RM74 – Reflex

Utech

By now nearly everybody knows that RM stands for Reto Mäder (supposedly, 74 is his year of birth; that would make this reviewer a RM64). Reflex is a quagmire, a morass, a sauna of noxious vapours. Inside that perilous area, one tries to negotiate whatever is necessary to see a few rays of light, but the counterpart is not easily corruptible. The sources are ordinary instruments with mildly exotic additions (a kalimba, for instance), but the wall of guitars, keyboards and strings is already crumbling from the very beginning, raising a cloud of black dust that engulfs remnants of erstwhile static chords and hints to requiems for endless summers (yes, the reference to Fennesz is intended). The common denominator in this set – excluding episodes of hesitant tampering on some sort of ill-bodied melody, such as “Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea” – is a general tendency to saturation, which is not something that new if you have followed the activities of the all-overdrive Swiss artist since the earlier days. Still, the symphonic unholiness of these ear-punishing cataracts keeps distinguishing Mäder’s work amidst hordes of pedal-stomping illiterates.

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