MARTIN STÜRTZER: P-Brane (2020)
Updated: Feb 11, 2021
“It's not my type... but there are enough elements in this mini-album to let me be seduced”
1 Higher Dimensions 7:44
2 Serap's Garden 6:14
3 S-Duality 6:14
4 Matrix Theory 6:54
5 Higher Dimensions (Heavenchord reshape) 7:43
(DDL 34:52) (V.F.)
(Dub Techno, Space Ambient)
I love what I hear from Martin Stürtzer! It brings me back to the time when I discovered the world of Ultimae Records. At the time when I was also discovering the magnificent universe of the psybient. Like a physicist of sounds and rhythms, the German musician reconverts everything while inserting good textures of cosmic elements, thus creating what is called cosmic dub or techno dub. An Electronica genre that many observers associate with the first analog sequencer movements of the Berlin School. It's not a genre that I'm particularly fond of, but I believe in unraveling the genres offered by this brilliant synthesist. P-BRANE is a 35-minute mini-album which is a sequel to Branches, another cosmic dub mini-album also released in May 2020. At the same time as Far Beyond The Stars, the album that made me discover the Stürtzer universe.
Higher Dimensions begins with the rising of the Cosmos where the first beats of an ambient rhythm resonate. The canvas is woven in these dark shadows whose sibylline scent gives a more romantic cachet to all cosmic landscapes. The first chords are like bumper cars, with a more muffled sound. The ornamental texture of the decor is rubbery and it appears even more when another series of chords, more metallic this time, leaps into a coherent pattern. And so, we let ourselves go in this chill adventure where the minimalist rhythm of Higher Dimensions wiggles under a fine rain that I never felt coming. The sound quality is very good and is built around analog synths to which Martin Stürtzer appends rather soft electronic rhythms. Serap's Garden shows teeth with a structure that has more bite. The chords collide like metal hoops in a genre that is very Plastikman of the 80's. Besides, the metronome reminds me of those digital trains in the excellent Consumed produced at the end of the 90's. The Cosmic Dub has this particularity where the chords have this sound of elastic envelope filled of water which is amplified until distortion then brought back in a slightly radioactive tone. These chords can bloom like wisps in love, like in S-Duality which offers a rhythm of resonant bass pulsations. Matrix Theory is a little gem. It's a slow track with roaring synth effects that sow a source of concern to this stealthy approach that woodpeckers abuse in a seductive envelope of exploration of a fictional jungle. A very good track that makes me want to listen to Massive Attack and the Mezzanine album with Angel in mind. Heavenchord is a Russian artist who is said to be the pioneer of the techno dub genre and one of Martin Stürtzer's favorite artists. He reshapes Higher Dimensions by giving it more power and effects in a very good remix. Strangely, it's the most interesting track in P-BRANE which is a nice ambient album with just enough rhythm to keep us awake.
It's not my type like I said above ... But there are enough elements in this mini-album to let me be seduced.
Sylvain Lupari (February 10th, 2021) ***½**
Available at Martin Stürtzer's Bandcamp