Germany - Full Moon 202 - 02/25/13
Hidden Shoal Recordings
Off is closing Markus Mehr's album trilogy, or 'triptych release', which included step one and step two of last year; In
and On. German experimental ambient artist Mehr is really pro in what he's creating and producing. Off is a closing chapter
done with grace and style, and it's both holding doom and gloom, yet there's a core of hope and desire.
Off is a one-piece or single-track album, with "Off" floating on for some 42 minutes, which means it'll be hard to pull a single off Off... ;-) (In had two long tracks, while On had nine tracks). "Off" begins with total silence - the sound of silence for half a minute before some quiet sound-loop gradually sneaks and creeps out of the speakers. Louder, louder, but not loud. Some 5-and-a-half-minute into the track, and a delicate, careful piano drops in. The track goes on as a mid-air travel; drifting, swaying, waving, fading, flowing, ebbing, slowly hovering. Mehr's soundscapes, or world of sound is quite slowmo-ish and peaceful. This is also a fitting soundtrack for travelling (if possible) to outer space. "Off" is truly cosmic, and has got no gravity, it seems. It's hard to describe what this music sounds like or feels like. It has to be experienced, to be listened to - through-out, in its entirety. Eyes closed, body all stretched, laid down. Mehr aims for
the classic 1970s 'Kosmische music', or the ambient Krautrock of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, plus others, even Brits Brian Eno and Fred Frith, but also contemporaries such as William Basinski, Christian Fennesz, Tim Hecker, maybe even Jim O'Rourke's more abstract improv-stuff.
The third and final part of Mehr's trilogy is of course a majestic, monumental beauty, and a most fitting 'the end'. It's an epic piece, but it also takes an 'epic mind' to sit through it.
Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen