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Anchor and Burden — Folded Temple
(Iapetus no#, 2021, DL)

Anchor and Burden — Molten Burden
(Iapetus no#, 2022, DL)

Anchor and Burden — Feels Like Forever
(Iapetus no#, 2022, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-08-18

Folded Temple Cover artMolten Burden Cover artFeels Like Forever Cover art

Moving along from the first two releases of spontaneous compositions by Anchor and Burden, we get three more albums of spontaneous compositions. Folded Temple, Molten Burden, and Feels Like Forever are very much the same sort of beast as their predecessors, with soundscapes from Markus Reuter (Touch Guitar) and Bernhard Wöstheinrich (keyboards and synths), bass parts from Alexander Dowerk (Touch Guitar), and percussion from Shawn Crowder (acoustic and electronic drums), all topped by various sorts of “lead” parts (mostly Reuter, occasionally Wöstheinrich). That’s it. Four guys working off the tops of their heads. Within this formula (such as it is) there’s a range of variation on several fronts. The ambient washes that underlie each tracks are sometimes serene and meditative, but at other times take on a menacing edge, driven by alterations of the note clusters making up the washes as well as the timbre of the notes themselves; there are also atmospheric echoing synth notes that come and go. Dowerk’s bass lines run from minimal and sparse to hypnotic patterns of notes, with the one constant being how they don't sound like typical bass lines; Crowder similarly moves around on the spectrums of tempo, density, and regularity as well as the types of percussive sounds he chooses. Reuter’s lead parts show a great deal of range, sometimes insanely mangled by distortion and other effects, sometimes taking on a Fripp-like sustaining tone. To a certain degree, these three albums (and the previous two) are interchangeable, and it’s hard to find reasons to choose one over the others. For some reason I’ve gravitated towards Folded Temple as my favorite, but they’re all surprisingly enjoyable for what’s essentially unscripted jamming.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Markus Reuter, Bernhard Wöstheinrich, Anchor and Burden

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