Exposé Online banner

Sølyst — The Steam Age
(Bureau B BB220, 2016, CD / LP/ DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-06-19

The Steam Age Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Thomas Klein / Sølyst

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Sancious and Tone - Transformation (The Speed of Love) – David Sancious came at the genre of jazz-rock fusion from a rather different direction than most of the key figures. Rather than coming into it as an established jazz player or from the progressive...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues