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Klangwelt - 2022 - "Here and Why"

(77:43; Spheric Music)


TRACK LIST: 1. Propaganda 6:31 2. Cold War Child 8:04 3. Corium 6:26 4. Futurist 6:00 5. Noir 6:25 6. Information 5:34 7. Escape 6:06 8. Attic 9:00 9. Wake Pp. Sleep. Repeat. 4:44 10. Muse 6:33 11. Ago 5:03 12. An Explanation of Life 7:17 LINE UP: Gerald Arend - all instruments

Prolusion. German project Klangwelt is the creative vehicle of composer and audio technician Gerald Arend, and for the better part of twenty years he has created and released his journeys into his chosen musical landscapes. "Here and Why" is the name of his latest production, which was released through the label Spheric Music in the fall of 2022.

Analysis. Electronic progressive music is what we get on the Klangwelt albums, and by the artist description these are creations that come with many references to artists well known and loved in this particular field. With Vangelis and Tangerine Dream two of many names cited. This is also a case where the self description does deliver, as the associations I picked up pretty much pointed in the direction I saw the artist had described, the main point being that I made my associations first and read the artist descriptions afterwards of course. But this is also an album that deliver a bit more than just that. We have compositions that evoke the feeling of the above artists and many others, with Jarre, Kraftwerk and Gandalf all coming to mind as further points of reference, and a part of the experience that is intriguing is to hear how Ander mix and blend elements and details from these and others into his own totality, and one that often has an ambient touch and a cosmic sheen to it. But a recurring feature throughout is that the material also comes with a strong soundtrack and movie score quality to them, and then especially the slower moving material. With computer games possibly a better reference than TV-series or movies as far as that association goes, both for the more darker toned and borderline dystopian creations as well as for the dreaming and cosmic ventures as well as those with a stronger ambient orientation. It is also fascinating whenever Arend decides to create something a bit more uptempo and vibrant, with subtle inclusions of elements that may or may not have an origin in dub, techno, EBM or even industrial music. All such elements included in a very subtle manner mind you, borderline unobtrusive at times, but small details that adds a feeling of urgency and tension in a most efficient manner. The sometime inclusion of vocal world music inspired elements expands the canvas explored a bit too, and the same goes for the sometime and very occasional use of elements that possibly have more of a synth pop origin. While I do find that some of the compositions here are a tad more interesting than the others, this is first and foremost a surprisingly engaging album, where the most engaging songs made me post about this album on one of my personal social media channels on initial listen, not realizing then and there that this was an album set aside for review. In terms of progressive electronic music this production does represent the more listener friendly aspect of the genre though, with music that should appeal well beyond a strict progressive electronic music audience and well into a more mainstream oriented crowd. If, and that is the major obstacle these days for sure, this broader audience will be exposed to this music.

Conclusion. Listener friendly music of the progressive electronic kind is what we get on the album "Here and Why", with Vangelis and Tangerine Dream sharing the "possibly influenced by" spot with computer game soundtracks and score music and, at least to a some extent, techno and ambient music. By and large the material here comes across as more of a composed matter and less of a conjured soundscape, we are taken on journeys to a greater extent than exploring moods and atmospheres if you like. Both aspects are present though, and is part of the reason for why these landscapes strikes me as engaging as they do. If a combination of Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and futuristic computer game soundtracks sounds like an interesting proposition for you, chances are good that you'll find this album to be quite the rewarding experience.

Progmessor: December 2022
The Rating Room

Related Links:


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