Exposé Online banner

J. Peter Schwalm — The Beauty of Disaster
(RareNoise RNR059, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-03-18

The Beauty of Disaster Cover art

Not so long ago we covered a new release by Brian Eno collaborator Leo Abrahams, and here we have another solo outing from one of Eno’s recent cohorts, German sound sculptor J. Peter Schwalm. Unlike Abrahams, whose music is a kind of manipulated electronic pop, Schwalm gives us a variety of sounds, from highly abstract masses of notes and noise to swirling arrays of piano notes and loping drums. Each track has its own identity, though all work as parts of a whole. Such elements as shimmery guitar notes (along the lines of Fripp & Eno), serene piano tones (a bit like Cluster), spooky strings (think Stratosfear), and indistinct masses of reverb are melded with more modern stuttering percussive sounds to create a fascinating sonic world. The whole album works as a journey through differing terrains, never the same but never completely foreign (to each other or to what we might expect). Nothing seems gratuitous, nothing superfluous, everything works towards Schwalm’s vision. It’s superb music for dark rooms and headphones, and stirs up gauzy images that flicker and pass by. The Beauty of Disaster is indeed beautiful, though not cloyingly so, and is in no way a disaster, but a worthy addition to modern electronic music.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): J. Peter Schwalm

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Stick Man - Fretless – On Neil Haverstick's ninth CD, he offers a compilation of all the fretless pieces from his previous CDs. Four of seven tracks exceed the ten-minute mark and feel improvised, sometimes enhanced with...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues