Lovely Recordings: Hosted by Chris Hermansen

Moderat: II (Monkeytown Records, 2013)
This is a stunning album. I'm not sure whose voice appears, I think it's the Apparat fellow (Sascha Ring), but this is a collaboration that makes 1 + 1 = 3. Or maybe 6.

Why is it so special to me? Everything—great crashing chunks of sound followed by music that hits the yearning button like nothing since Pink Floyd managed with Echoes. I first spotted it on one of my regular stays in Santiago, Chile. It was cold. I was staying in an apartment hotel with no heat but it did have a crummy boom-box. I listened to the clips and knew I had to have it. While downloading my purchase, I rushed next door to an internet café to buy a mini-to-mini connector so I could hook my laptop to the crummy boombox and lie on the sofa and shiver and let the waves of sound wash over me. Incredible. And it still does the trick.

I often listen to II through my Schiit Fulla and Shure 215 IEMs but I really like it best on the home system (mostly Linn) where it sounds incredible. The music is lovely, some of it quite moving, especially "This Time", with lots of interesting dynamic changes, very clear separation among instrumental voices, and overall there's a great sense of clarity except in a couple of spots where they try for a bit of distortion and wash of sound. It's also very full range with deep deep bass and sparkling highs. Bear in mind II is very electronic but it doesn't tend to sound electronic.

To me there is a, hmm what is the word for it, "chunk"? "bunch"? of electronic music that has that great hook, that yearning, that makes me want to do something, go somewhere, cause a thing... It all started with Echoes, that wonderful moment in Pink Floyd's trajectory between psychedelic gophers and axes and the angst of DSOM and The Wall where they actually really briefly took my consciousness somewhere else. A bunch of others helped: Weather Report (especially Mysterious Traveller), Alan Parsons (I Robot), Yes (Close to the Edge) and... the torch has been passed, the thread has been picked up by Trentemøller and Nils Frahm and Marconi Union and... and I feel like the spirit of Robert Fripp is presiding over the whole thing...

It's hard to define what I'm on about here in a coherent and compact fashion but FOR SURE Moderat II is at the centre of it all.

Moderat II is available from Bleep.

I have too many other albums to suggest, for all sorts of reasons, to offer any! So I will stop here. Except to suggest a visit to www.gimell.com for a different take on a similar experience. I was also happy to find Trentemøller's stuff starting to appear on Bandcamp.

Born in Kelowna, Canada in 1955 to Scandinavian immigrants, I graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver in 1978 and became a founding partner in a natural resources consulting company based there. Aside from information management, I was responsible for international development, including projects in the USA, Africa, Southeast Asia and eventually the development of the first office outside Canada, in Santiago, in 2004. These days, I work mostly in Chile, because I see Chile as a small country poised on the brink of a great future: it has a functional and graceful legal system, abundant natural resources, hard-working people, beautiful scenery and one huge interesting problem - how to make development accommodate and incorporate the rural, especially indigenous, people who live next to those natural resources. I want to help solve that problem.

Meanwhile, I am crazy about: my family, my dog, my music collection, and cooking. I love travelling. I speak English, French, Spanish, plus a bit of a bunch of others.


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COMMENTS
RubenV's picture

The track Bad Kingdom (Moderat)is among my favorites.

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