The shame born from the inability to prioritize deserving artists and organizations is overwhelming. Case in point, Gruenrekorder: the imprint run by Lasse-Marc Riek and Roland Etzin has been delivering consistently attractive records for many years now, but – strangely enough – these efforts seem to receive a mere fraction of the kudos they should be entitled to. This is the often lamented (and apparently unsolvable) problem of a congested music world where an acquainted ordinariness can overcome authentic transcendence at any given moment, and the poor reviewer’s time is wasted by junky outings submerging the genuinely collectible ones.
Additional ignominy must be thrown as I confess that this is my very first contact with Robert Schwarz, a Viennese architect and composer gifted with an admirable CV. Double Negative – his second release on this label – incorporates seven tracks rotating around the field recordings/synthesis axis. It’s a typical instance of album capable of rapidly striking a powerful chord within a finely tuned individual.
This is a beautiful amalgamation of divergent acoustic universes, deeply human even in its more unemotional characteristics, totally appealing in terms of aural anatomy, full of sibylline reverberations, confusing lights, subterranean activities, melted geometries. It leaves the mind free to digress through the sonic spectra while keeping a firm grip on the systemic prototypes demarcating each composition. One can identify a source and follow its route, its physics invariably subjected to a series of metamorphic processes. Alternatively, the entirety of a soundscape appears as a biotic continuity of primordial realities and studio-engendered fantasy. At times it just works wonders on an inner self pushed back to near-infancy stages: the aerials are up, the eyes wide open.
Most important, there is quietness inside the listener.
Schwarz managed to let us recognize his technical needlework as wholly natural, in spite of the occasional hallucination. He emerges as a wise inventor, altering our sensorial parameters without “special effects”. Peculiar proposals become unintended teachings from benevolent creatures; the channelling of crucial signals occurs across a cosmos whose laws are “known” only by an arrogant nescience.
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