Exposé Online banner

Electric Mud — Quiet Days on Earth
(Bandcamp no#, 2020, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-10-08

Quiet Days on Earth Cover art

Not to be confused with the famous 1968 Muddy Waters album where he went electric, or the German rock band who released their eponymous album in 1975, this Electric Mud is a German group also, based in Hanover, but one that very much exists in the present, formed around 2011, with five albums to their credit now, who a few years back made the transformation from a live trio into a two-man studio-only project, which happened at some point before their previous release The Deconstriction of Light, reviewed in these pages in late 2018. Nearly two years have passed, and Electric Mud remains a two-man project: Hagen Bretschneider (bass, ideas, and concepts) and Nico Walser (guitar, keyboards, noises, mixing, and mastering), with programs handling the drums and percussives. Having reviewed the earlier album, which was often overtly heavy (I believe that comparisons were drawn with Eloy, Floyd, and mid-70s Tangerine Dream), Quiet Days on Earth seems to be of a far more subdied and gentle style, without a lot of distorted guitars and bombast; this release is almost episodic, gentle and beautifully melodic, much like film music. At 78-plus minutes it’s a mighty long album, especially considering that it’s 100% instrumental, and while it does rock in places, the general feeling is far more delicate and textural, with many moments of grandeur, colors, shades, and beauty, as typified by the seven and a half minute title track, where a searing guitar solo launches around five minutes in and carries all the way through to the end. “Eyes Watching Skies” and its follow-on, “Foggy Postcard from a Barren Land,” use a strong electronic and keyboard underpinning with bare-bones percussion, the latter with its colorful keyboard motif and shifts and changes make it one of the strongest compositions on the album. Some field recordings of voices are carefully integrated into parts of “The Loneliness of the Somnambulist” as it inches slowly across a shimmering electronic dreamscape. While it all may be suitable for soundtrack music, it is still most definitely progressive rock in the classic sense, just not as hard and heavy as before.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Electric Mud

More info

Latest news

New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites - Unis & The Cereal Killer – NLC is a project led by one Julien Ash, who has apparently been at this for some time, although these two releases were my first exposure to his work Their relative anonymity may not last, as they are...  (2001) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues