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Klangwelt — Here and Why
(Spheric Music SMCD 6104, 2022, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-12-29

Here and Why Cover art

Gerald Arend is a German keyboard player who earns his bread and butter working in multimedia and in the computer games industry, but when he releases his own works, he does so under the project moniker Klangwelt. In the last twenty years he has only released five recordings, which leads a casual observer to suspect that his other endeavors are far more lucrative, though alive in every artist is a desire to establish one’s own legacy apart from any other. Not having heard any of Klangwelt’s previous works, I can only comment on what I hear on his current release, Here and Why, essentially an instrumental recording, though voices and vocalizations can be heard in many of the found sounds and field recordings that are integrated into his synth-based compositions. The first of those events comes midway through the opening track “Propaganda,” sounding like some historical voice recordings culled from television, which together with the title of follow-on track, “Cold War Child,” might give the listener cause to suspect that perhaps there is some kind of concept at work within the album, though nothing of the sort seems to be explicitly stated. The compositions and arrangements are based on essential Berlin-school with interesting rhythms, colorful melodies, and imaginative sequencing, often with gentle backdrops of synth and Mellotron choirs, scintillations, odd sounds and noises, and other cryptic mysteriae, The music is most interesting when accompanied by odd and irregular rhythms that seem to stop and start and go sideways with regularity. The found sounds and voice samples (often treated with vocoder and other effects) that slip in and out of the musical fabric add to the overall intrigue. An exception to the general rule on vocals comes on the final track, “An Explanation of Life,” which is accompanied by some otherworldly (and quite beautiful) chanting. Fans of Jean-Michel Jarre, the late Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, as well as Kraftwerk, Harmonia, and others will find sounds herein to appreciate. With twelve tracks, some as long as eight or nine minutes, imbued with regular changes and blossoming with color, there’s plenty here to hold a listeners interest over the long haul.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Klangwelt

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