Born in Budapest 25 years ago, but moving in his childhood to Stockholm, Sweden, Martin Herterich enters the ambient field like a shooting star. A first album - there are two previous EPs - released as a limited CDR (100 copies) on the obscure Swedish label Kalligrammofon, later re-released on the UK label Kesh.
I really have a hard time to reach the tracks two to six, because the opening track, "August" is simply mind-blowing with its depth and the profound sense of loss and depressive melancholy glowing from it. "Silent Fields" is cathartic artistic production defined by Martin Herterich himself as "a deeply personal recording, inspired by the tragic accident I was involved in back in August 2007, which took the life of two very dear friends.".
Piano, tape recorders, loops, hiss and some digital processing at the end, for a result somewhere between William Basinski and Federico Durand, "Silent Fields" keeps you free as a listener, to enter the record in the room where it is played, then go away to another room and come back later to immerse yourself anew.
"Silent Fields" is like a big open window, in the countryside, from which you can imagine to hear distant sounds of trains, wind, birds, cars, conversations and the distant murmur of your ghosts playing somewhere in a never so distant memory.
As soon as the first track starts, you are moved by the transcendental dimension of this music, and how much there is someone behind, expressing himself with the hard and honest truth of his soul. "August" is an unsettling composition whose full extent cannot really be grabbed, beyond beauty, bringing you close to tears with a powerful empathy. It awakens an hollowness in the core of your being, but it elevates too, your inner.
When "A Little lost without you" takes over, you feel waking up suddenly, walking in the middle of an icy lake wondering where you are exactly and not sure about which direction to take.
Once again the abysses sucks you in the middle of a long starless night with just the dome of glooming light of a distant city, "Silent Fields 1" make you feel so heavy with your body than every simple movement seems out of reach, out of meaning, so you stay and breathe slowly waiting for some light to come or some sleep.
The hiss on "Silent Fields 2" is amazing, like there was an heavy rain falling on the walls of a cathedral while the organ was playing an elegy inside, and your full being is lost into reverence and meditation for the ones who are gone.
Just one word to celebrate "Summer", it's depression, how you feel lost in the middle of empty landscapes, harvested wheat fields and ploughed ones. Late August or early September when you feel autumn close to invade the country, the receding of the green exuberance and nature getting ready for the eroding end of a cycle before a totally new one.
Everything ends with the glimmers of hope of "September", a sentiment of remission, glowing beautifully and flickering, which brings me to mind some similar tracks in the discographies of Pausal or Rameses III.
A staggering record.