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RLW (Ralf Wehowsky) – Fall Seliger Geister

Dirter Promotions

RLW ‎- Fall Seliger GeisterThis oozes intelligence, and to be honest, there’s always been plenty behind everything Ralf Wehowsky (RLW) puts his hand to, even if it’s often accompanied with lots of head scratching for his listeners. Whether you think he’s poking the fun or stroking its beard with satisfied rigour, he’s there, being significant, a seeker, never fully satisfied, fraying that strait jacket of Western music with an alternative vocab. Constantly finding his mojo in the details, differences, corresponding dissidence, the groundwork of which was set up over 22 years ago with his previous group P16 D4. A inquisitive heritage that still pulsates with energy and freshness even today.

His brand of concrète is often pure atmosphere; the soul of the moment put on the rack and stretched, pleasuring itself in what dislocates, seeps out of the still-beating kernel and often making the commonplace wholly alien. Fall Seliger Geister is certainly a great spokesperson for RLW’s creative peculiarities, and one of the best solo outings I’ve heard from him in recent years. Stunning at high volume or in the intimacy of headphones, the details skulk and loiter beautifully. Those creaking, hissing dissidents, that alchemy of noisy kinetics colliding with disquieting droneal wares, creating an air of foreboding that hangs over this album like a disease of perception.

The sounds here are rich, well observed, meticulously crafted into an unfurling  textural  geometry of unease leaking a strong symphonic goo, without being bogged down or contrived. I’ve listened to this album over ten times now and I’m still waiting for that first listen gleam to tarnish.

“Aus dem Irgendwo (From Somewhere)” sets the precedent, a withering worm of suspense. A satisfying ear brew of arthritic timbers and constricted corridors. Inklings of Nurse With Wound toasting your head as a spaghetti of half impressions undulate, shift mass in titling circumcision. A vibe that’s perpetually on the verge of some cataclysmic apparition glazed in serrations of cello(esque) memory, with sonically displaced vibrations of flies trapped in its wooden frame eased by the harmonic jewels of rubbed glass. A vibe sustained nicely into the next track “Irrlaeufer,” where the creaking wood of twisting capstans are overcome by cavity-quenched compressed gas. Braille engines hissing, intertwined with street voices and spiking juts of processed buggery, blasts of interference causing a tardic pull of clashing, folding and climaxing minarets.

Those Moroccan blow holes  on “Aus dem Nirgendwo (Out of nowhere)” certainly tick my boxes, shamanic gropings similar to abattoir sounds of early 23 Skidoo. All shadow spread into the spiral of archaic horns, the blasts falling into some lovely micro-detailed and multi-dimensional tape malfunction. Fall Seliger Geister retains an agreeably slow monotonic breath, whether through  the peppery urination of “Ein Gespenst Geht Um” or the disconcerting backward drag of “Alberts Geister,”  there’s a percolating sense of ill ease, like a malevolent essence is being coaxed forth but never fully realised, left to be consumed by your own neurosis. The penultimate track “Larven” (“Larvae”) expertly wringing out a wavering cocoon of embryonic mummers and hemispherics into gasps of sketched respiration as if something were actually suckling on your synaptic juices.

…it’s such a pity to be dragged out of the zone in a brief finale of cold hearted data ping…

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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