crocodile line with a furious rhythm which lets itself be caressed by layers which never try to slow it down. The keyboard works together by releasing chords whose melody function enhances the stroke of the sequencer and its subtle inclinations which only slightly alter its robotic rigidity. This powerful Berlin School works at full speed before being caught in the spells of anesthetic mists around the 9 minutes' point. There where the Mellotron makes its anesthetic layers sing for a good moment of serenity, before Farcaster gradually regains its energies in a last round just as wild. It's a huge Berlin School that Martin Stürtzer offers us, just before the 2nd and last evening of improvisation which was held on March 31.

Another evening and other tones, which are really vintage and which really surprised me in the introduction of Interplanetary. We are entitled to another excellent Berlin School here which sounds like some very good Under the Dome's music. On a static rhythm, the balls and the oscillating loops dance by crossing their short trajectories in a long vertical tube fed by the resonances of their tones. Formation Mechanisms follows this Berlin School tangent a bit with a series of sequenced balls that spin in an enormous abacus. We feel the deaf implosions pushed the impulses of the sequencer in a canvas of mist metallized by a sibylline essence. Let's say that 10 minutes is long enough for a title where even Martin Stürtzer seems to have fallen asleep. Roundtrip finishes this excellent album by the musician native of Wuppertal with another static rhythm where the oscillating loops stretch a resonance which leaks in delicate stroboscopic thread. The keyboard accompanies this eternal procession which rolls in ascending loops by scattering arpeggios with with-noises or parasitic tones around it, thus diverting an auditory focus which ends up making the union between the two entities whose survival depends as much on one, like the other. Element that was missing on Formation Mechanisms, but which makes the richness of an astonishing album by an artist who brings his breath of freshness in the EM of a progressive and contemporary Berlin School style. Martin Stürtzer! A name to remember and it starts with FARCASTER, without forgetting Far Beyond the Stars.

Sylvain Lupari (July 7th, 2020) ****½*

Available at Martin Stürtzer's Bandcamp

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