Sølyst — The Steam Age
(Bureau B BB220, 2016, CD / LP/ DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-06-19
Drummer for the Düsseldorf band Kreidler, Thomas Klein also records as Sølyst. His latest solo effort is The Steam Age. Based on the title, I was expecting something along the lines of Victorian Steam Punk mechanical sounds. But The Steam Age is entirely different. For his third solo album, Klein started with an abandoned piano as his sound source. He built up a library of tapping, scratching, scraping, plucking sounds from the wooden body and the steel strings. Then using his sampler he constructed different patterns, loops, and sequences in combination with the typical Sølyst groove. Very much like Moebius’ approach on Nurton, Klein begins with a hypnotic rhythmic element and adds and subtracts layers of sounds that provide interest even when the piece is pure rhythm. Many of the tracks have a mechanical or heavy machinery vibe to them, while others are dark and sinister. Each track is different, between one and seven minutes in duration. The oddball track is the eight-second “William” that is merely a manipulated and processed child’s voice. And the other track that is different from the rest, and what appealed to me the most, is “Catching Leafs.” On “Catching Leafs” Klein used soft sounds to create a delicate floating, drifting piece that eventually, through transpositions, develops a catchy melody. Overall The Steam Age presents some interesting experimentations using a palette of previously unheard sounds that you have to be in the right mood to fully appreciate.
Related artist(s): Thomas Klein / Sølyst
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more