Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5
1 Redshift (31:47)
2 Abschied (20:50)
from Bernard Günter homepage�:
The constant growth of Bernhard Günter keeps going. "Redshift" is based on sounds he found on his DAT collections, dating from almost 10 years ago; they have been processed and reworked with the usual care for the micro-details, creating a canvas on which nuances and shadows propagate in hypnotic, repetitive fashion - classical Günter style. But the best track is "Abschied": a requiem for the kind soul of a deceased person (in this case, Bernhard's wife's aunt) it's worked from treated orchestral samplings which become a faraway, melancholic delicacy of tenuous rarefaction and faint breathing, pointed with the glowing of drying tears. Again, one of the most intense compositions I came across recently, a music that will make you think for long moments after it's over. [Massimo Ricci, TOUCHING EXTREMES]
This release combines two pieces, 'Redshift' (30 minutes) and 'Abschied'} (20 minutes), realized in 2001. Although they both fit Bernhard Günter's esthetic, they share no common conceptual bond, which prompted the artist to include two interchangeable covers. 'Redshift' was put together from old samples dating back to Günter's beginnings (circa 1993). The music mainly consists of three separate layers: a faint humming background, almost inaudible, and two tracks of rattling sounds (could be contact microphones) placed far away in the left and right stereo channels.
In headphones it produces a schizophrenic effect; on loudspeakers it transforms the room into a wide sound field you can loose yourself in.
Settings change in the course of the first three movements, but the basic idea remains the same. The last seven minutes leave a lone horn calling long notes in the distance. This mournful finale turns out to be the perfect introduction for 'Abschied' composed in memory of the deceased aunt of the composer's wife. Sustained tones, calm and discreet, weave an ever-changing pattern inducing a state of meditation. Are they strings or horns? At one point, through a short transformational process reminiscent of Trevor Wishart's 'Red Bird' or Bernhard Gal's works on 'Relisten', appear the sounds of a city street at rush hour. Instead of casting some light on the piece it makes it more puzzling and beautiful.
(Note by bg: I do not own a contact microphone, and the 'street noise' part is not a field recording, but also consists of instrumental sounds.) [François Couture, ALL MUSIC GUIDE]
Redshift is the latest release from sound artist Bernhard Günter. The title piece was composed using noise sounds from Günter's DAT archive, from his early sampling days in 1993. This long piece begins with faint crackling, soft fluctuations giving the impression of movement, of a gently changing sonic space. Beneath the crackling sounds is the quiet roar of a fan, a motor, a distant drone, but it too rests gently on the listening space. Sharper textures rise and fall throughout the piece, of varying frequencies and timbres, all of which create hypnotizing movements of fluctuating sounds perfectly suited for playback at medium volume. The disc also contains a second piece, "Abschied," which otherwise has no connection with the first. It was composed in memory of Erika Kedziora, an aunt of Günter's wife who had recently passed away. Slow moving, dissonant harmonics, sounding as if they were made using a combination of bowed instruments (stringed, metallic or otherwise), create a beautiful soundscape mourning the loss and celebrating the memory of a relative who is obviously very close to Günter's heart. The piece might not have any thematic or compositional connection with "Redshift", and yet these two pieces compliment each other well. The uneven crackling and subtle noises of the first piece are answered by the sustained notes of the second. A stunning new release, one that won't want to leave your CD player for days on end. [Richard di Santo, INCURSION MUSIC REVIEW]