Exposé Online banner

Rieg — Return
((Not on label) no#, 2008, CD)

Rieg — The Absynth Ritual
((Not on label) no#, 2010, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2013-06-23

Return Cover artThe Absynth Ritual Cover art

Back in the late 70s/early 80s, the heyday of experimental music, there was an obscure Norwegian composer Rieg who released three excellent industrial powerhouse electronic cassettes: Source, Music for Wind, and Voices. For years I searched the net to find him and then one day about two years ago I hit pay dirt. He had been on hiatus for nearly 30 years, returning to composing in 2008 with Return and then The Absynth Ritual in 2010. What a difference the passage of time makes! My head was stuck in the past expecting his new releases to be in the same vein as his cassettes. Boy was I surprised. Over time things mature and so did Rieg's music. Gone are the noisy abstract electronics of his cassettes, instead they are replaced by carefully composed and orchestrated melodies akin to the masters like Vangelis, Neuronium, and Jarre. Return contains seven tracks of sequenced and uplifting electronics heralding his return to music, dominated by the 30 minute "Floating Sequence." There are many different moods on Return, some containing elements of his harsh experimental past. The opening and closing tracks are extensions of each other and act as bookends.

In contrast, The Absynth Ritual was inspired by the similarity between the words absynth and absinthe, the alcoholic drink with special attributes. Absinthe originated in the late 18th century and become popular among artists and writers. It was often portrayed as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug. Its color is normally green and when blended with water (the absinthe ritual), the milky ghostly effect in the glass is called the Green Fairy. The disc opens naturally with "The Green Fairy," a light tune with flying and dancing fairies, but there is a sinister undercurrent. The second track, "Absynth," begins peacefully and over its 10 minutes illustrates the effects of long-term usage as the volume slowly increases and the music becomes more chaotic. The third track, "Daughters of Doom," is a musical journey of the green fairies. Whispered voices, funerary bells, echo, and new age electronics combine to tell this cautionary tale. The disc was originally intended to close with the powerful 23-minute title track with its ethereal electronic elements gracefully twisting and swirling in your speakers. The disc actually closes with the bonus five-minute "A Wonderful Day," a slightly ominous song specifically composed for a mini-concert and reminds me a bit of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. To my tastes, this may be the best track on the disc.


Filed under: New releases, 2008 releases, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Rieg

More info
http://www.riegmusic.com

Latest news

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Robert Rich - Ylang – It seems that every new project that Robert Rich immerses himself in — be it solo or collaborative — adds another level of enlightenment to whatever comes after it, carried forward to his...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues