25 May 2011

M. Ostermeier - the rules of another small world (2011, Tench)

Weather is cloudy outside, as you can see it through the big windows, inside there is an aura of warmth and comfort, but you're right alone this morning, with the full swimming pool still empty of swimmers, as if the town was suddenly devoid of its inhabitants. You adjust your goggles, you dive and start to swim.

This the feeling of the opening track on this new M. Ostermeier album, "Micro Forest Updraft". A longing for loneliness, appeasement and quietness, later it will be time to rejoin the community but right now you just need to help yourself and float at the surface of the water, moving forward, obeying fetal reflexes.

While his previous album, "Chance reconstruction", failed to truly convince me, this new one starts brightly as a charm.
Finally rays of sun are piercing the layers of clouds and are hitting the ground like harp strings, you walk under an invigorating wind, breathing deeply and slowly adjusting with the large and distant open view, this is "Streambed Arrangement".

As a cat you finally lay under the sun, stretching your limbs, with half closed eyes, daydreaming at the limit of the nap, enjoying the elasticity of time. "Sunlight on My Desk" is below the three minutes mark but I could adopt this atmosphere for a full afternoon. Nostalgia and longing are appearing with subtlety on "I Took Out Your Picture" and you may want to withdraw from the buzzing life a little while.

And "Floorboards, Well Worn" just sounds like that, layering on the floorboards with no wish to move, slightly uncomfortable but sensing the matter with skin and bones, while "Trickle Down" gets you easily distracted by the move of a spider between window and ceiling, building a new cobweb, marking the move towards the second half of this album.

The night is falling on "Fast Darters", walking along the dying lights, abandoning yourself just before it's time to go to sleep, with "Underwater Drifting" as a superb lullaby, with some appeasing field recordings coming from the garden, bringing inside the quiet of the night.

A few hours later, waking up before the dawn and waiting for its first lights, "Retreating Night" finds us, unable to sleep, later enjoying dew and freshness with "Suspicions". Marc Ostermeier ends his album with its longest track (5:28) which makes me realize how short are the compositions on this album, most of them between two and three minutes. "Ngth" has been given the right to be fully developed and it floats in the air like a reverie, unfolding itself like a white cloud crossing a pure blue sky, moved away by a constant light breeze.

I won't say this album is perfect as I'm much more under the spell of the first half and progressively lose my attention during the last tracks, but as a whole it is a successful piece of ambient music mixing piano, field recordings and electronics.

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