Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Günter Schlienz - Tape Studies (sicsic031)

the music of awareness.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

BEST OF 2012

A surfeit of great music has been released in the current year.  The summer has presented many intriguing releases such as Matt Krefting on Kendra Steiner Editions, Innercity on Sloow Tapes, Tim Coster on No Kings - i could name a bunch more.  Günter Schlienz' latest release on Sicsic - Tape Studies - is one of the most impressive of the year.  The proprietor of Cosmic Winnetou, Günter has released four outstanding tapes this year on Goldtimers, Cosmic Winnetou, Gift and Sicsic.  One of the pinnacle listening experiences of this year, Tape Studies is an exemplar of elegant ambient music.  Through four long form pieces, Günter bathes your receptors with warm ambient, cosmic and spectral tones.  The love and diligence exerted in creating his modular dream machines is conspicuous throughout.

The first track finds Günter in fine form, as playful melodies comprised of warm tones dripping with effects, gently drift through the cosmos.  The beautiful sounds recall the early stages of múm - ethereal, innocent and unadulterated.  The second track is more mysterious and introspective, as a thick tone oscillates, ascends, and then retreats to garner more energy.  Buffeting that glorious tone are chugging noises, signals and metallic transmissions.  Always breathing and morphing, this track exhibits Günter's proclivity for knowing just where and when to add elements - which is especially apparent on the final track.  The last track on side A, 'Presentation Three', is the epitome of warm ambient music.  On this track, Günter utilizes an electric organ to create peaceful and edifying paeans.  It's characterized by a confluence of warm tones that outline the contours of consciousness - healing music.  The flip is comprised of a spectral, side-long track, as treated solitary tones expand and modulate.  Tones that have the characteristic of a theremin weave a tortuous path through the architecture of the mind, buffeted by resonating and suspenseful tones - think Suspension era Ambarchi. This track demands your attention with its slowly morphing characteristics.  As the track progresses towards the final section - my favorite part of the track - the tones seem to expand softly - losing vitality, yet still hanging on the edge of consciousness.

Tape Studies is accompanied by the beautiful artwork of Johannes Schebler and an insert of actual tape - pure sicsic.  While this is sold out from the source, Discriminate and Meditations, it is still available from S.O.L Sound. I would travel anywhere for these sounds.  While the mp3's will likely be posted to the sicsic bandcamp page, go that extra mile to locate a copy of this tape.  Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Günter's new tape on Gift, available from Discriminate.

peace and love, friends :)