KASSEL JAEGER / STEPHAN MATHIEU / AKIRA RABELAIS – Zauberberg

Shelter Press

Even without learning about this project’s conceptual origins, all it takes to understand what we’re dealing with is looking at the involved names. People who look at the past as the receptacle of heartbreaking memories par excellence. Composers whose work does not need a precise archival connotation. Human beings whose profoundness has been proven time and again across a good number of magnificent releases, each of them stopping the reviewer in his tracks whatever the circumstance.

Zauberberg is a solid punch penetrating the tight defence of cold-minded agnosticism. Within its compass, we can locate all the characteristics that have reinforced our intrinsic bond with these gentlemen’s music over the years. By setting ourselves comfortable inside this 49-minute sequence, any condition related to doubt or pessimism is going to be relinquished: one has to serenely float in sorrowfulness, in the meantime recognizing familiar traits that might or might not be shared with equally aware individuals (rare – but it happens).

To retrieve an old commonplace, this is quintessential “cinema for the ear”. Ancient orchestrations quieten the anxiety deriving from an uncertain future; a general environmental pregnancy is complemented by inscrutable electronic emanations, deteriorated grooves and underground murmurs. Drones and overtones live to nourish and improve the meanings that lie behind small quotidian noises and mechanical crackles. The means through which these spells are generated remain scarcely identifiable except for sparse piano notes, chirping birds, and little else. In spite of a definite sense of accomplishment, all listens ended with the same urge of playing the album once more for a deeper comprehension. The disciples of fortifying silence will forever avoid the professors of digressive vacuousness.

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