07 October 2010

M. Ostermeier - lakefront (2010, Hibernate)

After his debut EP and contribution to a compilation, both on Parvoart, I was expecting more of the same, a development of promising atmospheres, but on this aspect, "Lakefront" is surprisingly something like a withdrawal, towards something more confined.  There is less reverb on this new ep and the piano is now playing a more central role, with field recordings of scraping and rubbing, and processed digital sounds. Guitars and beats are absent.

You feel yourself like during one winter morning, under a gray sky, with no expectations to see the sun appear, and you're lost in self reflexive thought about recent memories, disenchanted and bitter. "Windows Frost" opens the record on such unpleasant perspective, rubbing sounds, like cleaning the living room and washing the dishes alone in the kitchen, removing the remains of a last nigh shared meal which seems long gone now. You wish that all of this would be already done.

On "Lakefront", the view on a distant frosted landscape under an open sky with stretched clouds high in it, is as sedative and welcome as an aspiring effervescent tablet, when body and mind are dizzy, introducing quietness to a disturbed state. "Recollection", with the use of strings with the piano, recalls me of Library Tapes and falls into an updated form of musical neoclassicism with a few digital sounds but doesn't inspire me as a listener, because there is something impersonal, conventional in such type of composition, used and abused by so many these recent years.

M. Ostermeier is much more convincing on an abstract track like "Overtone" because with his dreampop past (Should) he can't help himself but add spontaneously an underneath warmth and intimacy to his composition when he is dealing with minimal and conceptual forms. You see a beautiful winter landscape with a light blue icy sky crossed by a flock of geese in flight. This is perfectly the kind of music he belongs too.

"Competing Memories, Both Correct" induces the kind of doubt you can have, walking on an icy lake and not confident it is thick enough, or not sure, as you have started your journey towards a distant destination, that you haven't forgotten some important elements. It's the feeling you can't keep everything in mind, that no matter how certain emotion or impalpable thoughts or convictions,  are important and meaningful, they always are always, finally, ephemeral.

But with "Lost Weekend", the acetylsalicylic relief recedes and the uneasiness of the opening track reappears, the last track, "Lost Weekend, Revisionist History" is much more seductive, like an afternoon prolonged nap into which half asleep dreams are induced, giving back serenity.

Not as convincing as "Percolate", "Lakefront" is a half success but confirms that his best direction is towards something minimal, abstract, dreamy and melancholic.

Two Tracks from Lakefront by M. Ostermeier


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